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Old 25th March 2015, 09:11   #376
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Long distance drive on SX(O) AT - 11000 kms

I am just back from a North East tour, driving over 11,000 kms in a month and a half trip, covering all the seven North Eastern states. Of this about 7500 kms was in the plains on good roads and 3500 kms was in the hills on terrible roads. I have posted a detailed travelogue in the Travelogues section, but here I am summarising the performance of the car in a journey it is maybe "not supposed to undertake".

Engine :

Numerous owners have reported its good performance on smooth flat highways and I have little to add other than endorsing this. It is in the hills, on bad roads and on inclines that the real performance showed. The car performed excellently, pulling without a fuss on even steep inclines in Arunachal and Mizoram. A 30 deg gradient, you have almost stopped the car to negotiate a crater and it then pulls up quite well. The drive was a solo drive and as long as I was the only person in the car, there was absolutely no difficulty to climb even a 45 deg gradient. It was when there were a full 5 passengers (I often gave lifts to villagers) that the car struggled. It cannot carry a full complement of passengers on a long hill drive. But as a solo occupant, 10 hour drives , completely on the hills and the engine never once stuttered.

Transmission :

My car is an AT and I expected I would have some difficulty and may have to move to manual shifts in the hills. I didn't have to do it even once. Gear changes were smooth and I have even stopped noticing them. A slight pressure on the accelerator on a climb, and the right gear selection happened instantly.

Suspension :

Its smoothness on the highways has been well documented before. I never crossed 100 kmph and therefore never tested it at high speeds, but the normal bumps and thuds were taken smoothly. In the hills the roads were brutal and therefore GC and survival was a bigger issue than smoothness of the ride !

Ground Clearance : This was a big issue on this drive as almost the entire hill driving was done on terrible roads with craters, sinkholes, ridges and every conceivable monstrosity that you can subject a car to. It was here that I felt the value of the ~10mm higher GC that the SX(O) model has. Every fraction of a mm mattered. I still scraped the bottom about 7-8 times in the entire ride, but took the terrible sections very slowly and the scrapes were just scratches rather than anything more serious. Despite the absence of an underbody guard, there was no problem in the end.

Brakes : Of all the features of the car, I appreciated the absolutely reliable brakes the most in this trip. The extra bite on the brakes in the Xcent is well known and was an irritating aspect until I got used to it. On this trip, in a narrow hill road, often slippery with gravel and having to pass vehicles with minimum clearance, the brakes inspired huge confidence. It is a big asset when you have only a few inches difference between staying on the "road" and a drop to the valley below !

Handling : The good handling on highways has been well documented. On the hills, throwing the car into turns all the time (there is hardly a stretch of 100 mtrs straight road on a 200 km section), the superb handling came into obvious view. You also tend to appreciate the light steering when you are twisting and turning all day for days on end. I can't remember a single instance of a dangerous over or under steer in the hills. I could also confidently and precisely aim the car at the 2mm gap between one martian crater and one lunar crater going into a turn.

Fuel Efficiency : As an average over this long trip, I got around 16.5 in the plains on good roads and 10-10.5 in the hills. I never got the 17 + efficiency that others have reported in this forum.

I was particularly happy with the efficiency in the hills, considering I had to crawl at 10-20 kmph sometimes for 50 km stretches.

Hyundai ASS : The presence of Hyundai's massive network was a big source of confidence. I hadn't realised how wide this network has now become. All the major towns in the North East have a Hyundai Service Centre. In addition even in small towns like Along in Arunachal , there is a Hyundai authorised service location. Every town I had a night halt in , over a 45 day period, had some sort of a Hyundai service option available. Other than the routine servicing requirement, I did not have a need to use them, but the fact that they are there, inspires confidence. I dare say that Hyundai's reach is now starting to come close to Maruti's.

The Problems :

1. Of all the things, the one factor that irritated me the most was the horn ! I do not honk in cities and so I did not experience this problem before. In a twisty hill drive, where there is a blind corner every 100 mtrs, you have to honk all the time. It is impossible to steer the vehicle and honk at the same time (I tried all sorts of techniques, but couldn't do it without lifting a hand). Often I landed up pressing one of the control buttons on the wheel much to my irritation. The ergonomics of the horn irritated me no end.

2. The second problem, surprisingly, was the tyre, which I least expected. The SX(O) has the 175/60/R15 dimensions. This is an unusual spec as I later found out. I had a flat tyre with a sidewall tear in one of the legs. The tyre was a write off and I had to buy a new tyre. Nowhere in the North East did I find this spec tyre. In fact MRF and Ceat don't even make it - I think only Bridgestone and Apollo do so and since it is a rare spec, its not stocked by tyre dealers. I finally landed up buying 175/65/R15, which I now have to ditch and buy the right spec in Bangalore. If you are going on a long trip in this car outside of the metros, carry an extra tyre for safety's sake.

