Aah, another entrant to the compact sedan segment, i.e. Tata Zest. The compact sedan has been rocking the Indian auto scene and while the Maruti DZire is the current market leader, the Hyundai Xcent and Honda Amaze have been fighting it out among themselves. These three capable and competent sedans have now got a new competitor so we guys at MotorBeam decided to do a quick spec comparo to check out who’s the boss and who’s not.
Since these are compact sedans, we cannot expect them to look extra-beautiful because their designers have managed to squish them under a specific length and hence it is normal to see weird or quirky designs. The earlier Maruti DZire was too ugly but the current model looks far more acceptable. The Honda Amaze is the best-looking here while the Xcent is not-good, not-bad. The Tata Zest has been designed nicely and has some striking features.
The DZire and Amaze provide decent looking interiors but lack heavily on equipment compared to the Xcent and Zest. The Xcent and Zest have a tie between them when it comes to interior design. Honda has used decent quality materials for the Amaze but the dashboard looks a bit quirky. No doubt that the Amaze has fairly good ergonomics though.
All four sedans here come powered with 1.2-litre petrol engines with power ranging from 83 PS to 90 PS. The Zest gets the newest technology on offer and its engine is a turbocharged unit while the others get a naturally-aspirated motor. The Zest also gives out the maximum torque out of all these vehicles thanks to its turbo. The DZire’s K-series engine has proved itself to be reliable and fuel efficient while the Amaze and Xcent’s engines are quite reliable too. The Amaze and Xcent also provide good fuel economy. The Zest is the only one here to get three switchable driving modes.
The Hyundai Xcent comes with a 3-cylinder 1.1-litre diesel engine which makes it the least refined and powerful of the lot. Torque figures generated by the Amaze and Zest are similar while the DZire lags behind by a slight margin. The DZire is also underpowered at 75 PS while the Amaze and Zest produce decent power at 100 PS and 90 PS respectively. Fuel economy provided by these engines is generally good but a lot depends on a user’s driving style and road conditions too.
The petrol engines of the DZire, Amaze and Xcent are mated to 5-speed manual transmissions. All of them are also offered with automatic gearboxes. While the DZire and Xcent get a 4-speed AT, the Amaze gets a 5-speed AT. Diesel variants of these vehicles come with a 5-speed manual transmission and only the Zest comes with an option of a 5-speed AMT gearbox. All four sedans are very similar to each other in overall size and all of them come under the sub 4-metre category, entitling them to avail tax benefits from the government.
Coming to pricing, the Hyundai Xcent is the cheapest here for both petrol and diesel variants followed by the Dzire and Amaze. Tata has not yet revealed pricing details for the Zest yet but we can expect it to be priced anywhere between Rs. 6-9 lakhs (ex-showroom).
Tata Zest vs Maruti DZire vs Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent – Petrol Specs Comparison
Tata Zest vs Maruti DZire vs Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent – Diesel Specs Comparison
*all the above-mentioned prices are ex-showroom, Mumbai.
MotorBeam Verdict – While the Swift DZire sells mostly because of Maruti Suzuki’s after-sales network, other rivals are far superior. Honda and Hyundai also have very good after-sales service and Tata Motors is also trying to better the experience for customers while its network is already large. The Zest seems like a very promising package, Tata has worked hard on the engine by offering first-in-segment diesel + AMT combo as well as switchable driving modes for the petrol engine. The interiors of the Zest look highly inspired by European vehicles. The Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent have a tough fight among themselves. While the Amaze looks better and produces more power, the Xcent is priced very competitively and comes with better interiors and equipment. The pricing of the Tata Zest will be crucial to see which car offers the most bang for the buck.