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Hyundai Xcent – Hyundai ups the ante

Hyundai Xcent – Hyundai ups the ante

Snapshot: The 2017 Xcent is more rounded than before and seems like the near perfect entry sedan.

Facing stiff competition from its rivals and the impending arrival of the new Maruti Dzire, Hyundai India has launched the updated version of the Xcent. While most carmakers use the term ‘all new’ loosely, Hyundai has used it more to showcase the all-new diesel engine – a 1.2-litre unit, which replaces the anaemic 1.1-litre unit. But apart from the engine the car also gets a new look, both upfront and at the back and a host of new features. But more on that later.

Exteriors

The front end is dominated by the chrome garnished grille. The hexagonal shape is typically Hyundai and makes this car instantly recognisable as a Hyundai product. The front also gets a new housing for the fog-lamps and LED daytime lamps as well. The face looks remarkably different and striking from the Grand i10, which was also updated recently. The rear end is dominated by a large rectangular lamp cluster, which gives the car a very balanced and proportionate look. The rear bumper too has a modified look but nothing too dramatic.

Interior

Hyundai cars are known to be the leaders when it comes to equipment and the Xcent is not different. New equipment includes a large 7-inch screen, which has Apple Car Play as well as Android Auto. You also get a cooled glovebox as well as rear AC vents. Overall, seat comfort is decent but the seats could have done with some added cushioning. The support for the lower back especially is a bit soft.

That said, the cabin ambience is very good with very consistent cabin quality all across. The 407-litre boot is more than enough to take on the weekend luggage for the entire family.

Engine, performance and gearbox

The new 1.2-litre engine is a lot more flexible especially in the top-end of its band. The diesel CRDi motor develops 75bhp and simply enjoys being revved. The NVH levels are always under control and the engine never becomes obtrusive in the least. The other engine is a 1.2 petrol and offers decent performance too, but it needs to be revved hard to get the best from it.

The gearbox on both the cars is slick and precise and doesn’t need a heavy hand to shift. Special mention must be made of the clutch action on the diesel. Its light and very linear to operate- as good as a petrol engine car.

Ride and handling

The Xcent comes with a soft suspension set up, which means that at slower city speeds, the car manages to soak in the bumps very well. It’s only at higher speeds that you will have to slow down at the sight of a rumble strip. Highway stability is decent but not as good as the VW Ameo or Ford Aspire.

The ultra light steering wheel means driving in the city is a breezy affair, but it also means that keen drivers won’t enjoy punting this car around those hilly sections.    

Summary

The new Xcent comes across as the quintessential compact sedan. It offers a nice mix of comfort, features and refinement. At these prices, it’s definitely a car you should shortlist.

Photography: Mohd. Nasir

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