Honda Amaze 1.5-litre, 4-cyl, 100bhp vs Hyundai Xcent 1.2-litre, 3-cyl, 72bhp vs Maruti-Suzuki Dzire 1.3-litre, 4-cyl, 74bhp In this day, constant competition means that most manufacturers have to upgrade their cars or bikes at frequent intervals. This is primarily because most of the cars in the market today are closely matched with their competition.The compact sedan market which took off with vigour few years back continues to be hot-sellers so it is important. So much so that most of the compacts we see today are made-for-India. These three sedans you see here are no different then.The Amaze gets an all-new dash which looks much like the ones on the Jazz and City. It also gets climate control and an in-built audio system. Overall much better than before and gone are the gaping panel gaps. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)ALSO READ:Spec Comparison: Toyota Innova Crysta vs Renault Lodgy vs Maruti Suzuki Ertiga vs Tata AriaThe Dzire also comes with climate control and steering mounted controls. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) The Maruti-Suzuki Dzire was the first of the lot and then Honda came in with the Amaze and Hyundai had the Xcent (which replaced the aging Accent). But with time the Amaze and the Dzire had started to show its age. Both companies though have been proactive and launched the facelifted versions. So it was about time that we compared them once again and this time in the hottest selling diesel with manual gearbox category.The Xcent has the same dash as the Grand i10 and offers superior plastic quality. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) advertisementDesign DetailsThe Dzire got a facelift last year. The updated compact sedan’s front bumper is all-new, and now comes with a larger air dam. There are chrome accents on the sides around the fog lamp housings, while the grille now sports honeycomb styling and a thick chrome bar on the top. Moving on to the sides, the alloy wheels on the top variants get an all-new design.The xcents claim to fame is the feature list. it gets many first-in-class features like a built-in hard drive and a rear a/c vent. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)ALSO READ:Spec Comparison: Honda BR-V vs Hyundai CretaLower variants which come with steel wheels also benefit from a new look wheel cap set. Now most people will say that this is not much of a change. But let us tell you that the company is busy readying the next generation Swift and we are sure the same treatment will be applied to the Dzire eventually as well. Inside not much has changed from a design point of view but the company has added features which add value.Changes to the dzire are limited to cosmetics but The Xcent is the oldest of the lot. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Things like electric folding mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking sensors and a 12V socket at the back. When it comes to rear space, the Dzire is not the best of the lot and the same is the case when it comes to its 315-litre boot which is the smallest of the lot here.Dzire gets steering-mounted Bluetooth controls but buttons are oddly placed. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) The Amaze is the one which has the most number of upgrades. The front end benefits from a new bumper which is larger than before and gives the car a wider stance. The bumper also features a revised air dam and large faux intakes with fog lights embedded in them. The profile remains unchanged apart from new wheel caps which hide the steel wheels.ALSO READ:Comparison: Chevrolet Trailblazer vs Ford EndeavourAt the back, the tail lights have been revised with new bezels. But where it all matters is inside and Honda has done a splendid job of sprucing up the Amaze. The dash is all new and we are happy to report that gone are the gaping panel gaps which were quite an eyesore in the erstwhile model.Amaze gets control only for audio. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Amaze gets control only for audio. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)The design too reminds one of the new City and Jazz and brings up the Amaze to premium levels. The Amaze also gets climate control now and a new audio system which offers Bluetooth connectivity. However the same cannot be operated from the steering wheel. The instrument panel is new and the blue backlight gives it a classy overtone. Loved it quite simply. It is also comprehensive. Being the largest car here, the Amaze offers plenty of space both up front and rear. The boot too at 400 litres is intrusion free, large and quite useful. The loading lip height is also pretty low and shoving in big and heavy luggage is not much of a problem.advertisementXcent driver also gets Bluetooth control on the steering wheel. It is also conveniently placed. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Xcent driver also gets Bluetooth control on the steering wheel. It is also conveniently placed. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)ALSO READ:2014 Renault Duster vs 2016 Renault DusterThe third car here is the Xcent which is the one yet to receive a facelift. However the biggest plus point of the Xcent is that it was always a brilliant package from day one. It looks quite smart with the Grand i10-like front end. But where it could do with a mild redesign is at the back. Inside the Xcent impresses with its quality and features.The Dzire comes with smart looking alloy wheels shod with 14-inch tyres. