2018 Hyundai Santro review: A lot has been speculated about the new 2018 Hyundai Santro in the last few months. The kind of interest generated by this car in the market clearly makes it the biggest launch of the year taking place around the festive season. At the unveiling of the new Hyundai Santro, we also got a chance to drive the car briefly at the company's test track in its Chennai plant. Here's what we think of the new Hyundai Santro and highlight its strengths and weaknesses. The design, to start with is similar to the original Santro, not visually but more so in a thematic way. The new Santro, like its predecessor, has a quirky looking front end. The headlamps and grille do a good job of accentuating the car's width, giving it a premium feel. The side has a good mix of lines that make for an entertaining sight. The rear sports sharp looking tail lamps along with a dual colour bumper, all of which not only looks impressive but fresh as well.
The 1.1-litre four-cylinder motor comes from the i10 but has been reworked for a higher power output of 69 ps and improved efficiency.During our brief drive, the engine felt refined with adequate power to move the car comfortably. The manual gearbox offers easy shifts and the ratios offer good drivability. The AMT gearbox was a revelation and does make up for the late entry of Hyundai in the AMT bandwagon. The lag between shifts is less than other units in the segment and the transition from one gear to another is gradual without any jerks or shocks.
The 7-inch colour infotainment screen looks good and is easy to use. It also offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and the sound quality is surprisingly good for its segment. Space at the front and rear is impressive and will prove to be family-friendly. ABS and driver airbag will be offered as standard equipment and higher variants will sport dual front airbags, giving the car good safety credentials too.
Stability was good during our brief drive but it's not possible for me to comment on the ride quality right now. With just one circular turn to check handling, the Santro felt stable although it did exhibit body roll.
Overall, the new Hyundai Santro has been packaged very smartly and if it is priced competitively it won't be surprising to see it rock the sales charts. Hyundai is targeting a 30% market share for the new Santro in its segment, which according to me will be easily achieved.