Hyundai is all set to launch the facelift on its subcompact sedan, the Xcent in April 2017. The major focus as far as the makeover goes is on the individual buyer. So expect restyling of the car to make it look more attractive. This is especially true for the rear-end as market feedback had told Hyundai that most people didn't like the two-dimensional look of the current car's rear, nor its taillight design. We had already showed you some pictures of the facelifted Xcent caught testing - and it is evident that it now has larger, wrap-down taillights which are much bigger. The car's redesign is also an attempt to make the subcompact sedan appear a little larger. To this end expect to see the 'cascade' design front grille - that we recently saw on the facelifted Grand i10 too. A redesigned hood, wider bumpers and new look fog lights will also add to the new face - just like in the hatch. That's not surprising of course since the Xcent is based on the Grand i10 anyway. Also expected are LED daytime running lights of DRLs on the top spec variant.
Also in line with trying to hook more family and individual buyers now will be a refreshed cabin. Again you can expect to see a lot of what the Grand i10 has now driven back in with. So besides a new palette and upholstery, expect the touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror Link integration. And also the climate control system - all of this will only likely be offered in the top-end. The diesel engine will also likely be the more powerful 1.2 seen on the hatch, while the petrol will remain the same. It will also have the optional auto box on it.
The Xcent had started reasonably well, but could beer break into the massive popularity of its rivals - Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire and Honda Amaze. But off late fleet sales have been robust making the car a pretty good seller month-on-month since last autumn. The most crucial differentiation point for the new car - given Hyundai is trying t once again attract individual buyers - will be over fleet sales. Hyundai is considering keeping the current pre-facelift Xcent in the market - strictly for fleet or taxi segment sales. This would be akin to Maruti's strategy of launching the 2nd gen Dzire and rebadging the older one as the Dzire Tour. Hyundai is looking to retain the older-look car for 6-8 months at the very least. If the strategy pays off that period could be extended. Meanwhile the updated sedan will not only carry the new styling, but will have a richer cabin - in material and equipment terms to make it seem more modern, stylish and appealing to buyers. There could also be more equipment loaded in the top 3 variants, by also offering some of the Grand i10's top-spec-only features to a wider section of buyers. Hyundai is looking at introducing these as new variants.
Expect prices to remain competitive. The current Xcent starts at Rs 5.44 lakh for the base manual petrol 1.2 VTVT and tops off at Rs 8.12 lakh for the SX (O) manual diesel U2 CRDi. Hyundai knows it still has to take on the next generation Swift Dzire that's coming in the second half of 2017, the segment benchmark sedan - Ford Figo Aspire, the Volkswagen Ameo that's started to pick up steam, and the soon-to-arrive Tata Tigor too. So expect pricing to remain fairly aggressive. After all don't forget just how aggressive Hyundai had gone when the car had launched in 2014!