We as a mass community are very careful about how we spend
money. Look around, every penny out the pocket must transform into an
advantage. And we do that whilst buying a plain trouser. Imagine how pedantic
one must be while buying a car. Everything must be present from space, comfort
and performance to fuel efficiency, low maintenance costs, and value. Another
new iteration to this vast list is technology, new professionals buying new
cars feel the need to be connected on the move as well. Nowadays simple hatchbacks
don’t cut the mustard anymore for these new bubbly tech-savvy families. This is
the reason that the compact saloon market saw a lot of action in recent times.
And why not, after-all they serve the right purpose for these people.
In the segment comprising of Tata Indigo eCS, Maruti Suzuki
Dzire and the Honda Amaze, Hyundai has decided to introduce their version of
the perfect family car with the new Xcent. Let this be absolutely clear from
the start that this is not the rejuvenation of the old faithful Accent. Hyundai
Xcent shares its platform with the i10 Grand. In fact from the front you will
not be able to tell the difference between the hatch and the saloon. The change
is at the rear where Hyundai has neatly integrated a boot and created a pretty
looking compact car.
The boot integration has been executed so beautifully that
there is no break from the flowing fluidic design philosophy. The i10 Grand is
a fine looking hatch, and adding a boot to create the Xcent has further added
appeal to the range. The Xcent gets fantastic looking 14 inch diamond cut
alloys, and you can opt for the 15 inch alloys in the option variant. I am very
happy with the fit and finish of the entire package. Every panel fits very well
and all the creases on the body are smooth. The only bit that stands out is the
tail light assembly which is smaller in proportion and looks odd. Chrome
detailing on the front, especially on the black coloured car that I drove, adds
a touch of class to this compact and also differentiates it from its hatchback
Interior of the new Xcent is an interesting place to be. The
dual tone black and beige dash board has perfect colour combination and is very
well put together. The feel and quality is brilliant for a car in this price
bracket. The feature list is richer than the hatch as well. Where the hatch has
air-conditioning, the Xcent has climate control with rear vents. We drove the
car on a sunny 36 degree Celsius day and the cabin was kept cool and fresh by
the climate control throughout. The steering has audio mounted controls, which
for ease of use gets bigger buttons on the Xcent. But you do tend to
unintentionally press them, as it is a steering wheel and the funny thing about
steering is that it moves.
Xcent gets 2 DIN integrated audio with Bluetooth
connectivity and 1 GB memory to store content. There are cubby holes around the
front and back to stop your stuff jiggling about in the cabin. Glove box gets
cooling feature which is very convenient for our summers. The seats are comfortable,
both at the front and the rear. Owners will be surprised at the space that
Hyundai engineers have squeezed out in this compact saloon. There is more than
enough legroom for you, whether you are driving, or are being a passenger at
Customers can choose between a 1.1 litre diesel engine and a
1.2 litre kappa petrol engine for their Xcent. The 1.1 litre U2 CRDi diesel
engine comes with a 5-speed manual, and you can choose between a 5-speed manual
and a 4-speed automatic with the 1.2 litre kappa petrol. We drove the 1.1 litre
diesel which has 3-cylinders and packs nearly 180Nm torque. Now the engine and
transmission has been borrowed from Xcent’s younger sibling, but have been
fettled with for more performance and efficiency. The grunt of this engine can
be clearly felt in the mid-range because in the real world, mid-range is what
you require most of the time.
A potent mid-range encourages lesser gear shifts and easier
overtaking. This diesel version did nearly touch 160kmph top whack on our
drive, but you notice that it doesn’t like that and crosswinds tend to sway the
car. The Xcent is most comfortable between 80kmph to 130kmph on a highway. One
very commendable feat this car possesses in the fantastic NVH level. The Xcent
has a very quiet cabin and you can settle in a comfortable conversation at high
speeds. Ride and handling is again a forte of this car, and added to the light
steering wheel and smooth shifting transmission, the driving experience is more
than just satisfying. The suspension setup is bang on between the right levels
of stiff and soft. The car remains composed on uneven surfaces and also keeps
the occupants comfortable while doing it.
Xcent is truly a complete package as a compact saloon. You
get loads of features, some of which are not present in the segment and enough
space for 4 passengers and luggage. Hyundai claims the diesel engine returns
24.4kmpl, which is a fantastic figure for a family saloon. And the feature rich
cabin will keep you and your family entertained and comfortable. Frankly
speaking, you cannot go wrong with the Xcent. Money well spent!
1,120cc, 3-Cylinder, 2nd Gen U2 diesel
71 bhp@ 4000rpm
179.5 Nm@ 1750-2500rpm
Fuel Tank Capacity
McPherson Strut /Coupled Torsion Beam
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