The Santro is back. It is all-new, built to reiterate Hyundai’s stake in the budget car segment in India – the segment that the Santro left a lasting impression on in its previous avatar. Frankly, with the build, features list and the engine and gearbox options, there is little left to be desired from a budget compact hatchback, but then, we Indians are known to compare, test and evaluate our cars against the entire market before buying one. So, if you are looking to spend Santro-money, here is a list of everything else that you can buy.
At the entry-level price tag which is just a shade under Rs 4 lakhs, top-spec Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 as well as the Renault Kwid are available along with the option packs and powered by 800cc petrol engines. Though they will be a shade underpowered, the Kwid offers touchscreen display and a tall-boy design while the Maruti offers a feel-safe choice. There is also the Datsun Redi-Go with the same 0.8-litre mill as the Renault for the price of the Hyundai Santro Dlite.
As you move higher up the trims, like the Magna, you have the option to choose between the Tata Tiago and the Maruti Suzuki Celerio. While the Celerio is a little more expensive trim-vs-trim, the Tiago seems to be priced better. Also, the Wagon R continues to be a formidable option, being one of the best choices for the ones obsessed with space.
Move a trim higher i.e. to Sportz or if you chose CNG or AMT options on the Magna, you will enter the B-segment hatchbacks territory where you get options like the Ford Freestyle, the Hyundai Grand i10 and the Maruti Suzuki Swift. These cars are from a segment higher and for a fairly loaded Santro, you will only get an entry-level variant of the bigger hatchbacks after stretching the budget by a bit.
Finally, for the top-spec Hyundai Santro Asta or for the AMT or CNG versions of the Hyundai Santro Sportz, the compact sedans like the Tata Tigor, the Ford Aspire and the Volkswagen Ameo appear in sight. Here again, for almost a fully loaded Santro, you will get an entry-level compact sedan but then, the three-box shape is still desirable for many buyers.