The Hyundai Xcent will be launched on March 12 and already it is cooking up a storm. The compact sedan space isn’t much contested and Maruti still has monopoly over the segment, so how does the Hyundai Xcent fare against the competition is anybody’s guess. We bring you a small comparo of the car versus its main allies.
Looks and Size
Design is a subjective term, but we feel the Amaze strikes the right balance of modernity and pleasing design. The Xcent doesn’t look bad, but it doesn’t look better than the Amaze either. The Xcent carries the same front fascia as the Grand i10 with no changes, but the rear silhouette is nicely integrated into the stubby boot. The Swift Dzire does have the similar fascia as the Swift hatchback but with a different grille and bumper. The rear, though, looks out of proportion and seems forced on the hatchback. It doesn’t have a design that pleases the eye. The Dzire, then ends up at the bottom of the table when compared to the other two.
Dimensions in this segment are dictated. All cars are under four-metres. We don’t have the spec-sheet of the Xcent yet but considering it is based on the Grand i10 hatchback, the basic width and height would be similar. The Swift Dzire at 3,995mm is the longest in the segment with the Amaze following it at 3,990mm. The Swift is also the widest in class at 1,695mm, the Amaze is 1,680mm while the Xcent is the narrowest in the segment at 1,660mm. The honours for the tallest in the class is again bagged by the Swift Dzire which stands at 1,555mm, followed by the Xcent at 1,520mm and the Amaze finishes last. So, dimensionally the Swift Dzire is the longest, widest and the tallest, followed by the Amaze and the Xcent (length unknown).
Engine and Transmission
The Honda Amaze gets a four-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre petrol engine. The Dzire gets the K-Series 1.2-litre petrol engine and the 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel engine. The Xcent, in all probabilities, will get the 1.2-litre Kappa petrol unit and the three cylinder 1.1-litre oil burner from the Grand i10 hatchback. Here, the Amaze wins the power game with the highest bhp rating of all the three cars at 86bhp, followed by the Swift Dzire and the Xcent at 81bhp (figures based on the Grand i10 hatchback). The Amaze also has the most powerful diesel engine in the class at 98bhp, the Swift Dzire seconds that with 74bhp on tap and the Xcent has 70bhp to make it the least powerful car in the class.
Both the Amaze and the Swift Dzire get a five-speed manual as standard over all variants, with the petrol versions of both cars being available with automatic transmissions. The Amaze uses a five-speed automatic gearbox whereas the Swift Dzire uses a four speeder. The Xcent is expected to come laden with the five-speed manual and the four-speed auto box used in the Grand i10.
All the cars are evenly matched in the features department, although the Xcent offers a segment first push button start-stop system, and rear AC vents along with the high-end two-din audio system. The Swift Dzire and the Xcent both offer automatic climate control AC, however, the same is found missing in the Amaze. All three cars offer two airbags and ABS as safety equipments.
The Maruti Dzire has a greater advantage over the competition with the Maruti badge which is synonymous with low cost of ownership and peace of mind in India. The Honda Amaze has the best performance, great engines and good looks. But loses out in the features department. It makes a strong case for itself and the Honda brand, meanwhile, has a cult following in India. The Xcent is again supported by the Hyundai badge, which is second only to Maruti in India. However, this is not the only reason why the Xcent might sell as it is a decently packaged car and like most Hyundais is feature-rich. On the other hand, the 1.1-litre three cylinder diesel engine might be a little underpowered for the sedan and we feel Hyundai should introduce the 1.4-litre diesel engine soon to help the car measure up with the competition.