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Old 25th May 2015, 12:41   #1
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Kochi
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Default Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent

Thank you Team-BHP for providing me the best information you could ever get about automotives. Team-BHP had been my bible all along since I decided to get a new car, and that new car had to replace My Good Friend, Hyundai i10 1.2L Kappa (2008) now running on its 7th year. This is how my i10 will ever live in my memories, a photo of it in the first few days of we buying it. Back then I didn't know of Team-BHP ownership reports, but let it find a place here now.

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf0167.jpg

Now, I have with me the Pristine Blue Hyundai Xcent SX(O) 1.2L VTVT (Manual Transmission) and has driven around 1000+ KM in the last two weeks, I feel this is the time I put in my initial ownership report to Team-BHP, and this is my first major write-up here. Excuse me for mistakes, if any.

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3491.jpg

Greenery around have grown thick and tall, premises have got updates, now the car too - but as a pleasant surprise we got to keep the number same.

I shall not add further pictures to eat up real estate. I could add nothing more than the superb ownership report from CrAzY dRiVeR, about his SX(O) automatic. That was one of the authoritative reports that I considered before buying this car. Without further ado, let me get straight to the relevant details, in my perspective.

The choice

Did I really need a new car ? Perhaps no, and I was actually loving my i10. But then there had been a few sore points. I've had issues with MGF service, and we switched to a neighbourhood garage for regular servicing after the standard free service + an year after. The garage had been good, really good FNG when they dealt with our Maruti 800. But unfortunately in the last consecutive two periodic services of i10, right after the service the vehicle broke down on two important journey with same reason. The i10 radiator fan blew off. We've had developed a feeling that Hyundai perhaps need authorized attention for genuine parts. Also a headlamp bulb upgrade which I opted for earlier at the same FNG backfired an year later. That was a shoddy work, they neglected to seal the cut-open back cover of the headlamp assembly. As a result water seeped through and the steam fogged the lens from inside and actually made permanent damage. Also I started feeling the need of a reversing aid, thanks to the co-operative two-wheeler motorists living around and visiting my locality who just don't care about where they park. The clutch was feeling really hard on i10, which was once upon a time buttersmooth. MGF made me replace the clutch disks at around 42,000 KM and made me pay royally - I take it, because this had been driven by a hired driver in the interim too. But I never felt clutch the same as smooth ever after. The front windscreen had wiper marks developed over a period of time, and this was causing trouble during night driving due to light scattering. The best suggestion I received was to replace the windscreen. So, the many things I wanted to do to improve my experience in i10 after seven years didn't seem to justify what I would need to spend on that, considering its resale value. We have an absolute majority of ladies in my familly, and the car breaking down on two special occasions did take away the confidence in longer drives. Though I sincerely feel it's not the i10, but the hands that dealt with it which did the damage.

So now chose which one ? I started off with something, and finally ended up elswhere. I had a budget of upto 10L, can stretch a bit more - But I wanted to spent that much only if it's really worth.

I had a crazy idea that I should now take an SUV like Scorpio. Reason is pretty simple and it's attributed to the civic sense of people living around my lane. They park two wheelers, and even three-wheelers in that narrow lane and believe cars can sneak in through what they have left out. Instead of them moving their vehicle a little bit here to make way for us, they will earnestly stand there and give you directions to take your car in between. If it scratches, they will move their two-wheeler with a grine up their face. After all, who lost. That's the wonderful moment me and they realize there was indeed no space and these dear ones don't know what it takes for a car to move around. Having an SUV just squarely makes them agree to the fact that this is not going to go anywhere through in between. It needs 'the road'. By the way, in the same lane lives another guy who had a Ford Endeavour .. Now he rides a 'Tata Nano'. Perhaps I was just crazy that SUV helps.

Anyway, lady majority at home likes to have a 'car', and even called Scorpio 'beastly'. They need a good looking one and should feel like we have upgraded. That would mean at-least compact sedan and above. And I needed equipments like some sort of reversing aid, bluetooth handsfree and as much feel good stuff as possible in what I can spent.

Volkswagen / Fiat / Skoda

I was advised to keep away from these shops, Volkswagen (injector failures) & Skoda had scary stories in Team-BHP. My friend warned me of parts availability which sometimes tend to haunt Fiat.

Maruti Ciaz

My mother absolutely loved it, and everyone else in family too. My relative bought it and that's how we got to see it, feel it. If you step out of Hyundai shop, perhaps this is the only car that makes you feel good from Maruti at quality of interiors. However I had a swaying mind. First of all, someone bought it in the nearest family and it's better not to make a clone again in the same family. Next is oh my turning radius of 5.4 m. I can spend on car doesn't mean I can give up my house, and practical problems around my area. I've many occasions that I need to take a single shot U-turn in the roads around my town, before that far away bike now decides not to give me an easy turn, and speeds to jump ahead of me. And yes, its still a car and people think it can go between that tail pipe of rotten Boxer 100 and the long dead community water supply tap.

Finally, I have had developed a liking towards Hyundai for no reason other than i10. That was a car which was tuned for me, or I've got tuned to it. I was so disappointed with how gear shifts feel in Maruti, and Hyundai came as a sure slot-in. This never changed, or I never have driven another Maruti which felt good.

Maruti Ertiga (Strong contender, till last minute)

I was ready to compromise on turning radius etc on this for the sheer factor that its a very practical car with additional row of seat for the little ones to be put comfortably in. But blame it partly on the bleeding edge information that Team-BHP leaks in, I was suspecting that the soon I buy it, a whole new updated Ertiga might surface. It never came and I ran out of patience.

The factor was that some of the equipment that I needed had to be added on, and I preferred it to be standard accessory than add-on which was suspected to be in the Ertiga update. Another problem was that I thought Ertiga offers a taller seating position, but reality was that I felt sitting sunken in, though I still might be riding higher than other cars. My wife complained that she can't see anything ahead. And there is no remedy for that, co-driver seat never had a height adjustment even in the ZXi. For some reason, I never got this vehicle for test drive too. I wanted ZXi with the seat height adjustment, and they never provided one. I checked at two known dealers in town.

