The market for compact sedan is booming. It’s true that we Indians love sedans irrespective of the fact whether they have a stylish appearance or a compromised boot space. Maruti Dire has sold nearly two lakh cars last year, which well depicts the demand for such cars designed for our Indian roads. Hence, it’s no wonder that Hyundai decided to joint the bandwagon with its Xcent. But will it fare against the already established market segment of Dzire? Let’s find out.
Both these sedans have sub 4 meter which makes it easy to park and is best for the city life. However we feel that Dzire is based on a large hatchback, Hyundai had to settle for a smaller footprint with its base model, Grand i10, which explains its not so wider look. The brand new sedan from the Korean firm has a better proportionate looks in spite of looking a bit smaller than its rival from head on or from its rear. The smart nose design and subtle dose of chrome offers it an upmarket look but we feel that its rear looks a bit flat and it has simple looking tail lamps.
Maruti Swift Drive flaunts a plain Jane look with an imbalanced structure that comprises of a long nose and short tail. However, we think that the designers of Maruti would have had a tough time to stuff in a practical cabin within a four meter footprint as it is based on Swift. However, it thrives in the looks department with its dollop of chrome and wraparound tail lamps.
Cabin And Space
Many car owners these days prefer to travel in chauffeur driven cars. With this aspect in mind, Hyandai has tweaked the seat of its Grand i10 hatchback. Though these is good amount of leg room and headroom to accommodate even the tallest passenger, we find its cabin a bit narrow, which makes it suitable for just two passengers. The seats have a well contoured look with comfortable cushioning but the backrest angle is reclined too much. The perfectly executed two tone effect in Xcent needs a special mention as the materials are of high quality, excellent fit and have a perfect finish. The ultra modern dashboard compliments the big rimmed steering. The soft leather upholstery on the firm seats offers an expensive look and it drapes the steering to offer a good support to hold on.
We think that there is not enough legroom in Dzire, which is an obvious one. This also means that tall passengers need to occupy the front seat. We cannot help noticing the plush and wider seats, which are a boon for short people. Marti has also focussed in pampering the drivers of Dzire with a bucket seat which can make long drives very comfortable. The dashboard of this sedan is a smart addition and it features a sleek looking console at the centre. The two design of this vehicle has a coat of beige at the lower half. This makes the lower buttons and knobs to have a beige shade, which we feel can get dirty soon with constant use.
Engine & Performance
While Dzire has a 1.3 litre diesel engine, which can produce 75PS at 4000 rate per minute and has a torque of 190Nm at 2000 rpm. This makes this vehicle fit for Indian roads. Though there is a bit of lag in the turbo, the power surge remains strong. While driving on the highways, Swift Dzire can cruise in a comfortable manner at the top speed of 159 kmph while the ton reaches up within 14.16 seconds.
Xcent has used the three cylinder of Grand i10, which is a 1.1 litre U2 diesel engine that has the ability to produce 72PS at 4000rpm and a torque ranging from 1750 rpm to 2500 rpm. The 5 speed manual of this sedan provides clean shifts and better throws. Xcent also delivers good driving feel in the town but the engine lacks in performance while hitting the highway. Though the Dzire can reach a sped of triple digit quickly, Xcent can reach this limit with a bit of effort. It manages to reach a speed of 100 kmph in 15.1 seconds, which makes it trail behind Dzire.
Even though we expected Xcent to make it on the top in fuel efficiency, it fails considerably in this aspect. This car covers 22.6 kmpl on highway with 16.8 kmpl while Dzire was able to offer us a decent figure of 14.6 kmpl to 19.8 kmpl.
While looking at the price difference between these two sedans, there is a margin difference of just Rs. 40,000 (ex-showroom, Mumbai). Both these cars have strong points to support their credibility like making the 4 meter sedan look like a step up of a hatchback. We feel that Dzire is apt for an individual who is on the lookout of a car that is perfect in terms like dynamics. The entry level sedan, Xcent has rich comfort features and a reasonable price and is right for those who need a sedan at a super value price range while not minding about the compromise on dynamics, efficiency and performance.