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Old 10th April 2014, 16:07   #1
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Default Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

The Hyundai Xcent has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 4.66 - 7.42 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• All-rounded package in a contemporary design
• Interiors have best-in-class fit, finish & quality. Accommodating 407 liter boot too
• Fuel-efficient, practical diesel & peppy petrol. Smooth gearbox
• Loaded with features (keyless start & go, reversing camera, rear air-con, cooled glovebox etc.)
• Comfortable ride quality and predictable handling
• Hyundai's fuss free ownership experience & excellent after-sales service

What you won't:

• 1.1L 3-cylinder diesel lacks the top-end punch of competition. Ordinary highway performance
• Steering & dynamics aren't to an enthusiast's tastes
• Narrow width makes it more suited as a 4 seater, rather than 5
• Boot aside, the premium i20 is closely priced with more power, space, equipment & refinement
• Adjustable front neck restraints, seat-belt height adjustment, full MID, auto-locking doors & dead pedal missing

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th April 2014 at 22:30.
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Old 10th April 2014, 16:09   #2
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The Accent was Hyundai's 2nd offering in India and was launched on 14th October, 1999. That makes for a product life cycle of a whopping 14 years! The Verna is actually the next-generation Accent internationally; Hyundai India chose to sell the two side by side, with the Verna positioned a full segment higher. In these 14 years, the Accent went through numerous upgrades, variants and a different body style too (the Viva). The most noteworthy was the Accent CRDi, the 1st common-rail diesel this side of the Mercedes E-Class.

The ingeniously named Xcent takes over from its predecessor as Hyundai's new entry-level sedan. Going with the name Xcent is Hyundai's way of playing safe with customer perceptions. Rather than coming out with an all-new badge, the Korean company wants to cash in on the Accent connect. Unlike the Accent however, the Xcent is a sub-4 meter sedan, thereby enjoying the lowest excise duty slab of 8%. It has been used to price the Xcent competitively, with a lower starting price than chief competitors, the Maruti Dzire & Honda Amaze (and the erstwhile Accent too). Of course, there are larger entry-level sedans priced not so far away (Sail, Etios, Manza), yet the game is in the hands of the Dzire and Amaze. The Xcent wants a piece of that high-volume cake. While the Dzire has tremendous brand equity and Maruti's muscle behind it, weaker cars like the Sail, Etios etc. will take the hardest hit. They cannot match Hyundai's sheer quality, marketing muscle or dealer strength. In the tough market conditions of current time, weak products are the first to suffer.

Hyundai Xcent : Official Review-xcent-price-comparo.png

This is Hyundai's 7th car in the sub-10 lakh segment. Overlap between the Xcent and more premium i20 is inevitable in showrooms. Except for a 100 liter boot size deficit, the i20 offers a more powerful 4-cylinder diesel, bigger 1.4L petrol AT, wider cabin, more equipment, safety features and all-wheel disc brakes. The next-generation i20's launch is just around the corner too.

With the length capped at 3995 mm, the Xcent is a visibly small sedan. It's basically a Grand i10 with a boot, in a relationship similar to the Swift <-> Dzire and Brio <-> Amaze. Hyundai has performed a decent job of integrating the boot and the Xcent doesn't look quirky at all. Rear end styling is very neutral. The front is identical to that of the Grand i10, save for a thin chrome surround on the air dam. Keeping in mind the mass market aspirations of this car, the Fluidic theme has been toned down. It will please all and offend none. This is important as a C1 segment sedan deals with a more conservative customer than the Verna or Elantra, for instance. The Xcent gains 23 kilos in weight over the Grand i10 and is at par with the competition (Dzire = 960, Amaze = 950, Xcent = 958). The India-spec Grand i10 is longer than its international counterpart by 100 mm and has a wheelbase advantage of 40 mm. It's obvious that Hyundai had the Xcent in mind when they lengthened the Indian Grand.

Hyundai Xcent : Official Review-xcent-comparo-sheet.png

Overall quality, fit & finish are exemplary inside out. The shut lines are perfect and consistent all through, while the shiny paint job looks neat. The build is not European solid, but it is certainly not what I'd call tinny either. For instance, the doors shut in a premium manner. It's obvious that the Xcent is built to precise, high-quality standards, even if that "thud" is absent.

The feature list runs long and has a couple of segment-firsts. Among other items, the top SX (O) trim is equipped with dual airbags, ABS, keyless entry & go, reverse parking sensors, reversing camera, electrically folding mirrors, gearshift suggestion tool, rear air-con, cooled glove box and 1 GB of on-board memory for your MP3s. On the flip side, distance-to-empty & fuel efficiency info on the MID, adjustable front neck restraints (headrests) & a dead pedal are conspicuous by their absence. In a welcome move, ABS is available as an option even on the middle variant. For the convenience seekers, Xcent AT production should commence by the end of April.

