In 2007, Hyundai Motor Company incorporated a design platform that brought consistency among the brand’s models. Called Fluidic Sculpture, it gave Hyundai vehicles better aerodynamic levels and a sleeker appearance, among other changes. It has done wonders for the company globally, including in India, where products such as Verna and Elite i20 became popular largely on the strength of design. However, even an amazing design language as the Fluidic Sculpture couldn’t really make the Xcent—the sub-four-metre sedan based on the Grand i10—stand out.
Hyundai India has now launched the All New Xcent, giving it much-needed design improvements and equipment. We drive it.
The company’s signature cascade grille with horizontal chrome slats gives the car a wider stance. Top variants get LED DRLs and fog lamps. Sweptback headlamps, wraparound tail-lights, pull-type door handles and a shark-fin-type antenna give it a futuristic styling. A functional change is wheel air curtains next to DRLs. The boot, however, still looks like an after-thought.
The car offers the first-in-segment 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity—Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. There is a voice-recognition button on the steering wheel. A smartphone holder with charging port makes life easy. The 407-litres of boot space is more than what Maruti will offer in the new Dzire (376 litres).
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Dual airbags for front passengers are standard, but ABS and parking assist are offered only in top-end variants. While there is an impact-sensing auto door unlock, the car doesn’t get speed-sensing auto door locks.
The petrol is 1.2-litre Kappa Dual VTVT (82bhp of power and mileage of 20.14kpl for manual and 17.36kpl for automatic). The diesel has been thoroughly reworked. This 1.2-litre U2 CRDi engine produces a power of 74bhp and is among the most fuel-efficient in India with a rated mileage of 25.4kpl. Ride quality is very good on city roads, but at high speeds the steering starts to feel too light for comfort.
It’s priced Rs 5.38 lakh (petrol) and Rs 6.28 lakh (diesel)—the petrol automatic is priced Rs 7.1 lakh. Almost all compact sedans, but for the relatively cheaper Tata Tigor, are available in an almost similar price band. Hyundai has given the Xcent much-needed equipment, but on the design front it’s still not a head-turner. Buy it only if you are a Hyundai fan. Else, the new Dzire, which looks promising, is round the corner.