The Hyundai Xcent comes into a space that has shown immense promise. And with only two big players in the category, there couldn’t be a better time for Hyundai to venture into the sub-4 metre sedan space. But, with competition like the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire and the Honda Amaze, the Hyundai Xcent must offer something special, something substantial, something lucrative. Here’s what we think will work in the Xcent’s favour.
No matter what price or product category one considers, design is increasingly becoming a deciding factor when it comes to purchase decisions. The Hyundai Xcent isn’t an outstanding looking design, we agree, but compared to its main competitor – the Maruti Suzki Dzire – it is better proportioned and it looks more current, both inside and outside. This, we believe, makes the Xcent more desirable. The swept back head lamps, the prominent grille, the well integrated tail lamps and the larger alloy wheels give it a richer aura.
With successful offerings in the i10, i20, Verna and most recently, the Grand i10, Hyundai as a brand is now very well accepted, especially in the sub Rs 12 lakh space. Buyers appreciate the design, the features, the fuel economy, the reliability and the service experience the brand offers. And all of this will work in the Hyundai Xcent favours as well.
The Hyundai Xcent comes with both a petrol and a diesel engine. This gives the car a much wider reach and its prospect customers a model to choose for a specific need. The petrol engine – the 1.2-litre Kappa 2 is already a proven performer be it driveability or fuel economy. It is decent refined too.
Hyundai has tweaked the power on the diesel engine. It now develops 1PS more and, more importantly, has 20Nm more torque than the Grand i10. With an ARAI certified efficiency figure of 24.4kmpl, this 1.1-litre, three cylinder should be popular among buyers looking to clock high mileage. It works well in the city and it isn’t too bad on the highway even though its top end performance isn’t exactly great. It does have a bit of vibration at idle but once on the move the diesel engine is neither too loud or vibey.
As is the case with the engines, the Xcent also comes with two transmission options. The petrol powered Hyundai Xcent comes with both a 5-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic while the diesels engine gets a 5-speed manual. The manual gearboxes in both the petrol and diesel versions have reasonably slick shifts and the clutch on both cars in light and progressive.
As for the automatic, it’s not the best ‘box in the business but for those looking at commuting over shorter distances in a city, particularly in peak hour traffic, the convenience the auto offers, makes it worth considering.
Price and variants
Hyundai has priced the Xcent extremely well. With a starting price of Rs 4.66 lakh for the base version, which comes with an acceptable list of comfort and convenient features, it makes for a value for money purchase. It undercuts the Dzire by Rs 19,000 and the Amaze by Rs 33,000. The petrol version comes in three trim levels for the manual. The diesel too is offered in the exact same three trims. Both get two additional option packs for the mid and top-end variants. The automatic which is exclusive to the petrol engined car is available in two trims – the top of the line SX (O) and the S (O) trims.