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Review: Hyundai Santro Xing

My Santro

Today is an eventful day in my brief motoring history. I crossed the 10,000 km mark on my peppy little Santro’s odometer. It’s a good time for a firsthand review and some flashback.

Last year, the motivation to buy a car grew stronger each time the heavens opened up in Bangalore and I reached home (on my CBZ), soaked in muddy water merrily splashed by other vehicles. Since Vinayak too was looking out for a car, both of us decided to take the plunge and come out with a good deal. The autos within our budget were the Maruti Zen, the Tata Indica, the Fiat Palio, the Opel Corsa, and the Santro Xing. Quick trips to the showrooms and we ruled out the Zen (too cramped), the Indica (cab-like looks), the Palio (awful dealer and service network), and the Corsa (the dealer himself advised us not to buy one).

The Xing won us over on first sight. Driving this baby inside the city or outside on the highway is a pleasure. It’s got stunning looks, an extremely roomy interior (especially for tall people), comfortable front and rear seating, sufficient luggage space, great road view, responsive steering, and ample performance to round off. To date, I have not had a single problem with the vehicle. Touch wood! The mileage is pretty decent; 14 km/litre in the city 17 km/litre on the highway without the air-con and using standard un-leaded petrol. Subtract a kilometre or two with the air-con. Hyundai recommends an additive (INR 175 per bottle per 1500 kms) that increases the mileage.

What we really appreciated was the top-notch customer service shown at Trident Hyundai (Next to Cauvery Theatre, Sankey Road, Bangalore). It counted heaps towards making our decision. Almost a year down the line and having seen their after sales service, we were not wrong then. Way to go guys!

Vital statistics:

Car make : Hyundai Santro Xing XG
Color : Bright Silver
Dealer : Trident Hyundai, Bangalore
Purchase Date : 31st October, 2004
Purchase Price : Approximately INR 420,000
Freebies :
  1. One-year insurance
  2. Piranha Car Security System
  3. Sony xPlod CD FX-5200 MP3 player
  4. Front + Rear Sony xPlod speakers
  5. Cute Ganesha idol
  6. Dubious perfume bottle (Chinese make)

How would I describe the Hyundai Santro Xing in one sentence?
It’s really a sunshine car!

Update: November 30, 2005

The name of the additive is Bardahl. One bottle of this additive costs INR 150. Use one bottle every 1500 km.

Update: October 27, 2006

Here is the much awaited scoop on the magic additive – Bardahl – for increasing your Santro’s mileage. Personally, I experience a 2 km improvement in my Santro Xing’s mileage. A word of caution: Check with your authorised service technician before using this additive.

Public service advertisement

BARDAHL Auto Additives
Special Injector Klene

Approved by Hyundai

Provides quick and superior cleaning action to injectors, carburetors, and the induction system.


  • Easier starting, smoother idling, immediate throttle response
  • Cleans and unclogs the fuel injector and dissolves injector deposits
  • Optimizes fuel economy and engine performance
  • Improves drivability
  • Protects against rust and corrosion


Pour contents of one bottle (100ml) into the petrol tank. Bardahl Special Injector Klene stats working while the vehicle is driven. Does not harm catalytic converters. Repeat treatment after 1200 – 1400 kms. Ideal for both MPFI and Carburetor system vehicles.


INR 150/- per 100ml bottle

82 thoughts on “Review: Hyundai Santro Xing

  1. I am looking to buy Hyundai Santro Zing AT(Automatic) – I am aware of the dis-adv – higher upfront price and higher fuel consumption and willing to bear that. I am interested in seeking inputs from current or ex-owners who have had the car for about 2 years and get feedback on the car and get an idea on how much is the average maintenance cost.

    Is the car reliable & service good.
    What is the average one can expect in city suburbs of Mumbai
    Any maintenance issues post 1 or 2 yrs period


  2. Hey,
    Thank you for taking your time on leavin g your views about you car. It helps 1000’s of newbies like me who is dreaming to own their small car. I am planning to pick a new Santro by this weekend. :-) You reviews added more confidence to me. Thank you once again.

    Raja Selvam

  3. hi hyundai good perfomers good santro xing safley driving good pikup better millege i am going mumbai to delhi my travels is making nice iam run above 120klm no risk i trust hundai no mantance my family my perents proud me i love hyundai

  4. The most diffficult part of Santro Xing is its cobra centrla locking system which very frequently goes out of order. The reason for its faikure is mainly that water can enter in its mechanism thru the glass windows

  5. Hi,

    I bought Santro GL last year i.e. in November,2007.
    Since then it is giving me an average of around 11kmpl in city and around 14kmpl on highway.

    I am in Noida.
    Could anybody please suggest what should be the reason.

    Should I use Bardahl, is it still good with 2007 model.

  6. Hi I bought Santro ERLX on july 2008,Non-AC and Since then it is giving me an average of around 15kmpl in city and around 17kmpl on highway.

    I am in Bhopal M.P.