Hyundai Xcent : Official Review-xcent-features.png

Fluidic styling toned down, as mass market appeal is important to this car:

Straightforward derrière. Doesn't look like an afterthought, although some might find it to be too simplistic. Electric boot release button is tucked away under the H logo:

Compared to the European i10, the Xcent & Grand i10 have a 40 mm longer wheelbase:

Thoroughly contemporary styling:

B-Pillar is blackened on the Xcent. Notice the minimal amount of fluidic crease lines:

Pulled-back headlamps. Unlike the Grand i10, these have been smoked out:

Chrome ringed Foglamps:

Hyundai-family face with chrome strip as a highlight. Large hexagonal grille gets a chrome surround on the Xcent:

Attention to detail. Notice the superb integration of the windshield washer. Clean look, unlike the protruding units of the Dzire. Even the funky EcoSport has them placed awkwardly on the bonnet:

175/60 R15 rubber on 8 spoke rims. Hyundai calls this finish the 'diamond cut'. These are available only with the SX (O) variant. Lesser trims get 14" alloys running on thin 165/65 R14 patch rubber:

Pull-type chrome door handles. SX variant gets keyless entry & go. No need to take the key out of your pocket or press any buttons on the remote. Simply walk up to the Xcent and hit the black request sensor to open the door:

Large ORVMs get integrated blinkers:

Engine badging only on the driver side fender:

Massive black molding at the bottom of the doors. Should help in preventing 'em parking lot scratches and dents:

Roof rails - seen on the Grand i10 - have been removed:

Xcent changes start from the B-Pillar onward. Door is slightly different from that of the Grand i10:

Sweet wraparound tail-lamps:

Thin chrome number plate garnish. Bumper reflectors are different from that of the Grand i10. Body-coloured parking sensors & blackened lower bumper section (both unlike the Grand i10):

Reversing camera tucked under the number plate garnish. That rectangular black section (to the right of the camera) houses the electric boot release button:

Radio antenna located at the rear. Good thing that a rear defogger is now standard on the middle variant too (Grand i10 has it only on the top trim level):

Tail-pipe is barely visible. Tow hook to its left:

No mudflaps! Not even the small units of its hatchback sibling:

Notice that small mud-flap ahead of the front tyre, to handle air flow (related read):

Inadequate underbody protection (a must-have for India). At the minimum, a plastic shield should have been provided. Consider the predicament that this i20 owner faced (link):

Back to back with the segment leader. Dzire's boot integration is very quirky:

Thanks to the excise duty structure, ours is a unique market with so many sub-4 meter sedans. It's all about the boot, honey:

Some parting shots at the Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad:

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th April 2014 at 22:31. Reason: Updating feature list
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Old 10th April 2014, 16:10   #3
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

Interiors - Front

If you've been inside the Grand i10, this is going to be familiar territory. What strikes you first is the sheer quality. Fit & finish are truly flawless with top grade parts to match. This is easily the segment best, the Dzire doesn't even come close. Not only is the part quality good, but also impressive is the way in which they've been screwed together. In fact, overall quality betters some of the million-rupee sedans from a full segment above. If there is cost cutting in here, it is just not visible.

The interiors wear a colour combination of black & beige. The colour scheme might be the same as the Grand i10, but the Xcent has its seats in all-beige (as opposed to the black-beige combo in the hatch). The lighter colour does bring in a nice contrast inside the cabin. The ambience is noticeably bright & airy when compared to the Grand i10. The design is straightforward and high on functionality. Like the exterior skin, the styling inside has universal appeal. The front seats have a subtle bucket effect, making you sit 'inside' them. Under-thigh & lateral support are satisfactory. On the other hand, the integrated neck restraints look out of place in such a feature-rich sedan. While they suited my height (5'8") perfectly well, others might miss the flexibility that an adjustable headrest brings. The front seat's fore & aft adjustment range is very long and thus, even 6 feet drivers will fit in without complaint. That, coupled with the driver's seat height adjustment, ensures a comfortable driving position. The ergonomics are spot on and driver controls are logically placed. All of the buttons are XL-sized making them easy to use. There's no doubt that Hyundai is right up there with Toyota & Honda in the area of user-friendliness. The single complaint I have is of the seat height adjustment lever being too close to the doorpad. Those with broad arms will need to open the door to crank the seat height up.

Headroom is generous and though this is a compact car, cabin width is sufficient enough to prevent front seat occupants from elbowing each other. The seat cushioning is neither too soft nor too firm, it's just right. The upholstery feels durable, although the beige seats would turn out to be dirt magnets in the long run. All-round driver visibility is sufficient, including rearward vision when parking. The reversing camera display located on the rear view mirror makes it easy to park in tight spots. Also, the 4 rear parking sensors provide audible feedback and work just as intended. Note : Short drivers buying the base variant (sans seat height adjustment) should first check if the dashboard is too high for them, as the seat is placed on the lower side.

The perfectly sized steering wheel exudes premiumness and is a joy to use. It has integrated controls for the audio, phone & MID. Though the large buttons are easy to use, I feel they bring a load of clutter to the steering. The horn pad isn't India-friendly and doesn't expand out as much. As a result, you have to stretch your thumb to honk. The center console mounted gear lever falls right into your hand and is light to use. This positioning helps free up space around the handbrake area. The Xcent doesn't have a dead pedal (note: Even the cheap Santro is equipped with one), yet there is room to rest your left foot over the expressway runs. Unlike in the Dzire, the center console didn't mess with my left leg when using the clutch. I wish Hyundai had provided a driver armrest; it would've rounded off the experience. The simple instrument console is easy to read, as is the audio display even under direct sunlight. You can toggle through the MID options via the steering mounted button marked 'Trip'. While the Xcent's MID has dual trip-meters and information on average speed & 'engine running time', instantaneous / average fuel efficiency data will be sorely missed by owners. The immensely helpful 'distance to empty' count is nowhere to be seen either.

