Step inside the cabin of the new Santro and you are greeted by an ambiance that feels upmarket and more expensive than you expect in a car at this price. The dash design is simple but is ergonomically spot-on with all the controls falling to hand easily. Elements like the sporty instrument cluster and the turbine shaped side air-con side vents lends it style. The highlight of the dashboard though is the high-res seven-inch touch screen infotainment system which is easily the best-in-segment. It comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror-link smartphone connectivity, which again, a segment first. It is the same system found in the more expensive Grand i10. As a result, the touch sensitivity is really good and big icons make it easy to navigate. What helps further is the high placement of the screen which falls in your eye-view, and again makes it easy to use on the move. It is easy to get in and out of the Santro thanks to the high seating.
The front seats are well contoured and despite them being slim, the cushioning is good and is a comfortable place to be in. The driving position, though, is not great especially if you are a tall person. The steering is placed too low and as it lacks seat height and steering adjust. Which is why it is difficult to find a driving position that is comfortable especially over long journeys. At the back, you get best-in-class knee-room (6cm more than the Celerio and 9cm more than the Tiago), and even the generous width makes for a decent five-seater. The bench itself is comfortable with good thigh support and good backrest angle. However, what would have made it even better are adjustable headrests as the fixed ones are too small, and won’t help avoid whiplash injuries in case of a rear impact. Also, the fact that Hyundai is providing rear ac vents as a first-in-segment feature adds to the comfort.
The 235-litre boot is at par with the competition but the loading lip is a bit too high and the fact that the rear parcel shelf isn’t strung by the boot lid makes the opening too narrow and loading big bags is a chore.
When it comes to equipment, the Santro like all Hyundai’s, comes well loaded. The top-of-the-line Asta comes with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible. You also get stuff like reverse parking sensors, reversing camera, key-less entry, power windows and a full-fledged trip computer. The automatic version of the Santro isn’t available in this top variant, and it misses out on stuff like reversing camera, passenger side airbag, vanity mirror an, rear wiper. As compared to the competition the Santro doesn’t get things like alloy wheels and seat height, or steering adjust.