There are no second thoughts about the fact that Hyundai is one of the best brands in the Indian car market and is second to only Maruti Suzuki. Several reasons have contributed to the success of the South Korean auto maker, which include vast portfolio, excellent branding and vehicles that are suited for Indian roads. Hyundai, perhaps, is the only foreign company in the market that is trusted by Indian customers as much as they trust Maruti Suzuki.
Hyundai, to a certain extent, can be considered as the best brand in the country when it comes to sedans. Verna, Elantra and Sonata are top class vehicles that perform exceptionally well, and are loaded with numerous features. Now, since the demand for compact sedans was on a rise, Hyundai decided to enter this segment by launching the Xcent model. A number of reasons compelled Hyundai to launch this car, which will compete with the likes of Ford Classic, Honda Amaze and Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire.
This segment was dominated solely by Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire till sometime back. However, Honda, on a path of resurgence, entered the Indian car market with Amaze sedan, which is based on the Brio platform. One thing to note was that it became the first diesel offering of the Japanese car maker in the Indian market. Exceeding expectations, Honda Amaze turned the tables, generating top notch responses from critics and customers. In fact, unimaginable as it may seem, this model was able to knock Swift DZire off its perch, which is quite incredible. Seeing Honda Amaze achieve the kind of success it did, Hyundai realised that there was incredible scope in this segment for further expansion. Another thing that needs to be noted is the fact that like Honda, Hyundai also launched a sedan based on a successful hatchback. In this case, the Grand i10, introduced in 2013, was one of the best performing cars year. It was widely appreciated for its performance, looks and mileage. In fact, this car performed exceptionally well despite poor market conditions.
Hyundai is known throughout the market for producing cars that are lightweight, suitable for Indian conditions and loaded with features. Xcent is a complete example of the same as it fits the bill and can be termed as the quintessential Indian family car. A compact sedan, in a lot of ways, is suitable for a family of 5 people that live in the city. Hyundai, as a brand, has a strong connection with Indian customers, something that has helped it quite a lot in gaining a sizeable market share. With the launch of Xcent, Hyundai is looking to further increase its stronghold in the sedan segment, adding to the likes of Verna, Elantra and Sonata.
Experts feel that Hyundai Xcent is going to attract a high number of buyers due to its association with the Grand i10. The hatchback from Hyundai has won a lot of hearts and experts feel that it is going to be the same for Xcent. Pricing is one of the key aspects for any vehicle that is launched in the Indian market and Hyundai, according to analysts, has done a fantastic job with the Xcent.
Many feel that with this kind of pricing strategy, Hyundai will be able to compete with Honda Amaze and possibly, become the best-in-class. Considering the kind of response Grand i10 has received, it is possible that Grand i10 could be a game changing vehicle.
Since it is based on the Grand i10, Xcent is quite similar to the hatchback from Hyundai. Like most new-age vehicles from the South Korean, this sedan boasts of the fluidic design philosophy, which is a combination of class and style. The front portion of Xcent is exactly the same as Grand i10. There is a bold and stylish chrome grille that is flanked by neat headlamps. The best part about this sedan is that it is aerodynamically efficient, something that gives it an edge over competitors. Highlights of exteriors of Hyundai Xcent are aerodynamically sculpted outside mirrors with LED indicator, integrated black roof rails, chrome door handles and rear bumper reflector. In addition, since it is a sedan, an extra boot has been added to this model.
Hyundai is known throughout the world for producing vehicles with heavily loaded interiors that are technologically advanced. The Grand i10 based Xcent is no different to this and is expected to be as feature loaded as other models from the company. Interiors of this sedan are designed with a touch of luxury and modernity in mind, just like the Grand i10. This compact sedan has ergonomically positioned seats that are well-space and the cabin looks quite urban. The bucket type front seats of this car are ideal for sitting through long journeys, especially on highways. In addition, there is ample of leg space for rear passengers. Also, numerous storage spaces are provided to keep things like phone, wallet and water bottles.
Technology is one of the hallmarks of the cars designed by Hyundai, which aims at maximising the comfort for passengers and the driver. Like the Grand i10, Xcent is also feature loaded and comes with a push button start/stop, steering wheel remote control (audio and Bluetooth), electrically adjustable mirrors and keyless entry.
