Motorcycles have always been my first love. I rarely ever use my Wagon R for the 120km long commute to work because a bike is just so much quicker and makes the traffic easier to deal with. But then we got the Hyundai Xcent diesel as a long termer this June and we wanted to see if it could do a good job of negotiating traffic jams and pot hole-riddled roads in the monsoon. My daily commute happens to be the perfect testing ground.
The first impression is that it feels like a petrol motor thanks to the great NVH levels. Also like a petrol is the slightly sluggish bottom that calls for a few shifts in heavy traffic. But even after driving around for 60-70 kilometres, what you will notice is that the fuel gauge has barely moved from its position. While it's too early to comment on the fuel efficiency, I am sure she returns something close to 18kmpl overall with the climate control on all the time. That's much more than the average petrol!
A salient feature of Hyundai cars is just that - lots of features. And the Xcent is no exception. I thoroughly appreciate the auto closing mirrors, remote boot lid opening, the ability to control music from the steering wheel and so on. The one thing I did miss was a pause button. You can mute the audio but it will continue to play and the only option is to completely turn off the system if you'd like to pause your tunes. That's just a minor niggle, one you will quickly forget when you use the reverse camera and parking sensors. The large 407-litre boot helped me with my weekend shopping. So far I'm very pleased with the Xcent although I'm not so sure that my Wagon R is as elated with all the recent neglect.