Hyundai has given its compact sedan, the Xcent, a makeover. The plaid stubby sedan has now transformed into a glam model which spices things up in its segment. Being a sub-four metre sedan, the competition is a straight out affair with its biggest rivals Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Honda Amaze. We also have the Ford Aspire, the Volkswagen Ameo and two contenders from Tata – the Zest and the Tigor. Here is how the new Xcent fares against them all.
Maruti Suzuki Dzire
This is India’s most popular compact sedan, Maruti Suzuki Dzire, and manages to sell more units each month than all of its competitors combined and a few more. It has been largely successful thanks to the peppy Suzuki engines, good economy and the Maruti badge. The Xcent with these fresh aggressive looks does score over the Maruti in the design department. In the features section as well, the Hyundai has a couple of aces up its sleeve. The cabin space and boot are almost matched spec-by-spec. But, in a month or so, the new generation Dzire is expected to be launched and we will have to revisit this comparison again.
The Tata Tigor was expected to shake up the compact sedan space with a roar, but with its pricing, it sounds more like a purr. The Tigor is based on the Tiago which is a segment lower than the Grand i10 - which the Xcent is based upon. However, where the Tigor matches in terms of space and some features, it loses a fair piece of ground when it comes to engine power and platform fronts.
The Honda Amaze was the first proportionally designed compact sedan in an era when compact sedans were hatches with a boot slapped on as an afterthought. It also comes in with one of the most powerful diesel engines in the segment and scores over the Dzire in terms of cabin space. But today, the updated Xcent and Amaze are evenly matched in terms of looks as well as features, especially now that Xcent is perceived as a baby Verna rather than a bigger Grand i10.
The Ford Aspire is a capable compact sedan with a good blend of space, power, ride and handling. After the price cuts last year, the Aspire went quite a few notches up on the value-for-money index as well. It does match the Xcent on almost all fronts except for its looks, the extent of its service network and cost of service. But the new Aspire Sports makes for a nice change, looks wise, compared to the old Aspire.
The Polo-based compact sedan, the VW Ameo, hasn’t managed to generate large numbers but is selling steadily alongside the hatchback. The Ameo is typically German with its sleeper looks and almost classic-sedan lines. The only area where it scores over the Xcent is the powertrains, especially with its DSG automatic options for the petrol as well as the diesel car.