The OEM audio system plays music from a variety of sources; bluetooth phone streaming, USB, AUX and CD. Additionally, there is 1 GB (863 MB usable) of onboard storage which you can use to store MP3s that you can copy off a flash drive. The head-unit supports folder browsing via dedicated buttons for the same. The stereo has decent clarity by OEM standards. The front speakers are good, albeit I found the rear to be on the weaker side (would've been better if they were mounted on the parcel tray). You can pair up to 5 phones via bluetooth. Not only is the audio volume speed sensitive, you can also set its aggression level. The head-unit's high placement means you don't have to look too low while driving. If you find the display to be a distraction at night, simply hit the DISP button to turn the screen off. I appreciate the attention to detail whereby, if you change the volume or radio station, the display will come on for only a moment, show you the changes and switch off again.

The glovebox is quite accommodating by segment standards. It runs deep and has a cooling function that you can use for cola cans over long road trips. The door pockets are wide and spacious. Each of the 4 doors is equipped with a 1-liter bottle holder too. The cubicle below the USB / AUX connectors has a lid; it isn't open like in the Grand i10. There are 2 cupholders (1 large, 1 medium) and a rectangular storage spot around the handbrake. Lastly, the passenger seat gets a single useful seatback pocket (LHS).

Extremely high quality steering wheel with contours for your thumbs. Wouldn't be out of place in cars 2 segments above. Big audio / phone / MID buttons are practical, although I do think they bring clutter. You need to stretch your thumb to honk:

The several steering-mounted controls. Large buttons aid usability. Phone at the bottom left, MID options on the bottom right:

Simple instrument cluster is easy to read. Good to see that the analog temperature gauge is back. Related Thread:

MID has two trip meters, average speed data and engine running time. Average & real-time fuel efficiency displays are conspicuous by their absence. Also missing is the very useful distance-to-empty counter:

Top variant's smart key can remain in your pocket. Keyless entry & go means you don't have to remove it to open the car or start the engine. Gets a button to open the boot as well:

Press the clutch pedal and hit the engine start / stop button to fire up the motor. Press it without the clutch to enter audio / 'ignition on' modes:

Well-contoured front seats offer good support. Integrated neck restraints look out of place in an otherwise premium car. Hyundai should have given the adjustable type:

Driver's seat height adjustment has a reasonable range:

Seatbelts aren't adjustable for height:

Sound quality is decent by OEM standards. Front speakers are good, albeit the rear are weak:

In what is a segment first, the Xcent is equipped with 1 GB (863 MB usable) onboard storage. You can use this to copy songs from a flash drive:

USB, AUX & 12v power socket have an ideal location. You can park your smartphone / MP3 player right there. Unlike the Grand i10, this cubicle is covered; the change of USB + Aux-in points is to accommodate the lid mechanism:

Automatic climate control available on the SX variant:

The front door pad. Door pocket is wide enough for you to pick a coin from its base:

Driver-side window gets 'Auto Down' functionality. The topmost button electrically folds in / out the ORVMs. Additionally, the mirrors fold in / out automatically when you lock / unlock the Xcent:

All 4 doors get 1 liter bottle holders:

Wide ORVMs offer a good field of view:

Wide electrochromic rear view mirror keeps you updated of all the action behind. Has an integrated reverse camera display. Lower button turns the electrochromic functionality on / off:

No dead pedal, although there is room to rest your left foot:

Fuse box & OBD port are located right above the driver footwell. Master 'On / Off' switch is unique, haven't seen it in any other car. In 'off' position, it will automatically cut off current leakage from the battery after 20 minutes. Can be useful over the times you want to park the Xcent for a longer duration:

Control stalks feel precise & durable:

4 circular air-vents at the front. It's not possible to shut them off completely. They let some amount of air through anyway:

Fairly accommodating glovebox...

...with cooling functionality. For the times you want to keep water / coke cans cool over long highway runs:

Two cup / bottle holders (one small, the other large) around the handbrake area. There's a rectangular storage cubicle as well:

With the Eon, Hyundai insisted that this recess (on the dashboard) has been specifically provided for the small statues and photographs Indians love to adorn their dashboards with. It could also be used for a bottle of car fragrance:

Driver sun-visor gets a band to hold toll tickets, while the passenger gets a vanity mirror:

Rearward view for the driver:

The front as well as rear of the cabin get interior lamps:

Last edited by Aditya : 30th November 2015 at 13:16. Reason: Switching stalk image.
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Old 10th April 2014, 16:12   #4
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

Interiors - Rear

The Xcent isn't a tall sedan and hence, you have to 'sit down' on the seats. @ Elderly, please make note.

Both, the Grand i10 & Xcent have the same wheelbase length of 2,425 mm and Hyundai engineers have played their part by maximising interior space in what is a compact sedan. Two tall occupants can be seated front & back. Rear legroom is adequate and owners will have no complaint on this front (it's no Tata Manza though). I am 5'8'' and was comfortable sitting behind my own driving position, with almost an inch of clearance between my knee & the front seat. Headroom is sufficient too. The seat's under-thigh support is above average, while the backrest runs long enough to support taller passengers. Best part is, the seatback is at a very relaxed, comfortable angle (Hyundai says slightly more reclined than the Grand i10). As someone who prefers a reclined seating style, I felt right at home. Unlike the front units, the rear neck restraints / headrests are adjustable & are spot on with their positioning. This is a definite advantage from the point of convenience as well as safety. You'll find sufficient foot room (especially vertically) under the front seats to rest those XL-size shoes. The door armrests belong to the "thin" parts bin; occupants with broad forearms won't get full support.

