The Hyundai Eon was one of the most affordable new cars in the market when it was introduced several years ago. However, Hyundai Philippines has since stopped offering that model a couple of years ago with no successor in place. But when we looked at the Hyundai India website, we found a suitable candidate.
It's called the Santro, and it is essentially the successor of the popular Eon. Looking at its specs, features, and price, it's a promising model, too. With that, let's see what this subcompact hatchback has to offer.
This model was introduced in late 2018 as a 2019 model. In some parts of the world, it even has the Eon nameplate attached to it. The Santro is larger than the Eon, giving it more room inside than its predecessor. It measures 3,610 mm long, 1,645 mm wide, and 1,560 mm tall. For comparison, the Eon was 3,495 mm long, 1,550 mm wide, and 1,500 mm tall. With that, the Santro is 115 mm longer, 95 mm wider, and 60 mm taller than the Eon.
As for design, it's a big leap from the old hatchback. It still has the upright headlights but the grille is much wider and the hood is longer. The Santro also has cleaner flanks with fewer character lines on the doors and fenders. It even has a rather interesting kink on the rear windows. As for the rear, Hyundai kept it simple with a wide tailgate and rather small taillights.
Inside, it's a massive jump from the Eon to the Santro. For a budget hatchback, the cabin looks upmarket with smooth and sweeping curves on the dashboard. It also gets a tachometer and a multi-information display, two features that were missing in the Eon's instrument cluster. It's even available with a touchscreen and rear air-conditioning vents. As for safety, it's available with dual airbags, a reverse camera, and reverse sensors. All variants come standard with anti-lock brakes, too.
There are two engine options available for the Santro. Replacing the 800 cc engine from the Eon is a 1.1-liter mill that's good for 69 PS and 99 Nm of torque. The other one is an LPG-powered version of the 1100 cc engine that makes 60 PS and 85 Nm of torque. Transmission options include a five-speed manual and a five-speed automated manual.
As for price, the Santro has the potential to be the most affordable new car in the country should Hyundai Philippines bring it in. The base model starts at 467,490 Rupees, or about PHP 302,000. There's also the Asta variant with the semi-automatic transmission and all the safety equipment. The range-topper starts at 635,490 Rupees or about PHP 411,000 at current exchange rates. The best part is, Indian-made cars are exempt from the excise bond, meaning local prices could be close to the SRP in India.
We reckon Hyundai Philippines should consider this model. With the need for personal transport growing every year, an affordable and brand-new set of wheels can help those who need to move around.