No sunshine anymore! :-(
This is a young car owner from Chennai, South India, who is just not satisfied by the way his car performs. I own a 2006 Santro XL that has done 3500KMs (an infant by car standards!)
We have already seen too many reviews that said good things about the engine, the drivability, the rear space and the A/C (that's what drove me to buy a Santro in the first place. So am gonna get directly to what I found was bad about the Santro.
First, the so-called ‘power’ steering. Hey Hyundai! What were you thinking when you advertised a car with a power steering, huh? The power steering of ever other car performs a million times better than a Santro's! Alto, WagonR, Indica, Palio, Zen, Sumo, Scorpio.. and am not even getting into the sedan or the luxury segments! And the unfortunate thing for me is that my steering is sooo much tighter than the other Santro's I've driven. I told this a dozen times to the service folks at Hyundai, but they just nod their heads and return my car in the very same condition I left it in.
This brings me to yet another bane of buying a Hyundai, the Service! Not only are the cost of spares and service of Hyundai astronomical, but the service at their service centers is absolutely dull! I was surprised at the aggressive the sales pitch of Hyundai's marketing, but the service is just the opposite. It's as if they don’t even care what happens once the car is bought. All they're bothered about is competing for the free services, and if any paid service comes their way. The door rattles.. the gear shift is too tight, and the power steering absolutely doesn’t work. I keep hearing funny sounds from the engine.. all this in less than a year of purchase (I haven’t even completed my 3rd free service yet!). But the issue is far more serious than the faults I describe. I guess any car can develop issues in harsh Chennai conditions.. But my frustration is because NO ONE at Hyundai cares or does anything about the condition of my car!!! And one service engineer at DSC Service station went to the extent of telling me that THIS is how a Santro is!!??!!??!!
And the proof that they don’t care a damn about you or your car?? My experience at the 2nd free service. I was to take delivery of my car at 2PM. But since I didn’t have any better thing to do (it was a Sunday) I dropped in at 1PM. No person was there in the lobby, so I made my way into the service bay, where I found my car. And guess what? Two service guys were sound asleep with my car's engine running and the A/C on!! When I took it up to the supervisor, he turned the issue around and said that I didn’t have any business in the service bay, and I was to stay at the customer's lounge. (Now you know why customers are not allowed into the service bay!)
All said and done, the Santro is a good car to drive if you have the money to do your service at a private car mechanics, or the know how to do every sort of a service yourself. Just don't expect any sort of a help from your 'friendly' neighborhood Hyundai service centers!