The India-spec Xcent & Grand i10 wear larger rear windows. The window sill however is higher than I'd prefer. It does limit the glass area, and the view outside for shorter occupants. Not claustrophobic, but it restricts the amount of light coming in. Not many compact sedans can seat 3 well-fed adults on the rear bench and the Xcent is no different. 3 slim passengers might sit side by side, although it'll be too much of a squeeze for those with larger proportions. The seat's center area (which serves as a backrest to the 5th passenger) gets enhanced padding, and also drops down to serve as a center armrest with integrated cup-holders. The floor hump is small enough, thereby allowing the 5th occupant to place his feet on it without issue. Still, if you regularly need to carry 3 on the backseat, I suggest a visit to the Toyota (Etios), Chevrolet (Sail) and Tata (Manza) showrooms instead.

The rear air-conditioner helps in maintaining a cooler temperature at the back. This is all the more important with the recent ban on sunfilm. The rear a/c allows you to individually adjust the airflow direction on either side, and has a common setting for height. When the backseat is empty, you can shut these blower vents off. The Xcent's air-conditioner didn't feel as effective as that of the Grand i10. It did a poor job on the hot test-drive day in Hyderabad. As no Grand i10 owners have complained about air-con effectiveness in our ownership reports, we're hoping this is down to a problem with our demo car.

The Xcent has a 407 liter boot. That's a 7 liter gain over the Honda Amaze, and 91 liters over the Maruti Dzire. The rear seats don't fold down though, thereby limiting cargo flexibility. The boot is linked to the car's central locking system and the Xcent (surprisingly!) doesn't have auto-locking (speed sensing) doors. Remember to centrally lock the car before driving away with a laptop in the trunk!

The doors open wide enough:

Rear seat offers adequate back & under-thigh support, along with decent legroom. Notice how relaxed the backrest angle is:

Another view of the rear seat:

Me (height 5'8") on the rear bench, behind my own driving position:

The minimum & maximum legroom available:

Seat bolstering to keep you in place. Upholstery feels durable and should last the distance:

Xcent gets a rear seat armrest with 2 cup-holders; the Grand i10 didn't:

The rear air-con. Individual air flow direction control for 2 passengers. Yes, the air vents can be closed, when required. Right below is a 12v power socket for the gadgets of rear bench occupants:

Height-adjustable neck restraints are spot on in providing comfort:

The 5th passenger, however, gets a fixed neck restraint:

Ample foot room. Vertical space under the front seat is generous:

Small floor hump. Doesn't interfere with the 5th occupant's feet too much:

One seatback pocket for storage (behind the front passenger's seat):

Both rear doors get wide pockets with 1 liter bottle holders:

The front seat's integrated neck restraints aren't too tall. Advantage = Better frontal visibility for rear passengers:

Grab handle isn't spring-loaded. Rather, it's the boring fixed type. Rear grab handles are equipped with a coat / bag hook. I find these to be immensely practical when driving home with takeaway food in a plastic bag:

A contoured rear parcel tray:

Yes, rear window goes down completely:

Boot lid has no cladding on the underside. Looks cheap! Unnecessary cost cutting on a rather well-kitted car:

407 liters of boot space. Significantly bigger than that of the Dzire. Lack of a folding rear seat reduces cargo capability:

Relative size, with 1 large laptop bag & 1 medium-sized travel bag placed inside:

The boot lamp:

Nope, the spare isn't an alloy wheel:

Jack is neatly held in place:

Warning triangle is in the blue pouch. Tools are carefully placed in a high-quality bag made of insulating material. Should keep them from rattling. It's these little things that add to the 'feel good' factor:

Foam / padding under the boot carpet:

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th April 2014 at 22:34.
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Old 10th April 2014, 16:13   #5
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

The 1.1L Diesel

2nd generation 1120 cc 3-cylinder common rail diesel. 71 BHP (@ 4,000 rpm) and 180 Nm of torque (@ 1,750 - 2,500 rpm):

Compact motor is an easy fit inside the tidy & organised engine bay:

A closer look:

Air-intake might suck in hot air from the side of the engine bay itself! The intake plumbing of some cars starts right above the radiator grill, thereby taking in cooler + denser air. Perhaps, that arrangement would have been preferred?

The relatively larger ECU (compared to the petrol) is located behind the battery:

Neat bonnet cladding for the diesel:

Reverse is located up, to the extreme left:

You must pull the safety lever upward, before engaging reverse gear:

MID makes suggestions on gear upshifts & downshifts, both. Newbie drivers will appreciate:

• Hyundai's 1,120 cc 3-cylinder 12 valve diesel has a cast-iron block with an aluminium head.
• It's the 2nd generation 1.1L diesel. 71 BHP (@ 4,000 rpm) and 180 Nm of torque (@ 1,750 - 2,500 rpm). That's 1 BHP & 20 Nm more torque than the Grand i10.
• Utilizes hydraulic engine mounts.
• Has a balancer shaft to iron out the imbalance / vibrations inherent to a 3-cylinder motor.
• The turbine housing is integrated with the exhaust manifold. Advantage? Lower weight and lesser thermal loss.
• Operates at 1800 bar pressure and is Euro 5 ready.
• The diesel's ARAI rating is 24.4 kpl. That's a kpl more than the Maruti Dzire's 23.4 rating and 0.4 kpl more than the Grand i10. We'd put the difference to the Grand i10 down to varying test conditions.

