Maruti Zen Estilo versus Hyundai Santro Xing

  • Nov 15, 2012

Maruti Zen has been one of the most popular hot hatchbacks in India and Maruti decided to redesign and rebadged it as the Zen Estilo. It has been selling well for over the last few years and has been one of the better cars from the A segment. Let’s take a look at how it fares against Hyundai’s most popular hatchback Santro Xing and find out which of these two is the better car for you.

Looks and design:

Maruti Zen Estilo looks more like a Light Utility Vehicle than a small hatchback now. However, the redesign is a success and looks contemporary and stands out as a good looking car in its class. It brings large headlamps, fog lamps on a large bumper. It has been well built and the fit, finish and paint quality is good on the Maruti Zen Estilo.

Hyundai Santro Xing has contemporary design and improves over its predecessor. It has been rebadged much like its rival in this comparison. It has rectangular clear lens headlamps and body colored bumpers with integrated fog lamps. It has proportionally designed rear as well. It has been well built and Hyundai has done a good job ensure good fit and finish on the Santro Xing.

Looks overall – Maruti Zen Estilo – 7.5/10
Looks overall – Hyundai Santro Xing – 8/10

Interiors – design, space and features:


Maruti Zen Estilo now sports better interiors compared to its predecessor. It has two tone interiors now instead of the all beige look before. It has a functional dashboard and instrument panel. The front and rear seats provide ample comfort to the passengers and it now comes with a driver side airbag for additional safety. It has cubby holes, glovebox and a boot to store small luggage.


Hyundai Santro Xing brings plenty of features such as CD/MP3 system with USB and Aux capabilities, power windows, internally adjustable OVRMS, adjustable seats, cubby holes and glove box. It also brings ample leg room in its roomy cabin area and the seats are comfortable. The interior plastic quality is satisfactory and the dashboard is elegant and functional.

Interiors overall – Maruti Zen Estilo – 7.5/10
Interiors overall – Hyundai Santro Xing
– 8/10

Engine – performance, power, torque, fuel economy, smoothness:


Maruti Zen Estilo brings a powerful 1 liter K-series engine which produces 67 BHP at 6200 RPM and 90 NM of torque at 3500 RPM. It has been rated by ARAI to deliver a maximum fuel efficiency of 19 kmpl. It is a free revving engine and delivers good performance and has excellent drivability. It is also fuel efficient and hence easy on the pocket.


Hyundai Santro has a powerful a 1.1 liter, SOHC 4 cylinder 1086cc petrol engine that produces 62 BHP at 5000 RPM and max torque of 96 NM at 3000 RPM and is mated to a 5 speed manual transmission. It has been rated by ARAI to deliver a maximum fuel efficiency of 17.9 kmpl. It brings ample low end power and that makes it easy to drive in the city, while the powerful engine ensures plenty of performance on the highway.

Engine overall – Maruti Zen Estilo – 8/10
Engine overall – Hyundai Santro Xing
– 8/10

Suspension – Ride, comfort and handling:


Maruti Zen Estilo unlike its predecessor is not a car built to be driven hard. It is now built for comfort and not for corner carving like the older Zen. However, the benefit of this setup is that it is now tuned for comfort and provides a good ride quality. It has a light steering at low and high speeds and is easy to drive. It also brings adequate brakes to slow you down and ABS ensures further safety and improved braking.


Hyundai Santro Xing has a comfortable ride quality and manages to absorb all the bumps and undulations on the road owning to a finely tuned suspension. It offers a smooth driving experience. It has a well sorted suspension and steering offers good feedback and control. It comes shod with good tyres and powerful brakes to keep your speed in check and ensure total control when you are driving.

Suspension overall – Maruti Zen Estilo – 8/10
Suspension overall – Hyundai Santro Xing – 8/10

Value for money – sticker price, standard features:

Maruti Zen Estilo has a starting price (ex-showroom Delhi) of 3.37 lakhs for base model Maruti Zen Estilo LX, Maruti Zen Estilo LXI is priced at 3.69 lakhs, Maruti Zen Estilo VXI has been priced from 3.97 lakhs while the top variant Maruti Zen Estilo VXI ABS is priced at 4.28 lakhs. Maruti Zen Estilo seems to be priced well but it could’ve been a little cheaper given the level of kit the top variant with ABS feels pricey.

Hyundai Santro Xing has a starting price of (ex-showroom Delhi) 2.89 lakhs for base variant Santro Xing (Non AC), 3.58 lakhs for Santro Xing GL, and the top variant of Hyundai Santro has been priced at 3.80 lakhs for Santro Xing GLS. The pricing given the level of kit makes the Santro completely value for money. It has good service backup as well owing to the wide dealer network that Hyundai now has in India.

Value for money overall – Maruti Zen Estilo – 7.5/10
Value for money overall – Hyundai Santro Xing – 8/10


Maruti Zen Estilo is an excellent hatchback and comes with excellent set of features. The pricing however seems to be slightly on the higher side. However it has good fuel efficiency and performance and Maruti’s large service network. Hyundai isn’t too far behind and Santro Xing has been one of their best products. They have a very wide service network themselves and are known for good service back as well.


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