Hyundai Xcent Long Term Review
Car Tested: Hyundai Xcent 1.1 CRDI SX
Kms Done: 4522 kms
Test Started at: 11,197 kms
Test Concluded at: 15,719 kms
Mileage: 16.13 km/l, 19.36 km/l (best), 14.28 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed: 280.34 litres
Fuel Cost: Rs. 15,682/-
Rs. per km: Rs. 3.47/-
The Xcent’s functionality and feature rich interiors make it a very practical purchase
Sedans are a popular bunch in India and a majority of the entry level sedans fit into the compact sedan category. These are about practicality and affordability and are seen in huge numbers on the roads. Since the Xcent sits under 4 metres of the measuring tape, it enjoys excise duty benefits which makes it very competitive on the pricing front. Having a host of features, it makes a strong point in the utility department as well. It’s been over 4 months and we have clocked over 4500 kms through all possible types of scenarios be it city, highway, good road, bad road or no road, the Xcent has been through it all and had us impressed on most occasions.
These cars target buyers who look for value for money products which are easy to maintain, fuel efficient and offer practicality. Compact sedans aren’t great lookers, while few of these would look plain ugly to the eye, the Grand i10 derived Xcent looks quite neat from the front. The rear looks a bit too plain but it does the job by fitting into the sub 4-metre space. The interiors are a good place to be in with great quality all around. Everything is well put together and there were no rattles or squeaks from any part of the car. The biggest USP of the Xcent over the competition is the endless list of features, which not only make it the most feature rich car in its segment, it also adds oodles of functionality. Reversing camera, rear AC vents, 1 GB storage for the audio and electrochromic rear view mirror are few such highlights which aren’t seen in the competition cars. The seats offer decent levels of comfort and though we are not fans of the integrated headrests, there were no complains even on long drives. The rear seat is good for two adults but three gets a bit tight, especially on long runs. Legroom is fantastic for both the rows.
While Hyundai has equipped the Xcent quite well, it has missed out on a few essential features. The doors have to be locked manually as there is no speed sensitive auto door lock. Also, the multi-information display misses out on distance to empty/range which is more or less a regular feature now. The AC cools well and did not give us a reason to complain in the pink of summer. The rear AC vent comes handy by cooling the car faster, much to the comfort of rear passengers. Relatively large windows mean that the cabin feels quite airy and then any long term review car has to do the honours of serving as a tracking vehicle and the Xcent did a fair job. Over long shoots, the camera equipment would fit in the boot well, which is large by compact sedan standards.
The Xcent boasts of excellent drivability with class leading NVH levels
The 3-pot motor powering the Xcent is quite brilliant. The same Grand i10 derived 1.1 U2 CRDI oil burner does duty on the Xcent and belts out 72 PS of power and 180 NM torque. It may not sound too interesting on paper but the way Hyundai has packaged this engine is worthy of mention. A 3-cylinder engine is usually plagued with inherent vibrations but one can barely tell once you turn on the ignition. In fact the NVH levels and sound damping is so good, you could actually mistake it for a petrol motor. Power delivery is quite good and the gears slot themselves into place quite smoothly in this 5-speed transmission. The ratios are well suited for city and highway driving styles. The torque band starts from 1750 RPM making slow speed and bumper to bumper driving quite easy.
The Hyundai Xcent diesel hits 42 km/hr in first gear, 78 km/hr in the second and in third gear does 117 km/hr at 5000 RPM, which is good by 3-cylinder motor standards. The engine never felt underpowered for routine city and highway runs. The fifth gear is tall and allows the Xcent to reach 160 km/hr on a long straight. Even at this speed, the NVH levels are well contained. The biggest advantage of a 3-cylinder engine is mileage. You drive it with a light foot and it will deliver some stellar efficiency figures. The best we got was 19.36 km/l while the worst was 14.28 km/l with an average fuel efficiency of about 16 km/l (routine city and highway driving cycle). The Xcent does the 0-100 km/hr run in 15.85 seconds as per our VBOX tests.
The suspension is softly sprung which means ride quality is pliant on most surfaces. On really bad roads, the Xcent absorbs most of the impact, barely transferring anything inside the cabin. Even when we were fully loaded, the ride was decent but the front passengers felt more comfortable than the ones on the rear seat. In recent times, Hyundai has drastically improved the handling characteristics of all its newer models. The Xcent is much better than say the previous generation i20 or the fluidic Verna. It doesn’t feel bouncy at high speeds and feels planted. One would be doing triple digit speeds yet feeling confident to push harder. Our Assistant Editor (ex Verna owner) was quite happy with the high speed stability of the Xcent on the Mumbai-Pune expressway.
However, when you want to push the car through a series of bends, the electric steering does not give the same feedback you get in say, the Maruti Swift DZire and feels quite numb and a little too centered. Apart from this enthusiast perspective, the commoner should not find much to talk about in the ride and handling department. As far as city duties go, the Xcent is a charm. The light steering along with the light clutch mean that stop-go traffic is never an issue. We did find the steering a tad too big and a smaller unit would have been better. The buttons on the steering initially felt big but are perfect sized to navigate through the various options through the steering. The cars compact dimensions made it easy to park in tight spots. The Bridgestone tyres offer good grip.
Hyundai Xcent Service Costs
1. Service Schedule – 10,000 kms and 12 months (whichever is earlier)
2. Cost of Service Per 1,00,000 kms – Rs. 37,362/- (P), Rs. 53,695/- (D)
3. Cost of Spares –
* Engine Oil Per Service – Rs. 1112/- (P), Rs. 1331/- (D)
* Brake Oil – Rs. 264/- (P&D)
* Oil Filter – Rs. 95/- (P) & Rs. 451/- (D)
* Fuel Filter – Rs. 390/- (P) & Rs. 2016/- (D)
* Brake Pads (Front) – Rs. 1903/- (Front)
* Front Bumper (without painting) – Rs. 1288/-
* Rear Bumper (without painting) – Rs. 1966/-
* Headlamp Assembly (Each) – Rs. 2756/-
* Tail Lamp Assembly (Each) – Rs. 1373/-
Above parts prices are for Delhi and labour includes service tax at 14%. Petrol is denoted by (P) and Diesel by (D). The Korean car maker has the second largest sales and service network in the country and Hyundai service has been rated well by owners.
The compact sedan buyer wants value and practicality and the Xcent delivers both of these in abundance. The 1.1-litre CRDI diesel mill offers some excellent drivability with good fuel efficiency figures. Performance too, is pretty good in both city and highway conditions. With a long list of bells and whistles, the Hyundai Xcent makes a strong case as a practical and value for money car. Hyundai’s strong service backup becomes the further icing on the cake, helping the Xcent clock good numbers inspite of the massive competition in the compact sedan segment.
The Hyundai Xcent offers terrific value in the segment and scores high on practicality. It appeals to those who want a good quality product which is high on features while being extremely easy to drive and maintain.
* Great quality all around
* Potent diesel engine which is strong on drivability
* Best in class NVH levels
* Practical features like rear AC, reversing camera, electrochromic rear view mirror, smart key
* Ride quality and comfort
* Good legroom in both rows
* Vast improvement in handling by Hyundai standards
What’s Not So Cool
* No distance to empty on MID
* No speed sensitive auto door lock
* Steering feels too centered
* Three adults on the rear seat are a tight fit (width-wise)
Picture Editing: Sri Manikanta Achanta
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