Relative to the Dzire, the Xcent diesel loses 1 cylinder, 3 BHP of power and 10 Nm of torque. The Amaze - with its 1.5L engine & 99 horses - is in a different league altogether.

Start the Xcent diesel and the cabin shakes, as the engine moves about on its mounts. Once the motor is running, refinement at idle is at acceptable levels. There is a small amount of vibration felt, yet it's well under control. This is one of the few giveaways that there is a 3-cylinder under the hood. In all other areas, the mass market won't even know about the missing cylinder.

A light touch on the accelerator is all you need to get moving. The U2 diesel's torque curve is flat as a result of which, power delivery is straight & linear. Hyundai stressed on the jerk-free nature of this engine and I have to agree. Turbo-lag is minimal and you really won't be downshifting in traffic as much as its 1.3L MJD competition. I could let the car fall to crawling speeds in 2nd gear, and then pull off effortlessly. At one point, I slowed down and executed a U turn without downshifting to 1st! This engine & turbocharger have been tuned for city driveability and it shows. Combine the lag-free nature of the diesel with the light controls (steering, gearbox, clutch) and what you end up with is an effortless urban commuter. When it comes to city driveability, the Xcent & Amaze diesels are hard to beat.

The Xcent gains 1 BHP & 20 Nm of torque over the Grand i10, albeit the difference isn't noticeable. You can barely tell the bump in power figures on the move. Also, along with the torque increase, the minimum rpm it is produced at has gone up by 250 (1,750 compared to 1,500 for the Grand i10).

The 2,000 rpm punch that you get in some other diesel sedans is missing. Power delivery remains linear through most of the revv range. In terms of outright performance, the Xcent is strictly average. Out on the open road, a sedate driving style is mandatory. This isn't a revv-happy diesel. While the motor has a max rpm level of 5,000, it's pointless revving beyond 3,500 - 3,700 rpm. It starts losing breath and progress tapers off sharply thereafter. To keep up with fast traffic, you have to run the engine on the boil. If you're cruising at 120 kph and slow down, you have to make the li'l 1.1 motor work hard to get back to speed. There isn’t a doubt that you'll frequently encounter situations on the highway where the motor runs out of breath. Sometimes, you downshift to 3rd to overtake (like in other cars), but you simply hit a wall! You have no option other than to wait it out. Overtaking fast vehicles does require planning in the diesel Xcent, especially on two lane highways. It is more comfortable cruising in a relaxed manner on the expressway. 100 kph is seen at ~2,400 rpm in 5th gear, while 80 kph has the needle hovering just under 2,000 rpm.

The diesel's clutch is light (think, petrol light). The gearbox is smooth to use and has well-defined gates. For a 3 cylinder car, refinement on the inside is excellent. The common man won't even realise there is a missing cylinder under the hood (this engine is in complete contrast to the unrefined, turbo-lag laden 3 cylinder diesel of the Polo). When driving about in the city, engine sound is mild & unobtrusive. At cruising speeds of 100 kph, there is no engine sound at all. Wind noise is also well controlled, the only thing you hear is the rolling of the tyres. Near the redline though, the U2 diesel feels strained & coarse, and is nowhere as likable as the Dzire 1.3L. The steering is vibration-free, while the same on the pedals is at minimal levels. The engine isn't too noisy on the outside either. Except for the rocking motion when starting the engine, there aren't any rough edges left out by Hyundai.

The 1.2L Petrol

1.2L 4-cylinder petrol with variable valve timing on the intake / exhaust. 82 BHP (@ 6,000 rpm) and 114 Nm max torque (@ 4,000 rpm):

A closer look (K stands for Kappa):

The relatively smaller ECU (compared to the diesel) is located behind the battery:

No bonnet cladding for the petrol. Doesn't need it either:

Petrol's transmission follows a conventional layout:

The DOHC 1.2L 4-cylinder petrol is a gem of an engine. Compared to the old i10 on which this 1.2 made its debut, power is marginally bumped up to 82 BHP (@ 6,000 rpm) and 114 Nm max torque (@ 4,000 rpm). Unlike the diesel, the petrol starts seamlessly. Torque delivery at low rpms, and within city driving conditions, is satisfactory by petrol standards. The refinement levels are outstanding and power comes in smooth. I didn't observe a single flat-spot in the entire rpm range. Prod the engine further and it's revv-happy nature becomes immediately evident. The 1.2L petrol feels eager on the open road and climbs clean to its 6,600 revv limit. Where the 1.1L diesel requires you to adopt a sedate driving style, the petrol is energetic and a lot more fun on the highway. There is plenty of mid-range punch. Unlike the diesel, overtaking fast traffic only requires a downshift. Expressway performance is a full level above the diesel Xcent. The ARAI rating of the Xcent petrol is 19.1 kpl, that's 0.2 kpl more than the Grand i10's 18.9 rating. It is hard to say whether the addition of a boot has made the car more aerodynamic, or if it just depends on the testing conditions.

