Tata Zest vs Hyundai Xcent petrol & diesel comparison review

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.

Continue to Page 2 for Engine, Drive Performance, Conclusion, and Tech Specs.