What do you look for in a small family hatchback? A roomy cabin? Features? Better-than-average performance?
That’s all the basics covered, but at a more progressive level, would you rather have a small hatch that comes with an AMT which is not exactly cutting-edge tech but one that adds a whole lot of convenience to your everyday driving? That’s the question that has been brought into focus ever since the Hyundai Santro AMT joined our long-term fleet. Let me clear this right away that even within the modest confines of the entry-level hatch segment, this new Santro isn’t particularly an exciting buy. However, what it does extremely well is deliver high degrees of practicality in a simple yet solidly built package.
For now, I have been acquainting myself with the Santro. Having run and appreciated the original for many years, I am keen to see if the all-new Santro moves the game on extensively. First impressions are positive – I picked up the Santro right after our annual CarWale Track Day extravaganza and since then, it has proved to be a stylish city runabout. Now I admit, it’s not a standout design but it does look smart in the Marina Blue paint – in a sea of grey and white coloured cars, our Santro admittedly gets a fair bit of attention.
We are running the top-spec AMT trim dubbed Sportz AMT which costs Rs 6.44 lakhs on-road. It costs just Rs 30,000 more than the Magna AMT and gets plenty of additional features such as front fog lamps, keyless entry, wheel covers, electrically adjustable mirrors and a brilliant touchscreen infotainment system. However, there are quite a few glaring omissions, too, most of which I would get to in the next report.
Driving in Mumbai can be pretty demanding even at the best of times although I feel hardly fazed. It may not be the most desirable car in our current fleet, but the Santro AMT is extremely easy to drive and rather efficient and I am looking forward to putting a lot of kilometres on it as a daily driver.
Km this month: 875km
Fuel Efficiency: 12.3kmpl
Photos by Kaustubh Gandhi