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When I bought my car, I did a comparison of the available choices. Many friends have been asking me my views on the Hyundai Santro Vs. Maruti Suzuki Wagon-R since these are the most sought after. Both are very popular hatchbacks sold in India. Here are some of my thoughts.

Hyundai being the underdogs is always the first to offer better features such as MPFI engine and ABS. They also tend to be more aggressive and Maruti dealers have the take it or leave it attitude.

Maruti has a bigger service network and the cost of spares it cheaper.

Both cars are tall boy model and have high seating. This add to driving/seating comfort and makes it easy for people to get in and get out.

Here is the comparison.

Santro Pros:

  • Better Looks (as compared to Wagon-R).
  • More comfortable to Drive.
  • Better Service.
  • Better Pickup.
  • Provision for 4 speakers, Wagon-R has provision for only 2.
  • Perceived to be more expensive.
  • Air conditioning more effective hence cooling is better.
  • Ability to adjust the side view mirrors from inside.
  • Seat belts for 5 passengers, Wagon-R has only 4. Santro is also approved for 5 people and Wagon-R has got approval for only 4 passengers. Not that anyone ever checks but still.

Wagon-R Pros:

  • Better resale value.
  • Cheaper cost of spares.
  • Bigger service network than Hyundai.
  • Slightly more fuel efficient. Although now Santro has new eRLX engine which is suppose to have improved mileage.
  • Better Engine and electronic power steering.
  • Cheaper.
  • Option for Airbags (only available in the top of the line model).
  • Slightly more leg space and better comfort for tall people.
  • The seats can be dropped completed to create a bed or even a double bed. Useful while traveling and someone can sleep.

I also suggest that irrespective of which car you decide to buy, don’t compromise on safety. Pay that extra for ABS and Airbags (only in Wagon-R).

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