Hyundai Xcent: Review
Hyundai’s rival to the fast selling Maruti Suzuki Dzire and Honda Amaze is finally here in form of the Xcent. Far from what the name suggests, the Xcent has nothing in common with the Accent, Hyundai’s old workhorse that was discontinued last year. The Accent brand is popular in India and Hyundai wants to stick to its tradition of keeping the name of its cars alive - the Verna, Elantra, Sonata and Santa Fe for example. But the Xcent is a play on letters because a car of this segment is a first for Hyundai and is targeted at Gen X or the youth in simple speak. It is the compact sub-4 metre sedan version of the popular Grand i10 hatchback which is also our compact car of the year. But is the Hyundai Xcent just a boot bolted on to the Grand i10? There’s a fair bit more to it as we found out.
Most cars we’d introduce to you from the front but not this one. The Xcent’s USP over the Grand i10 is its boot so let’s start from the rear. The Xcent gets 407 litres of boot space, it’s the best in class and in the real world can gobble two full size suitcases and a bit more. That’s around 150 litres of boot space over the hatchback too, and quite frankly, the biggest reason behind buying the Xcent over the Grand. In India, the status associated with the sedan body style also plays its part.
As you can see in these pictures, the Xcent doesn’t get any tweaks to the exterior to make it stand apart from its hatchback sibling. It is identical all the way back to the rear doors. The eagle eyed reader might spot the chrome ring around the lower front grille, but that’s it. This isn’t a bad thing, though. The Grand i10 is a good looking car - as all recent Hyundais are - and so the Xcent starts off on the right foot. The sharp headlights go well with the overall design and the rakish profile of the hatchback merges well with the boot.
It’s from the C-pillar that things begin to change. The more acute angle of the rear windscreen gives the Xcent its sedan profile and the stubby boot is well proportioned to the rest of the car. It’s hard when you know the design is done with a pencil in one hand and a measuring tape in the other. Credit should be given to Hyundai’s designers for its perfect execution. The taillights are new but the form is similar to the Grand i10 and the bumpers with its horizontal reflectors accentuate the Xcent’s wide stance.