Introduced in October 2011, Hyundai’s mini-hatchback challenges Maruti’s ace model in the segment-Alto. While the fluidic design philosophy became a talking point, the hatchback was also considered a bit pricey compared to Alto series. Lacking diesel engine like other models in the segment, Eon is available in petrol and LPG fuel options. Mechanicals include a 800cc and 998cc petrol units mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. In its product cycle spanning five years, Hyundai Eon mini-hatchback has undergone subtle additions and is now readying for a makeover likely to come out around festive season this year. Offered with petrol and LPG options, the Eon line-up derives power from a 800cc unit and a 998cc engine just like its arch rival Alto K10. But where it misses out on is the AMT unit making do with a five-speed manual transmission.
EXTERIOR AND STYLE ;
Hyundai Eon is the smallest car to get the company’s fluidic design and the design philosophy shines the best through the car. Eon could be the car with most curves and lines in its segment, or a segment higher for that matter.Heads-on, the Hyundai Eon gets swept back headlamps with a neat chrome strip adorning the Hyundai logo. The hexagonal grille is also a part of the front bumper which is really big and gives a macho look to the front of the Eon.Sculpted bonnet and neatly designed fog lamps are a rarity for the cars in this segment.Come to the side and see the fluidic design flow through the car with beefed up wheel arches, a shoulder line that runs from the headlamps to the tail. Another sculpted line runs the length of the car between the front and rear wheels. The shoulder line scoop upward towards the rear that makes the side profile sportier but rear window visibility is compromised. Even the door handles follow the shoulder line’s path with the rear door handles positioned slightly higher than the front ones.To the rear, the large tail lamps are well designed, following the car’s extroversive character. The rear glass is pretty wide and the rear spoiler is neatly integrated.The rear bumper is pretty meaty but is a size bigger than necessary, also making the boot less accessible by that much. The exhaust pipe is neatly hidden underneath the rear bumper, allowing for a neat layout.The Eon gets 145mm tyres with 12 inch rims for the D-Lite, D-Lite+, and ERA+ variants and 155mm tyres with larger 13 inch rims on Magna+ and Sportz variants. Both are pretty skinny and we recommend an upgrade to 165 or wider tyres for safety.
INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;
Hyundai Eon has very well-thought interior. It is airy and has a cheerful feeling to it. The materials used inside are of very good quality and the finishing of everything is done in a very nice way. Being tall, there is a lot of room inside. The legroom and headroom is ample for four adults and a kid to sit in the vehicle comfortably. Hyundai has used a lot of beige colour to make the car feel premium from the inside. The dashboard has been designed in a curvy and flowing way, and the car feels amazing, especially with the price tag it comes with. Hyundai has tried to keep things very simple and as informative as possible. The instrument panel, for instance, has only three neat pods displaying every information about the vehicle. The steering wheel feels proportionate to the interiors and feels good to hold. The storage inside the Eon is well managed. On the centre column, the Eon gets a good audio system with premium features. The highlight of interior would be the gear shift indicator that aids the driver in saving a lot of fuel. The small budget car also comes with tilt-steering and front power windows for easy access. The centre console features tiny chrome dipped buttons, which looks snazzy. However, Hyundai could have done a better job on this part. Hyundai Eon has good quality seats and they don’t easily fatigue the occupants. The cabin space, however, is smaller than that of Alto or even Nano. With a boot space of 215 lires, the Hyundai Eon offers a good amount of space for the price it comes at. Even though the Hyundai Eon is an entry-level hatchback in the market, it is equipped with advanced features. The car gets integrated music system with many advanced features, like radio, CD player, AUX-in, ipod connectivity and USB. These features are often missing from most of the expensive cars and Hyundai has done a good job by providing these unexpected features in the vehicle. There is a set-up of four speakers in the car, which plays the sound relatively well. To manage the space in a better way; Hyundai has installed accessories, like rear parcel tray, cup holders and bottle holders around the vehicle. There are also map pockets and floor console storage for additional space. Hyundai has really thought well about the Eon and its space management.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;