The 1.2L petrol's refinement levels are excellent. There is absolutely no noise or vibration at idle. The engine feels smooth when high-revving, though it can get fairly vocal over 5,000 rpm. Enthusiasts will enjoy the engine note. Just like the diesel, the petrol engine is mated to a light clutch & a smooth gearbox.

The Xcent's suspension hardware consists of an independent MacPherson strut layout at the front, and a coupled torsion beam axle at the rear. All 4 dampers (shock absorbers) are gas charged. The focus of Hyundai's engineers was on ride comfort, and owners will be pleased to note that the ol' Hyundai bumpiness is history. The Xcent has an extremely compliant ride within the city. Bumps are soaked in with a muted thud. After spending some time with the car, I even stopped slowing down for irregularities on the highway. The suspension absorbs small - medium potholes really well. The high speed ride is sufficiently planted. I must add that the diesel appeared to have a more pliant ride than the petrol. Not sure whether it's due to the added weight up front.

The Xcent's comfort-oriented suspension was never going to make it a corner carver. The handling can best be termed as safe & predictable. Suffice to say, it is in line with the expectations of a compact sedan. Also, there are no hidden devils or nasty surprises. The car holds its own in emergency manouveurs, but you do feel the body roll at times like these, and during hard cornering. The Fiesta Classic is significantly more fun to drive on a fast ghat section. I find the 175/60 R15 tyres to be just adequate, although the lower variant's 165/65 R14 rubber is too skinny, more so for intercity runs. An upgrade to 175 / 185 mm tyres is strongly recommended for the safety & enhanced grip levels. The Xcent's steering is effortless to use when parking, and at city speeds. You can easily steer the car with one hand! This is what the mass market (especially women) will appreciate. The turning radius is compact and makes it a breeze to drive in the city. The steering feels reasonably direct, but don't get me wrong, petrol-heads should look elsewhere. It's not communicative and there is no feedback coming through. For a Hyundai, the EPS weighs up sufficiently well at 100+ kph. Straight line stability is decent. It's no tank, yet there is no nervousness either. Good thing is, the steering isn't twitchy or overtly sensitive at speed. Nevertheless, as with most electric power steerings, you need to maintain a firm hand on the highway.

The Xcent's ground clearance of 165 mm is identical to that of the Grand i10 & Amaze. The Dzire has a higher 170 mm rating. Thanks to BHPian RSR for pointing this out: The SX (O) might be riding higher than the regular variants by ~10 mm. Reason? The unusually high difference in its tyre diameter (175/60 R15) compared to the lower variants (165/65 R14).

We've never had an issue with the brakes of Hyundai cars and the Xcent is no different. The brakes work as expected in terms of pedal feel & capability. Although some might find the bite to be a bit too sharp, it's easy to get a hang of. Replicating an emergency braking manouveur from 80 kph, the Xcent stopped in a straight line without drama.

On the move:

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th April 2014 at 22:36.
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Old 10th April 2014, 16:15   #6
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

Other Points:

• Hyundai offers a 5 year extended warranty on its other cars, the same will be available for the Xcent too. Highly recommended (Related Link).

• 43 liter fuel tank capacity.

• The single OEM horn is too weak & timid. I suggest an upgrade to a dual-tone horn at the dealer.

• Fitting an after-market music system will be difficult, because of the way that the OEM ICE has been integrated with the dashboard. If you are keen on improving the sound quality, it's probably best to swap in better speakers and add an amplifier.

• The Xcent might be a compact car, but there is nothing economy about it. After spending 2 days with the car, it just left behind a 'feel-good' factor. This isn't the case with an Etios, for example. Hyundai could've easily knocked off 20 - 30k in costs by compromising on interior quality. They didn't; it's these decisions that build a brand.

• Unlike Maruti which has to pay a hefty royalty fee to Fiat for using the 1.3L MJD diesel, Hyundai's in-house engine development means no such add-on costs. That is probably one of the factors behind the competent pricing strategy.

• Hyundai's new engine plant is completely flexible. It can produce petrol & diesel motors in any ratio, based on market demand.

• Considering the potential volumes of this car, after-market modifiers will definitely line up power boxes for the diesel. Might be worth splurging on a reputable brand if you hit the highway often.

• The indicator stalk has a lane change function. Translated, a light tap will make the indicator blink thrice.

• Both, the driver and front passenger doors, are linked to the central locking system. Locking / unlocking either of them applies to the entire car.

• The reset button on the steering can be used to reset not only the dual trip meters, but also the average speed & engine running time calculators.

• Pressing the engine start / stop button without the clutch activates audio & ignition modes. The button glows with an orange light in audio mode and a blue light in ignition mode.

• All variants - except the base - are equipped with electrically adjustable & foldable mirrors.

• The last 3 cylinder Hyundai diesel was the Accent 1.5L CRDi. That was also the first common-rail diesel for the masses. The only other common-rail option at the time was the Mercedes E220 CDI.

• If Hyundai could figure out how to mate an Automatic Transmission to the diesel Xcent, it would create an all new segment! There were some giveaways to the existence of a Grand i10 diesel AT, but the car hasn't yet been confirmed by Hyundai.

