The very popular Hyundai Santro is all set to make a comeback in India in a whole new avatar. The car is slated to be launched on October 23, while pre-bookings for the car has been underway since its official debut this month for ₹ 11,000. The 2018 Santro has already started to create a major buzz, so much so that Hyundai received over 14,000 bookings in just 9 days. While clearly, the Santro name hasn't lost its popularity among the Indian customers, it still has to make a mark for itself, and considering the level of competition it has to face, it might not be all that simple. So, while there is still a lot that is yet to be known about the new Hyundai Santro, based on the things that are already out, we find out whether the car can take on some of the stronger players in this segment, well, at least on paper.
Also Read: New Hyundai Santro Launched In India
Features and Equipment
Hyundai knows that the competition is tough and today's customers expect a lot even from an entry-level car, which is why the new Santro comes with a host of best-in-class features like a plush-looking cabin with 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system which is equipped with smartphone connectivity and supports Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The car also comes with steering mounted controls for audio, modes, and telephony. The Santro will be equipped with dual airbags, ABS and rear parking sensors and camera, however; all of it will not be standard. The lower variants of the Santro will get just a driver side airbag while ABS will be standard across variants.
Also Read: 2018 Hyundai Santro First Drive
Closest to the Hyundai Santro's cabin is the Renault Kwid, which was the only car in this class to offer a touchscreen infotainment system with navigation so far, although it doesn't get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Neither does the car get steering mounted control, but the car does, rear parking camera, keyless entry, driver side airbag, and more. However, unlike the Santro, this one does come with alloy wheels in the top-end model.
Also Read: 2018 Hyundai Santro: Price Expectation
The Tata Tiago, on the other hand, doesn't get a touchscreen infotainment system like the other two, but instead a standard ConnectNext infotainment system with a monochrome display that also offers Turn-by-Turn navigation with Navi Maps. Tata also offers steering mounted controls for audio and phone. On the safety front, the car comes with dual front airbags as an option on the XE trim and above, along with ABS with EBD & Corner Stability Control, rear parking sensors, defogger, and follow-me-home headlamps among others. The Tiago also gets alloy wheels.
As for the Maruti Suzuki Celerio, it's still the oldest one on the list and the features aren't really extraordinary for the segment. The car comes with dual tone interior with a dashboard featuring a basic 2-DIN audio system with USB, Bluetooth and AUX-IN capabilities. The Celerio also offers Keyless entry, driver side airbag as standard and front passenger side one as optional, along with ABS and seatbelt reminder with a buzzer.
Exterior Styling and Dimensions
All four cars come with a different take on styling. The Santro retains is tallboy stance has grown in size compared to the older model, the Kwid features a crossover/SUV-like styling, while the Celerio and Tiago come with standard hatchback design with the sloping bonnet that we are familiar with. All cars feature standard halogen headlamps and miss out on LED daytime running lights.
Also Read: 2018 Hyundai Santro: Price Expectation
In terms of dimensions, the Tiago is the longest and widest among all at 3746 mm and 1647 mm respectively. It's 1535 mm tall and comes with a wheelbase of 2400 mm and a maximum ground clearance of 170 mm. In comparison, the Santro is 3610 mm long, 1645 mm wide, 1560 mm tall and it comes with a wheelbase of 2400 mm. The Celerio is longer at 3695 mm, but the width and height are lesser at 1600 mm and 1560 mm, however, the car offers the longest wheelbase at 2425 mm. As for the Kwid, the car measure 3679 mm in length, 1579 in width, 1513 mm in height and the second-best wheelbase length of 2422 mm, and the highest ground clearance of 180 mm.
Engine and Transmission
While the Hyundai Santro, Renault Kwid and Maruti Suzuki Celerio are only offered in petrol options, the Tata Tiago is the only car in this list to also get a diesel engine. The all-new Santro is equipped with a 4-cylinder 1.1-litre Petrol engine that puts out 68 bhp and 99 Nm of torque, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and for the first time an optional AMT unit as well. The car will also have a factory fitted CNG option with a reduced power output of 59 bhp, while the torque remains unchanged at 99 Nm. The CNG option only comes with the manual gearbox.
The Tata Tiago gets the 1.2-litre Revotron petrol and the 1.0t-litre Revotorq diesel engines, which come paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox. The petrol Tiago also comes with an AMT version on offer. The Revotron petrol motor churns out 84 bhp and 114 Nm of peak torque, while the Revotorq diesel is tuned for 69 bhp and 140 Nm of peak torque.
The Celerio, on the other hand, gets a 998 cc K10 petrol engine, which makes 67 bhp and 90 Nm. The car is mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or Maruti's optional AMT unit, the Auto Gear Shift (AGS) system. As for the Renault Kwid, the car comes in both 800 cc and 1.0-litre engine option, but the more relevant one here is the latter. The more powerful 999 cc engine on offer makes 67 bhp of peak power and 91 Nm of peak torque and is mated to either a 5-speed manual gearbox or an optional AMT unit.
Based on the features that we know that the Santro will come with, we can surely say that the car will become a strong rival to the others, at least on paper. However, the Celerio, Tiago and Kwid, also make a strong case for themselves and continue to do some healthy numbers. So, we will have to wait for the Santro to be launched as know more about the car's variant-wise feature offerings, and of course, the price before we can say which of these entry-level car offers the best value for your money.