That Hyundai Motors are on a roll is no secret. The Hyundai Accent Executive in India was recently given a fresh lease of life when Hyundai Motors decided to actually provide a facelift for this car. Well, only the face was lifted and made upto the new “Fluidic Design” concept which is running through Hyundai Motors’ blood now. This in itself has regenerated the public interest in this car and Hyundai Motors claim to have received fresh bookings of approximately 1200 cars within 2 months. That’s a good thing for a sedan which has completed 11 years of its life without much upgrade and is still instantly recognizable as a Hyundai Accent. The other car which is priced similar and infact a bit lower than the Hyundai Accent Executive is the . This car is the chopped boot version of the regular Indigo however it sells in far greater numbers than the older Indigo. So obviously, if they clash in the same price bracket, a comparison is but evident. Since the Accent is available only in a petrol variant, we pitted the Hyundai Accent Executive with the petrol variant of the Tata Indigo E-cs in India.
The Hyundai Accent Executive in India gets the familiar “Fluidic Design” language which the other Hyundai cars are meekly following. Long gone is the days of copying other manufacturers and Hyundai Motors have actually come up with a design language of their own. However many Indiandrives staffers felt that the new Accent is infact an uglier looking thing than the decent looking earlier model. Thankfully enough, the changes are only in the front and no all new design has been carried forward. The grille gets a chrome garnish similar to what Tata used to do in its Telco days. The fog lamps are a happy feature and a bit away from the run of the mill stuff. The sides get black plastic moldings. The chrome theme is carried over to the number plate as well. On the rear, there are the clear lens tail lamps which have been carried over from the previous version of the Accent. As for the , it gets a sharper nose than the earlier one and it doesn’t seem like a Manza variant and carries on an identity of its own. The same chromed grille along with the Tata logo and the clear lens head lamps lend it a good character show. The ORVMs get shiny chrome inserts in them which look classy. There are alloy wheels on offer as well. The chopped boot look of the earlier CS has been replaced with a slightly bigger one. Both the cars have a similar look for the tail pipe.
The Hyundai Accent feels bigger than what the Tata Indigo E-cs in India is however the E-cs carries forward a new design them whereas the Hyundai still feels dated. But as they say, don’t go by the looks is proved when most of the Indiandrives staffers flocked to the Accent rather than the Indigo E-cs.
Open the doors of the Hyundai Accent and you will find that nothing much has changed. The interiors feature the beige upholstery which was present in the older version as well. The door pads have a fabric inserts on them and also the wooden panel for the power window switches. The seats in the Accent are even now on the lower side of things whereas the ones on the Tata Indigo E-cs in India offer a good entry point. The Accent Executive has a leather wrapped gear lever as also steering wheel. The meter dials have a very basic feel for them and aren’t updated to more modern standards. The Indigo in the meanwhile has got the moon faced dials which more or less are in a good ball park than the ones in the Accent. Both cars have easy to use stalk controls. The steering wheel in the Tata is now a big unit however there was no problem finding a comfortable position in there. As for the Accent, it seems spacious from the outside however things are a bit tight inside the cabin. The front passengers wouldn’t complain the least however the rear ones would definitely voice their concern with negligible under thigh support as compared to the good one for the Tata. The Tata trumps the Hyundai in terms of space be it in the leg room, head room or even the shoulder room. The last part however is a wee bit better on the Hyundai though. Boot space noticeably is greater in the Hyundai and plus it has a lower loading lip. Even though the Indigo has a chopped boot, it doesn’t reflect in the interiors and as always, space is never an issue with any Tata product. Both the cars have music players with the Tata even offering an Aux input. Build quality is almost similar with the one in the Hyundai feeling a bit better. Both the cars are similarly specced as far as cubby holes are concerned. The ones on the Hyundai are more well polished than the ones in the Tata.
The wins this round due to the overall space quotient however the Hyundai Accent claws its way back with a superior build quality and overall well finished package.
