Diesel compact sedans are big sellers in India, almost accounting for over 20,000 monthly units between the Maruti Dzire and the Honda Amaze. This, even without considering the Indigo eCS, a car that spawned the sub-4 meter compact sedan class. A new entrant to this pack is the Hyundai Xcent. CarToq compares the Xcent Diesel SX (O) with top end variants of the Maruti Dzire (ZDi) and the Honda Amaze Diesels.
All sedans in this comparo measure a touch under 4 meters in length. Also, all these compact sedans trace their base back to hatchbacks. The Amaze, being based on the Brio that is a shorter hatchback, comes with the best integrated boot, with the design flowing fluidly.
On the other hand, the Dzire – based on the Swift that is a longer hatchback – comes with a boot that is more of an afterthought, a stubby unit that is a big turn off for the design oriented among car buyers. Yet, the Dzire is the best selling compact sedan, and also the best selling sedan in India, a country where utility and affordability clearly supersedes looks.
The Xcent fits in somewhere between the Dzire and the Amaze in terms of how well its boot is integrated into the overall design. To sum it up, the Xcent is definitely not a beauty contest winner, But it isn’t a gargoyle either.
Engine and Transmission
The compact sedan trio of the Xcent, Dzire and Amaze come with 5 speed, manual synchromesh gearboxes. In the engine department, the trio take different paths.
The Amaze is the class leader here with a 1.5 liter-4 cylinder all-aluminum petrol engine that outputs 98.6 Bhp-200 Nm. While being known for its stellar fuel economy (25.8 Kmpl), the engine is one noise operator due to its all-aluminum construction.
The Dzire features the tried and tested Fiat Multijet 1.3 liter-4 cylinder motor, jocularly known as India’s national engine, given the sheer number of cars it powers. Good for 75 Bhp-190 Nm, this punchy motor is refined, fuel efficient (23.4 Kmpl) and highly reliable.
The Xcent is the slow poke of the pack here. With a 1.1 liter-3 cylinder motor managing just 71 Bhp-180 Nm, the engine looks weak on paper. The 3 cylinder layout isn’t great shakes in the refinement department as well, at least from what we’ve experienced in the Grand i10. While an ARAI certified 24.4 Kmpl should somewhat straighten things out, Maruti and Honda salesmen will be eager to start their sales pitches with the Xcent’s power deficit.
Features and Creature Comforts
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, a class leading 407 liter boot 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.
Value-for-money is what the Xcent Diesel’s pricing is all about. By endowing the Xcent Diesel with significantly more kit than that on the Dzire and the Amaze, Hyundai is clearly targeting the value conscious. The Xcent’s SX (O) variant is priced at 7.38 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi, with the Maruti Dzire mildly undercutting it at 7.32 lakh rupees while the Amaze is much more pricier at 7.78 lakh rupees. To give buyers a wide range of price points to pick and choose from, Hyundai has even made ABS optional on the S and SX variants, thereby adding two more variants and taking the tally of the Xcent Diesel variants to 5 in number.
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