  7. Hi Iv been using santro xing for the past 30 months in Hyderabad. I have droven it to kerala from hyderabad via bangalore and back. I get a decent mileage of 12 to 13 with AC in city and I got 18+ on highway driving. done a total of 25000km.
    Touch wood, havent had any probs with car till now. does regular servicing. wheel balancing, tyre rotation and alignment is done every six months with servicing.
    customer service is not bad. But can be better.
    Overall car is good with with decent engine power and top speed of 145kmph.
    Comfort levels are ok(better than the maruti cars). but rear seat will give a bumpy ride on speeds above 80.

  8. I desire to purchase a small car as i) Alto ii) Santro both compact car are very good, but I did’t deside which one is suitable for me ? I am a toll boy almost 5ft, 11 inchs’ therefore I thing go for Santro, but Alto is far better for mileage and cost of the servising & maintanance is so economy.
    Another hand Santro, s interior is very good and comfort spacy.
    Please give comment which for go?

    S. Ingti

  9. Hi, I am very happy with the performance of my Santro Xing and getting a milege of more than 14 per litre. its really a good or rather i would say a gr8 car….

  10. Hi Vinaya
    no need to use extra additives for Xtra premium petrol.It has additives plus friction boosters which runs the engine smooth and a gr8 pick up.
    And may i knw the torque@rpm of ur car and eRLX GL model..

  11. Hi Vinaya,

    I own a Santro GS (2001 Model). The mileage has been dipping. I will use the additive you have mentioned – BARDAHL. But i had also read about a spark plug change which helps improve the performance of the car.. Do you have any idea?

  12. i am having some problem in left foot and am not able to pedal the clutch efficiently.presently i am driving m800 from last 6 yrs with some modification in the clutch pedal. am looking for at model of santro and i10.people already driving such vehicles, give some feed back on these cars.

  13. Driving the Santo AT eRLX for the last two years. Its a very good car to drive in the city traffic as you dont have to fight with the clutch and gears. Mileage is low abt 10 – 11 KMpl but the effort you save is worth. Nice car overall.

  14. hi folks,

    I own a Santro Xing XG for almost 4 years now, having done 75,000 kms. I agree that this is the best in class car, followed closely by Wagon R.

    My car gives a consistent average of 14.5-15 kms. with AC on all the time in summers. In winters, without AC it comes to around 16.5-17. And I am not amongst the most careful of drivers.

    I can read some people having trouble with the average. I had the same problem for a few days. When I took it to the dealer, the person changed/reset some settings in its electronics system. The average was back to normal.

    After 75,000 kms, the car still does up to 140kms/hr… the ride is getting a little rough only now with the shockers showing some strain. But the ride quality is still more comfortable than my friends’ cars about the same age and run less. The rear seat can be a little rough especially in potholes, but that is the case with almost all the hatchbacks or cars without a boot.

    While people here are discussing petrol with additives, Hyundai guys specifically told me not to use the fuel with additives. And my car only goes to Hyundai Motor Plaza, the company owned service center in Delhi.

    In fact the car is so worth the money that after me at least 4 of my friends have bought the same. I am planning to change the car now… and guess with what?? Another Santro with CNG. Why not a bigger car?? ‘Coz, this is the best car for city and reasonably good on highways.


  15. Hi,

    By now most of you must have got your santroxings. I would not call myself a novice buyer at the same time I could not be categorised as a regular user of cars. But I have had a few cars long enough to give me sufficient knowledge.

    From what I am given to understand, amongst a Zen, WagonR and Santro a Santro is recommended. Now my opinion is purely based on research on the internet, company websites and past experience of driving a Maruti 800, a Zen and an Ikon. I reside outside India and need a car bought before my visit to India. I have never driven a SantroXing before.

    From my research, reviews state that it has a choppy rear suspension even though it is technologically more advanced than one on the Zen. Engine reliability would be equal to Maruti engines is what I have gathered reading reviews.

    My decision to prefer a santro over the others has been largely influenced by the superior engine. A quick calculation of the power to weight ratios shows that its engine equals in Horse power to its competitors but it is the low end torque is what creates the difference. It is about 94 newton meters(nm) at 4000RPM. For city traffic that is what I want, I want to be nimble. And all this increased torque is not at the cost of high compression ratios (typical on a Zen and AStar) which makes the engine more likely to vibrate and detonate (ping) on low octane fuel but is mainly due to a large size bore and stoke (64×73) in other words the epsilon engine.

    The ac is also good, a 110cc as opposed to a 85cc one on a Maruti. I expect a better cooling even when the engine is idling, thanks to city traffic.

    Now I would like to remind you that these conclusions have been based on reads and some technical knowledge you would expect from someone who loves cars not for their speed, but for their technology. I have never driven a Santro Xing. Hence, I would be grateful if those who have owned and driven a santro would help substantiate my comments or prove me wrong.

    Also, could I know when the 1st and 2nd service is due for a Santro as I would intend to take it out of the city for a long drive after buying it and I dont want the service schedules to hamper my trip.

