Hyundai Eon Review
Best Car in its ClassSunday, November 17, 2013
India is a country obsessed with mileage. It’s been truly said and all the auto manufacturers here in India value it. Every car manufacturer in India eyes this segment of cars. It’s the most populated segment in India and no body rules it better than Maruti Suzuki. That’s the reason why India’s best-selling car is Maruti Suzuki’s Alto, which is a fuel efficient car rather than a performer. Korean makers knew it from the beginning. To challenge the reigning champion, Hyundai is all set with their new car which is specially designed for India. This car is known as Eon. Hyundai introduced this car at a very competitive price starting from INR 2.69 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). The all-new Hyundai small car has been positioned below Santro and will compete with the likes of base model of Chevrolet Spark and top model of Maruti Alto.
Hyundai Eon sports 814cc 3 cylinder petrol engine which generates maximum power of around 55 Bhp and maximum torque of 76.5 Nm. The fully loaded variant of Eon (Sportz) features power steering, front power windows, air conditioner, driver side airbag, body coloured bumpers, music system with 4 speakers, USB port, aux-in and remote levers for fuel lid plus tail gate. Hyundai India ,is the second largest car manufacturer in India and constantly growing faster to battle it out hard in the hatch segment of India. Their most acclaimed car, Santro was a hit ever since it was launched. This car brought in the confidence of Indian car buyers in Hyundai. It’s been over a decade since Santro is fighting against every hatch of Maruti Suzuki ranging from Maruti 800 to Swift. Only after the arrival of i10, Santro was positioned differently in the market to target Alto specifically.
Hyundai cut down the price of Santro and introduced new variants offerings power windows and air conditioner as the standard features of car in order to grab the buyers of alto, hoping new heights of success. Hyundai was hoping some change and it did change but unfortunately not in the favor of Hyundai. Santro completely lost it to Alto. Speculations were made that Hyundai might stop down the production of Santro and will re-introduce it with a smaller engine may be 800cc. After four years of complete research and development finally Hyundai is ready with its answer to Alto and other competitors in the form of Eon. Now Hyundai will expect Eon to do what Santro couldn’t do. Will this car change the fortunes for Hyundai as Alto did for Maruti?
Hyundai Eon looks dynamic. Hyundai’s new fluidic scheme is a boon for Indian customers. Their every new car is following fluidic design. Eon’s new designing out-stands Alto completely. This car looks very similar to new i10 with similar hexagonal bumper grill with broad and sharp headlights. Front bumper sports triangular space for fog lights. When seen from the front, this car looks aerodynamic with new styling. The curvy appearance of car makes it look much more premium than what it is. The fluidic lines start from the front bumper and moves along nicely into the edgy tail lamps. Rear bumper is sharp and broad at the corners, giving car an edgy look. It’s hard to believe that Eon is positioned below Santro. For those looking for style it’s undoubtedly the best ever designed car in entry level segment.
A chrome strip under the bonnet goes really well with the new shaped grill. Nice, clear wheel arches moulds well along with R13 size of tyres in top model. The basic model features R12 size of tyre which may spoil the look for many as it looks very similar to that of Tata’s Nano. The story doesn’t end here; the rear of car is also refreshing. Unlike Santro's tall boy image, the roof dips down at the back and blends perfectly with sharp tail lamps .The C-pillar of the car is specially designed to give the driver a clear view while reversing the vehicle. The top model of Eon comes with never before offered features like, body colour bumpers, ORVM's, sporty roof antenna with fog lamps and full wheel covers. It has a key-less entry making it feel premium with options like rear spoiler. The car doesn’t look small either like its other competitors. After looking at it every competitor of it, is it Chevrolet’s Spark, Maruti’s Alto or Tata’s Nano looks like pre-historic. From now on, every entry level car in not just a box fitted with an engine only. Eon defines how a car should look like.
The car is no different inside. It’s stylish, modern and stuffed with features, which are new for this segment. Dual tone beige and brown colors are used inside to make it look more premium. Many premium hatches even don’t offer dual tone interiors but Hyundai does not want to limit its new car. Sit on the driver seat and you will find a three spoke steering wheel nicely finished with tilt option along with front two power windows in the top model. Instrument panel is nicely designed with additional features like digital double trip meter and gear shift indicator which helps the car to give optimum fuel efficiency. Plastic quality is far better than its competitors. Boot space is 215 litres which is best in its segment. It’s surely good news for those who are planning to get CNG kits installed in Eon as it will still have some space left even after the fitment of gas cylinder.
Comfort and Convenience
Hyundai Eon is much wider than Alto and even Santro, so there is enough space for five people in it. Thigh support is just enough at the back. Unlike Santro, Hyundai has given enough space to keep things inside this car as top model comes with parcel tray along with map pockets sporting in front doors with built in bottle holders to keep essential papers and things in it. The glove box of this car is big enough than Alto and it also offers pedestal space, floor console with big cup holders. Other features include central locking in top model with remote levers for fuel lid and boot gate as standard features. Front seats are very comfortable, manually adjustable and features integrated head-rest. The seats are bucket type and front door comes with full arm rest. Seating is deep enough in this car which makes it far more superior and convenient by offering more legroom and head room than any of its competitors. For people around six feet, seating at the back might be a problem as head room and knee room is cut down to give proper space in the boot.
Dashboard of Hyundai Eon has been beautifully designed with lines running through it. Both colors are perfectly blended which adds charm to the beauty of this car. The top model features curvy Centre console with integrated double din music system with Aux in port and USB support with four speakers fitted inside the doors.
Engine and Gearbox
This is the department which matters the most in this segment of cars. Alto is successful because of its good fuel efficiency and enough power. Hyundai tries to target these both features with this car. The engine used in Eon is an 814cc three cylinder petrol SOHC engine which is a reduced version of Santro’s 1.1 engines. Hyundai decided not to make a complete new engine but to make some alterations in their existing engine to get better fuel efficiency. This engine churns out a maximum power of 56 Bhp at 5500 rpm with maximum torque output of 75 NM at 4000 rpm. This much of power is enough for a car like Eon which weighs around 725kg. This engine is mated with five speed manual gearbox. The power and torque supply is adequate. There is no turbo lag. The engine feels much peppier than Alto. It’s ready to go and feels capable enough to beat Alto’s 800cc engine in terms of power. Eon performs much better than Alto even when the AC is on.
When pushed hard, then only you will come to know the flaws of Eon’s engine. This three cylinder engines lacks the refinement level and one can easily feel the vibrations once you pass 2500 rpm mark. No doubt, Eon can easily beat Alto’s 800cc engine but it can’t pass the K-series engine used in Maruti Suzuki Alto k10.That engine feels much more refined in comparison to Eon‘s engine and manages to produce 68 bhp with only three cylinders proving itself much more worthy in terms of power and fuel efficiency. Eon comes with ‘Alternator Management System’ (AMS) developed by Hyundai especially for Indian customers to deliver more Eco-efficient driving. It controls the power supply to the battery to relieve the engine workload and reduces fuel consumption & emissions while decelerating and idling. Additionally the manual shift indicator in Eon prompts the driver whenever a gear shift is required. Thus together the AMS and Gear shift indicator ensures better fuel economy and extended battery life and adds to customer’s benefit.
Acceleration and Performance
The initial pickup is quite good of Eon which makes it a nice city car and in daily traffic it works really well as the lower band of car supplies nice amount of torque which reduces frequent gear shifting. The car can reaches the top seed of 135km/hour which is enough for a car in this segment. It reaches 0-100 within 21 seconds which makes it faster than alto but it’s slower than alto k10. Overall it’s a nice attempt from Hyundai but it could have been much better.
Fuel efficiency, this matters the most in this segment and that’s what makes Alto the choice of every Indian. Hyundai claims this car to return 21.1 kmpl. However, we found this car returns a mileage around 16 kmpl in city while on highways it can reach up to 18-19kmpl. Overall fuel efficiency will be around 15-17kmpl. In comparison to Alto its mileage is less by 1-2kmpl.Maruti’s k series engine also returns more mileage than Eon’s engine. Despite being lighter than Alto k10, Eon is unable to pass its fuel efficiency. This is the biggest drawback for Eon.
Ride and Handling
This car is specially designed for India, keeping Indian road conditions in mind. That is the reason why it has a ground clearance of 170mm which makes sure that it passes even the worst potholes on Indian roads. Its wheel base is similar to that of Santro’s 2380mm which makes it a comfortable car than its competitors. Driving this car at corners is safer than Alto but do not try too much of high speed cornering as it does get scary. Steering wheel feels quite comfortable with tilting option; it makes sure that you don’t feel stressed. This power steering is very light and smooth, perfect for city conditions and no doubt Hyundai Eon handles really well. To make your rides safer Hyundai offers driver airbag in Eon which is again first in its segment. It is strongly built car with strong beams in front and sides to avoid maximum harm.