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)It comes with an audio system with a hard drive which can store plenty of data and not to forget that it is the only one to offer a rear A/C vent. Rest of the features are at par with the other two here. Space is also not a cause of concern when it comes to the Xcent and the boot at 407 litres is the largest in class and bigger than the Amaze by 7 litres. It is also flat and has very little intrusions.The Amaze gets 14-inch wheels but as compared to the other two here gets steel wheels. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) Moving OnWhen it comes to performance the three sedans here are quite different from each other. The Dzire comes with a 1.3-litre engine which comes into its own at around the 1,800rpm mark. The motor is free-revving in nature and loves to be used spiritedly.The 14-inch alloys of the Xcent are the smartest of the lot. These diamond cut alloys give a sporty look. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) ALSO READ:Datsun redi-Go vs Alto 800 vs Eon vs KwidDzire comes with CD-players. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)However as we said before you have to keep the turbo spooled and this means keeping it in the right rev range. In case the revs drop a downshift will have to be called for to tackle an overtake. The gearbox on the Dzire is the same unit employed in the Swift. It is crisp and also has short throws. The Dzire much like the Swift is a good handler. This means that it is good fun around corners. The steering too is quick and offers decent feedback to ensure enjoyment.Amaze though offers USB, radio and Bluetooth connectivity only. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) The Amaze on the other hand has the largest engine of them all. The 1.5-litre i-DTEC motor offers plenty of power and it is easily the fastest sedan here. But apart from being the fastest it is also very drivable and requires very few gear changes. There is plenty of torque spread in a very linear fashion and hence the Amaze rarely feels like its bogging down.advertisementXcent comes with CD-players. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)There is no change in the instrument panel of the Dzire. However they are comprehensive. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) The gearbox is also crisp and it is a joy to toy around with the short lever. The other thing which Honda could have looked into is the NVH package. The engine is still clearly audible within the cabin. When it comes to the steering, the Amaze impresses with a quick setup which gives this sedan a go-kart feel.The instrument panel of the Amaze looks smart with the blue backlight scheme. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)ALSO READ:Vitara Brezza vs NuvoSport vs Baleno vs CretaThere is no change in the instrument panel of the Xcent. However they are comprehensive. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)The suspension is also setup stiff and this means that the Amaze is fun to drive around corners. The other difference we felt was a considerably drop in suspension noise which is great. The third contender here, the Xcent offers the smallest engine. A 1.1-litre to be precise and not surprising is the fact that it is not the fastest of the lot. It takes over 15 seconds to touch 100kmph.Dzire: Tried and tested 1.3-litre mill offers smooth performance. Gearbox is very close to the one on the Honda. Space is adequate in the Dzire. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) However what is impressive is the fact that it offers the largest number when it comes to the fuel efficiency bit. Considering it has a large fuel tank, the Xcent also has the maximum range. The other feature which impresses on the Xcent is how it feels at top speed. The car remains planted as compared to the Amaze which starts feeling a bit floaty. The NVH levels are also top notch and it feels like a car from a different class.Amaze: The Honda has the largest engine here, a 1.5-litre oil burner. Love the precise shifts from the gearbox. The Amaze offers best-in-class space. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)ALSO READ:Spec Comparison: Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza vs Maruti Suzuki BalenoHowever where the Xcent needs improvement is the steering setup. It is overtly light which comes as a boon in tight city spaces but once the car takes on speed, it is a bit vague.Xcent: The Xcent comes in with a 1.1-litre common rail diesel which is the smallest here. Gearbox is smooth. Space is not a cause of concern and you do get a rear A/C vent here. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) VerdictThe changes in the Amaze might not be mechanical but it is important from various other angles. Quite simply it emerged the winner. If you look at previous tests we have done, you will see that the Xcent was the winner and mainly because it scored heavily on efficiency and features. Stuff like climate control, a hard drive on the audio system and electric everything made a lot of difference.Not to forget its big boot. But a close challenger was the Dzire which scored well too. So the only cause of concern was the Amaze which in spite of being the biggest in terms of space and engine size did not quite make it. But all that has changed. The new dash and features work wonders to spruce up an already strong package.ALSO READ:Skoda Superb vs Audi A3 vs Mercedes Benz CLA vs Toyota CamrySo at the end of the day the new Amaze proved its mettle to become the most superior at this point of time.