With the monsoons finally setting in, the little Santro proved to be a huge help. Now, monsoons also bring with it traffic snarls and that meant the Santro’s compact dimensions and AMT transmission would be a big boon and it was. With 68bhp and 99Nm on tap, the Santro should make a peppy commuter too right? Let’s see how it did.
Dinky dimensions always help when it comes to a traffic infested city like Mumbai and the Santro was apt for dodging traffic and finding parking in tight spots. The AMT gearbox feels great when you are just pottering around but if you need to dart into a gap or overtake a truck quickly, that’s where the Santro’s demons come out to play.
The AMT shifts too early and when pedal is still stuck to the floor downshifts when you least expect it. This causes a lot of delay and not to mention irritation until you decide to shift in Tiptronic mode. What also does not help its case is the lack of low end grunt which is much needed in the city. Overall the Santro is decent around town but could do with better low end grunt.
On the highways
Once on the move, the Santro is pretty happy even on the highways. It has decent straight line stability and cruises effortlessly at above average speeds. The rear suspension spoils the party a bit and comes across as a little too bouncy and as a result one needs to ease off on bumpy sections.
On the equipment front, the touchscreen infotainment system works great and you have plenty of storage places for knick-knacks. However, a glaring shortcoming that came to the fore during the rains was the lack of the intermittent mode for the wipers which is plain silly.
The Santro is an ideal city commuter and quite fuss free too, but some of its niggles and lack of important features do sour the overall experience. Has the Santro left a void since it’s gone? The answer I’m afraid is quite debatable.
Km this month: 1113km
Fuel Efficiency: 12.55 kmpl
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi