Hyundai Xcent Facelift First Drive Review


Hyundai Xcent Overview

Hyundai launched its first compact, sub-four-metre sedan back in 2014. Based on the European i10 hatchback, it was built using a longer wheelbase to make it more suitable for sale in India. The car featured European build quality and a whole host of features Indian car buyers would kill for. The Xcent, however, didn’t really scale the heights. Its three-cylinder 1.1-litre diesel was a tad underpowered, suspension was set up so stiff that it often crashed and thudded through even medium-size potholes, and then the cabin was quite narrow on the inside.

Hyundai, with the recent facelift of the Xcent, however, says it has gotten rid of many of these issues and has taken big strides in areas where the car needed a bit of propping up.Check for Hyundai Xcent  price in Bangalore at Tryaldrive.

Hyundai Xcent Design

The design, features and the fit and finish aren’t new either – which is a good thing. It carries over the feel-good features that include keyless entry and go, a chilled glovebox, and electrically folding mirrors. The Xcent was already among the best in class in terms of build quality and that hasn’t changed. Yes, there’s some hard plastic to be found on the floor console and around the handbrake area – but that isn’t likely to be a big deal breaker. What might just be, is the new face.

Let’s just say the Xcent facelift looks much nicer in person than in pictures. The smallest Hyundai sedan wants to be an Elantra when it grows up, and it wants to look the part by sporting the bigger chrome-dipped grille. Personally, I prefer the older setup with a slender grille joining the two headlamps. There’s a new bumper as well that now features daytime running lamps placed right above the foglamps. Although not the best looking, the design does grow on you over time. Also, if you thought changes to the front are drastic, wait till you see the rear.

The cutesy derriere of the Xcent has been given the boot (pun intended) for a design that’s in-line with the upcoming (all-new) Verna. The rear bumper gets a matte-black insert running across the length that does well to break the bulk of colour. The bigger wraparound taillamps add a sense of width when you view the Xcent from the rear. Other changes to the exterior come in the form of a shark fin antenna, and a tiny 1.2D badge on the front right fender.

Hyundai Xcent Cabin

The biggest change on the inside is noticeable in form of the updated 7.0-inch touchscreen. The update brings the same new software that’s on its big sister, the Elantra, and the system allows drivers to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, among multiple other useful apps. Functionality is slick, connecting your phone is nice and easy and CarPlay works so well here, it makes using the phone so much safer. What’s also evident is the huge step up in quality in comparison to other cars in this class. While the quality of the cabin hasn’t been improved further, the fit and finish of the dash, the way in which the steering is crafted, the deft manner in which the controls function, all point to a very high level of sophistication.To know more information on Hyundai Xcent check Pdagreen

The finish of the steering wheel is, in fact, so good, the detailing so fine that it could pass muster on a much more expensive car. And the same goes for the gear lever – it’s nothing short of a work of art, its chrome, leather and Plexiglas finish a complete joy to hold. The cabin isn’t too wide and sitting three abreast in the back will be tight. But even backseat comfort is good. There’s a fair amount of legroom, the seat base is placed at a good height and you even get an air-con vent to keep you cool. The backrest of the Xcent, however, is a bit too reclined and not as comfortable as it could have been.

Hyundai Xcent Performance

What also makes a huge difference is that this car is so much better to drive. Let’s start with the engine, which at 1,186cc is now higher in both capacity and power. It now makes 75hp (up 3hp) and 190Nm of torque from as low as 1,750rpm. Start the engine and it settles into a lumpy idle, so reminiscent of a three-pot motor. The gear lever shakes, there are some vibrations coming up from the floor and place your feet on the pedals, and you can feel the pulses of the engine here too. It’s not as smooth as a petrol three-cylinder for sure, but insulation seems to be better than on the earlier car. And put your foot down on the accelerator and the engine spools up extremely quickly, an extra dollop of urge coming through as soon as you cross 2,000rpm.

As a result, the best way to drive this car is to use the extremely accurate gearbox and keep the motor on the ball, above 2,000rpm. Drive the Xcent in this manner and performance is quite strong and effortless, a huge improvement over the earlier car. Even flat-out performance is much better. 0-100, for example, now only takes 15.58sec as against 18.61sec for the earlier car, and the new car is also a couple of seconds quicker in gear. The sweet spot in the powerband, however, is quite narrow, and it’s all over by 3,500rpm. After this, the Xcent does not accelerate quite as strongly or as smoothly, with a bit of a rattle also emanating from under the bonnet.

Hyundai Xcent Driving

Hyundai has also done some quiet work on the steering and suspension set-up. The steering feel is much improved and no longer has the artificially engineered tendency to self-centre. The weighting of the wheel is much more progressive and while it still isn’t the nicest system around, it no longer feels strange. The suspension also has a firmer feel. Damping is still very good and bumps are well ironed-out but you can feel that the car is now firmer. I suppose this would help when the car is fully loaded at speed but it hasn’t transformed the Xcent into a driver’s delight. This is still the friendly, spacious and practical choice in it’s segment. We never had any complaints with the old suspension set-up, but nevertheless, applaud Hyundai for trying something new.

Hyundai Xcent Safety

Braking duties are handled by disc brakes up front and drum brakes at the rear. The top-spec SX (O) variant you see in the pictures get dual airbags and anti-lock brakes in terms of safety tech. What’s surprising, is that Hyundai has opted to delete ABS from the base-spec and mid-spec variants, and make dual airbags standard instead. This move seems to be motivated by the new vehicle safety norms that are around the corner. Nonetheless, the omission of ABS does seem surprising.

Hyundai Xcent Price in Bangalore

Hyundai Xcent On Road Price is 6,85,410/- and Ex-showroom Price is 5,65,354/- in Bangalore. Hyundai Xcent comes in 5 colours, namely Wine Red,Marina Blue,Sleek Silver,Star Dust,Polar White. Hyundai Xcent comes with FWD with 1197 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 82 bhp@6000 rpm and Peak Torque 114 Nm@4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Hyundai Xcent comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Hyundai Xcent Bottomline

With its updated looks, improved engine and more mature ride and handling, the facelifted Hyundai Xcent is a big step forward over the earlier car. It is nicer to drive, nicer to sit in, and even comes with a practical 407-litre boot. If you are in the market for compact sedan, make sure you take a long hard look at this one.

Just as we saw with the Grand i10, the new Xcent uses a number of changes to improve the overall experience. The new 1.2-litre diesel engine provides better drivability while the design updates give the car a shot of fresh air that simultaneously helps it stand apart from its hatchback sibling. At Rs 8.41 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, the top end SX(O) Xcent is priced on the higher side of the segment. It is on par with the top Honda Amaze VX and only the Rs 8.65 lakh Ameo Highline diesel is more expensive. Does it justify the price? Look out for a comparison review soon.