Maruti Dzire

Shot down right away. Historically, I didn't like Swift, blame claustrophobic interiors. It looked however certainly better without a boot.

Ford Ecosport

I wanted this one, SUV like high seating position and lot of gizmos. But my wife opened up the rear seat door, and said "She, my sister and my nephew" won't fit in there. And she says they can comfortably sit inside i10 !!

I couldn't contest, because I rarely sit at the rear seat, and she said all this just by looking at it ?? Problem seems to be that it looks a lot bigger outside and you expect it to be so inside, which isn't the case. Add to it, it's a cousin of Swift - can make you claustrophobic.

Tata Zest (Strong contender, till last minute)

If I was the sole decision maker I would have gone for it. I truly love this car. It's loaded with immense practical features no other cars in this price bucket can offer.

But two things went wrong with me. Tata brand was voted down by ladies at home, but I somehow convinced them that this is 'the car'. And it went wrong in the way it could actually go wrong. I've had arranged for a test drive, and the same day my wife on return from office spotted a Tata Zest, lifted up on jack at the road side in bye-pass. The mechanic was right under the engine bay, and that wasn't for a tyre change. She informed me that it is unlikely to be available for test drive. With a heavy heart, I called up just to confirm on the test drive, and they told me of an unfortunate accident which happened to the vehicle a couple of days back and it's not available. It's been refreshing to know prior to that, the mechanic is still on the road fixing it since last two days. Anyway I never got a call from them again, and ladies won the game.

Hyundai Verna

Then why not Ciaz ? Shot down straight away.

Hyundai Elite i20

It's a premium hatchback. It does feel premium at the driver's seat. My uncle has its prior version with DRLs, and oh this overlaps on price with Hyundai Xcent. Xcent even costs less on top-variant. So how about Xcent ?

Another simple thing my wife said against Elite i20 is that it's back door armrest sweeps upwards, and that's a not a natural posture you keep your arm on. She seems to be correct, i10 had a very natural contour which sweeps down and is broad too. The next problem was that visibility for real passengers who aren't tall enough, is severly restricted.

Hyundai Xcent (The winner)

There is our CrAzY dRiVeR's 'Good things come in small packages' thread in Team-BHP. I'm impressed, for one I know that its pretty much the same 1.2L engine of i10 slightly tweaked. So I somehow assumed Xcent is going to be a familiar territory for me in driveability, and I wasn't wrong. Diesel was struck down, again on the same reason. Why to try something else, when you are already happy about its heart.

Features, all that I wanted and more seems to be in. At-least for what I've decided to pay. Looks good, back bench seems to seat my wife, sister and nephew - again visually confirmed by wife. And they are also scared that I might tilt back to Tata Zest. Give me no chance, go for Xcent if you want to buy one.

Dealer Experience

We decided to try a change to VTJ Hyundai, and the stuff which I was happy about the experience is the test drive. I've had one clear demand. My whole family would come to the showroom, take it out from there. I shall drive up to my home, get it into my parking. Take it out from there and return all the way back to showroom. I shall do all this in the night, where I would like to see the night visibility. Infact, this is the kind of drive that I do the most. I didn't have to try highway driveability aspects. That's what Team-BHP expert reviews are there for. And I probably already know what to expect of this engine and what not.

This is a roundtrip of about 30 KM and the timing I requested means that I will take out the vehicle from showroom at around 6:30 PM - that's when people usually wind up, and then return by around 8:00 PM. Nobody except security might be around. All around Team-BHP I have read that, it's a buyer's world out there. But let me tell you my experience, this is the only guy (Nitin, ASM from VTJ Hyundai) who turned up truly to my request.

Rest of the delivery procedures felt pretty much the same as you would get at all other dealers.

A rather disappointing experience was that the online registration procedure at RTO kept failing continously for 3-4 days only at this dealer. It was getting furious, while all other dealers were comfortably making it through. But at the end, to make the matter sweet, we surprisingly for the registration number got the same old numeral portion as in our i10.

On-road price & discounts

Let the numbers speak as it is. I don't know whether this was really ok, good or bad.

The model which I bought is 1.2L VTVT SX(O) Manual Transmission, affectionately called full option for Petrol (MT). By the way this is in Kochi, Kerala. I'm not listing accessories in this pricing.


Ex-showroom - 7,12,675
Comphrehensive insurance - 15,144
Delivery & PDI charges - 7,900
Road Tax & Regn. charges - 57,464
Extended Warranty (4-yr) - 8,876


Hyundai cash discount - 5,000
Corporate discount - 2,000
Hyundai Loyalty bonus - 7,500
Dealer discount - 6,000

The comphrehensive insurance was originally quoted blown-up close to about 22,000/- for the so called zero depreciation type (Bumper-to-Bumper) i. We lost the opportunity to transfer no-claim bonus in the previous car sale deal, which was arranged through a third party broker arranged by the dealer, and that would have amounted to an insurance discount of about 2,000/- based on what we were eligible for. But the lady officer at prior insurance company was kind enough to explain the charges which goes behind it and said that a zero depreciation insurance inspite of losing no claim bonus transfer, cannot cost beyond 14,000/- for my case. Armed with this information, I've got my point raised and this insurance was finally made through National Insurance company, still a little higher but nowhere as ripping off as originally quoted.

Also the discounts listed are what I actually got, though the heads they count seem to go out of my mind. Hope that's correct description. That Hyundai loyalty bonus is about me continuing with Hyundai for my next car, but sold it outside of Hyundai H-Care. Had I sold it in Hyundai H-Care, the loyalty bonus will be double. But the downside is that they might be buying the old car at about as much as 30,000/- less than what we would get if sold outside. This intermediate broker arrangement seems to be a trade-off between the two.