Handling and ride quality
As far as the ride and handling characteristics are concerned, both the cars are there to cater to the family oriented person and hence are set up on the softer side of things. The Accent noticeably hunches when fully loaded and this could be a problem as far as carrying around a full complement of passengers is concerned. The Indigo E-cs, however, has got no such problem. It does get bogged down a bit with the full complement of passengers on board however the wheel arch and wheels don’t seem like they would stick close to each other any time soon. Due to its soft suspension, the Accent tends to bob over undulating surfaces. That said, the ride quality is good for city use but on the highway, minor road abrasions tend to make their presence felt inside the cabin. For the Tata, the suspension is by some degree stiffer and hence in the city, there are some road imperfections which filter into the cabin but on the highway, this same stiffness makes it hold onto its line very nicely. The steering wheel setup on the Accent is on the lighter side but it is nice to grip as compared with the Indigo. The Indigo’s unit is an awkward one in the first place with the grip making it look so large that it imitates a truck’s one. Neither of this cars have got steering mounted controls. The Tata’s unit is heavier than the Accent’s. The Accent is the quicker one to turn in into corners whereas the Tata takes some time getting used to. However the Accent’s chassis doesn’t quite lead one to have a good driving experience. It rolls and the tyres also start protesting after some time. As for the Tata, it strolls into corners with a far more relaxed attitude and by virtue of its stiffer suspension, carries speeds into corners well enough, though its not as fun as the Swift Dzire. NVH of the Accent’s engine is on the higher side and is showing its dated nature here.
Due to its good ride quality, the Accent wins our vote here but the Tata is dynamically sound than it.
Engine, performance and fuel efficiency
The 1.5 liter engine in the Hyundai Accent Executive in India is the same one from the old model. Infact this engine has been soldiering on right from the start of the Accent’s innings in India. This 4 cylinder engine makes 94 Bhp of power and 124 Nm of torque. It is available only with a 5 speed manual transmission. For the , there are petrol and diesel engines on offer. However since we are comparing the petrol counterparts, the 1.2 liter engined car has been taken. It makes a modest 63 bhp of power and 100 Nm of torque. It is also aligned with a 5 speed manual transmission. Needless to say, for the standing start, the Accent makes a headway achieving the quarter mile in 14.7 seconds. The top speed is also in the regions of 180 kmph. As for the Indigo E-cs, the 0-100 kmph timing came in at 15.5 seconds while the top speed is much lower than the Accent at 164 kmph. Both the engines are good with the Accent’s on account of its higher cubic capacity being able to rev higher. The gear shifts on the Accent are better than that on the Tata though. Both the Accent and the Indigo E-cs are bare bones as far as braking aids are concerned. The Tata has got a better brake feel than the Accent while the Accent on account of its bigger brakes makes quicker stops. Like in the recently launched Indica Ev2, there is hill gradient assist, similarly in the Indigo E-cs, it is present. How much of it comes to use is anyone’s guess. Unfortunately no airbags are offered on both even as options. The Indigo doesn’t get an alternate fuel option while Hyundai has offered the Accent with both CNG and LPG units.
Fuel efficiency for the heavier Accent is a bit on the lower side. The Accent delivered 8.8 kmpl in city while the highway figure stood at 13.2 kmpl. The dated nature of the engine is now showing in the fuel efficiency stakes. As for the E-cs, sub 14 kmpl figures in the city and 18 kmpl on the highway ensure that it is easy to run.
The Tata Indigo wins due to better fuel efficiency and for rest of the features, both the engines are same, if not the Tata feels a bit strained cruising at speeds all day long.
As far as the bigger product goes, it is but natural that the Hyundai would win however Hyundai Motors India Limited should realize that the Accent is a dated product now and should be retired from its fleet. It seems more like a case of Hyundai flogging a dead horse. When the Verna replacement was launched earlier on this year, it was touted that the old Verna would replace the Accent. However this never happened and the older Verna was retired with the Accent still soldiering on. The Accent still carries around a nicely built if just dated looking cabin and the big car feel. The Indigo E-cs however feels like an evolution over the earlier Indigo and inspite of its small footprint, it has better cabin space and ergonomics. Moreover, cabin quality has taken a drastic improvement from the earlier generations but then build quality is still not upto the mark. But the Tata is significantly more fuel efficient and also doesn’t compromise much as regards with the boot space. So in all, it’s the Tata Indigo E-cs which comes out in tops. As far as the sales and service parts availability goes, both are equally equipped with the Tata been the niftier of the two as far as price of spares are concerned. Hyundai spares are expensive and the Accent being a big car, more so. The Accent is also available with a CNG or LPG kit whereas the Indigo gets a frugal diesel engine as an option. Now comes the pricing. The Hyundai Accent Executive price in India is Rs 5.01 lakhs while the Tata Indigo E-cs price in India starts from Rs 4. 33 lakhs. All these prices are ex-show room, Mumbai. This is nearly a price difference of Rs 75k. At this price point, you can easily fit in an after market CNG or LPG kit.
Our pick for the day is the Tata Indigo E-cs.