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Hyundai Santro vs Daewoo Matiz | Its Rewind Time!

Hyundai Santro vs Daewoo Matiz. The competition between the two popular South Korean carmakers. The onset of 2000 was an exciting time for the Indian automotive industry.

More and more companies started betting on the Indian market after the economic reforms of 1991. Most of these companies turned out to be Asian. Two such companies were Hyundai and Daewoo. Both the South Korean companies were fighting for the first place in the 90s.

Both the cars entered the Indian car market all prepared and to win the Indian consumers with their options of cars. While Hyundai had huge bets on the Santro, Daewoo wooed the consumers with Matiz.

Let’s take a trip down the memory lane by comparing these two utterly popular cars of the early 2000s and the late 90s.

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Engine & Transmission

Daewoo Matiz
Daewoo Matiz

Both the cars had a decent engine which was enough for the car their sizes but not peppy enough for high speeds. Under the hood, the cars had pretty good engines on offer for the Indian markets.

Daewoo Matiz | Engine Specs

The Daewoo Matiz had a 796 cc, 3 cylinder engine which produced 56 bhp and a torque of  71 Nm. The car turned out to do amazingly when it came to fuel efficiency, offering a mileage of 18.5 kmpl.

Daewoo Matiz had a decent engine and many users who owned the car used to brag about it’s no-problem-engine. The car hardly used to break down but did get a bit sluggish when the air conditioner used to be turned on.

Hyundai Santro LS | Engine Specs

Hyundai Santro
Hyundai Santro

On the engine front, the Hyundai Santro (LS 2002) was a tad bit better. The car had a peppier 999 cc engine which churned out 62 bhp at 89 Nm of torque. The Hyundai Santro offered a fuel efficiency of 12.8 kmpl, which was decent but way below the Daewoo Matiz.

The Hyundai Santro’s peppier engine made it stand out better than the Matiz, however, the lower fuel efficiency was a turn off for many.

Dimensions | Daewoo Matiz vs Hyundai Santro

Both the hatchbacks had quite similar dimensions. The stance of the cars was not dominant but dynamic enough for the city roads as well as other conditions.

Daewoo Matiz | Dimensions

The Daewoo Matiz had a length of 3495 mm and a width of 1495 mm, standing at 1505 mm tall. The car seemed small enough from the outside but had spacious interiors and enough legroom on the inside. The car interiors were designed for maximum space and riding comfort for all the passengers.

Hyundai Santro | Dimensions

The Hyundai Santro LS was a rather tall car. Santro LS had a length of 3565 mm and a width of 1525 mm. The height of the car was around 1600 mm which made it stand taller and allowed for more headroom in the car at the same time.

The Hyundai Santro’s bigger dimensions did make an impact on the outside but the space on the inside wasn’t evident when compared with the dimensions of the Daewoo Matiz.

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Interiors | Daewoo Matiz vs Hyundai Santro

Daewoo Matiz Interiors
Daewoo Matiz Interiors

On the inside, both the cars were considered spacious enough to seat a small family of 4 to 5 easily. Let’s have a look at the interiors when it comes to the two cars.

Daewoo Matiz | Interiors

The Daewoo Matiz was famed to have an airy interior with ample space. What the powers liked the most about this car was the fact that while looking compact, it still had plenty of space in the inside. When it comes to the dashboard of the Matiz was quite well-built with all the essential controls easily accessible.

Hyundai Santro | Interiors

The Hyundai Santro, on the other hand, was quite to the point when it came to interiors. The car had strikingly similar features on the inside. Hyundai Santro fared well when it came to the headroom and other features, but most of the people spoke of it’s lesser space when compared with the Daewoo Matiz.

Conclusion | Hyundai Santro vs Daewoo Matiz

While both the cars did give a tough fit on the Indian automotive roads, most of us knew who won.

The Daewoo Matiz was never a wrong car. It just happened to be the right car launched by the wrong company. Had Daewoo Motors still been functional, the Matiz would have still been running on the Indian roads. While the car is said to be way ahead of its time, the operations behind it weren’t.

It’s been said that Daewoo Motors wasn’t able to judge the Indian markets for good, which made them fail. Daewoo Motors India Limited even recorded a four-fold surge in vehicle sales during the years 1999-2000 to 40,217 units compared to 10,121 units a year ago. The company sold 37,059 units of Matiz during the year, which included 1,196 units that were exported to European and neighbouring countries.

Hyundai Motors was determined enough to capture the Indian car bazaar, and they certainly did with their Santro. The South Korean giant, played all its cards right when they began tapping the Indian markets. From marketing to positioning, everything was carefully looked into and it worked wonders.

Whatever the reason may be, both these cars surely shaped the Indian car market for good.

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Martand Mishra
Content Aficionado (basically loves everything content) | The original Top Gear cannot be replaced | Avid reader


  1. Daewoo matizcar best 💯%good to ride santro not fit ride when long drive will goes my back pain problem matiz not give problem so matizcar is best


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