A word about the extended warranty here. Hyundai had 5-year extended warranty claims when I did take my Hyundai i10 for servicing prior to this. That was being highlighted as a kind of unique selling point. However, when I took the case of this Xcent, until the last minute of full payment the extended warranty information wasn't revealed. When I insisted on the 5th year extended warranty, they somehow quoted a whopping amount close to 14,000/- (that's what I remember, no written proof to check back on it) compared to the 8,876/- for 4th year extended warranty. You can't opt for this later. It's do it now or never. So what I finally felt is that Hyundai seems to discourage this 5th year extended warranty, while Honda I believe is now offering 7 year or so. The dealer too seem to propose only upto 4th year. Will something really start falling apart from 5th year for Hyundai ? My i10's first radiator fan breakdown happened in the 5th year. Had I known this extended warranty reduction, this might as well had been a deterrent for me in purchase decision.

Experience the Xcent

Overall styling and appearance

A lot have been written about it by experienced reviewers, but let me tell you one aspect about my choice of going to Pristine Blue colour. I wanted the 'Granite Grey' that I have accustomed to seeing in Grand i10, but that's not available for Xcent. The closest 'Twilight Blue' wasn't appealing to me. The only thing that can distinguish Xcent from Grand i10 is that there is a chrome border running across the air intake on the front bumper. This stands out only in Blue or Red. Silver hides it the most. Red was a drastic deviation of colour for me, hence the choice of 'Blue'. But keeping the 'Blue' car in clean shape is a pain. This colour begs you to keep it, well clean.

The very second day of that car with me, I had been gifted by a small but visibly annoying dent on the boot by a cargo ape three-wheeler which toppled behind my car. Don't know what the hell was he doing, but something that was poking out of that stuff did the damage. It costed me 6,500/- for repair. However it's after that I noticed an uneven panel gap on the boot lid, where it runs around the lamp cluster. On the left side where my car was hit, the panel gap is perfect. However on the other side, a seasoned eye could figure out the large gap. By Team-BHP review standards, this might be termed huge. This might have developed after the dent repair, but I am not sure.

Also, on the left side of the bonnet, where it lines up with the fender shows a wider gap than the one on the right. This had no damage whatsoever. So that must be part of how it came in. None of this will be noticed by a casual observer though.

Interior design and quality

All pretty good, as official reviews say it. But here I must say about something which I did extra, and I felt should have been avoided. I did go for the 3M IPP package, which included vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring was a highlight in getting me go for it. I was told that it helps to keep the occasional water spill by any means to not get to the unreachable areas of the floor. This looks like a continuous floor mat laid all around. I like its installation and purpose that it serves by itself. It looks easy to clean, and mop it wet. But the problem for me turned out to be something else. The original Xcent floor mats have been put on top of this vinyl flooring. I believe the original mats had hooks on the floor to hold it. The vinyl flooring has covered it up, and the original Xcent mats literally float over the vinyl flooring. We literally slip on stepping on the original mat, it's the mat which slips, along with which we too. My wife and daughter has already pushed the rear floor mats right under the front seats. All that they did was get in and out of the car. I would ask the service centre/3M folks to find a way to make it stick there. I could just remove the Xcent floor mats and live with just the vinyl flooring which is by itself good, but that's not what I wanted.

Interior space and comfort

I have something different to add here. That's about my wife's experience at the back seat. We've had a 450 Km roundtrip on the same day, and my mother was comfortable in the front seat all along and did not say 'tired' upon return. That's not the usual case, and I should attribute it to the better comfort levels in Xcent. But my wife who usually is comfortable even in Maruti 800 on long runs did complain in Xcent that she has got shoulder pain, feels like she is sitting without a shoulder support. She didn't say this till the end of entire journey but was finding herself more comfortable right at the middle of the seat. The difference is the presence of headrest. None of us are really tall, and for her she can't rest her head evenly, the headrest is at its lowest position. She bumps her head at the lower edge of it, and that must be the trouble. We bought a usual neck restraint pillow and tied it on to the rear headrest, and she felt that to be better. I tried removing the whole headrest, but she says it's still not good. She feels it better with the headrest on and then the pillow. However I feel the pillow also doesn't do really good. Does anyone have suggestion to find a better support in this case ?

Driving position, ergonomics and controls

I've felt right at home with Xcent. No issues there. I've put the seat to the highest position on vertical movement, and drawn backwards 2-3 slots from front on the back-and-forth movement rails. However, while I get out out the car, I do rub my slippers right below the bonnet open lever. I am sure I will soil that portion pretty soon. I think with my driving position, egress was smoother in i10.

To talk about controls, all feels good and precise. I thought steering mounted controls had been a cool addition. But I now feel perhaps the only thing that you need on steering wheel is phone control. I've got some trouble here. First of all, I drive with my right hand holding the inside of the lower rim of steering wheel. I rest my left hand on the hand brake lever, thanks to missing centre armrest. Not a serious omission, because I am used to it that way by now. Now that resting point in steering has become slightly wider, I did develop a slight pain in my arm during the initial run. Now, I've got used to it. The problem was that I need to stretch out my thumb to honk. The horn pad seems to have shrunk to give way for steering controls. Now there are times, when I turn the steering grabbing the inside of steering wheel and then honk. I do it with the back of my arm. This trick does foul in Xcent. Many times instead of horn pad, I am pressing the 'Mute'/'Mode' switch. If it's the audio Mute switch, then it is generally okay, but if it's Mode switch it can be a trouble if this switches headunit to 'Bluetooth Audio', details of which I will touch upon later.

The MID is just about two trip meters, an average speed indicator and the total travel time. I initially thought that's calculated independently for each trip meter. However it isn't the case. Trip meters count on their own, the average speed indicator and travel time is just yet another counter combo which can be reset independently. Though I initially thought what purpose does that serve, I've started liking it lately and attempts to reset them before starting on a trip. I think that average speed will eventually train me to automatically think in terms of a known fuel efficiency corresponding to it, but they could have given it straight forward. Even Nano has it.

