The sub-4 meter compact sedan segment is witnessing frenetic action in India. The strongest competitor thus far to the market leader Maruti Swift Dzire has been the Honda Amaze, which was launched last year. Hyundai India, the country’s second largest car maker has now taken a stab at the compact sedan segment with the Xcent. By pricing the Xcent’s base variant significantly lower than both the Dzire and the Amaze, Hyundai has created a splash in the market. While the coming months will indicate whether Hyundai’s pricing strategy for the Xcent has hit bull’s eye, CarToq pits the Xcent Petrol’s top end SX(O) variant with the Amaze VX i-VTEC and the Dzire ZXi in a feature and spec comparo.

Design

Looks wise, the latest entrant to the compact sedan space definitely looks like a hatchback with a boot attached. Based on the Grand i10 hatchback platform and measuring just under 4 meters in length, the Xcent is a compact sedan with little room for a well defined boot. The Xcent’s boot is stubby but looks a little better integrated than that of the Dzire while the Amaze sports the best integrated boot. However, some clever packaging on the boot’s innards has meant that the Xcent’s 407 liter boot capacity leads that of the Amaze (400 liters) and the Dzire (316 liters).

Engine and Transmission

The Xcent is powered by a 1.2 liter-4 cylinder Kappa petrol engine that has acquitted itself quite well in the Hyundai i10 and Grand i10 hatchbacks. This motor is an eager revver and outputs 81 Bhp of peak power and 114 Nm of peak torque. The power and torque figures compare well to similar outputs of the Dzire (85 Bhp-114 Nm) and the Amaze (86 Bhp-109 Nm), give or take a few Bhp/Nm. While all three cars get five speed manual gearboxes, the Xcent leads the Amaze when it comes to the ARAI certified fuel efficiency stakes. The car manages 19.1 Kmpl, identical to the Dzire’s mileage but better than the Amaze’s (18 Kmpl).

Click here for the Hyundai Xcent’s launch report and variant wise pricing

Features

In terms of features, the Xcent has the segment well covered and is the pack leader here. The car adds a bunch of segment leading features such as the push button start, reverse parking sensors and camera, center armrest with cup holders, 1 GB built-in capacity on the stereo, Bluetooth music streaming and phone connect, iPod compatibility, automatically folding wing mirrors, digital gear shift indicator, rear AC vents and a leather wrapped steering wheel. For the price it is offered at, the Xcent stands head and shoulders above its competition. Airbags and ABS are standard on the SX (O) variant.

Pricing

While the base variant of the Xcent is a stunner in terms of pricing, the advantage peters out as one moves up the variant chain. Though the price advantage all but disappears with the SX (O) variant of the Xcent, the significantly higher amount of kit offered on the car means that the Xcent plays the value card quite well.  The Xcent’s SX (O) variant is priced at 6.47 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi, with the Maruti Dzire undercutting it at 6.32 lakh rupees while the Amaze is significantly pricier at 6.86 lakh rupees.

 

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Snob value of having a boot is the only reason people are attracted to these cars which have desperate cost cutting measures at every possible opportunity. Smarter people are better off with a Polo / Punto which are substantially better choices. :)

  2. Those going for snob value (refer Amit’s post above), will also go for more features and hence I think Hyundai has a real winner on its hand..

  3. I dont believe that Snob value is the only reason people would be attracted to these cars. There are different types of users who require the car for different purposes. Even though the hatchbacks are very good for the city, they are not the best choices when you travel and have weekend getaways with your family due to the lack of boot space. I have found the boot handy and missed the boot while receiving or dropping someone to the airport.
    The Polo and Punto are very good cars for the city, but there are many occasions where you would really miss the boot.

  4. Boot space difference is ~ 100 litres (by volume). Let us take example of Amaze & Punto. Amaze has intrusive hinges for bootlid (reducing claimed boot volume) while Punto has a foldable parcel tray (liberating more space than claimed in specs). This nullifies most of the claimed volumetric benefit, which seems like a lot when doing paper comparisons. In real life situations Punto will accommodate pretty similar (airport or otherwise) luggage with Amaze barely having space left for another small travel bag which could easily be carried inside the cabin of the Punto. I fail to see how a compact sedan makes a difference during an airport visit. On the flip side, a Punto does not have serious cost cutting measures like thin alloys, thin seats, puny tires or compromise on build quality (which risks the life of occupants) etc. It is a substantially better vehicle inside out. So if it is not snob value of having a boot then what is the logical benefit of a compact sedan? I would like to understand since when I went on a trip with my Punto & a friend who had an Amaze, he repeatedly mentioned about making the wrong choice. He blamed the influence of online reviews / TV shows & an amazing sales pitch for his disappointing EMI to be paid for the next 5 years. He was further shocked to realize that he was paying higher maintenance for an overall cheaper quality car! Honda gives free labor till 10k / 6 month interval & has a regular interval of 10k / 6 months. Fiat gives free labor till 30k / 2 years & has a regular interval of 15k / 1 year. Std warranty (2 yrs) – Honda 40k kms, Fiat 100k kms. Ext warranty – Honda 80k kms (4 yrs), Fiat 150k kms (5 yrs). :)

  5. i think. Xcent is actually better than Amaze..bcoz there is barely any cost cutting in Xcent…from what it looks like…
    Xcent offers decent space and comfort..and has a good boot space…
    Also feature rich like all Hyundai cars…
    So among the 3.. My pick would be Xcent….

  6. Comparing a Punto/Polo is a different thing, as they are hatchbacks and This one is compact sedan…and if they have to roll out a Compact sedan at a price similar to hatch, some cost cutting should not bother!!!

  7. Hi Shenoy, any logical reasons why compact sedans should be fine with cost cutting measures if they are priced like a hatch?
    1. Compact sedans pay the same amount of tax
    2. They use engines from smaller / similar hatch siblings
    3. They have no special addons except a boot which is not a substantial change to the body shell since the basic platform of the donor hatch is retained underneath
    4. There is huge part sharing which actually benefits these vehicles since most parts are common with the donor hatch
    Lets take a random example of Dzire. I could never figure out how adding a small boot at the end could spike the car price by roughly a lakh for the on road price. Even a hatch has a boot lid, tail lights, boot lid hinges etc.
    The simple fact that it becomes a (compact) sedan & gets a distinguished boot allows manufacturers to massage the ego of buyers who consider it as a larger car than hatchbacks. The companies see this as a clear opportunity to make more money from people who are willing to pay more and be happy to get less.
    Effectively cost cutting in various areas from sheet metal / tires / alloys / structural integrity / seat cushions / plastics etc is very common simply because buyers blindly accept it.
    :)

  8. Hi, in case of airport travel, the boot offers space for luggages and also does not compromise on the seating capacity of 2/3 people but a hatch which has its second row seats folded down offers space but takes away the seats of 2/3 occupants who would have otherwise got the place had it been a sedan/compact sedan.
    So even I feel that a sedan/compact sedan…[Read more]

  9. Moreover people consider sedans as a symbol of social status and they look more smarter and complete than hatches. The same is applicable even for compact sedans.

    So the extra price that needs to be paid is for the completed look of the car and the social status that it brings.

    Hatches are always hatches, however premium they are. Sedans are definitely a class above.

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