Having tested the Hyundai Xcent diesel we were keen to drive the petrol and for comparison we took along a diesel also. While the diesel is hogging all the limelight in the Xcent range due to its efficiency, the petrol will also have many takers and let us not forget that the Xcent petrol also has a 4-speed automatic option.
For this drive we had the manual petrol for the test. We have already talked about the styling, interiors in our Hyundai Xcent diesel roadtest hence this report will be limited to driving impressions and a short comparo between the diesel and petrol.
The Xcent petrol gets an all-aluminum 1.2 litre Kappa petrol engine delivering 81 bhp. Start the engine and soon driving it will impress you with its excellent NVH levels (at low rpms). Now this petrol engine is not exactly new to you or me been also put in other Hyundai cars. This engine delivers smooth performance and throttle response is more than satisfactory.
In city you need not downshift all the time and there is mid-range grunt. Between the diesel and petrol, the obviously more quieter petrol is more enthusiast oriented but not by much and both lose steam at high rpms but again in real world conditions both work very well.
It cruises well sitting at triple digit speeds and for most the petrol will do the job and offers enough performance. As said earlier we had the 5-speed manual which makes for quick shift and the clutch is also quite light and easy to use. In-fact with the light steering the Xcent is effortless to drive.
There is efficiency also as the petrol manages 19.1 kmpl ARAI efficiency while in the real world expect 13 kmpl which is quite good too. The ride and handling just like the diesel impressed us and though there is some roll its much better than some of the other Hyundai cars and does not have sloppy handling.
Leaving aside the automatic, choosing between diesel and petrol is down to what you prefer and of course your usage. However just purely on driving these two cars flat-out and on various conditions we would say that we would pick the diesel for its torquey nature and excellent city performance plus the fact that it is more efficient (24.4 kmpl vs 19.1 kmpl).
However if your usage is not too big then the Rs 90 thousand difference between the petrol and diesel is significant and thus for those looking for a petrol compact sedan at this price the Xcent is just hard to beat due to its incredible value that it offers. The base petrol starts at Rs 4.66 lakh but we would go for the S(O) and SX, SX (O) for the features alone. Thus the Xcent petrol is a very good choice whichever way you look at it.