Visibility & size of mirrors

I felt classic i10 had a larger A-pillar and was creating severe blind spots. I've been coming from Maruti 800 then. With Xcent, I feel it's a lot better. I don't find that annoying blind spot that often. However the wing mirrors seems to be smaller than what I am used to. Rearward visibility seems restricted for everyday practical problems that I have. Luckily the rear view camera helps make things easier, infact a lot easier. A word of caution would be to not just rely on what you see. What you see on that tiny screen up there on rear view mirror is pretty tiny. On a bright sunny day, with white walls around, the camera feed looks way over exposed and cannot really distinguish one thing from the other. Luckily the sensors with audible alarm comes as a worthy supplement. When it's non stop chime from alarm, stop and get out to see what's really behind. I'm sure 7 out of 10 times, that's something which would have caused a dent. The other 3 times, it was weeds and grass standing upright from the sides of the road.

Another visibility aspect is about the passengers at the rear seat. I miss a conversation mirror, that's there on the XUV5OO. The problem is that, earlier I was used to rear view mirror dualing up as conversation mirror. In Xcent the rear passengers who aren't that tall is not visible in the mirror at all. The passengers sit really low.

Air-conditioner cooling & effectiveness

This one has automatic climate control, and I started liking that. Set it to 23 C, and leave it to the ACC do the rest. That's what's recommended in the manual too. For us, that's a comfortable climate. Though, I doubt the displayed temperature actually has any relation to the real temperature inside cabin. It doesn't feel like 23 C, when it is set to that. But as long as we are comfortable, I don't care. The rear A/C vents might be doing it's job too. But I find my wife keeping it shut for the fear of my daughter getting a cold.

The welcome addition that I like about automatic climate control is the clean air cluster ionizer. In the reviews, I've learned that we expect it to remove odour but has been mentioned that it's not as effective as one expects. However I think the purpose of cluster ionizer is different. Rather than de-odourizing I believe its trapping dust with the heavy ions that it generates. Also welcome in this model is a cabin air filter, which was grossly missed in i10. End result is that, we have started driving around in air circulation mode set to external. Still inside, it feels refreshing. This by no means is going to help when we are stuck in traffic and the exhaust fumes from other vehicles gets in. Leave it to internal re-circulation while in slow moving traffic for sure. One problem with ACC though is that, if you switch off the A/C and then turn it on, it doesn't remember the recirculation setting. I'm not sure whether ACC flips it to external on its own at other times. Since the cabin filter plus ionizer does a decent job we don't get to know this is running in 'external' mode until we get stuck in a slow moving traffic and the pungent burnt fuel smell creeps in.

We haven't really left the car in hot sun for long and returned to see how fast it cools. But in this two weeks of time spent with the car, we did leave it in sun and upon return the ACC starts blowing air at quite noisy levels, but the cabin comes to a comfort zone pretty fast.

Audio system & sound quality

Audio quality is quite acceptable for me and nothing needs to be mentioned here, but I would like to write about the bluetooth connectivity of phone. I've got a Windows Lumia 625, and connectivity works like a charm. Phone call log download, attending call & dialling numbers does work seamless. The contact name is displayed in reverse Last Name, First Name without a comma in between. It takes a while to get used to.

I did mention that there is a trouble with switching to Bluetooth audio. It plays well, no problem there. Switching albums over bluetooth is not there, or I haven't figured out yet on how it is done. But on headunit, if by any chance I switch from bluetooth to radio to something else and return back to bluetooth, all might look working. But my Windows Phone starts to burn its battery from then on. It's battery level goes down 60,59,58 in a matter of minutes. I've now made a point to restart the phone when I get out of car, if by any chance I switched to bluetooth audio. That happens with steering wheel foul that I mentioned earlier.

A word about using navigation on phone. With bluetooth connected, the navigation voice guidance pleasantly plays through the car speakers. The currently playing track, be it radio or CD is temporarily silenced, while that navigation guidance voice comes on. But I found that it sometimes displays it as a call from certain telephone number. That number is not just something that you recognize as a normal telephone number, so we know it's about this voice guidance. Sometimes it displays something like an emergency message or priority message on head unit screen. I don't remember exact message or seeing which one at what time. That had not been consistent.

Each media type (CD, Radio, USB, Bluetooth) seems to have its own memorized volume levels in head unit. It also has speed dependent volume. That's good, but I wish I could increase the volume of phone over bluetooth. That doesn't happen.

I should perhaps mention about steering wheel controls related to audio system here. I don't understand whether they truly add a value. The volume knob is closer to the driver, and it responds faster than the volume Up/Down on the steering wheel. The audio head unit has pretty logical placement of all the keys, that it takes more effort to use the steering wheel controls than really flip those switches in the head unit. Another example is to change radio channels. I know, Radio Mango 91.9 is at [1], Red FM at 94.3 [2], and perhaps 107.5 at [6]. That's very prominently displayed on the head unit screen. And those numeric buttons are right there, big and easily accessible. But if you wanted to change it through steering wheel, to 107.5 you need to flip it through [1], [2], [3] until [6]. And all the time, for me the first press just reloads the station stored at [1]. I don't remember whether it's 'Up' key or the 'Down' key on the steering wheel. But I always press that wrong one, and then look at screen to see that it hasn't moved. This much of distraction is really not there, if you operated directly on the head unit.

Interior storage, practicality & boot space

A welcome move that we found is the provision for bottle holders all around in all the doors. But I doubt the front door pockets have shrunk a little bit. I could drop my umbrella easily into i10's door pocket, but I've to slightly squeeze it down in Xcent.

There is only one seat back pocket, on co-driver's side. i10 had it on both. Boot space is a whopping 407L, which we are delighted to see, but haven't found an opportunity yet to fill that up. The boot lamp removes another trouble which he had in previous car.

That enclosed storage for phone right below climate control is a novel touch. Now the only problem is that I forget to take my phone when I leave the car, since its hidden away from me too.

