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Tata Zest vs Hyundai Xcent petrol & diesel comparison review

Zest vs Xcent

Tata Zest, soon to be launched, has ample expectations especially because Tata promises better than ever product quality and customer satisfaction. Here we compare overall features, ride, handling and performance of Tata Zest and Hyundai Xcent, both petrol and diesel trims.

Zest vs XcentFirst impression – Exteriors of Hyundai Xcent, front, side and rear fascia is complex, hard to characterise on first look. It has many curves, contours, details and trims, and all of them try to stand out at once. Large hexagonal front air dam with thin chrome surrounds successfully strikes the eyes. Prominent fog lamps, swept back head lights and horizontal single slat grille describe the face of Hyundai Xcent. Rear gets trapezoidal indent on trunk lid to host number plate, and attractive tail lamps embedded on either edge of rear end.

Hyundai Xcent exteriorsHighlights of Hyundai Xcent include chrome radiator grille, wraparound clear lens headlamp & taillamp, body coloured – bumpers, outside door mirrors, outside door handles; micro roof antenna, full wheel covers, chrome outside door handles, waistline moulding, B-pillar blackout, turn tndicators on outside mirrors, rear chrome garnish, and alloy wheels – R14 clean silver & R15 diamond cut.

Tata Zest exteriorsExteriors of Tata Zest are easier on the eyes. Signature Tata grille, bold distinctive headlamps, LED DRL / chrome treatment next to fog lamps and lower air dam complete the front facade of Zest, on a simple and cheerful note. Of course Zest is reminiscent of current Tata models, but neither wine nor bottle are actually old. Side profile shows clear body lines leaning downwards as they proceed forward, and one can’t miss the multi spoke alloy wheels that uplift the stance of Zest. Rear design is completely new. Thick chrome garnish running across the boot lid and new set of LED tail lamps also add to clear finish and appeal of Tata Zest.

Zest vs Xcent lampsInteriors – Though Hyundai cars with new fluidic design language imposing strong and futuristic fashion are usually best in class in terms of interior styling, here in Xcent there is not much of wow factor. Tata Zest on the other hand shows all contemporary decors and colour finishes to offer a brand new feel, especially when coming from Tata. Although Zest is a major leap ahead, Xcent tops in areas of build and robustness. When it comes to ergonomics and controls, it is hard to put a medal on one car. Both offer ease of access in their own way. Good reach, blind identification (steering mounted controls) and tactility of buttons are both their strengths. Even with Tata Zest equipping first in segment smaller steering wheel for sporty feel, Hyundai Xcent outranks with better driving position.

Zest vs Xcent interiorsFeatures – This is where the battle gets really tough. Both cars have long list of belts and whistles, but each would attract different kind of buyers.

List of features offered in Tata Zest include central locking with foldable remote, speed sensing auto door lock, immobiliser, burglar alarm, day & night inside rear view mirror, roof antenna, full fabric Rugby Shoulder seats, dual tone – Java Black & Latte dashboard, single interior illumination lamp on front, theatre dimming, map pockets (no bottle holders) on all 4 doors, rear parcel tray, chrome finish on gear knob & AC vents, storage via cup holders in centre console & glove box, vanity mirror (passenger side), AC with climate control, all 4 power windows, electrically adjustable ORVMs, tilt steering, adjustable headrest (all 4), front dual airbags, clutch lock, follow me headlamps (via remote), rear defogger with timer,

Zest vs Xcent keysInstrument panel of Tata Zest has tachometer, warning indicators for individual door & tailgate ajar, gear shift (MT), low fuel, driver seatbelt reminder and Multi Information Display. MID shows digital clock, dual tripmeter, instantaneous fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, distance to empty, AMT mode indicator (for R/N/A/M) or drive mode indicator for MT version – Sport & Eco.

Tata Zest-069 touch screenAudio system in Tata Zest is ConnectNext Infotainment by Harman, that has 8 outlets via 2 speakers and 2 tweeters on both front and rear of cabin. Harman ICE supports USB, AUX-in and Bluetooth for smartphone connectivity and has iPod compatibility as well. Top trim comes with touchscreen system that is connected to a steering mounted button activate voice command feature for controlling music, phone, AC, etc. It also has image viewer and intuitive touch AC control.

Hyundai Xcent-010 instrumentHyundai Xcent is loaded with features like immobiliser, central locking, front fog lamps, rear defogger, folding key or smart key, reverse parking assist sensor, rear camera with Electro Chromic Mirror (ECM) display, driver & passenger airbags, 2-tone beige & black interiors, blue interior illumination, front & rear door map pockets & bottle holders, front & rear room lamps, front passenger seat back pocket, metal finish inside door handles, chrome finish gear knob, parking lever tip and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Tata Zest-066 instrumentFurther, all 4 power windows with auto down (driver only), electrically adjustable and foldable outside mirrors, passenger vanity mirror, rear seat centre armrest with cup holder, luggage lamp, rear AC vents, full automated temperature control with cluster ioniser, glove box cooling, push button start/stop, tilt steering, driver seat height adjuster and adjustable rear seat headrests.

