In my introduction report on our Hyundai Santro AMT, I was thoroughly relishing the compact size and the convenience that the AMT gearbox added to my daily commute. In fact, the more I drive the Santro, the more I am impressed by its simplicity and everyday comfort. When I am in bumper-to-bumper traffic, the excellent visibility and light controls make it a stress-free haven from all the noise and disarray outside.
I have also become a fan of the infotainment system and the audio output that the four-speaker music system offers. Unlike most budget hatchbacks that are decked with, let’s be honest, terrible sounding players, the one in the Santro offers surprisingly good clarity and acceptable levels of bass. So if you are somebody who loves their music but do not wish to tinker with the OEM components of their new car, the Santro would do just fine.
Highway trips in the Santro have been relatively limited so far. The few journeys that I’ve made with my family have been within the city limits wherein the Santro’s AMT feels smooth for the most part. The gearbox would feel jerky for the first few minutes post start-up, however, it would go about its work optimally soon after. Even the 1.1-litre, 68bhp petrol engine remains smooth doing the donkey work, however, you really have to wring this low power motor just to keep up with traffic.
The other area where our long termer struggles is equipment. Despite being the most expensive Sportz AMT variant, our test car misses out on a lot of crucial features. Never mind a rear view camera, our 2018 model doesn’t even get parking sensors. Then there is the lack of height adjustment for the steering column which makes driving cumbersome at times. Thankfully, Hyundai apparently has addressed some of these shortcomings and added seat belt pre-tensioners for the front seats, a rear view camera and passenger-side airbag for the 2019 model. We expect the latter to hit the showrooms real soon.
I hope Hyundai has also improved the wing mirror casing because the glass on the driver-side mirror has popped and dropped on us twice so far. Not a deal breaker by any means but it’s also fair to say that such niggling issues shouldn’t crop up in a brand new car.
Despite lacking some necessary equipment, our 2018 model remains a capable everyday driver and with plenty of kilometres ahead, I am looking forward to some frugal monsoon commutes in the Santro AMT.
Km this month: 920km
Fuel Efficiency: 12.81 kmpl
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi