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Old 16th June 2014, 00:24   #1
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Default Initial ownership report - Saying it with an Xcent, SX(O), 1.2L (P)

Hi everyone! Well, I couldn't wait to jump at the chance to compile one of TBHP's first ever Hyundai Xcent initial ownership report, so here it is! Please also note that this is my first ever ownership review on here, so please feel free to comment and make suggestions on this post.

The background
Hyundai has done a lot of things right with their hatches for India over the years, and the success of the i10 and i20 in this country prove this point. Then recently came the Grand i10, a car that I could not help but notice as a new, potential best-seller to hit our roads. Indeed, the Grand i10 improved on so many aspects over its predecessor, the i10. To name a few - it did away with the quirky, 'tall-boy' design of the i10; it got rid of the awkward "Eon"-style derriere and went instead with swept-forward tail lamps; it improved upon its interiors and had features that rival most B- to C-class hatches and sedans.

As a result, the new Grand i10 and now its sibling, the XCent, is given a lower, wider (sportier?) stance with good, clean looks on the inside and outside.

Initial ownership report - Saying it with an Xcent, SX(O), 1.2L (P)-3.jpg
Cross profile of my Xcent SX(O)

And what could possibly have made this new entrant that much better? That's right - the addition of a boot! Enter the Hyundai XCent, a car that I feel is poised to take the A-B class segment by storm and may even cause disruptions to the C-segment party in India. The car offers excellent VFM in both petrol and diesel variants and lives up to the "Accent" moniker.

Initial ownership report - Saying it with an Xcent, SX(O), 1.2L (P)-2.jpg
Rear-cross profile, one of my favourite ways of looking at this car

The Decision to Buy a New Car
After owning (and loving) my previous car - a Ford Ikon 1.6 Nxt 2003 model - I figured it was high-time for a change. In fact, one of the reasons behind me and the family moving ahead with a new car purchase was the ridiculous cost of maintenance on the Ikon (thanks to Ford's high costs of spares and service) and the fact that the car developed an incessant oil+PS fluid leak.

So I wanted to go in for a compact sedan, similar to my Ikon, that ranked low on spares and service costs. This, in India, almost always means either Maruti or Hyundai.

Oh, and I wanted something that would give me more than 9-10 kmpl

Test Drives and Options Considered
At Hyundai, I test-drove the Xcent Petrol, i20 Diesel and Grand i10 Diesel. The Xcent was clearly calling out to me and in fact was the first car I test-drove. The i20 Diesel is a very good car in terms of interior comfort, engine refinement and pickup. However, I did not want to go for a diesel and I believe the i20 (esp. diesel variants) is overpriced. The i20 Petrol's engine is too weak IMO. The Grand i10 Diesel, while some may say has a very refined engine, I did not find to be very smooth at all during the test drive.

I did test-drive the Swift and Dzire at Maruti-Suzuki as well. While I loved the driveability and "fun-factor" of the Swift, both cars scored a bit low on practicality (The Swift's features are getting outdated and the Dzire barely has a boot to speak of for a compact sedan). These being said, I do like the stylish looks of the Swift and its upgradeability in any and all aspects of aesthetics and performance with easily available parts and labour. The Dzire is certainly very comfortable inside due to its light-coloured interiors and plush seats.

Experience at the Dealership
I felt the Xcent Petrol was a winner for me in terms of overall price, maintenance/spares, looks, practicality and features. Features-wise, I opted for the SX(O) variant which is the fully-loaded version with ABS and 15" alloys. I also went in for the additional "bumper-to-bumper" insurance coverage from Hyundai. Total on-road price of the car: INR 7.98L

Although I initially planned to exchange my Ikon off at Lakshmi Hyundai, in the end my family and I did not opt for it. My parents wanted to keep it as a spare family car and the exchange amount we were getting was only around 70k. Although this happens to be the current market rate for a 10+ year old Ikon, I couldn't stand to part with it for that much.

Since it is a new launch, no discounts or accessories were offered by the dealership on the Xcent. My dealership is Lakshmi Hyundai in North Bangalore, who impressed me with a quick turnaround time of almost exactly 15 days from booking to delivery. Lakshmi Hyundai across Bangalore seems to be quite good with delivery lead times for new Xcents.

Initial ownership report - Saying it with an Xcent, SX(O), 1.2L (P)-1.jpg
Side view of the car and alloys

KMs covered at time of writing this report: ~400 kms (updated at ~1900 kms); daily usage ~ 18-20 kms

A Note on the Official Review Thread
As I go through my point-wise pros and cons of the car, note that I have not really spent too much time talking about the good points of the Xcent. This is certainly not because they don't deserve lengthy mention! It is because the good points of the car have already been detailed by Parrys in his excellent and thorough XCent Official Review:


I felt it was more necessary to talk about the things that could have been improved upon, or what I felt neutral on.

So, without further ado...

Engine and Driveability

A silky smooth and quiet engine that is rev-happy and able to lurch the vehicle forward quickly if needed. It's no 1.6, but I was pleasantly surprised at the pickup of the vehicle across the lower gears. She can seriously move if called upon to do so. The engine really comes into its own in the 4-6k RPM range, although the acceleration below and up to 2k feels a bit laggy, esp. in 2nd and 3rd gears.

City mileage: 12.5 - 13 kmpl is what I have gotten out of (always) Shell normal octane petrol in the city without any expressway runs. Mileage creeps up a little bit to 14-14.5 kmpl in the city with a couple of expressway runs thrown in (for example, my occasional rides to the airport and back on one-day business trips).

On the highway/expressway, the Xcent can be relatively fast if PUSHED to do so. Read carefully petrol heads - it has to be PUSHED. The car reaches 80-90 kmph quite easily, but starts to pant a little when asked to do 100+ constantly. 110-120 kmph in 5th gear requires the RPMs to be at least 3-4k. While this is still in the lower RPM range for this engine, one can feel that the engine is being asked to work that much harder.

Highway acceleration, especially in 4th/5th, is a bit laggy. Depending on the situation, one may need to drop down a gear to overtake a long stretch (such as a long truck, for example). For short periods, a high revving Xcent engine (the 1.2 Kappa petrol) seems to enjoy the grunt work and outputs a very sporty note. I wouldn't recommend that this be elongated, though.

Highway/expressway mileage: Can't really comment here as I have not yet done a purely highway-only drive, but the range seems to (easily) be in the 16-17.5 kmpl area, depending on AC usage. Some new Xcent owners over in the review thread are citing 17+ kmpl on highway drives.

Light clutch, gearshift and steering - makes the Xcent truly effortless to drive, even in traffic and tight city spots. Upon driving my Ikon again, its steering felt rock-hard in comparison! The gearshift also has a very nice feel to it with a precise short-stalk. The only complaint I have about the steering is that the OE leather covering is too smooth and doesn't provide a very secure grip.

Sharp-bite brakes with ABS - Coming from owning an Ikon, this makes me feel a WHOLE lot safer. The airbags on driver and passenger side are an added bonus. The ABS upgrade (with alloys thrown in) with the (O) variants is well worth the additional 30k or so, in my opinion. Highly recommended if you do a lot of highway driving. I don't, but I can still appreciate the ABS kicking in at times of in-city emergency braking.

Update: The brakes on the Xcent do take some getting used to if you are coming from something completely different, like I did. Until they warm up, they seem to only have two modes - "hardly anything" and "jarringly sharp"! Especially on cold mornings when just rolling out of my home area, I'm afraid to apply too much pressure on the brakes in my neighborhood since they almost always lurch me (and the passengers) forward with a sudden stop. Once they have warmed sufficiently, however, the brakes are much smoother to apply and still maintain their sharpness if required in emergencies.

Driveability Conclusion: The Xcent in the city is a joy to drive mainly because quick/short acceleration and maneuverability is effortless. Even multi-point turns/parking are made that much easier with the light steering and the reverse camera+sensors to guide you.

Useful Features

The ECM mirror with reverse camera and sensors! Don't know how I lived without these before...

My first time owning an ECM mirror - and what a difference it makes especially at night on our Indian roads! Rear vehicles' lights are dim and sharp enough to count! Turning off the ECM feature transitions the mirror slowly to normal...an interesting visual effect if you pay close attention

Also my first time owning a reverse camera - makes all sorts of parking and reversing so much easier! The Xcent camera video is cleanly (and conveniently) embedded into the rearview ECM mirror. An option that is well worth it for people trying to decide between the S and SX variants of the Xcent (only the SX has it).

A ton of gimmicky features that are actually quite useful and add to the overall convenience of the car. These include the remote boot open, electrically-folding/adjusting ORVMs, keyless entry, start/stop switch, steering controls, rear seat vents, etc.

As sampled above, a lot of these features are offered on the SX variants but not in the baseline or S models. The price difference at the showroom is worth it for these added features...it brings the advantage of OE fitments for all these useful features (versus aftermarket) and the cost can be a bargain compared to going in for aftermarket components that match all the SX variant's features.

Initial ownership report - Saying it with an Xcent, SX(O), 1.2L (P)-5.jpg
Pic showing the rear seat vents

OE Audio and Link to my Upgrades Post

A double-DIN HU with Bluetooth (audio and calling), USB and (direct) iPod control! It may sound sad, but I always wanted a HU capable of all these and I finally have it. My last HU in the Ikon had direct iPod control, but desperately lacked BT functionality.

Update: Since first writing this post, I have made some significant upgrades to the ICE in my Xcent. A stage-wise explanation is given in the following thread, along with some of my other views on the Xcent HU and stock audio:


Some negative points and their explanations

While the dashboard and two-tone interiors look very nice, I feel there is SOMETHING lacking about the seats that puts them smack-dab in the middle of being "quite comfy" and "not being comfy at all". And this goes for both front and rear seats, although the rear seats have decent space. The seat cushions seem a bit thin, and not very plush. The lack of adjustable head-rests in front (although I don't need them) can add to this discomfort. I feel Hyundai should not have skimped costs for the seats on the Xcent.

One of my favorite aspects of the i20, for instance, was its surprisingly plush feel of the seats with good lumbar support, especially the driver and front seats. This leads to a very comfy ride in the i20. While I am getting used to the Xcent's seating, it certainly is an area for much-needed improvement.

Dashboard reach - This is one is probably related to my seating qualm, above. With a comfortable seating position, I find I need to stretch a little bit to reach the left side of the HU controls, including the "Tune/File" (Station/File/Option selection) knob. I really wish this knob's functionality was integrated into the steering controls as it is really inconvenient to browse Phone histories/Song files/etc. by having to lean over and fiddle with this knob.
Warning: On Baseline Xcent variants, note that driver seat height is not adjustable. So the vertically-challenged among us will have that much more of an issue with dashboard reach and height! (Counting myself as one here)

I also currently have a short-stalk "Gripgo" mobile holder on the front dash just above the right side of the HU. I probably have to get a holder with a longer stalk as I find I need to lean across to reach my smartphone screen with the current one.

Initial ownership report - Saying it with an Xcent, SX(O), 1.2L (P)-4.jpg
Pic showing the abovementioned "reach" problem for the left side of the HU

OE Speakers and volume - While the front speakers are decent coax'es with a little bit of bass (with the right settings), the rear speakers hardly make any sound and sound very tinny. The overall system's volume needs to be brought to 3/4 max levels or above for anything to be heard decently, esp. with windows down. While I found the radio and my iPod to put out higher volumes, the BT audio volume is very weak for some reason. Don't know if this is because of the HU, speakers or both.

Awkward upgradeability of OE HU, speakers:
As with all OE HU's nowadays, it seems to be difficult to replace the stock HU without voiding the warranty for it or needing a custom panel cut on the stock dash. The door speaker grills SEEM to be too small to accommodate anything bigger than stock sizes...decent rear coax's would need to be placed on the parcel tray.

Updates: See my audio upgrades post - have fit 6.5" comps in front doors and 6x9s in rear parcel tray with some damping and MDF work, respectively.
At the moment, custom faceplates for replacing stock HUs for the Grand i10 and Xcent do not seem to be available, at least in Bangalore.

Awkward upgradeability of OE tyres - SX(O) Variant only
About the tyres (B'Stone B250s)...the strange thing about the tyres that my SX(O) variant came equipped with is their awkward size - 175/60/R15. Is this a standard size for Bridgestone B250's? I have been told (even at Bridgestone), that this is not a standard size and was specifically made for this vehicle. I recently visited a Yoko dealership to inquire about the potential cost of a trade-in (for the tyres only, as I love the SX(O) rims). Was looking at C- or S-drives as an upgrade with Yokohama.

Update: Have approached Bridgestone for a trade-in quote as well. Both places (Pit Stop for Yoko and BS Select in Bangalore) told me that I would only get back 7500 for the stock set!

Now my problem is that if I have to go for a tyre-size upgrade (with Yokohama S-Drives anyway), it would probably HAVE to be 195/55/R15. 20mm is a huge jump in patch size, which I know would degrade FE severely. On the other hand, Bridgestone Turanzas and B290s are available in 185/R15 variants. Yoko A-Drives and C-Drives are not available that would suit my rims' size. :(

As a result, I have all but given up on upgrading the tyres for now and sticking with the OE upsize fitments until they wear out (or if I feel the need to upgrade immediately, such as a risky highway maneuver )

Some neutral points

Suspension and ground clearance: The combination of the Xcent's gas-charged suspension and B250 tyres offers excellent cushioning of bumps and potholes, so the ride feels very pliant. Ground clearance is also very impressive for a car that looks low-slung but is actually not. As mentioned in the Official Xcent Review by Parrys, the added diameter of the SX(O) 15" alloys and tyres adds to the Xcent's already excellent ground clearance.

