Hyundai Eon - Introduction
For nearly a decade, the Maruti Suzuki Alto had been the undisputed leader in the entry level hatchback segment. Many competitors like the Chevrolet Spark and the much hyped Tata Nano tried to usurp its throne, but in vain. Finally, in October 2011, Korean auto major, Hyundai launched the Eon which proved to be a ‘tough’ contender and threatened to end Alto’s domination.
With its compact dimensions, fluidic design, stylish interior, decent handling, and frugal engine, it wasn’t difficult for the Eon to quickly gain a lot of attention and soon enough it started eating into Alto’s market share.
But despite the Hyundai Eon being a good overall package, it was considered to be pricier in comparison to the Maruti Suzuki Alto. Also, the fact that the Alto K10 offered a more powerful engine and the arrival of the Datsun Go only made matters more challenging for the Eon.
Therefore, in order to further strengthen its position in this segment, Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) has introduced the 1.0-litre Kappa engine for Eon priced at Rs 3.94 lakh (ex-showroom Kolkata). The new 1.0-litre Eon is being offered along with the existing 0.8-litre Eon range and will be available in a single Magna+ trim only for the time being.
The Hyundai Eon 1.0-litre Kappa Magna+ variant is Euro 5 compliant and the 3-cylinder petrol motor is equipped with the Dual VTVT technology developing 69PS and peak torque at 94 Nm returning an ARAI-ratified fuel efficiency of 20.3 kmpl.
Early this week, we got behind the wheel of the Hyundai Eon 1.0-litre Magna + and took it for a spin around town. Read on to discover how it fared.
Hyundai Eon - Design & Engineering
Hyundai’s smart and compact hatchback finally gets a new heart. It is Hyundai's 1-litre, 3-cylinder engine from its updated Kappa II family of engines which was so far only offered on the i10 in Europe and will now power the Eon along with the existing 814cc motor making India the first market to get the Eon with this 1-litre powerplant.
Barring the 13 PS of additional power aimed at boosting performance, vibration levels which earlier was a definite flaw with the Eon is now lower and overall refinement has improved which comes across almost instantly when compared to the 814cc engine. The engine is very well mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and the gear slots in smoothly.
The Magna+ trim that we tested similar to the Sportz variant rides on 13-inch wheel while the remaining variants get slightly smaller 12-inch wheel.
Apart from this, nothing else has really changed on the exterior of the Eon. Hyundai’s fluidic architecture is a hit and has found acceptability among the customers. With its large, pulled back headlamps, stylish rear tail lamps, compact design and cheeky looks, the Hyundai Eon in my opinion is the best looking car in the segment closely followed by the Datsun Go.
Hyundai Eon - Interiors & Comfort
Step inside and you are greeted to the same stylish interior that one finds in the existing model range. The beige and brown interiors add a touch of class. The dashboard is far superior in look and feel in comparison to the staid Maruti Suzuki Alto K10.
Front seats are quite comfortable and provide good overall support. The rear seat, although comfortable is ideally suited to accommodate only two adults. In comparison, the Datsun Go with a bigger wheelbase (2,450mm in comparison to Eon’s 2,380) is more spacious. The 215-litre boot can just about accommodate two medium sized bags and is 50-litre less than that of the Datsun Go.
Surprisingly, in order to control costs, Hyundai is not offering the 2 DIN music system with auxiliary input and USB, digital clock, tilt steering and internally adjustable ORVMs on the 1-litre Magna+ trim which is otherwise available on the 0.8-litre Magna+.
Hyundai Eon - Performance & Handling
The new Hyundai Eon 1.0-litre is powered by a 998 cc, 3-cylinder Kappa petrol engine with dual VTVT technology. The powerplant is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and develops 69PS of maximum power at 6,200 rpm and 94Nm of peak torque at 3,500 rpm. And the extra 13PS is noticeable and boosts the performance of the compact Eon.
We were pleasantly surprised with the drivability and handling of the Hyundai Eon 1-litre Magna+. The new 998cc engine is more responsive and punchy compared to the grossly underpowered 814cc motor which makes this car so much more fun to drive.
