Hyundai Xcent

Posted on Wed ,09 Apr 2014 12:36 pm
AJN, Photos: AJN
Rating by CG: 
    
Hyundai Xcent

Xtremely Xciting

 

Introduction

As a kid I learnt that small was never the most exciting of things to be. Being big had its massive advantages and you can ask the bully in our school, Harish, and he’ll tell you exactly that. So, when you graduated to becoming an adult, the fact that big equals advantages, always remains at the back of your mind. But in a consumer centric automotive world all these theories are just about to take a plunge and possibly for the best.

Intro shot

The emergence of the sub-4 metre segment bears testimony to the fact that there is a little bit of big in small too. Sedan aspirants can now find solace in the fact that a hatchback is not their sole point of contact if they want to save money. After the Tata Indigo CS, Maruti-Suzuki Swift Dzire and the Honda Amaze, it was time for Hyundai to try their hands at this sub-4 metre sedan segment and that’s what we went to drive – the all-new Xcent.

 

Exteriors

If you’ve seen the Grand i10 then the front fascia of the Xcent is no different. If both the cars were to be seen in the rear view mirror of your car, you wouldn’t be able to differentiate one from the other. The charms had worked with the hatchback for Hyundai and now they’re just transferring it into the Xcent. There are no major changes otherwise to the front or the side profile of the car. It is the C-Pillar that you start noticing the difference.

front

rear

The boot of the Xcent is well integrated and not an afterthought; like the Swift Dzire. Hyundai has done a good job in continuing the design form and keeping the integrity of the entire vehicle intact. But the tail lamps are too, what’s the word, out of place. They look like they belonged to another car and that takes a little beauty out of the rear. However, overall, it belongs to the future generation for sure.

 

Interiors

Changes to the interiors too are at a minimal. It follows the same theme as the Grand i10 and the upholstery is all fabric. The roominess inside the cabin too is the same as the hatch but there is a little more space for those seating at the rear and that is all thanks to the increase in wheelbase when compared to the hatchback.

dashboard

interiorsbootspace

The boot is also the big USP of the Xcent as there is a big chunk of 407 litres of space which helps it top the charts in this segment. Then there is the entertainment system which is the same as the one in Grand i10. So, CD/MP3 player, 1GB storage space for your songs and USB as well as Aux-In.

Then there is automatic climate control and even the rear seats get AC vents and there are steering mounted controls which make their way into the car. All this just goes to show how much Hyundai has managed to package inside a sub-4 metre car.

 

Engine

The Xcent is available in the 1.2-litre Kappa engine which we’ve again seen in the Grand i10 which is capable of churning out 82bhp. But there is a big change in the 1.1-litre CRDi diesel engine. Hyundai has tweaked the 3 cylinder engine which now has an electronically controlled waste gate turbocharger (WGT) to boost torque by about 13% over the Grand i10.

Engine

And this translates into the car being able to churn out a favourable amount of torque at lower rpms. The acceleration is quick and you would expect turbo lag and there is a bit of it but once you get into the three digit figure, it’s keeps on going till it reaches the red line.

I expected the decibel level inside the cabin to be a bit higher and possibly on the lines of the Amaze, but it was refreshing to see that there was Hyundai has done an exceptional job with the insulation which keeps the NVH levels to a minimum. Hyundai says that the diesel car returns a mileage of 24.4km/l which is not bad at all.

 

Ride and Handling

It drivers similarly to the Grand i10 but Hyundai says that since it’s a sedan, they have made changes to the suspension layout. The steering is light, which helps you deal with it in traffic conditions and even at high speeds, the car is very much in check and does not sway around.

ride frontride rear

The minor thuds on the ground are absorbed well by the car but we got to drive the car on smooth roads and hence didn’t really get a feel about how it would react to a pothole but from what we saw, it won’t disappoint.

 

Safety

It is only the top variant that gets both airbags and ABS but the other variants have been discounted of this feature. Dual front airbags are available in the SX variant and optional ABS in the S and SX variant.

parking

 

Conclusion

The Hyundai Xcent petrol has been priced aggressively at Rs. 4.66 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) well below that of the Honda Amaze which starts at Rs. 5.04 lakh and Maruti Dzire at Rs. 4.85 lakh. The diesel base variant too is priced below its rivals at Rs. 5.56 lakh while the Amaze is at Rs. 6.02 lakh and the Dzire at Rs. 5.78 lakh. Clearly Hyundai has a plan in place for this car and things look to be swinging in their direction.

conclu

When you compare to the Amaze diesel variant, the Xcent outperforms in every department even though the Amaze is the most powerful of the lot. However, it is at par with the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire and that is what the company intended to do. Riding on the success of the Grand i10, the Korean company clearly wants to strike gold with the Xcent.