    Thanks in advance.

  16. Proud to be a Xinggggggg owner, I purchase my first car 15 days back, Xing eRLX new model, its amazing!!!!!
    There is slight modifications from previous versions. I like the car very much.

  17. Reading the reviews i am glad that my decision of going for Santro Xing is worth it but for me my only concern is the above reviews are mostly of guys who have bought it first hand…
    I am planning to buy a second hand car (Xing XG) which is a 2005 model, so would like to know about its maintainence and average as i got to know would be around 10-11 in city and 11-13 on highways this is confirmed by my friends too who already own this car.

    My concerns:-
    1] I have heard that maintainence and spare parts are bit costly as compared to maruti cars
    2] Though the engine is superb but the average would be less as compared to maruti cars which easily achieve 15 kms/litre. I stay in mumbai so you can expect traffice at anytime of the day.

    wat u guys think of it

  18. hey santro buddies.. its time to reveal your lies…
    no santro can make above 135 km/h with out an oil leak.
    guy with balls never mind about it, and eventhough at a straight it goes about 130’s and there after you should forget abt the stearing and the breaks a 2″ stone will through your box out of the road…
    although 99/100 says INDICA V2 is not good, the actual fact is 99 of them own someother mid size cars. it goes about 140 u can last @ that speed for 15 min that wont harm your engine, cos the same engine is used in turbo version too. that means the engine is capable of handling more pressure, and that is evident…

    I admit that the pick up is little bit less compared to santro, cos its a petrol engine,

    and about the smoothness lags above 110km/hr.. BUT DONT WORRY if you buy a santro u will be driving with in 80km/h if u want to live.


    mileage A/C “on” 20.5km/l @ 80 km/h UNBELIVABLE PETRO LIKE SMOOTHNESS.
    mileage A/C “off” 22.1km/l @ 80 km/h UNBELIVABLE PETRO LIKE SMOOTHNESS
    mileage A/C “on” 14.2km/l @ 130-135km/h SLIGHT CHASIS VIBRATION(like hmmmm but not weard as santro engine cry)
    u dont have to mind abt engine temperature no mater how hard u push, it will stay normal.


    ENGINE WEIGHT IS HIGH COMPARED TO SANTRO which means u have high possiblity of surviving when u come across a danger, paper works sometime say about the break test results of each car in a specific road condition. those are not real…

    i bet u,

    i wont get the money. cos u wont be alive . if u wish to accept the task of placing 2 cones at the center of a higway & 20ft b/w them going about 100km/h in a brand new santro and try to get into it and stay on the road. and i will lose my bet if u drive an INDICA V2 bs2 or bs3..

  19. HEY GUY NEVER GO FOR PETROL VISTA ITS A B..ll sh..t. slugish engine,If u r addicted by it features go for DIESEL, the body work,handling, instruments (bluetooth, nice instrument cluster,audio guidance,ground clearence, abs,less overall noise u will never recognise it as the diesel engine if u r listening to music)and the upholstries are wow than any other cars of its class including punto. (once again never buy a santro, which has killed more lives than u have ever known..)
    never buy by sugestions, test drive your friends car

  20. santro is comming up with a new face lift coppied from indicaV2. i dont know how many of them are aware of it. look at the front grills..that was a really good idea to last @ the market.. i dont really think that santro is as much money worthed as it is..

  21. I just migrated from M800 which I have been driving from 1987 to Santro Xing. The difference is palpable and the mileage too! ( A drop from 14-15 kmpl to around 10-11 kmpl without AC in the city. With AC it might sometimes be 10 at best or at worst 9.5 kmpl in the city of course. On the highway I used to get 20 in my M800 without AC but now I hardly get 14 kmpl. But the car is extremely good in terms of riding comfort, AC, braking and space. Running cost is around 6 rupees a km.


  22. In 2009, I picked up a second hand single owner-chaffeur driven Santro xing-xg, 2005 model, run 27000 kms for 1.78 Lakh. I learnt driving post purchase of the car and since my first day of driving it, I am totally in love with it. It gives me 19 kmpl on city and 21 kmpl on highway driving without a/c and 2kms less with a/c both-ways. No additional maintenance cost till date except for servicing. In fact my Kun-Hyundai, Puducherry people asked me to get it serviced once a year rather than six months owing to less running of the vehicle. I drive around 2000 kms per year and the present mileage is 33000 kms. One problem I face is the exhaust which rusts easily and gives noice. Once i tinkered it and after a year, its started giving noice again. The service people have asked me to go for a new one. I read in someone’s review that the silencer easily corrodes easily. Can someone explain the reason?
    Also the A/c is not effective as other cars, why?

  23. Hi guys..

    I own a 2008 santro Xing..excellent vehicle I admit to say..but recently after crossing 40000 kms running, it has started showing some problems…like the noice of AC belt while switching on the AC (already changed once in one year), steering box problem, gear, etc..Have you heard of such problems or encountered such things with your vehicles ever?

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