Q. What is it?
This is the new Hyundai Xcent and it is the new compact sedan offering from Hyundai. The X in the name means that the successor to the Accent is a modern well equipped compact sedan built to appeal to the youth.
The Xcent has a diesel and a petrol engine with the petrol having an automatic gearbox option. The Xcent competes with the Honda Amaze and Maruti Dzire with more rivals coming soon. The Xcent starts at a competitive Rs 4.66 lakh which means its cheaper than its main rivals but that is just one of the reasons why you would buy one. Read on.
Q. How does it look?
The fact that the Xcent is based on the Grand i10 is evident when you see it for the first time from the front. However for a moment forget that and you will get a good looking design. The Xcent looks good from the front and also from the back with the boot neatly integrated and not looking like it has been bolted on unlike some of its rivals. The Xcent has a length of 3,995mm (Grand i10 has a length of 3765mm), width of 1,660mm and height of 1,520mm.
This is a handsome design with details like swept back headlamps and wrap-around tail lamps with chrome insert, chrome finish hexagonal air dam, 15” Diamond cut alloy wheels and LED high mount stop lamp. The Xcent has six colour options. The build quality and paint finish is also excellent.
Q. What about the interiors?
The interior just like the Grand i10 is well designed and offering very good quality in-fact its the best in its class now with nice materials used and generally feeling like a more expensive car than it is. The dual tone beige and black interiors make the interior airy and the controls are easy to use and reach. Small changes over the hatch include the addition of climate control buttons.
The front seats are comfy but the rear seats are among the class best with good legroom and headroom just like the Grand i10 hatch. There is good under-thigh support and it offers decent shoulder space too. The rear seats can accomodate three but the passenger in the middle will be a bit short on shoulder-room but its not claustrophobic at all.
The Xcent has multiple storage options in door trims and centre console. The boot space at 407 litres is also class best and gobbled up all our camera equipment and luggage with ease. This is one of the main reasons why you would buy the Xcent after all!
Q. What about features?
This is core Hyundai territory and the Xcent does not disappoint here with a long equipment list. The feature list includes rear AC vents, smart key with push button start, rear parking camera and sensors, 1 GB internal memory, auto folding mirrors, automatic AC, cooled glovebox, steering mounted audio controls, Bluetooth, rear defogger etc. In the safety department the Xcent has ABS, dual airbags. You can read our detailed features report on the Xcent also to know what each variant has.
Q. Engine line-up?
As said earlier the Xcent has a 2nd generation U2 CRDi diesel delivering 71 bhp and a 1.2 litre Kappa petrol engine with 82 bhp. The diesel has a 5-speed manual transmission while the petrol along with the manual has a 4-speed automatic Transmission also.
Q. What about the performance?
We drove the diesel version and just like the Grand i10 you do not believe that it has 71 bhp as its feels much more. The diesel has slightly more power than the one in the hatch but the added weight of the boot means performance is more or less the same.
There is a healthy amount of torque which means the 5-speed manual which is very light and easy to use need not see frantic usage in the city for instant amounts of power. The power is more than adequate in the city and but you will crave for more bhp while on the highway still all things considered it can happily cruise at high speeds on the highway.
Q. What about ride and handling?
The Grand i10 has the best ride/handling combo among the Hyundai small cars in India and we were impressed when we has tested in. The Xcent continues that as the suspension gobbles up bad roads withe ease and also we think its the class best. Only the sharpest potholes and the really bad roads do unsettle the car. The handling is good too but the steering is still a bit too light.
There is only a smidgen of bodyroll and overall it is one of the best handling Hyundai's along with the Grand i10 and we prefer the way it handles/steering over the i20. High-speed stability is good and it does not feel overly nervous. We subjected the brakes to a rigorous test and they passed with flying colours as the braking performance was good.
Q. Is it fuel efficient?
Yup as the diesel manages an ARAI efficiency of 24.4 kmpl while the petrol manual giving 19.1 kmpl with the automatic version returning 16.9 kmpl.
Q. Verdict then?
The Hyundai Xcent ticks all the boxes for a compact sedan and the cherry on top is the aggressive pricing. The Xcent range starts from Rs 4.66 lakh for the base petrol to the top of the line petrol automatic priced at Rs 7.19 lakh.
The diesel Xcent starts from Rs 5.56 lakh and goes all the way to Rs 7.38 lakh for the top of the line variant. That is just excellent pricing and beats its rivals easily but the Xcent also impressed with its good looks, long equipment list and the efficient diesel engine. So it seems the nightmares for its rivals have begun..