Engine performance & driveability

I find it pretty much the same as my previous i10, and it means I am happy about it. I think the power delivery at 4th gear has matured a bit to do a successful overtake on demand. But with automatic climate control on you can't rely on that. In the previous car, I could poke A/C switch to turn it off at the same time I shift to the third gear for overtaking, without looking at it. In Xcent, with ACC and three control switches in a row, I haven't yet mastered to hit the correct 'Off' switch.

I am accustomed to the i10 way, 3rd gear is the best for getting that power surge when required and the same old tactics continue to work. Also reviews about 2nd gear able to pull from a near standstill right after a speed breaker seems to be true, however I find myself shifting to 1st at crawling speed out of habit.

The engine sounds sportier now at higher revvs, or so I feel.

Gearshift & clutch

Gearshift is something which made me a Hyundai fan, granted that's because I shifted to Hyundai from Maruti shop. Xcent's gear shift continues to be of my taste. A hard clutch was a problem in my previous car, aggravated by its age. Maruti A-Star and the likes are miles ahead in clutch feel, and I believe they are hydraulic assisted. i10 had a pure mechanical clutch, so I initiallly insisted that I needed a car with hydraulic assisted clutch. Somewhere in weighing up all my priorities I missed this point. During test drive I felt the Xcent clutch to be super light (compared to my i10 which already was hard).

But when I revisited this point, it was already late and I made the booking and the vehicle had arrived. Bingo! This is mechanical clutch, again. It's a disappointment, and as time progresses I think this should get harder to operate.

There are people complaining of i10 stalling in 1st gear on a slightly demanding terrain. Example would be to cut across the slight edge and climb to the main road from house entrance, a climbing side road which exits on to a main level road where you would have to stop and go etc. I have read in another thread that Grand i10 was better. I almost agreed to it when I did my test drive of Xcent. Not anymore. I've the real vehicle with me, and it will stall. It's not just for me, call anyone who drives a Maruti and hand this car over to him. It will stall. I attribute this problem to the same notchiness associated with the mechanical clutch. It's not a smooth release, though the pedal feels light. I don't like holding on to revv the engine to avoid stall. It sounds odd and it doesn't actually work. A tactic that I have become used to is, to step on the accelerator and do a slight vroom and release the accelerator. Now start immediately releasing the clutch, and at the same time give just the accelerator input back as you would do in any other car. It will get going.

All this planning works, when I know the usual places where I will stall. When you are in a new place and unexpected moment, this will still stall.

Fuel efficiency

I've had a chance to do the tank full to tank full method only once. The next refuelling is round the corner this weekend. Attached is the screenshot of mileage calculator application running on my Windows Phone.

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This is a full highway roundtrip from Kochi to Trivandrum, with a continuous hour of traffic jam (typical bumber to bumper traffic) in an enroute town. I'm happy about the figures that Xcent gives, because my 1st generation 1.2L Kappa i10 never gave beyond 14 kmpl in highways, 11.6 kmpl is the average I ever got on i10.

Suspension & Ride quality

Bumpiness is gone. I've often been cursed for riding harsh over speed breakers. Unless I really stop and crawl over the speed breaker, i10 is sure to throw people up the air. And I don't really want to stop, since our beloved two wheeler comrades seize that oppurtunity to overtake and cut right across to your front, before that guy from the opposite closes the gap. With Xcent, its better. No more complaints. On the open highway, and the twisties I think its all good and comfortable. I've not taken this beyond 90 kmph. Have consistently driven at around 70-80 kmph for a major stretch.

On rough tarmac, I think the coarse vibration that you feel on car platform is more pronounced. It's not uncomfortable, but it feels more fussy than it ought to be. I've always wondered what is sounds like when reviews say potholes absorbed with a muted thud, well now it sounds exactly like a muted 'thud', when it goes over a majority of it.

Last edited by roby.thomas : 26th May 2015 at 21:36.
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Old 26th May 2015, 19:23   #2
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Default My next leg of journey begins on Xcent

Steering, Handling and Braking

I felt Xcent's steering weighs more than what I am used to in Hyundai. I'm always conscious to hold it strong, all the time. It's no joystick steering the way I was used to. If I take my hands off the steering, on straight roads it goes 'straight'.

Haven't had a chance to test the limits of handling. I would perhaps never do that too. It's satisfactory for me in almost all circumstances.

With Team-BHP's emphasis on safety equipments, having opted for ABS and Airbags make me feel more secure. I'm not sure I have put ABS to use, though I have had chances to panic brake on a couple of occasions. The vehicle stays on straight line without any fuss. I got to know that the braking was indeed harsh, when I saw my wife embracing the front seat, who was seated comfortably at back. I'm more worried about someone rear-ending the car, than about the stopping power and stability of this vehicle itself in emergencies. It seems quite adequate.

By the way, on the test drive vehicle the braking had an early hard bite which gets some time to accustomed to. This was so, when we had our new i10. However, the Xcent which I have got seems to not exhibit that roughness.

Bells & Whistles

Electrically adjustable & foldable mirrors

Once I started using them, I've found this immensly useful and practical. In narrow lanes, and risky situations I can fold this out at the flick of a switch. While parking, I can turn the left side mirror down to get to know how close I am to the drainage. No more trouble for the co-passenger to adjust it for me, and even if they do, it never got right.

Recently an oncoming auto-rickshaw overtaking a two wheeler bumped at driver side rear view mirror, and I almost thought its gone. Luckily nothing happened, and it just folded smoothly inwards. Rubbed the back cover of the mirror with bare fingers, and that the mark left over also was gone. It would be a different deal, if a two wheeler overtaking me ploughed it along with him. This won't bend forward like in i10, it will only break. Moral is that if the situation is risky, just fold it in.

One sore point is that, the mirror folding switch is placed far ahead on the driver side door armrest, and you need to stretch a bit to operate it. It's not where you expect the button to be when you take your hands off the steering wheel and reach out. Also it needs an affirmative push to engage and disengage that piano switch. Otherwise, the wing mirrors will make a chuckle and return back.

