It’s a tastefully designed cabin that greets you upon entry into the Santro. The entire layout and the dual tone of black and beige looks pleasant, especially with a touch of champagne gold for inserts. Do note that the Diana green Santro gets an exclusive all-black interior with green accents that looks funky too. The rubberised buttons below the music system, smooth knobs and plastic buttons also feel nice to hold/touch. Furthermore, the part-analog and part-digital instrument cluster, high placement of a large touch screen, Mercedes-styled air vents, etc., all of these make the Santro an interesting car to be in.
But I still wonder why Hyundai missed out on a chrome logo on the steering wheel and a lock button for the doors. Also, the air-con controls still feel basic. Besides, owners are going to take some time to get used to the power window buttons placed on the centre console which, again, aren’t backlit. Even so, given the fit and finish, good quality of materials and the way all things are in place, it surely feels like it comes from a segment higher rather than appearing to be any ordinary entry-level hatchback.
Needless to say, the tall-boy design helps in easy ingress and egress from the car. However, the absence of seat height and steering adjust might be a deal-breaker for prospective buyers who are very tall. Average-sized adults might like the high seat position with great frontal visibility, however, tall guys won’t be able to find the perfect driving position especially with the steering set low. Nonetheless, the large rear windshield has good rear visibility and the kink on the rear window has helped clear a good view of the road for rear occupants.
The new Santro is also wider than the older model, so shoulder room has been well taken care of, and this is evident now with three individuals easily fitting onto the flat bench in the second row. The cabin is spacious with good legroom and headroom, while the slim seats have helped in liberating more space. Mind you though, despite being slim, these are well padded and contoured to provide adequate back and thigh support, thus also adding to comfort. Interestingly, these are part faux leather and fabric which serve both purposes – practicality and feel-good factor.
The Santro also takes care of all your storage needs efficiently with a well thought out stowage slot on the dashboard for phones, a large glove-box, big bottle holders etc. The boot space at 235litres remains average, but it can be expanded thanks to the rear seat falling almost flat. However, loading luggage becomes tedious due to the high loading lip and an intrusive parcel tray without strings attached to the boot-lid.