Tata Zest-067 harmanInstrument panel & centre fascia display of Hyundai Xcent incorporates tachometer, warning & indicators for gear shift (MT only), door & tailgate ajar, low fuel and driver seat belt. Multi Information Display (MID) contains digital clock, dual tripmeter and average vehicle speed.

Hyundai Xcent-011 music playerAudio system in Hyundai Xcent is 2-DIN integrated radio+CD+MP3 player with front (2) & rear (2) speakers, Aux-in & USB ports, 1 GB internal memory, Bluetooth connectivity and steering wheel mounted controls.

In short, Zest is driver centric and Xcent is more premium, catering to passengers as well. Opinion is framed by dual cabin light, rear seat arm rest with cup holders, bottle holders on all 4 doors, rear AC vent and marginally more boot volume on Hyundai Xcent.

Tata Zest doorsEngine –Tata Zest is powered by all new Revotron petrol engine that displaces 1.2 litres via 4 cylinders. First in segment turbocharged engine producing 90 PS and 140 Nm is mated to 5 speed gearbox only.  Hyundai Xcent hides 1.2 litre dual VTVT Kappa engine that delivers 83 PS and 114 Nm, mated to 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic transmission.

Diesel version of Tata Zest is powered by renouned 1.3 litre Quadrajet engine sourced from Fiat. It pushes out 90 PS and 200 Nm, coupled with 5 speed manual gearbox or 5 speed F-Tronic AMT with Shift Assist Manual transmission. Xcent Diesel hosts 2nd gen 1.1 litre U2 VTVT CRDI engine which generates 72 PS and 180 Nm, coupled to 5 speed manual box.

Tata Zest enginesPerformance – Comparing petrol models, it is apt to say Xcent is more involving and fun to drive. Engine is responsive and short throw gearshifts are sporty. Low and mid range grunt is enjoyable in city; not much of scope at high engine speeds. Quick gearshifts will help make the most out of Xcent’s peppy engine. Revotron petrol engine of Tata Zest, though rated at higher power and torque measures than Xcent, is rather calm and steady. First in segment drive modes – City, Sport and Eco does not seem to affect responsiveness of Zest. Turbo lag is not noticeable, spread-out linear power delivery is. Gearshifts are somewhat slick, does not feel mechanical. Though Zest performs its duty on road without much to complain, Xcent is more of a driver’s car.

Diesel version comparo is inconclusive at this point, since we have driven only AMT equipped Zest. Although it has much more power, shift lag of AMT that can be counted with fingers, gets in the way of proving on road. AMT is good enough for serene commuters, while performance seekers will have hard time pulling off timely manoeuvres, not to mention overtaking. Sport mode in AMT does not help much either. Manual mode in AMT is more fun, taking control back; but better shift response could bring more game. In either mode, longer clutching for slow gear changes pushes high engine noise into the cabin.

Tata Zest petrol reviewHyundai Xcent diesel is more spirited. It has a turbocharger with electronically controlled waste gate that is held closed for longer time for stretched power band. Yet, power delivery is pronounced at low and mid range engine speeds only. Soft baby punch in between makes the engine more lively and responsive; good for city driving and not bad for tactics on road. Engine sound is moderate, not unusual in the segment.

Hyundai Xcent-005 sideRide and handling – Another plus in Xcent is steering feel. Unlike many motor driven steering system (EPS), Xcent’s equipment offers pleasurable steering control. There is right amount of heaviness and good feedback, which would make driving enthusiasts happy. Tata Zest comes with small 360mm steering wheel that offers good grip. However, it is dead light during idle and low speeds. Feedback from road and progressive tightness on higher speeds and while turning are noticeable, but not enough to put a smile on someone who likes to push the car at corners. Active return feature works well.

Ride quality is good in both cars; Xcent has slightly stiffer shocks that let some of thuds pass on to occupants. Zest has aptly tuned dampers for Indian roads, combined with softer seats, ensures smoother travel experience.

Brakes – Hyundai Xcent equips ABS (Antilock Braking System), but Tata Zest has EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) with Corner Stability control. While braking on straight roads, Xcent had an extra teeth to the bite, while Zest performed just as good. We have not tested braking both cars in extreme conditions yet.

Zest vs Xcent alloysService & maintenance – Hyundai offers 2 years unlimited odo warranty with extension plans covering up to 5 years. Average free-service charge is around Rs. 4,000 and paid service bill will turn up to be approximately Rs. 8,000, as claimed by a dealer. Service interval is 10,000 km or 1 year. The second largest carmaker in India has a vast network of service outlets and their reputation is well known.

Tata has been overhauling their dealership outlets for new and improved customer experience and better service quality. If they achieve said goal, Tata would compete head on with Hyundai.

Zest vs Xcent exteriorsVerdict – Tata Zest and Hyundai Xcent have slightly different target audience, but where they overlap, battle grows tougher. If it helps, let us suggest that Zest is far better than usual Tata cars, and a trip to showroom will be worth the while. As far as of the two, we did like the Zest more for its sporty nature, unlike Hyundai’s sober one.