Smart key entry & Push button start

To open the trunk, this is immensly practical. I sometimes casually go and open the trunk by pressing the button on the trunk lid. It opens up, and that's when I realize the vehicle was actually locked. It's the smart key in my pocket which does the trick. So is the front doors, but that's a conscious act to press the sensor, and then pull the door handle. It should have been as natural as in the case of trunk. I pull on the door handle, and it should have opened. Why should I press the sensor too ?

Beyond that initial cool feel, I've lost a couple of things. One thing is the satisfaction of the fact that I locked the door by pressing the 'lock' button and the vehicle alarm sounding an acknowledgment. While I can press the remote lock buttton, what I now do the smart key way is to press the sensor, and only feedback is that the wing mirrors fold upon locking, and the turn indicator flashes once. No other sounds.

The next set of annoyance is related to the smart key feature itself, and the push button start. There is a safety feature that if your car engine is running, you need to keep the smart key within the car. It sounds a really good safety mechanism, but I have a problem with it. Usually smart key is kept in your pocket (and is supposed to be). I drive out my car from garage on to the road. My family would be sitting inside, with A/C on. Now I get out of the car to lock the gate. 'Beeep' .. Oh, I can't get out of the car like that, I need to throw my smart key in there. If I am adamant to go out with the key in my pocket, that 'Beeep' ensures that I regret doing so.

Now about the push button start. I think it helps to avoid double cranking. But with the occasional stalling problem, this is a slight inconvenience. With normal key start, if I ever stall I could start it while in motion that rest of the crowd doesn't really know that I've stalled. the key is pretty reachable immediately. With push button start, you need to press the clutch fully, stretch forward to hit the start button which is not really visible at all angles. I might get used to it, but for now people will know that I've stalled.

But the biggest annoyance with the push button start is none of this, but the way it cycles power through accessory position, ignition and then start. It's a usual case that I stop by a bakery, or roadside vegetable stall. Mrs. goes out to get something, I turn the key off and back only upto the accessory position. It leaves the audio system powered so that I continue to enjoy uninterrupted music. Not so easy anymore with push button. Press on the button to stop the engine, and it cuts off entire power. You need to press it again, and the audio head unit goes through that power up delay. If it was streaming over bluetooth, because of the odd behaviour that I mentioned earlier, I risk my phone going into a tizzy. This is all when Tata Zest is reported to keep the music uninterrupted even when you crank the engine. Zest is two step forward and Xcent is one step back here.

Rear defogger

I've never had to use it. I've rarely cared to catch any action happening right behind through the rear screen. I've mostly been used to the side mirrors. I am always on watch out for the two wheelers who are waiting for their turn to overtake me, one through the left and the other through the right at the same time. And they are always at the blind spot in the inside rear view mirror.

Rear seat centre armrest with cup-holder

That's something which my 5-year old daughter wanted. She loves to pull it out, and tuck it back. Hopefully she will enjoy doing it for a few more days. After that it's going to be permanently tucked in (If it's to stay there).

Rear seat reading lamp

Useful addition, nothing more to say.

Rear 12V power socket

Useful addition, and I will surely put it to use. I've got a Duracell car inverter and this will immensly help.

Closing note

I like Xcent for
  • Being a pleasant upgrade from the first generation i10 1.2L
  • Being nimble, easy to drive
  • Loads of features, you name it - you get it, though some are just there to boast about it
Xcent must have, but unfortunately didn't
  • provide speed sensing, auto locking doors. It was very important when kids are in. At-least i10 locked it for the first time you get on to move, Xcent will never.
  • provide audible alarm when there is a door left unlocked. It has all sort of annoying sounds for smart key, seat belt. But didn't provide for door open. You have to find that small door open indicator in the instrument console far left down.
  • provide a hydraulic assisted clutch. I'm told i20 has. Is it true ?
Xcent could have, but didn't
  • provide fuel efficiency & distance to empty indicators. All of them does, why not Hyundai. We will anyway find out the fuel efficiency, why do you make our life just a little bit more difficult.
  • provide a driver side centre armrest
If you have been with me so far, I am delighted. This was my newbie effort to give back something to Team-BHP, but that's not even a percentage of what I learned from you. Thank you, once again.

Last edited by roby.thomas : 26th May 2015 at 21:47.
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Old 26th May 2015, 23:33   #3
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Default re: Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 27th May 2015, 10:00   #4
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Congratulations on your new ride. That Pristine Blue looks gorgeous in sun
This was my original colour choice as well till I changed to Twilight Blue. When you get a chance, do post more real world pictures (like I said - I adore Pristine blue colour so would be good to see real pictures and not brochure pictures).
Your milage is superb- especially during engine braking period.

Last edited by JD1 : 27th May 2015 at 10:01.
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Old 27th May 2015, 10:14   #5
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Congrats on your new acquisition. The Xcent is a great car for transporting a family comfortably from A to B. I don't know exactly how this happens, but people become Hyundai loyalists after they have spent considerable amount of time with a car from their stable. This shows the faith and affection they develop for the brand over the years. Kudos to Hyundai!

This thread definitely, definitely deserves more pictures. That is a bare necessity for an ownership review on Team-BHP. Hope you are up for the same.

Wishing you tons of thousands of happy and safe miles with your Xcent. I can see that you are already getting more out of life after multiplying your drive. *grins*

Keep revvin',

Last edited by petrolhead_neel : 27th May 2015 at 10:15.
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Old 27th May 2015, 12:12   #6
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I own an Xcent and have driven it for more than 9000 Kms till now. This is my first car, and the choice could not have been better. I am glad I went for a compact sedan, and Xcent at that. I have done Pune-Jodhpur-Pune (2700 Kms approx) trip and I can tell you that I am a satisfied owner.
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Old 27th May 2015, 12:58   #7
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Nice report, roby! Would definitely help prospective buyers like me. As neel said, we would definitely like to see more pictures of the car. The thread seems incomplete without them!

A quick question - how would you rate the rear seat width? Is it good for the occasional 5th passenger?

Originally Posted by JD1 View Post
This was my original colour choice as well till I changed to Twilight Blue. When you get a chance, do post more real world pictures
Can you post a couple of pics of your car (or direct me to appropriate post if it already exists?)
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Old 27th May 2015, 14:43   #8
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Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
A quick question - how would you rate the rear seat width? Is it good for the occasional 5th passenger?

Can you post a couple of pics of your car (or direct me to appropriate post if it already exists?)
Rear seat should be adequate for occasional 5th passenger. I-20 probably has better width but Xcent should do the occassional job as well.

I haven't put up my ownership post as yet and will be doing it hopefully in the next 10-12 days. (I have started preparations - have taken few pictures and will be taking some more over the weekend).
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Old 27th May 2015, 16:54   #9
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Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
A quick question - how would you rate the rear seat width? Is it good for the occasional 5th passenger?
AkMar, For people like me 5th passenger is always welcome. The floor hump is negligible. We indeed travelled a lot, including long routes with 5th passenger in our old i10. Xcent may not definitely be Toyota Etios, but the typical family who makes good use of the legal seating capacity of 5 in hatchbacks would certainly be delighted.

Also regarding adding more photos. I would surely do that soon. I didn't realize there would be demand for photos on ownership threads after the first couple of them which are already in there. So I might also attempt to show the panel gap, vinyl flooring etc that I mentioned in my report.
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Old 28th May 2015, 12:40   #10
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Default My next leg of journey begins on Xcent

Here, first I apologize being lousy and not attaching enough pictures to the ownership report. I correct that here.

I did mention about a damage inflicted by a careless three-wheeler behind my car on the seconday day of buying it. Here is the picture of damage, before and after restoration. There is an uneven panel gap now compared where it wraps around the lamp clusters, not sure this is after the body work. The left side where damage was inflicted seems to be perfect. The service centre has confirmed that they can set it right when I go for the first service.

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-wp_20150510_001.jpgNext leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3496.jpgNext leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3498.jpgNext leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3499.jpg

Now a few shots about the viny flooring, and the unbound Xcent floor mats floating on top of it. The vinyl flooring from 3M itself looks to be a neat work. The debris on the floor are the usual thing that we have, for that real-life feel . With the vinyl flooring, I think I have to make little effort to vacuum it out in the weekend.

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3505.jpgNext leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3506.jpgNext leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3511.jpg

Looking at the work, I think they would have to remove the entire seats, probably the centre floor console etc to layout the vinyl flooring extensively. Probably its after this work, I find that the rear seat, and the recline on left has a gap, which is not there on the right side. I would check on this one too at first service.

And I did say that I rub my feet below that bonnet open level when I get out of the car. I think you can spot the marks there.

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3507.jpg

Now should I say about the storage spaces and dashboard ? Perhaps the use I have with the rear armrest and it's cupholders is this.

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3509.jpg

There isn't a space to keep whatever is connected to the rear 12v socket, and my only left seat back pocket is filled-up already. The one shown in the picture is a 180W Energizer inverter. (Did I say Duracell in my first post? Sorry, I was wrong). Be careful about what you connect here. 15A is the maximum rating for this power port. So with 12V battery the maximum you can go here is 180W, and I exactly have that. But the maximum load I might put over here is a 45W laptop charger.

If you don't have it, your mobile can go here while you charge it. Pulling out a charger cable connected from this port, to the space below handbrake is not going to work out. That's unreachable for the rear passenger due to the rear air vents.

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3512.jpg

The front storage area is occupied with my mobile charger, and with bluetooth and such stuff I prefer to leave my phone connected here. That white thing deep down in that console is perhaps a toll ticket or a food bill, I just noticed when I attached this photo. The audio headunit, and meter console have a plastic peel-off wrapping to avoid scratches. I would leave there there, until it goes off by itself.

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3513.jpg

Cooled glove box is accommodating and the only thing additionally that I am to drop in here is that Hyundai pouch containing documentation. Had there been a sun glass holder, I could have avoided one spectacles pouch from there.

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3515.jpg

I said that the umbrella was a squeeze into the door pocket, whereas in i10 I could just drop it. By the way, that squeeze is with this plastic shopping bag wrapped around it, and in rain you have no way out other than to wrap it up this way. In the picture you see all the door control switches. An easy way to locate that 'lock all doors' button is to feel around that single button which has a bulge on top. You would always need to do this. Xcent will never autolock the door. Only the driver side window open switch is illuminated. Rest of it is just for 'show'.

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3519.jpgNext leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3520.jpg

Engine bay does not have any sort of protective underbody cover below. And there was a scary report in TeamBHP about an unfortunate incident with an i20. And it's plenty of free area there to look down. I think one indication that you have an SX(O) and you have (O)pted for something extra is the ABS actuator that you see in picture. The next is the diamond cut alloy wheels shown below. The dirt you see around the ABS actuator and the various plumbing lines in the engine bay is the mud splashed all over when you drive in rain. Would an underbody cover in engine bay protected it ?

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3522.jpg

Recommended tyre pressures are conveniently displayed here on opening the driver side door. Very compact & easily understandable graphics. However I always fill 33 right from the days of i10, whether I have 3 people or 5 of them.

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3518.jpg

That's the mirror I said was knocked and folded in by an oncoming auto-rickshaw. Luckily nothing happened, not even a scratch. I might not be lucky the next time.

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3521.jpg

And a final shot.

Next leg of the journey begins - Hyundai Xcent-dscf3523.jpg

There is a V-Kool A-60 grade thrown in there . Can't make out easily, so I hope I can get away with it. However there is certainly a hell lot of difference. It makes way less suffering in sun, than without it.
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Old 28th May 2015, 15:48   #11
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Congratulations on your Xcent and excellent review. Your Xcent looks very good in this colour. Good to see that Hyundai has tuned the engines to give more mileage yet retaining the smoothness and increasing features.