3. Another grouse was the reluctance of Hyundai ASC to do absolutely anything with a tyre. They couldn't even tell me if the tyre was a write off or whether it could be patched. I finally had to go to a tyre joint to solve my problem. Aren't the tyres a part of the car ??

4. A minor issue was the incredible rattling when I was driving in the hills. On flat good roads, the quiet smooth ride of the Xcent has been established. When you are bumping and getting into craters, all sorts of noises emanate. I suppose in defence , Hyundai would say this car was never meant to go on a lunar expedition.

Overall, the Xcent has the heart of a Hercules. It never let me down on a very difficult trip. It is a car you can take almost anywhere with confidence. I'll leave you with parting shots of the car, and one or two road shots of what it encountered.



Hyundai Xcent : Official Review-img_20150206_110138.jpg


Hyundai Xcent : Official Review-img_20150226_122740.jpg


Hyundai Xcent : Official Review-some-stretches-like-.jpg
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Old 25th March 2015, 10:01   #377
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11,000 kms? Did I read that correct? My goodness, that's one hell of a road trip! Solo!

As you might know- I have an SX(o) AT as well and really appreciate some of your observations in the above post. For example, the tyres. I never knew it was a rare spec! Didn't even think twice about the tyres till now. Got to keep this in mind.

Ergonomics of the horn pad never irritated me as much as the actual horn itself. It's so meek that most of the bikes today do better. It is going to do no good for warning a car coming from the other side on a narrow blind turn on the hills.

And the rattles, did you mean to say that the car developed rattles while taking bad sections. And it still does? The comment about no rattles on smooth roads confused me. Or is it some other sound being referred to? My car has a slight drumming noise from the suspension over bad roads. Nothing irritating, but I never took it to even 10% of what you did above.

Overall- Yes, it's got a mighty heart for sure. A very well balanced car IMO.
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Old 25th March 2015, 11:58   #378
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Secretariat View Post
Long distance drive on SX(O) AT - 11000 kms

I am just back from a North East tour, driving over 11,000 kms in a month and a half trip, covering all the seven North Eastern states. Of this about 7500 kms was in the plains on good roads and 3500 kms was in the hills on terrible roads. I have posted a detailed travelogue in the Travelogues section, but here I am summarising the performance of the car in a journey it is maybe "not supposed to undertake".
11,000 kms in a month. That's unbelievable. Its more than what most people would drive in an year Kudos to you. That actually is a long term ownership review in a month!

It is great to know that the car stood by your side so well all this tour. Read your travelogue too. Simply amazing. Very very well put together. I bow to thee.

I am in the market for an AT car and neither the brio nor the micra seem to be able to convince me and the TSI is way out of budget. Somehow I just keep coming back towards the Xcent as it seems completely vfm. Your experience just convinced me about the Xcent AT so much more. Only hitch is no one here seems to have a TD vehicle of the automatic
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Old 26th March 2015, 14:04   #379
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And the rattles, did you mean to say that the car developed rattles while taking bad sections. And it still does? The comment about no rattles on smooth roads confused me. Or is it some other sound being referred to?
Oh yes, I knew of your car. We bought our respective cars at about the same time and your ownership review set a new benchmark in excellence.

I shouldn't have used the word rattles. What I meant was the car makes thuds, groans, thumps and different sort of noises when taken on very bumpy terrain. And since everything where you keep stuff - doors, bottle holders, cubby holes are all plastic, the shaking of the things leads to the general din. In contrast, on a smooth highway, its all completely noiseless. As I said, its a minor thing.

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Originally Posted by mandywanders View Post
11,000 kms in a month. That's unbelievable. Its more than what most people would drive in an year Kudos to you. That actually is a long term ownership review in a month!

I am in the market for an AT car. Only hitch is no one here seems to have a TD vehicle of the automatic
Thanks for the nice words. Yes, its a common problem with every model and every manufacturer - the AT is hardly ever available for a Test Drive.