Engine & Transmission
Hyundai Xcent is available to customers in both petrol and diesel versions, just like the Grand i10. Although petrol versions of all Hyundai cars have been successful, it is the diesel variant of Grand i10 that has earned recognition from experts, analysts and customers.
Xcent diesel is powered by a 2nd generation U2 engine that has a displacement of 1120 cc. It runs on the CRDi technology that boasts of better operating pressure, low compression ratio and efficient atomization of fuel for higher efficiency. The version of Xcent running on this engine comes with only a 5-speed manual transmission option.
Coming to the much popular petrol version, this variant of Xcent is going to suit people living in cities and have to drive for short distances. The 1.2-litre Kappa engine has a displacement of 1197 cc. Unlike the diesel version, Xcent petrol comes in both automatic and manual transmission options.
Performance & Handling
There is not much difference between the performance of Grand i10 and Hyundai Xcent as both feature the same engine. While the petrol version is great to drive in cities, the diesel version can be taken for a drive on the highway and does not pose much of a problem. In fact, considering the fuel efficiency of this car, it is an ideal pick for a road trip for 4 people.
Talking about the diesel engine first, the 1.1-litre U2 unit displaces around 1120 cc and delivers an output of around 70 bhp along with peak torque of approximately 160 bhp. On the other hand, petrol variant of Xcent has a displacement of 1120 cc and generates maximum output of 81 bhp, approximately. These power figures are pretty healthy considering that Xcent will be majorly driven in cities.
Coming to the handling part, experts feel that Xcent is smooth and can be easily manoeuvred in congested areas as well. The acceleration and pick-up of this car are marvellous, perhaps the best-in-class. Since the steering of Xcent is quite lightweight it is easy to control at high speeds. All in all, in terms of handling, Xcent is an amazing city car that has great handling.
The braking system of Hyundai Xcent is quite proficient as it features conventional disc and drum system. Also, top variant of this car are available with the ABS technology, something that has served it well. Front suspension comes with McPherson strut while the rear has a twist beam.
No Indian buyer would prefer a car that does not give a mileage according to his/her expectations. For a car to be successful, mileage is the absolute key and Xcent scores high on all accounts. And in a country like India where buyers are highly budget sensitive and prices of fuel are increasing day by day, fuel economy becomes absolutely critical. Hyundai Xcent diesel renders a mileage of around 24 kmpl, which is quite impressive. On the other hand, petrol version of the same delivers a figure of around 18 kmpl, which, again, is quite impressive considering it will be driven in the city. These mileage figures, in combination with the pricing of the car, will undoubtedly be a sign of worry for the likes of Honda Amaze and Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire.
One of the USPs of Hyundai Xcent is its advancement in terms of safety, which sets it apart from its competitors. In the first place, this car features a structure that is quite safe, rigid and has been made using anti-corrosive steel for making it robust and solid. High-end variants of this car come with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), reverse parking sensors and day/night mirrors.
To put things in a nutshell, Hyundai Xcent is a superb car that is perfect for people who want a fuel efficient sedan for driving in cities. In the first place, it is a part of Hyundai’s portfolio, which is immensely trustworthy and reliable. Secondly, this model is based on the highly successful Grand i10 model that took the market by storm. This factor is likely to single-handedly and exponentially increase Xcent’s viability as a product. Apart from this, the fact that this segment is seeing constant growth will augur well for both customers and Hyundai. This model completely justifies its price, considering the kind of features it offers. Also, it is going to be a huge success in India and will be a big threat to all of its competitors. Hyundai is going to ride high on its brand value in the country to ensure that this car is a huge success.
Needless to say, Hyundai Xcent is going to get really tough competition in the Indian car market from brands like Maruti Suzuki, Honda and Ford. Swift DZire and Amaze in particular will get affected by the entry of this car in the Indian market. As a brand, people in India trust Hyundai more than Honda.
Good looks, excellent in terms of space and comfort, ideal for cities and great acceleration are the best things about Hyundai Xcent, which are sure to attract a high number of buyers. In addition, the fact that it is based on Grand i10 is certainly going to play a big role in its success.
To start with, Xcent becomes slightly unstable at high speeds, something that might cause a problem if one has to drive on a highway for a long duration. In other things, mileage of the petrol version could have been better and the diesel guise is not as powerful as it could have been.