Originally Posted by roby.thomas View Post
Steering, Handling and Braking

Recently an oncoming auto-rickshaw overtaking a two wheeler bumped at driver side rear view mirror, and I almost thought its gone. Luckily nothing happened, and it just folded smoothly inwards. Rubbed the back cover of the mirror with bare fingers, and that the mark left over also was gone. It would be a different deal, if a two wheeler overtaking me ploughed it along with him. This won't bend forward like in i10, it will only break. Moral is that if the situation is risky, just fold it in.
Bad move by Hyundai - this is very much needed in our country and esp. when all their cars had it in the past. Forget 2 wheelers, once a clumsy man walking by also bent my ORVM forward. If I had to pay for each time my mirror got bent forward, I'd be looking at a five figure amount!

Last edited by jetti : 28th May 2015 at 15:49.
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Old 30th May 2015, 01:27   #12
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Many congratulations on your new car Roby! Welcome to the Xcent Family to which I myself am part of. This has been a Balanced Write up on your experience. Hoping to see more posts from you in the days to come on your experience with Xcent.

Originally Posted by roby.thomas View Post
Xcent must have, but unfortunately didn't
  • provide speed sensing, auto locking doors. It was very important when kids are in. At-least i10 locked it for the first time you get on to move, Xcent will never.
  • provide audible alarm when there is a door left unlocked. It has all sort of annoying sounds for smart key, seat belt. But didn't provide for door open. You have to find that small door open indicator in the instrument console far left down.
Xcent could have, but didn't
  • provide fuel efficiency & distance to empty indicators. All of them does, why not Hyundai. We will anyway find out the fuel efficiency, why do you make our life just a little bit more difficult.
  • provide a driver side centre armrest
I would like to make some pointers on these sore misses from Hyundai.

1. Speed Sensing Auto Door Lock is a must need when you have kids seated in your car. Its hard to remember oneself to lock all doors from the door controls available at the driver's seat. I did ask about this with the Service Manager. One of them pointed out that Hyundai has stopped offering this feature altogether. But, I did see it in the new cars that they have released lately. Another guy who I checked with, says that you could get this enabled during the First Service. He asked me to specifically request for enabling this. I am not sure on this as I am yet to get my car serviced for the first time.

2. Audible Alarms for Door ajar is another feature which I also feel was needed here. I figured out another way to this. You should have your cabin light switched to the center position to turn on when a door is opened. And then, once you lock your car, if it dims out immediately then all your doors are closed. If it takes longer than 10 seconds, thats when you know that one of your doors is open. I do agree that it is difficult to figure this out in broad daylight. I thought I would share this little trick that I figured out.

3. I would have loved to have the FE and Distance to Empty indicators. These become kind of necessary when your car is a few years old and you want to know how you are handling it. I feel, FE is one of the sure shot ways to find out that the car is taking a toll and may need servicing.

4. A Driver side Armrest is more of a luxury for me rather than a necessity. I wanted this one because I have an AT and coming from a Manual car, it becomes a habit to find that gear lever and shift gears. I have now overcome that habit, however, I think on long drives I might feel its need.

Wishing you many happy miles buddy!
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Old 31st May 2015, 19:45   #13
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Congratulations on the Xcent! The car certainly looks stunning in this colour. Lovely review and excellent pictures.
Wish you many safe miles with your car!
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Old 5th June 2015, 15:05   #14
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Update on 1st Free Service

Supposedly a free service, and it has been free for what they promise to do. However that's not what they are up to. Lurked me into opting for something called a silencer protective coating since I live in a corrosion prone area. That's some kind of a zinc based coating that they do (galvanizing?) , and costed me 1140/-

I've got the panel gaps corrected, and such anomalies. So things are now in good shape. Nothing needs to be topped up, as all fluid levels are intact except the windscreen washer fluid. No change involved for any consumable/replaceable whatsoever. The first service is more of a ritual than anything else. The next one is supposedly after an year / 10,000 KM whichever is earlier.

I've had registered at http://customercare.hyundai.co.in/ while having my Hyundai i10 itself. It displays all your service history done at Hyundai Authorized Service Centres, and the exact bill amount that you paid each time. Really Nice. Even for this first free service, the cost of the bill which included the silencer coating has been updated. So, Hyundai knows that I've paid.

To add your vehicle in the account, at-least you should have done your first service. It's only then their database gets updated with the vehicle details. I've got my Xcent's data loaded there, right after the next day of first service.

The next benefit we have is that we can download pdf copies of user manual. The soft copy of user manuals otherwise is unavailable. You can download only your vehicle model's manual.

But I had a surprise when I downloaded Xcent user manual. They have uploaded wrong document, and what I got instead is their internal circular dated 18th March 2014 and a whole big cost sheet displaying service charges for various models of Hyundai cars. This is also displayed in the service centre as a big banner. I tried desperately to take pictures of it, but wasn't coming out well. Now I've got the official 'pdf' copy of it now.

Originally Posted by vincyf1 View Post
Hoping to see more posts from you in the days to come on your experience with Xcent.

I would like to make some pointers on these sore misses from Hyundai.

1. Speed Sensing Auto Door Lock is a must need - Another guy who I checked with, says that you could get this enabled during the First Service. He asked me to specifically request for enabling this. I am not sure on this as I am yet to get my car serviced for the first time.
Thanks vincyf1, but I grossly missed to ask for this on the first service . Though I doubt it's possible. Let me know if they could do it for you when you get your first service done.
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Old 5th June 2015, 16:05   #15
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Thanks Roby for the first service update. In the future beware of the service centers - they will try to push such services on you every time.

We too have booked Xcent S(O) petrol, and will be getting the delivery later this month. A small query is, The Xcent would be having a single reversing lamp -am I right? From the way tail lights are configured, it does seem so.
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