20 April 2017 Hyundai has launched the facelift version of Xcent at the right time when the market is getting more competitive with new models from all mainstream sellers. Tata Motors recently brought out the Tigor and earlier Volkswagen introduced its Ameo to the sub-compact sedan segment. But the competition is not limited to the sub 4 meter sedans. The cars in this category are also getting challenged by the hatchbacks, crossovers and compact SUVs and consistent innovation is the only key to maintaining their hold in the industry.
The Xcent that comes with this facelift in 2017 is not merely ‘facelifted’. With the kind of upgrades it has received, it is virtually an updated model. The changes not only include cosmetic enhancements and additional equipment but also a new 1.2 litre, 3 cylinder diesel engine that generates 74 bhp at 4000 rpm and 190 Nm of torque at 1750 – 2250 rpm. It is coupled with 5 speed manual gearbox. Hyundai claims the fuel efficiency of this engine to be 25.4 km / litre. The 1.2 litre unit has replaced the 1.1 litre diesel motor of the pre-facelift model.
Petrol engine for Xcent facelift continues to be the 1.2 litre, 4 cylinder unit that churns out 82 bhp at 6000 rpm and 114 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm. This comes with two transmission options of which one is a 5 speed manual and the other 4 speed automatic. The claimed fuel efficiency of petrol Xcent 2017 is 20.14 km / litre with the MT and 17.36 km/litre with AT.
For the cosmetic changes on the front, the most notable one is the grille that became bigger and got a chrome edging. This makes Xcent’s face look very different from its younger sibling Elite i20.
The lower part of bumper now has black insert stretching across the width of the car. On the corners it ends into L shaped housings that contain LED daytime running lights (DRLs). These housings also surround the now bigger fog lamps. Shape of the hood has been tweaked mildly and together with the new grille it makes the car appear more symmetrical.
On the sides there are no changes so the silhouette of Xcent still looks the same. It does however get new set of 15 inch diamond cut alloy rims for the top end variants. These have 175/60 R15 tyres. The variants further down the line get 14 inch alloys (SX) and steel wheels (all others).
At the rear the split tail lamps have gone bigger and look better than the ones on the pre-facelift model. The chrome strip running above the number plate now touches the tail lamps at its two ends. There is a shark fin antenna for the higher variants trims and it has been put on the rear end of the roof.
A black strip now runs across the lower part of the bumper, cutting away some of the visual bulk.
Inside the cabin you will see equipment upgrade for the facelift – this is a tactic which all manufactures launching their refreshed models have been using. Yes, there is a touchscreen here for the infotainment set up. Hyundai did add a 7 inch touchscreen with MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to Elite i20 facelift and it has also done the same for the Xcent. This screen doubles up as display for reversing camera. Only the SX and SX (O) trims get the touchscreen. The E+ and S have a basic 2 DIN music system.
The dual tone dashboard is taken from the older car but it looks enhanced because of the touchscreen. There is an additional button on the steering wheel for voice recognition feature linked to smartphone. This may not be to the liking of all as there were already too many controls on the steering wheel of the pre-facelift model. But the feature-hungry buyers will appreciate it.
Xcent 2017 version also gets new seat upholstery. It has driver seat adjustment for top two variants. Automatic climate control comes in the top variant and others get manual AC with heater. Furthermore, all the trims except the base E get rear AC vents. Cooled glove box also features in each of the trims.
If you flip through the dials on the instrument console, you will find that they still do not provide the Distance to Empty information. In our humble opinion, Hyundai could have offered this as an upgrade from the older model.
For the safety features package the Xcent facelift receives dual front airbags as standard for all the variants. The impact sensing auto door unlock comes with SX (O), SX and S. But the ABS is available only with the top two trims.
Hyundai claims to have worked on improving the NVH factor in the facelifted Xcent. The cabin feels quieter with the inclusion of wheel air curtain, better use of sound absorbing material and a toughened dashboard. We’ll look further into this in our test drive and expert review for Xcent with new diesel engine.
Xcent Facelift 2017 comes in five body colours - Star Dust, Wine Red, Polar White, Marina Blue and Sleek Silver.
It is interesting to know that even after bringing the updated model, Hyundai will continue to sell the pre-facelift Xcent too. It will be called Xcent Prime and will be sold only to commercial users (taxi operators). This is a business strategy to compete with the Maruti Dzire Tour that has also arrived in the market on similar lines.
The sub 4 metre sedan segment of the car market in India saw a new contender when ‘Xcent’ ushered out of Hyundai’s gates in 12 March 2014. Based on Grand i10’s platform this new car carries much of its smaller sibling’s style and design. It simply looks like a Grand i10 with a boot. Indeed the way its rear blends with rest of the car’s body, it feels that the Xcent was envisaged as a compact sedan derived from the Grand i10. It is also inspired by Hyundai’s fluidic design philosophy. In the market, this new Hyundai car takes on Maruti Dzire and Honda Amaze.
Launched with two engine options – 1.1 litre diesel and 1.2 litre petrol – the Xcent comes in three variants for each category viz. Base, S, SX. Both the engines have been coupled with 5 speed manual transmission. There are optional feature-upgrade versions with S and SX trims and buyers can also go for petrol driven 4 speed Automatic version that comes with S (O) and SX (O) versions. So the car does cater to a wide budget range.
While the U2 CRDi diesel engine churns out 72 PS @ 4000 rpm and has a peak torque of 18.4 kgm @ 1750-2500 rpm, the 1.2 litre Kappa Dual VTVT petrol motor has 83 PS of power @ 6000 rpm and 11.6 kgm torque @ 4000 rpm.
Swept back headlamps are close replicas of Grand i10’s units and the hexagonal radiator grille is lined with chrome. Round fog lamps are also adorned with chrome bezels. Fluidic design cues can be seen on the door panels and the top SX trim comes with 14 inch alloy wheels as standard. Hyundai does offer 15 inch diamond alloys as option. The high end variant sports chrome door handles for that extra flair and has LED side turn indicators on its body coloured ORVMs. With a roof antenna and Grand i10 like tail lamps on the boot, the Xcent again reminds you of its design similarities with the hatchback. The boot lid carries chrome garnish and the rear bumper looks well chiselled.
Hyundai Xcent has wheelbase of 2425 mm, the same as Grand i10 and its cabin design too is an imitation of the smaller car’s interior. So in the characteristics Hyundai style, you get good levels of refinement and a bunch of equipment. The black and beige cabin has smart instrument panel and centre fascia display. Mid and top segment variants get 2 DIN integrated audio system with radio, CD/MP3 player along with 1 GB internal memory. They do have Aux-in, USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity. Audio and Bluetooth controls mount the three spoke steering wheel wrapped in leather. While there is a manual AC/heater for base and S trims, the top end version comes with automatic climate control.
Other exclusive attributes with the high end trim include rear view camera, keyless entry, push button start/stop, and air bags for driver & front passenger. Ample legroom at front and back makes the Xcent a practical 5 seater, family car.
There is a choice of six colours for Hyundai’s sub four metre sedan and the price ranges between Rs 4.66 lakhs (Base, Petrol) and Rs 7.38 lakhs (SX – O, Diesel). The Automatic versions cost Rs. 6.28 lakh (S) and Rs. 7.19 lakh (SX).
Xcent may be a fairly new rival for the already popular Dzire and Amaze but considering the success of Grand i10 in Indian market, it has the potential to give serious competition to its Japanese competitors.