Hyundai’s impressive compact sedan proved to be surprisingly good and a great car to live with.
The Xcent has been a part of our long-term test fleet for only about six months and we’ve been quite impressed by this small Hyundai sedan. In a way, it has changed our perception of Hyundai. We’ve had the Grand i10 diesel in our test fleet before and although very good, the diminutive 1.1-litre diesel meant it didn’t have enough grunt, especially with a full complement of passengers on board. So, it was a no-brainer to choose the larger Xcent in petrol guise as the next long-term Hyundai.
I’ve used this car for a month now, mostly in Mumbai’s cut-throat traffic and it has made for a soothing and relaxing companion. There are a number of reasons for this. For starters, the 1.2-litre petrol motor grants easy access to power at low speeds and thanks to this, the Xcent feels peppy and light on its feet. Also, the engine’s responsive nature let me, on occasion, amble along in a gear higher than usual, making my daily commutes even more stress free. What helps with driving in the city further is the minimal effort required to twirl the light steering, its small turning circle and hatchback-like dimensions. During those extended halts at traffic lights, the long equipment list kept me entertained; the 1GB on-board storage meant there was no need to connect my phone or carry any CDs for music. The only grouse I have with this Hyundai is that the occasional pothole or expansion joint at low-speed reveals the suspension’s underlying firmness. Even the suspension travel is quite limited and the car does tend to thud over big bumps.