Servicing at Dealership: My dealership took the car in for 1000 kms servicing and carried out the same without any fuss - they even took the car on a Sunday and gave it back on the same day. Although Hyundai does not do it as a standard practice for the 1000 kms servicing, I requested for an oil change (as per TBHP recommendations) and paid extra (~1100) for an oil and oil filter change.

Performance Upgradeability: The Xcent (and most Hyundais, for that matter) are not meant to be very friendly towards the so-called "performance upgrades". As a petrol head, I certainly miss this aspect of "upgradeability" in my car - something I very much enjoyed toying around with in my Ikon while replacing the air filter, adding performance headers, tinkering with ECU settings, etc. The Xcent certainly seems to be a sedate car that frowns at all of those things - there seems to be almost no scope under the hood for even a K&N filter replacement! That being said, though, I guess everyone's priorities change as life goes on, and the Xcent comes off as a very practical, safety-oriented, cost-effective small sedan.

PS I think I will now keep my upgrades limited to the ICE from now on - everyone needs a hobby right??


Summary of the Good:
a) Classy, modern looks with interiors that complement a world-class small sedan.
b) Accessible and cost-effective with variants reasonably price-distanced from each other.
c) Excellent driveability in the city, better than average performance on the highway with good FE figures.
d) Safety and convenience features that are truly segment firsts.

Summary of the Not So Good:
a) Seating comfort could have been brought to the level of the i20 at this price range.
b) Average stock audio system - upgrades highly recommended
c) Tyres and alloys with the SX(O) variant are awkwardly sized
d) No scope for performance upgrades


So, there you have it! I hope you guys enjoyed reading the above, and I hope that this review helps those out there considering the XCent as their next car. I'm certainly glad I did! As much as I am glad I wrote this post. Please feel free to ask questions about the car!

Last edited by GTO : 15th August 2014 at 11:38. Reason: Smilies :)
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Old 15th August 2014, 11:38   #2
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Default Re: Initial ownership report - Saying it with an Xcent, SX(O), 1.2L (P)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 17th August 2014, 19:21   #3
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Smile Re: Initial ownership report - Saying it with an Xcent, SX(O), 1.2L (P)

Let me be the first person to congratulate you on an excellent purchase.

I actually went to TD the grand i10 a week back and while roaming around in the showroom checked the xcent too.

I think the fit and finish is exceptional for a car of this class,has some outstanding features and for me,the design is nice as well.The diamond cut alloys look sexy.

Hope you have a real good time with the car.
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Old 17th August 2014, 20:34   #4
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Thanks for the report. Being a fellow Xcent SX(o) owner whose car is still bare bones stock as of now, my interest was pinned to the ICE upgrade. And I read the details in the other thread as well like a school kid studying his math.

Sadly, I wouldn't be doing any of it since the stock audio is good enough for parents.

Which brings me to the question- The stock audio sounds rather nice. Can you provide more details of the stock stuff? By any chance - could you see what make is the HU and speakers? And it's just two 6 inch speakers on both doors?

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Old 19th August 2014, 21:14   #5
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Default Re: Initial ownership report - Saying it with an Xcent, SX(O), 1.2L (P)

Originally Posted by joy_swift View Post
Let me be the first person to congratulate you on an excellent purchase.
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Which brings me to the question- The stock audio sounds rather nice. Can you provide more details of the stock stuff? By any chance - could you see what make is the HU and speakers? And it's just two 6 inch speakers on both doors?
Thanks to both of you for your wishes.

Crazy driver - Appreciate your comments. I am glad you found my audio upgrade thread interesting! I initially went in for an upgrade because I found the audio output from the speakers (/HU) to be very weak for:

a) Phone calls over BT (esp. in noisy traffic)
b) BT streaming audio - I listen to a lot of live band stuff from Youtube, etc. which doesn't have the clearest quality or volume.

I haven't really taken a look at the speakers' and HU OEM marking. While I never took out the HU to have a look at who the manufacturer is, I do have the speakers lying around at home. Will check and revert to you! As noted in my post, both front and rear speakers are identical (6") and are mounted in the respective door grills with a little bit of damping around their perimeter.
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Old 19th November 2014, 17:51   #6
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Default Re: Initial ownership report - Saying it with an Xcent, SX(O), 1.2L (P)

Seems you got immersed with the Xcent, How is your car doing now? update us on your experience, kms covered, city/h-w mileage and do you find any issues/concerns.
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Old 31st March 2015, 08:21   #7
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Default Re: Initial ownership report - Saying it with an Xcent, SX(O), 1.2L (P)

Now that it's been a while since you've owned the Xcent, has any of your views changed yet?
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