Disclaimer : Hyundai invited Team-BHP for the Xcent test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 10th April 2014 at 16:51.
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Old 10th April 2014, 16:16   #7
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

The Smaller yet Significant Things:

A look on the inside, from the driver's door:

Fixed front neck restraints are a cost-cutting measure. They lack the usability of the height adjustable variety:

Subtle felt lining on the LHS of the driver's seat to hide the seat rails from view:

Lovely attention to detail, the seat adjustment lever takes the shape of the seat on the edge! Also seen in this picture is the hook that keeps the floor mat in place:

Lever to adjust steering height. Not the cheap, thin stick you'll find in some other cars:

Another example of the sheer attention to detail. In other cars, the carpeted base of the cup-holders can easily be removed with your fingers. Not so in the Xcent; it's fitted perfectly:

Inside door handles have a silver finish, not chrome:

Bluetooth phone mic placed right above the driver:

Press the DISP button to turn off the screen (in case it's a distraction at night):

Audio display is crystal clear to read under the bright afternoon sun. No glare:

VIN stamped under the driver's seat:

The climate control's solar sensor placed on the dashboard:

Front passenger door gets a request sensor (for the keyless entry) too:

Wraparound tail-lamps have side reflectors for visibility & safety:

No spoiler. Just a few crease lines for style:

Wheel wells don't have full cladding. Still, NVH levels are well controlled:

Boot open? There's a warning sign for that (along with another one for the doors):

The 1st-gen i10 scored 4 stars in the European NCAP (link). Will the 2nd-generation i10 (on which the Xcent is based) better that score?

Diesel stamped all of 3 times for unsuspecting petrol pump attendants. Out of habit, they reach out for the 'petrol' pipe upon seeing an i10 face:

This black attachment (on the window frame) looks like a weather beading for the glass. Purpose could be to avoid air leak, or reduce buffeting when the window is open:

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th April 2014 at 22:37.
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Old 10th April 2014, 16:18   #8
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

Chief Competitors of the Hyundai Xcent

Maruti Dzire

What you’ll like:
• Priced lower than the outgoing Dzire. Noticeably better in most areas (quality, comfort, interiors etc.)
• Competent engine range. Very refined motors
• Absorbent ride quality, even over rough roads. Neutral road manners too
• Terrific fuel efficiency, especially from the diesel
• Effortless to drive in the city; light steering, clutch and gearshift. Automatic transmission available
• Maruti’s excellent after-sales service & wide dealer network

What you won’t:
• Oddball boot design. Side profile looks particularly awkward
• Small 316L boot & no folding rear seat either. Limited practicality
• Mediocre brakes (LXi / LDi & VXi / VDi), just like the mechanically-identical Swift
• Limited rear seat space is incomparable to the Manza, Etios, Verito et al
• Hefty 1.2 lakh premium for the Automatic transmission variant

Honda Amaze

What you'll like:
• An all-rounded compact sedan that does most things well
• Packaging brilliance. Roomier backseat than the Dzire, and a larger 400 Liter boot
• 1.5L i-DTEC engine offers segment-best power & performance. Excellent driveability too
• Diesel's 25.8 kpl ARAI fuel economy rating
• Light controls, slick gearshift and easy maneuverability for in-city commuting. AT gearbox available
• Honda's reliability & fuss-free ownership experience

What you won't:
• Diesel's NVH is a full level poorer than the refined Maruti Dzire
• Brio's unconventional dashboard is too basic for this class of car
• Not as dynamically accomplished as the Ford Fiesta Classic, Toyota Etios and others
• Diesel isn't as high-rpm friendly as the 1.3L MJD
• Many practical features missing (climate control, seat-belt height adjustment, adjustable neck restraints, auto-locking doors, full MID, folding rear seat etc.)

Ford Classic

What you'll like:
• Solid build quality
• Competent range of engines
• Superb ride and handling package
• Driver-oriented nature
• 1.6L petrol is superbly priced

What you won't:
• Inconsistent after-sales service quality
• Cramped interiors. Smallest amongst the sedans
• Niggles & issues, as reported by owners
• Fuel-efficiency of the 1.6 petrol
• Lack of power from the 1.4 diesel

Tata Manza

What you'll like:
• Extremely neutral family sedan. Well rounded 6 - 7 lakh rupee car
• Fuel-efficient 1.3 diesel engine. Nice gearbox too
• Unreal back seat comfort. Interior space comparable to two segments higher
• Excellent ride quality. Acceptable handling
• Build quality, fit and finish are way improved. No longer a major turnoff
• Respectable level of equipment and safety kit

What you won't:
• Niggles & problems as reported by Manza owners
• Interior fit & finish still have room for improvement. Below average in some areas
• Lack of outright performance from either engine
• Inconsistent after-sales network

Toyota Etios

What you'll like:
• A practical family sedan. Realistic pricing too
• Spacious interiors can easily carry 5 adults
• Stunning in-city driveability (petrol & diesel, both). Torquey engine & nice gearshift
• Well-tuned suspension. Safe handling and flat ride
• Cavernous 595L boot swallows holiday luggage
• Toyota’s excellent after-sales service

What you won't:
• Dated, plain-vanilla styling. Lacks contemporariness
• Missing equipment (climate control, height adjustable seat, electric ORVMs etc.)
• Economy-grade interior quality & unconventional dashboard
• Cost-cutting glaringly evident in many areas
• Buzzy engine at high rpm. Cabin NVH is poor

Chevrolet Sail

What you’ll like:
• A well-rounded family sedan
• Superbly tuned 1.3L diesel powerplant. Short-throw gearbox is a pleasure to use
• Spacious interiors
• Excellent ride quality mated to neutral road manners
• Ideal for city driving : High seating position with a light steering, clutch and gearshift

What you won’t:
• Dated & unappealing styling
• Interior quality & dull design fade in comparison to the more contemporary competition
• Missing feature list (No climate control, steering-mounted audio controls etc.)
• Sensitive steering at high speed. Needs a steady hand on the expressway
• Some quirky interior bits : Push / pull type door locks, centrally-placed window switches etc.

