In 2018, Hyundai discontinued the Eon which was an entry-level small hatchback in its line-up and to fill the void the carmaker is now planning for a low-cost version of the popular Hyundai Santro, for first-time buyers and people looking out for a budget car. The market trend is moving upwards and buyers look for more features and comfort than prioritizing its price, due to which the Santro is not an entry-level car anymore as it was marketed with the Santro Xing until its discontinuation in 2014.
But, the entry-level car market still has a substantial chunk of sales in India and first-time car buyer still prefers a small budget hatchback.
The low-cost version will be a viable option as opposed to developing a new car from scratch, as the new car will have to conform to the latest crash test norms and will prove a very expensive affair to the brand. The current model which is already researched and developed can be divested-off its expensive equipment and features, leaving behind a budget car. The cost-effective Santro could become cheaper than the current base model, the Santro D-Lite, which already misses out on the air-conditioning and Hyundai might even cut down on more features in the interior department.
The Hyundai Santro is powered by a 1,086cc, 4-cylinder, 12-valve/3 valves per cylinder, SOHC petrol motor producing 69 PS of power @ 5500 RPM and 99 Nm of torque @ 4500 RPM mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox or an optional AMT (Automated Manual Transmission). The Santro is also available in a CNG option on the same engine which makes 59 PS of power and 84.3 Nm of torque available with a 5-speed manual.
In terms of safety, the Hyundai Santro gets driver side airbags, ABS and EBD as standard across all variants and the low-cost version if produced is expected to retain these features due to strict safety norms.
The Hyundai Santro D-Lite a petrol manual variant which is the most budget-friendly Santro is priced at INR 3,90,493 ex-showroom, Delhi and its competitor the Maruti Suzuki Alto which is also India’s best-selling car is priced at INR 3,65,843 ex-showroom, Delhi.