Brakes and Suspension
Hyundai has equipped this car with good braking system. Eon features disc brakes at the front while drum brakes are doing duty at the back. The car doesn’t features optional ABS and EBD. The available braking system functions well and is able to stop this light vehicle within time. Suspension is of good quality with gas filled shock absorbers, rides are quite comfortable. At high speeds you may finds its rear suspension a bit soft but come on we are talking about an entry level car; don’t expect this much.
Hyundai Eon is the safest small car in its class, the top model features driver-side airbag. It was expected that Sportz variant will also feature ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) but it seems that Hyundai wants to keep this safety feature for i10 and i20.
Hyundai Eon is available in 8 variants: D-Lite, D-Lite+, D-Lite+ LPG, Era+, Era+ LPG, Magna+, Magna+ LPG and Sportz. The base variant (D-Lite) is basic with black coloured outside rear-view mirrors, black coloured door handles, black bumpers, no power steering, no power windows, no air-conditioner and no central locking. The top variant (Sportz) gets all these features plus factory fitted music system (with USB port and AUX-in), driver side airbag, both-side outside rear-view mirrors, 3 spoke aluminum finish steering wheel, metal finish inside door handle, front fog lamps and body coloured door handles and OSRVM.
Hyundai Eon also comes with optional LPG kits in order to reduce the expenses on petrol. Car comes with a two year warranty. The list of features packed with outstanding designing and style makes it a complete value for money car. Hyundai has introduced many new features in this car which were never in this segment. It makes it exclusive in its segment. If we talk about its appearance it’s a head turner. This car is competitively priced and has all the potential to be the best in its segment. The one thing which can only spoil its party is its fuel efficiency.
Immobilizer, Full size spare wheel, Single horn, Child safety rear door lock, Inside rear view mirror-standard, Front and rear ELR seat belts, Rear centre static seat belt, Hub cap, Driver side OSRVM (manually adjustable), Clear head, tail and side repeater lamps, Integrated HMSL, Chrome rear emblems, Radiator grille (2 tone-black plus chrome), 2 tone beige and brown key colour, PVC gear knob and parking brake trim, 2 spoke PU steering wheel, Tailgate finishing-plastic type, Door trims-”H” board type, Quadrant cover for passenger ORVM, Assist grip-front (1), rear-2, B and C pillar trims, Sun visor- LH and RH, Semi cloth upholstery, Room lamp-front-glow type, Windshield molding, Speaker grille-front doors, Fuel lid and tailgate opening-remote cable type, Front and rear fixed head rest, Heater with 4 speed blower, 2 speed front wiper and washer, Clear all round glasses, Power outlet in front console, Cup holder in front console, Floor console-STD with storage tray, Single folding bench rear seat, Rear door armrest (half), Rear seat belt knuckle holder, Gear shift indicator and Cluster assembly signals (speedometer, dual trip meter, digital odometer, fuel, water pump, oil pressure, parking brake, battery charge, high beam, engine check lamp, immobilizer)
D-Lite+ (in addition to the features of D-Lite)
Manual AC, Body colored bumpers, Power steering and Gear shift indicator.
Era+ (in addition to the features of D-Lite+)
Body colour bumper, Body colour plus chrome radiator grille, Metal finish centre fascia, Motor driven power steering, All round tinted glasses, Front tinted windshield with shade, EPS indicator, Front power windows and Central locking.
Magna+ (in addition to the features of Eon Era+)
Full wheel cover, Steel wheel with black finish, Tilt steering, Central locking (driver side), Passenger side OSRVM, Molded door trims, Front door map pockets (driver and co-driver), Speaker grill-RR boot, Internally adjustable OSRVMs, Front power windows, Micro roof antenna, Front door full size armrest, Audio (CD/MP3/FM/AM), USB and aux-in, 2 speakers only (front doors) and Rear parcel tray.
Sportz (in addition to the features of Magna+)
Driver airbag, Key-less entry, Front fog lamp-clear lens, Body coloured door handles and OSRVM, 3 spoke aluminum finish steering wheel, Metal finish inside door handle and Airbag warning signal on console