Hyundai entered the Indian market through the Santro whose main rival at that time was the popular Maruti Suzuki Zen. The company signed a contract with Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan to endorse the Santro and although the radical styling was not accepted by everyone, the car was an instant hit. It is still undergoing number of improvements and face lifts to suit the Indian customers. The main rival of Santro in the current market is Suzuki Wagon R and Maruti Zen Estilo. In 2003, older models were replaced by the second generation Atos Prime as the Santro Xing, which is also very popular in India.Interiors
The interiors of the Santro are a mixed bag. The Santro has very high quality plastics used on the dashboard and they do not rattle in the course of time. The texture will also not trap as much dirt. Then there are the small niches provided in the dash, such as the one on the left bottom of the steering wheel to keep your cds or anything else. The coin trays are also very useful. The map pockets on the sides of the door add to additional storage space.
The renovated plush interiors of Hyundai Santro Xing feature a 3-spoke steering, along with a new instrument cluster. Trendy dials and new vents give a sporty appearance to its dashboard, instrument cluster and the central console. The hand-rests have also been redesigned. Santro Xing comes with additional features, including a rear parcel shelf, power controls for the rear windows, a luggage lamp, and a storage tray under the front seats.Drivetrain
The Santro comes standard with a 1.1 liter petrol Engine that generates 63Bhp. It has an excellent suspension setup, rides and handles much better even at high speeds. The Santro has taken a rather technologically sophisticated route, using Mcpherson strut with stabilizer bar layout up front and the beam axle with 3 link offset coil spring & hydraulic damper at the back. This leads to good handling and thus the car has more grip on the road. Due to the wider 155/70R13 radial tyres, the driver derives a lot of confidence on curves.
Powered by technologically-advanced Hyundai Epsilon engine, Santro Xing demonstrates the company's 'active intelligence' eRLX technology, which enables the engine to deliver better performance and mileage. The 1086 cc in-line 4 cylinders engine generates a power of 62 bhp @ 5500 rpm and 96 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm. The standard 5-speed manual transmission, with overdrive, is behind quick responsiveness of the engine. The low-end torque and excellent throttle responses enables Santro Xing to deliver a good fuel economy.Handling and Safety
The Tallboy design of Santro Xing provides for enough leg, head and elbowroom. The seats provide firm support for thigh and back. The GLS AT variant of Xing is equipped with an option for 4-speed automatic gearbox. This is best suited for urban commuters because it reduces the hassle of frequent gear changing in city traffic. Handling is least to bother about because Santro Xing is very agile. With a short wheelbase and turning radius, it proves ideal for speedy drivers. The superior quality McPherson Strut suspension in the front and 3-link offset coil springs in the rear of the vehicle even-out the bumps on Indian roads.
Crumple zones, child-locks, and high torsion impact bars are the standard safety features that are available in all the variants of Hyundai Santro Xing. Additional protection against side impact is facilitated by the pair of ultra-high strength steel members that are fitted into the doors of the automobile. Santro Xing had been made to undergo rigorous crash tests, so as to ensure uncompromised safety for its occupants.Overall Evaluation
The six variants of Santro Xing include XK Non AC, XK, XL, XO, and AT. The hatchback has been priced around Rs. 4 lakhs and is available in a variety of colours, including real earth, ebony black, noble white, bright silver, charming grey, aqua tint, passion red and husky blue. Shahrukh Khan is not the only force behind the success of the Santro, Hyundai has indeed got it right at the very outset and the car is a winner all the way.