Here is specification comparison table of Tata Zest and Hyundai Xcent, both petrol and diesel versions.

Tata Zest

Hyundai Xcent

Tata Zest

Hyundai Xcent

Specifications

Diesel

Diesel

Petrol

Petrol

Dimensions (mm)

Overall length

3995

3995

3995

3995

Overall width

1706

1660

1706

1660

Overall height

1570

1520

1570

1520

Wheelbase

2470

2425

2470

2425

Front track

1450

1479

1450

1479

Rear track

1440

1493

1440

1493

Ground clearance

165

165

165

165

Turning radius (m)

5.1

4.7

5.1

4.7

Engine

Type

1.3L Quadrajet, DOHC

1.1L U2

1.2 L Revotron, SOHC

1.2 L Kappa Dual VTVT, DOHC

Displacement (cc)

1248

1120

1193

1197

Number of cylinders

4

3

4

4

Number of valves

16

12

8

16

Fuel distribution

NA

NA

NA

NA

Air Charging System

Turbocharger with Intercooler

NA

Turbocharged MPi

NA

Bore (mm) x Stroke (mm)

69.6 x 82mm

NA

75 x 67.5 mm

NA

Compression Ratio

17.6:1

NA

9:1

NA

Maximum power (PS@rpm)

90 @ 4000

72 @ 4000

90 @ 5000

83 @ 6000

Maximum torque (Nm@rpm)

200 @ 1750 – 3000

180 @ 1750 – 2500

140 @ 1750 – 3500

114 @ 4000

Emission

NA

NA

NA

NA

Milegae (kmpl)

NA

24.4 kmpl

NA

19.1 kmpl

Transmission

Shift Type

5MT, F-Tronic AMT with Shift Assist Manual

5 MT

5 MT

5 MT / 4 AT

Clutch Type

NA

NA

NA

NA

Gear Ratio – 1st Gear

4.273

NA

3.64

NA

Gear Ratio – 2nd Gear

2.238

NA

1.95

NA

Gear Ratio – 3rd Gear

1.444

NA

1.27

NA

Gear Ratio – 4th Gear

1.029

NA

0.88

NA

Gear Ratio – 5th Gear

0.767

NA

0.714

NA

Gear Ratio – Reverse Gear

3.909

NA

3.58

NA

Final Drive Ratio

NA

NA

NA

NA

Weight

Kerb weight (Kg)

1170

950-1150 kgs (approx.)

1115 – 1135

950-1150 kgs (approx.)

Steering

Power steering type

Electric Power Assisted with Active Return

NA

Electric Power Assisted with Active Return

NA

Brakes

Front

Disc

Disc

Disc

Disc

Rear

Drum

Drum

Drum

Drum

Suspension

Front

McPherson Strut

McPherson Strut

McPherson Strut

McPherson Strut

Rear

Semi Independent Twist Beam

Coupled Torsion Beam

Semi Independent Twist Beam

Coupled Torsion Beam

Tyre Size

Front / Rear

185/60 R15

165/65 R14 (Steel & Alloy), 175/60 R 15 (Alloy)

185/60 R15

165/65 R14 (Steel & Alloy), 175/60 R 15 (Alloy)

Capacity

Boot Volume (L)

390

407

390

407

Fuel tank capacity (L)

44

43

44

43

Seating capacity

5

5

5

5

Price  (ex-showroom Delhi)

NA

Rs. 6.23 – Rs. 7.38 lakhs

NA

Rs. 6.23 – Rs. 7.38 lakhs

Also read – Tata Zest diesel AMT review and Tata Zest petrol Revotron review.

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About the author

Ashwin Ram N P

Life after college in 2014 has seen Ashwin Ram propel himself wholeheartedly into the auto industry. Information is never enough for this young blogger who enthusiastically ticks his elaborate checklist at each drive. The need to add that one extra detail ensures select articles that are upbeat, and comprehensive.

He no longer works with RushLane.

 
 

Your opinion matters

  • SANDEEP

    Go for TATA Zest………..

    • BISHNU CHAPAGAIN’S SON PRANAV

      BECAUSE TATA ZEST IS OLDEST AND XCENT IS THE BEST

      • Abhiz

        Have both driven Both. Xcent is and feels premium but its Zest ! the new age Tata.
        Xcent is better suited for my dad who owns it. Though i luv it too. Xcent is low on pick up and seating in low. But scores on foldable mirros and good plastic quality.

  • vinay

    hyndai seems to have more teeth

    • BISHNU CHAPAGAIN’S SON PRANAV

      BUT HYUNDAI DOESN’T HAVE MORE TEETH THAN OUR’S

  • p.saikia

    tata zest,……

    • BISHNU CHAPAGAIN’S SON PRANAV

      NO

  • Mohit Verma

    tata zest is the best

    • BISHNU CHAPAGAIN’S SON PRANAV

      AND OLDER THAN U XCENT IS THE BEST

  • Vikas Sharma

    hyundai is overall a complete package than zest ……………drl for xcent is available but few features like foldable orvm and rear ac vents as well as rear central armrest not available for zest ………..fuel economy of xcent petrol is better than zest …..