The Hyundai Eon in India gets a 3-cylinder engine that was developed at Hyundai’s R&D centre in Hyderabad. It’s the same engine as in the i10 with one cylinder removed to reduce displacement. It makes 56PS of max power along with 75Nm of torque which is the best in class. Driveability isn’t great with max torque being generated at a fairly high 4000rpm which means you have to constantly shift down to lower gears. In urban areas you will find yourself using second and third gears constantly and that also keeps the revs high. At engine speeds above 3000rpm it sounds buzzy and scratchy and the sound only dies out considerably when you shift to higher gears and keep the revs low and that largely happens on the highway. Yet its NVH is within comfortable limits and unless revved hard this engine is a quiet operator. It’s also very similar in feel to the Alto’s 800cc engine, in first gear there is a small flat spot under 1500 rpm that intermittently also shows up in second gear. At times unless revved hard it feels like the engine is dying out even though you’ve engaged first gear and released the clutch. The 5-speed transmission is smooth to operate, however on another car it felt notchy. I guess these are some of the consistency issues that Hyundai will have to sort out. The ratios nonetheless are spaced out quite a bit to provide the best fuel efficiency rather than performance, yet first to third gears sees the Eon gain momentum quickly enough.
PERFORMANCE & EFFICIENCY
With a kerb weight of 725kilos the Eon has a decent 77.24PS per tonne though with the tall ratios don’t expect the Eon to make progress very fast. So 100kmph comes up in a lazy 19.08 seconds by which time you are also inching very close to the quarter mile mark, that’s how much distance it covers to get to 100kmph. The quarter mile then takes another eight tenths of a second. With the strong low and mid range but just noise at the top the Eon feels slow in the roll-ons. Third gear overtaking acceleration is decently fast but shift into fourth or fifth and the 40-100kmph runs feel like an eternity has passed, both runs recording well over 25 seconds. The Eon is quicker than the Alto by a slim margin but at nearly two seconds, a margin it is. That said all of Hyundai’s efforts have been put into fuel efficiency. According to the ARAI figures the Eon returns an overall of 21.1kmpl, on our test cycles however she returned 15.6kmpl in the city and on the highway a brilliant 24.3kmpl but the overall adds up to just 17.75kmpl which is much lesser than what Hyundai claims.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The Eon uses MacPherson struts in front with a torsion beam suspension at the rear. The lower models use 145/80 R12 tubeless tyres while the higher models get 155/70 R13 tubeless tyres. The i10 and even the Santro have good ride quality and the Eon too delivers on this front. The ride is very absorbent and the soft suspension set-up offers good passenger comfort. The ground clearance too is good and this hatch is capable of handling broken roads well. On the highway the hatch is susceptible to cross winds, but having said that, there is no reason for concern and the Eon feels settled enough. Compared to the Alto the Eon rides much better. The steering is light and direct and not completely devoid of feel. Handling is good as well, but hard cornering produces fair amount of body roll.
The safety features of the Hyundai Eon include reinforced body structure, front and rear seat belts, child safety rear door locks, engine immobilizer, front fog lamps and driver airbag in one variant (Sportz).
The Hyundai Eon has always made for a fine entry-level car but the lack of power did hurt those who were regularly driving over inclined roads or carrying occupants with them. With the boost in power, the Hyundai Eon makes a much stronger case for itself. Sure it is far from polished in the dynamics department and the rear seat lacks much space but when you look at the big picture, you simply can’t deny this car offers you more than your money’s worth, in terms of visuals (exterior and interiors). Only offered in Magna+ trim, the 1.0-litre Eon costs Rs. 34,000/- more than the 0.8-litre version in the same variant. For the extra money you pay, you get drastically better performance which transforms the experience of driving this car significantly.
Hyundai Eon D Lite Ex-showroom Price is 3,27,313/- and On Road Price is 3,70,579/- in Chennai. Hyundai Eon D Lite comes in 5 colours, namely Red Passion,Sleek Silver,Pristine Blue,Polar White,Star Dust.