The Hyundai Eon’s steering feedback has remained unchanged. In the city, the light and nimble steering make driving the Hyundai Eon 1-litre Magna+ through the congested traffic infested roads feel like a walk in the park. It also excels while parking in tight spots. However, at highway speeds, the light steering does not weight up as much as expected.
Road grip is pretty good for its size as the Eon firmly held on to the ground even while cutting quick corners. However, it wouldn’t be fair to expect sports car like dynamics from an entry level hatchback like the Hyundai Eon. Suspension is tuned to suit city driving conditions, and considering its dimensions, the Eon does a fair job in absorbing bumps and potholes to keep your ride quality decently smooth. The slightly bigger profile 13-inch wheels definitely aid the ride quality.
Hyundai Eon - Fuel Efficiency
The Hyundai Eon 1.0-litre Magna+ boasts of an ARAI-ratified mileage of 20.3 kmpl (0.8 kmpl less than the standard Eon and o.60 kmpl less than the Datsun Go). Although we didn’t get an opportunity to conduct a real world mileage with the 1.0-litre Eon, however, expecting around 14 kmpl is entirely possible as the standard 814 cc Eon had registered 14.3 kmpl fuel efficiency when autojunction.in had performed a proper mileage test with it in city driving conditions.
Hyundai Eon - Safety
Today, safety is considered a top priority for car makers around the globe, and even in the case of a budget small car like the Hyundai Eon 1.0-litre Kappa Magna +, the Korean auto manufacturer has made every effort to ensure safety.
The Hyundai Eon 1.0-litre Kappa Magna + that we tested came equipped with engine immobilizer, central locking, keyless entry and front fog lamps. However, there is neither the driver-side airbag nor ABS which could be grounds of deducting some points from the Eon’s overall safety rating.
It’s worthwhile pointing out that the Hyundai Eon Sportz variant which is about Rs 1,000 cheaper than the 1.0-litre Kappa Magna + benefits from a driver-side airbag.
Hyundai Eon - Verdict
There is little doubt that the Hyundai Eon is an ideal city car. Its compact dimensions, stylish fluidic design, well-packaged interior, decent handling and frugal engine make it ideal for the first time car buyer. It is brilliant in start-stop traffic and a breeze to maneuver through congested city road and tight parking spots.
The Hyundai Eon 1-litre Kappa is priced at Rs 3.94 lakh (ex-showroom, Kolkata). At this price point, the Eon is more expensive that the top models of both the Datsun Go and Maruti Suzuki Alto K10. The top-end Sportz trim on the 814cc version which is still better loaded and benefits from more features and comforts including a driver-side airbag is Rs 1,000 cheaper. Also, the 0.8-litre Magna+ which is almost Rs 30,000 comes equipped the 2 DIN music system with auxiliary input and USB, digital clock, tilt steering and internally adjustable ORVMs which is absent in the 1.0-litre Magna+ trim.
So the question is whether it really makes sense to buy the 1.0-litre Kappa Magna+? The answer is yes. This car is a practical choice for people who want an entry level hatchback for their daily commute but do not want to compromise on driving pleasure. Those who complained about the existing 800cc 3-cylinder pot being grossly underpowered and dull to drive, now has an option of upgrading to a punchier and more responsive 1-litre Kappa engine with dual VTVT technology.
The Hyundai Eon 1-litre may not be as spacious at the Datsun Go or match up to the driving dynamic and engine refinement of the Alto K10, but for someone looking for their first car, it is a complete package and in my opinion the better looking among the three. Lastly, being a Hyundai, it offers peace of mind in terms of service touch point across the country and reasonable cost of maintenance.
Hyundai Eon - Competition Check
|Length x Width x Height (mm)||3495x1550x1500|
|Ground clearance (mm)||170|
|Fuel tank capacity (lt)||32|
|Boot space (lt)||215|
|Engine & Transmission|
|No of cylinder & configuration||3|
|Power (PS @ rpm)||56 @ 5500 (0.8) / 69PS @ 6200 rpm (1.0)|
|Torque (Nm @ rpm)||76.5 @ 4000 (0.8) / 94.14 @ 3500 (1.0)|
|Suspension & Brakes|
|Front suspension||McPherson Strut|
|Rear suspension||Torsion Beam|
|ARAI (kpl)||21.1 (0.8) / 20.3 (1.0)|
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