To continue with the tyre saga. Only Bridgestone makes the 175/60/R15 tyre. Nobody else does. Our cars, if bought mid last year, are fitted with the tyres of the above specs with the B250 tyre model. Tyre shops tell me this has been discontinued. Now its the B290 for this spec, with a slightly different tread pattern. For this privilege, I had to fork out Rs 5700 for the tyre (take it or leave it, and what choice do I have). As a comparison, Yokohama's 185/60/R15 spec costs Rs 4200. Fantastic !
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Old 26th March 2015, 20:40   #380
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To continue with the tyre saga. Only Bridgestone makes the 175/60/R15 tyre. Nobody else does. Our cars, if bought mid last year, are fitted with the tyres of the above specs with the B250 tyre model. Tyre shops tell me this has been discontinued. Now its the B290 for this spec, with a slightly different tread pattern. For this privilege, I had to fork out Rs 5700 for the tyre (take it or leave it, and what choice do I have). As a comparison, Yokohama's 185/60/R15 spec costs Rs 4200. Fantastic !
Wow. That is surprising indeed. Forgive me for asking a naive question, but would it be better or possible to swap the tyres to a somewhat regular size? I can't say which size as I am a complete novice to tyres and tire sizes. Trying to learn.
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Old 28th March 2015, 08:38   #381
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Wow. That is surprising indeed. Forgive me for asking a naive question, but would it be better or possible to swap the tyres to a somewhat regular size? I can't say which size as I am a complete novice to tyres and tire sizes. Trying to learn.
Yes, it makes sense to perhaps upsize to 185/60/R15. However it is logical to do it either immediately after the purchase of the new car, or when the whole set of tyres are due for a change. Right now I was stuck with having to get only one tyre, so no option but to pay that price and get the current size.
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Old 28th March 2015, 13:00   #382
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

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Yes, it makes sense to perhaps upsize to 185/60/R15. However it is logical to do it either immediately after the purchase of the new car, or when the whole set of tyres are due for a change. Right now I was stuck with having to get only one tyre, so no option but to pay that price and get the current size.
What happened to your spare tyre? I should be getting my SX(O) AT soon so now am thinking if I should standardize right away (did not have plans earlier of changing tyres). Do you have any recommendations? (Yoko? Michelin?) Will 185 effect performance in any way?

One question (and I think I am ignorant or forgetful for asking this question as I am sure somewhere in this thread the answer must have been covered) - Does the Xcent have OD off switch? Did you use it in hills to keep your car in 3rd gear?

By the way, you replied to my camera question in your travelogue. Looking how much you like to travel and the places you are covering, I strongly recommend you invest in a DSLR. I myself was using traditional cameras for such a long time and have okish (but not great) snaps of all my travels, but once I switched to DSLR, I am so much satisfied and can never go back!
If you don't want to invest right away, then atleast borrow mine

Lastly, I want to say that just like Secretariat, Xcent too looks like a tremendous machine having a huge heart and likes running and enjoys the run. Your travelogue and your id instantly reminded me of Secretariat's performance in Belmont stakes
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Old 28th March 2015, 16:47   #383
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

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I do not honk in cities and so I did not experience this problem before. In a twisty hill drive, where there is a blind corner every 100 mtrs, you have to honk all the time.
Sir, please don't.

There absolutely is no need to honk in *ANY* corner of a hill. While driving in the hills, all drivers in under all circumstances stick to their side, i.e. to the left.

It is us, city dwellers who honk or break the rules [in case of a landslide break the queue] Even inside the city [for eg Gangtok] no one honks. And I mean no one. You have to stick to left and give way to drivers descending.

I remember, even I started with this honking every corner practice in my first sojourn to the hills, but within 5 kilometers I realized that, either there is something wrong with me or no one has a functioning horn in the hills. And just because of this, I look forward to driving up the hills at every possible opportunity.

Hope the post is taken in the right spirit
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Old 29th March 2015, 08:56   #384
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What happened to your spare tyre? I should be getting my SX(O) AT soon so now am thinking if I should standardize right away (did not have plans earlier of changing tyres). Do you have any recommendations? (Yoko? Michelin?) Will 185 effect performance in any way?
Well, I had a sidewall tear on one of the tyres during my drive which was what necessitated the change. I had to buy a 175/65/R15 (which is widely available) to serve as a spare in an emergency. On returning to Bangalore, I bought the correct spec and got some value for the wrong spec tyre which I gave in exchange.

I don't think you need to change your tyres on purchase of your car unless you are going to be doing a lot of highway driving outside the cities. The unusual spec isn't a major issue unless you are going to small towns and remote areas a lot. Probably better to standardize at the first change of all tyres.

Quote:
One question (and I think I am ignorant or forgetful for asking this question as I am sure somewhere in this thread the answer must have been covered) - Does the Xcent have OD off switch? Did you use it in hills to keep your car in 3rd gear?
No, there isn't a OD off. Instead there is the manual mode giving you the ability to manually upshift or downshift.

Quote:
By the way, you replied to my camera question in your travelogue. Looking how much you like to travel and the places you are covering, I strongly recommend you invest in a DSLR. I myself was using traditional cameras for such a long time and have okish (but not great) snaps of all my travels, but once I switched to DSLR, I am so much satisfied and can never go back!
If you don't want to invest right away, then atleast borrow mine

Lastly, I want to say that just like Secretariat, Xcent too looks like a tremendous machine having a huge heart and likes running and enjoys the run. Your travelogue and your id instantly reminded me of Secretariat's performance in Belmont stakes
Yeah I know a DSLR is warranted, but am really not a photography enthusiast at all. Ha Ha on the suggestion.