Mahindra Verito

What you'll like:
• Strong and robust build. Loves to be abused
• Competent diesel engine. No turbo-lag. Very fuel-efficient
• Excellent ride quality
• Spacious interiors
• High level of practicality

What you won't:
• Feels outdated. Getting long in the tooth now
• Inflated price tag (some variants)
• Cheap & basic feeling inside out
• Lacks appeal & image
• Lacks many essential fittings

Tata Indigo CS

What you'll like:
• Sheer value for money pricing
• Spacious interiors and comfortable seats
• Fuel-efficient diesel
• Excellent ride quality
• 380L boot. Respectable for a sub-4 meter sedan

What you won't:
• Feels outdated. Getting long in the tooth now
• Lack of refinement
• Shoddy fit and finish levels
• Inconsistent after-sales service
• Constant niggling issues & problems

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th April 2014 at 22:38.
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Old 10th April 2014, 17:01   #9
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing!

Excellent review, superb attention to detail, rating thread a well-deserved 5 stars.
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Old 10th April 2014, 17:08   #10
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

Wow! Brilliant review! As the first person to book this car on the forum (I think), let me be the first to appreciate this effort.

I have booked the car immediatly after launch and was eagerly waiting for the official review to come out - and it was well worth the wait. Reading in detail to make sure I made the right choice in going for this car (For parents).

My first impressions on the car documented here-

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 10th April 2014 at 17:22.
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Old 10th April 2014, 17:52   #11
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

Super, super review Parrys, if there were more than 5 star available as a rating I'd hit it up without hesitation.

A friend of mine has booked the Grand i10 and I am sorely tempted to give him a call and ask him to switch over to the Xcent. I'm not the biggest fan of Hyundai, but I admire their dedication to quality, service and the Indian market. I can't think of anyone else that has cracked the market wide open from 5-20 lakhs as they have, not even Maruti or Toyota. In fact, seeing how the Xcent gets features cars some 2 segments above don't have (keyless entry, rear display camera) makes me marvel at how far Hyundai has come from their early days in India. Theirs is a remarkable story.

The Xcent will be a blockbuster, no question about it. Hyundai has done it again, so kudos to the Korean chaebol.
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Old 10th April 2014, 17:55   #12
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

Disappointing to hear that ABS and airbags are offered as an option even in top-spec variant. I think Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki must lead a revolution for safety in India as they are the largest manufacturers in India.
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Old 10th April 2014, 18:06   #13
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

Originally Posted by parrys View Post
The Xcent might be a compact car, but there is nothing economy about it. After spending 2 days with the car, it just left behind a 'feel-good' factor. This isn't the case with an Etios, for example. Hyundai could've easily knocked off 20 - 30k in costs by compromising on interior quality. They didn't; it's these decisions that build a brand.
Originally Posted by parrys View Post
The 1st-gen i10 scored 4 stars in the European NCAP (link). Will the 2nd-generation i10 (on which the Xcent is based) better that score?
Dear Hyundai, I hope you haven't kept double standards this time as you did with the i10.
India-specific i10 unsafe

Would recommend buyers to wait for crash testing in India before they buy unknown/new/India-specific cars. Especially from a company known to have done this before.

Other than that, the car looks great, infact this would be the best looking CS. Great review, parrys!
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Old 10th April 2014, 18:17   #14
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

I wonder why the hyundai engineers didn't put the 90 bhp 1.4 l diesel from i20? Is it difficult to fit in the engine bay? It would have made diesel xcent more competitive.
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Old 10th April 2014, 18:23   #15
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent : Official Review

Wow! Good review. Your attention to detail is awesome.
I am a grandi10 diesel owner. I have published my ownership review for grand i10 diesel. Please find the review at following link.

Few things which I observed in sedan were: -
  • Inadequate underbody protection (a must-have for India). At the minimum, a plastic shield should have been provided. I expected protection in sedan version, but Hyundai has ignored it again.
  • Rear defogger is now standard on the middle variant. Very happy for that and would be very happy if defogger is standard from base variant. In grandi10 its available only in top variant.
  • Superbly integrated boot. Looks neat. Dzire had a quirky design. Hyundai integrated boot neatly and looks more stylish as well.
  • Hot colors. My favorite blue. Missed in grand i10. Both red and blue are looking awesome.
  • Hyundai should have given the adjustable type front seat neck restraints.
  • Automatic climate control available. Good move.
  • Wide electrochromic rear view mirror.
  • The front as well as rear of the cabin get interior lamps, which is not there in grand i10.
  • Xcent gets a rear seat armrest with 2 cup-holders.
Overall sedan version looks VFM with other competitors.
Kudos to Hyundai for bringing sub 4 meter sedan to Indian market. The important thing to watch in coming days is how the sales will go for premium i20 and Xcent.
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