The Indian car market is right now cluttered with these small and nimble cars known as “compact sedan’s”. Ever since Maruti decided to stick the swift with a boot, though the outcome was awkward styling, the Indian buyers took a liking to this platform, so much so that the desire sold around 1,97,685 units in the last 12 months. In reality that’s more than some car makers wish to see in their sales report of their whole model range combined!
Honda Amaze, based on the Brio has done wonders for Honda. It restored the lost sheen of Honda into the Indian car market, it is arguably the car responsible for kick starting Honda’s big comeback, contributing to 63% of the company’s sales last year. The bursting demands for such cars just shows that more and more Indians are taking a liking towards these types of cars. Maybe it’s the compactness, meaning practical drive around town or maybe it’s the friendly styling these cars carry or maybe it’s the thought that you get a sedan for the price of a premium hatchback.
Not wanting to be left out on this race for jackpot, Hyundai launched very recently its version of a compact sedan in the name Hyundai Xcent. One look in the front and its crystal clear that it is based upon its best seller, the Grand i10. Going up against a tough competition with the Honda Amaze. Does the Xcent have what it takes to prevail?
Trying to incorporate a spacious cabin and a boot to go along with that in a 4 meter platform would be any designer’s nightmare. Having said that, the Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent are well proportionate cars. This is due to the fact that both have a similar sized bonnet and the sheer length of the rear makes them look like actual sedans. The trunk offers practicality as well, with the Amaze offering 400 liters of boot space and 407 liters for the Xcent. Design wise, we would say both are winners in their own way. While the Honda Amaze comes with sharp line and cohesive shape makes it look sporty. Hyundai Xcent’s stylish front grille and chrome detailing make it look quite upmarket. However Hyundai could’ve worked better on making the rear a little bigger. So the choice of preference by the design would be any individual’s opinion.
These cars are manufactured in the hopes to cater the 4-5 people’s family, keeping in mind the requirement of space and comfort. This is where the Honda Amaze shines over the Hyundai Xcent. Honda stretched the Brio’s wheelbase for the Amaze by 60mm giving it more legroom, making it better spacious than its competition. The seats are also made with good cushioning making it the more comfortable. The Xcent has derived its seat from the Grand i10 hatch, altered just a little. The cabin of the Xcent can house tall passengers with ample of legroom and headroom, but the narrow cabin makes it suit two passengers than three. Moving over to the front the Xcent does a good job, the two-tone effect and the cabin quality is excellent in its class. You get good console, great fit n finish and a very stylish and modern looking dashboard. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the Amaze. What it makes up in the cabin space it lets down in its cockpit. The materials in the dash feels very cheap plastic and screams budget. The audio system, the AC and the whole dash package feels little from an old car.
Hyundai Xcent takes the cake in this one. Go for the top end SX (optional package) and you would be bombarded with features that would send some executive sedans home crying. There’s auto climate control, a rear AC, rear parking sensor and rear view camera with a display, key-less entry and go, a cooled glove box, a 1GB hard disk for music, Bluetooth, USB aux in and CD player. For Xcent these are serious selling points against the limited features of Amaze with its electric folding mirror and USB and aux enabled audio system but no CD player or Bluetooth, it lacks in climate control.
Hyundai Xcent retains the Grand i10’s new 1.1 litre 3 cylinder engines trying to minimize the cost but revamped it to get a little more power and torque producing 81bhp @ 6000rpm for the petrol and 71bhp @ 4000rpm for the diesel. Hyundai Xcent performs really well in the city conditions with abundance in power in the lower and mid range, but it suffers in the highway as it has no top-end grunt.
Honda Amaze on the other hand is a pocket-rocket and that’s no surprise having bigger 1.5 liter engine than the Hyundai Xcent, it produces 98.6bhp and 20.3Nm of torque. The refinement of the engine is a letdown but however the Honda Amaze produce ample amount of torque in every band range. Though the Amaze has a bigger engine of 1.5 liter engine it claims a note worthy mileage of 18kmpl for petrol and 25kmpl for diesel, while the Hyundai Xcent produces an average of 15.7kmpl on city and 19.1 on highway for petrol considering it’s just a 1.1 liter engine.
Bottom-line: It is notable each of these cars shine in their own ways. But overall the Honda Amaze would be a much better option, but that doesn’t mean Hyundai Xcent is a bad compact sedan, all it needed was some cabin space and some grunt in the engine. Thus a common person can enjoy the practicality as well as the sedan’s platform in these compact sedans.
Honda India Website: https://www.hondacarindia.com
Hyundai India Website: http://www.hyundai.com/in