And delighted to see a racing buff. Was there an instance of a larger heart ever ?

Last edited by Secretariat : 29th March 2015 at 08:57.
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Old 30th March 2015, 15:58   #385
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Sir, please don't.

There absolutely is no need to honk in *ANY* corner of a hill. While driving in the hills, all drivers in under all circumstances stick to their side, i.e. to the left.

It is us, city dwellers who honk or break the rules [in case of a landslide break the queue] Even inside the city [for eg Gangtok] no one honks. And I mean no one. You have to stick to left and give way to drivers descending.

I remember, even I started with this honking every corner practice in my first sojourn to the hills, but within 5 kilometers I realized that, either there is something wrong with me or no one has a functioning horn in the hills. And just because of this, I look forward to driving up the hills at every possible opportunity.

Hope the post is taken in the right spirit
I learnt driving and riding in hills of Nainital, lived for some time in Shillong and Gangtok and I agree with you that the locals do not break rules and they stick to their lanes. But, as you mentioned, the city drivers often try and break the rules. The problem starts when these drivers drivers go to hill stations and then you need to keep honking on blind curves to keep avoid these drivers.

I can say that I have avoided nasty situations many a times on hills by honking at the right time on blind curves.
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Old 8th April 2015, 12:28   #386
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Thanks for the nice words. Yes, its a common problem with every model and every manufacturer - the AT is hardly ever available for a Test Drive.
It has been quite a task to get a TD of the AT model. Finally managed to get a TD of the Grand i10 Asta AT. And what a car it is! Only if Hyundai had added Airbags and ABS to it, it would have fit my requirements and pocket just perfectly. Alas, Hyundai wants us to spend another lakh and a half if you happen to care for safety and need an AT.

A couple of things I felt in an otherwise very positive experience. I felt the steering to be a bit odd as in I couldnt steer it properly, I had to put in a lot of concentration to see where the car is going. Compared to this the Brio's steering was very precise and accurate - point and shoot. It was such a joy. The rest of the car was a total let down especially in terms of the build and the interiors . Also I found the wrapped steering to be a little slippery so to speak, as in the texture just didn't feel right for holding. Is it generally true about the Xcent too? Also, I felt while climbing uphill the engine felt kind of stressed, as in the manual Ritz we drive takes that climb effortlessly while the grand i10 seemed to be revving harder on that same patch. Is it common to AT cars? Also, does the same engine in Xcent feel a bit under powered on inclines?

Forgive me if my questions seem too ignorant. As is apparent, I am a Newbie
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Old 17th April 2015, 16:34   #387
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I am hoping to get the below two modifications/additions done to my Xcent:

1. Arm Rest - Is this even possible, given the fact that Xcent has a rear AC vent?
2. Under-body Protection

If getting any of these will void any warranties?Any pointers/suggestions would be much appreciated.

Last edited by Engine_Roars : 17th April 2015 at 16:36.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 12:53   #388
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Hi,

I just finished 900 km trip in my VTVT S(o). Few observations as below
1. Engine is very silent and rev happy.
2. Absolutely noise free cabin.
3. Suspension works with noise on bad textured road.
4. Tank full to tank full FE is 16.7 with 100% AC and 4 passengers onboard (Total ODO is 2300 km).
5. AC needs to be on position 3 always if you like to cool cabin at outside temperture above 43 degree celcius.
6. AC takes atleast 15 minutes to cool the cabin after start in afternoon.
7. Brakes is absoulely fantastic and confidence inspiring.
8. Steering gets heavy adequately with increase in speed.
9. Ground clearance is sufficient if you drive carefully on bad patches and speed breakers.
10. Boot space is sufficient for 4 persons for 8 days vacation.
11. All in all completely practical family sedan.

I am completely satisfied with this car.
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Old 24th May 2015, 17:39   #389
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Hello All,

I have been using my Hyundai Xcent (S variant Petrol) for almost a year now. The clock reads almost 5000 Kms and so far I have not faced any trouble with my car and it has been a smooth journey so far.

I just have a small query to the users on this forum
Has anybody noticed a small drop in power when the AC is turned on?
I have noticed this when I drive without AC for while and then when I turn it on, I notice a small drop in power. It feels like a sudden restraint (as if someone is pulling the car from going ahead). Of course, I am aware that the Xcent is not too great on power but this is something that I have started noticing of late.

Is this normal?
Please let me know.

Thanks,
Libu
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Old 24th May 2015, 18:56   #390
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The last month has seen my xcent make only 1-2 km trips multiple times a day of which 25% is mud roads. This is in peak summer with AC on. This is the perfect recipe for disastrous mileage and my sxo AT petrol has returned 8 kmpl. To be honest this is better than I expected.
My usual mileage is about 10kmpl for city driving.
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