Hyundai Santro Bows Out For The Second Time

The Santro’s second innings in India only lasted about four years


  • Dealer sources hint the new six-airbag safety rule was the final nail in the coffin for the Santro.

  • It only averaged 1,500 to 2,000 units per month in its final days.

  • It was Hyundai’s first car in India back in 1998, was in production until 2015 and was revived in 2018.

  • It was priced from Rs 4.90 lakh to Rs 6.42 lakh and sold in four trims.

  • Its rivals were the Tata Tiago, Maruti Wagon R, and Renault Kwid.

  • The Hyundai Grand i10 Nios takes over as the carmaker’s new entry-level model.

Remember the Hyundai Santro which was once quite the popular moniker in India? Well it looks like it's the end of the road for the entry-level hatchback for the second time, as the Santro is no longer in production after its relaunch only four years ago. It can no longer be booked online either, but there is limited stock remaining according to our dealer sources, most of which are CNG variants. 

Why has Hyundai’s once popular moniker made an exit from India again?  One of the contributing reasons, according to our dealer sources, is the upcoming mandatory ruling to have six airbags as standard on cars in India. With the Santro currently equipped with dual front airbags, adding four more airbags will shoot up its price tag, and it wouldn't be feasible for Hyundai to keep the Santro alive. That said, the entry-level hatchback has had a poor run of form in recent months, being one of the least-selling Hyundais, with 1,500 to 2,000 unit sales per month.

The Santro’s journey first began in 1998, and was the car that kickstarted Hyundai’s India journey. Dubbed the ‘Sunshine Car’ it was a hit early on in a time where the Maruti 800 was the titan in the entry-level hatchback segment. It did face proper competition in the form of the Maruti Wagon R a year later. After a variety of upgrades including the Santro Xing in 2003, Hyundai had bid adieu to the hatchback in 2015. 

But, the farewell was short-lived as the Santro returned in 2018 with prices ranging from Rs 3.9 lakh to Rs 5.5 lakh (ex-showroom). In its current form, the Santro was offered in the Era Exe, Magna, Sportz and Asta trims. Creature comforts included a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a reversing camera, rear AC vents, and steering-mounted audio controls. 

Under the hood, the entry-level hatchback was powered by a 1.1-litre petrol engine, making 69PS power and 99Nm torque. It could be specced with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or an AMT, and was also offered in CNG guise.

While bidding adieu to the Hyundai Santro yet again is unfortunate, the rising safety standards and the buying trend that is largely tilted toward SUVs meant it was only a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ the Santro would be axed. Its last recorded price range was between Rs 4.90 lakh to Rs 6.42 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), and the car rivalled the Tata Tiago, Maruti Wagon R, and Renault Kwid.  

With the Santro reaching the end of the road, the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios takes over as Hyundai’s entry-level model. It is priced from Rs 4.99 lakh to Rs 8.01 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). 

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