Hyundai have launched the all-new Xcent compact sedan to take on the likes of the extremely successful Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Honda Amaze. The Hyundai Xcent sedan is based on Hyundai’s new Grand i10 so it shares a lot of components with it which has enabled Hyundai to price the car very competitively with prices starting from 4.66lakhs for the base petrol variant and going all the way up to 7.38lakhs for the top-end diesel, all prices ex-showroom Delhi. So the pricing seems to be spot-on, but have Hyundai launched this car a bit too late? And will it be able to compete with already established compact sedans such as the Maruti Dzire? Read on to know more.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION:
The Hyundai Xcent comes with two engine options. Customers can choose either the 1.2l kappa 4-cylinder petrol engine or the 1.1l U2 3-cylinder diesel engine. The 1.2l kappa petrol motor comes in two gearbox options, mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or the 4-speed automatic gearbox. It produces 83Ps of power at 6000rpm and 11.6kgm of torque at 4000rpm. It has an ARAI mileage of 19.1 kmpl. The power deliver is linear and smooth. The 1.1l U2 3-cylinder diesel CRDi engine produces 72ps of power at 4000rpm and 18.4kgm of torque at 1750-2500rpm. It has an ARAI mileage of 24.4kmpl. The engine is more than enough for city drives but runs out of breath on highway runs, since it lacks top-end performance and does not like to be pushed very hard. I really wish Hyundai engineers would have plonked the 1.4l CRDi motor from the i20. This is definitely a big let down!
The Xcent continues to have the same front face of the Grand i10. Only subtle changes such as a chrome strip have been added. Moving to the side profile the design is typical Hyundai, futuristic and eye-catching. Though the C-pillar looks a little bulky it is actually very well integrated and the Xcent does not feel like a sub 4-metre car at all. Moving to the rear the taillights look similar to those on the Grand i10. Overall Hyundai designers have maintained the clean, crisp looks of the Grand i10 on the Xcent sedan.
INTERIORS AND EQUIPMENT:
Step inside the cabin of the Xcent it feels spacious, nothing like a regular compact sedan. Light coloured materials are used in the cabin which will be difficult to maintain, but they do give the cabin a very airy feeling. The fit and finish levels are also very good. Panel gaps are not huge. Hyundai seems to be working really hard in order to get their quality levels up to the mark of German car makers. Though one major drawback of the Xcent’s interior is the fact that the front seats come with integrated headrests. This kind of cost-cutting is seriously not acceptable, customers are not going to like this.
Hyundai are known to equip their cars with loads of features and the Xcent is no exception. The Xcent comes with features such as rear air-con vents, ABS, EBD, Dual Airbags, Smart key with push button start, cooled glovebox, auto folding mirrors, rear camera and parking sensors, 15 inch diamond cut alloy wheels, steering mounted audio controls and a music system with Bluetooth connectivity and 1GB internal memory storage.
RIDE QUALITY AND HANDLING:
The ride and handling has always been the area where Hyundai’s products fall short of competition. The ride quality on cars like the Verna is quite bumpy due to the soft suspension setup. But Hyundai engineers have taken this into consideration and so the Xcent has a much better ride quality. The ride is pliant and the suspension absorbs bumps well. High speed ride is now confidence inspiring, something quite unusual for a Hyundai.
Overall the Hyundai Xcent is a good alternative to the Maruti Dzire and Honda Amaze. With clever pricing and Hyundai’s superb aftersales service the Xcent makes a strong case for itself. If only they had not equipped it with that puny 1.1l diesel engine and those integrated headrests it would have made a much stronger case for itself. Also it was very hard to get a test drive of the Xcent, because only few showrooms have received the vehicle as of now. Looks like Hyundai are already facing supply constraints, so do be ready to wait a bit before you lay hands on the car!
Pic source: Hyundai’s official webiste