Eon is launched and you can even spot it on roads. After the very successful Fluidic Verna, Hyundai is on a song with Eon to shake up the entry level subcompact car. With the King of small car, Maruti Suzuki battling labor problems, Hyundai drives the wheels right into its competitors forte.
To begin with numbers, Alto clocks more than 20K units every month. Its a way huge number and a pie every car maker would dream to eat into. With Hyundai setting a target of 1.5 L units in first year, there is no guessing where their eyes are set upon.
First look at Eon, it would make feel Alto a car back from a time machine. Eon whips a drastically refreshing feel, soul and flavor for a small car. The car specifically made for India and might do rounds in other markets after tasting success here shows the Hyundai’s commitment and involvement in the Indian market where even the likes of Toyota are going bit conservative in their design approach. The fact that they are the country’s second largest car maker with a good distribution network already set up would help Hyundai take the initiative and the risk that comes along, since they have already the customer’s faith.
The fluidic design that one saw in the new Verna flows into Eon. Do note the almost artistic fluid stroke of lines that flow in the side profile of the car and the flow of the car from the front to rear. It is smooth, free flowing presenting the Hyundai’s new design charm.
The front sports a hexagonal face with Hyundai logo and a chrome strip wings, chrome tipped radiator grille and sporting a curiously large headlamp for a small car sweeping all the way back to the A-pillar. A look at the cute little fog lamps (unfortunately available only in the top most model, more about this later) talks a lot about Hyundai’s eye for detail.
The tail light is equally a intriguing design element. While Hyundai calls it a half-moon shape, on a lighter note, a closer perspective reminds me a pointed shoe design, the power of imagination is the key for innovation. So call it crescent moon or pointed shoe, the fact is the large tail lamp sits pretty going all the way up almost kissing the edges of the integrated spoiler. So that brings us to highlight the next nice touch – the integrated spoiler that is standard in all the variants. It adds the extra bit of charm for the rear.
So external look wise – Eon is a stunner that pales Alto into an antique design. Period.
When the exteriors speaks volumes, Interiors naturally have to speak the same language else would be a disappointment. Eon does not let you down.
A dual tone in small car is something worth mentioning. The cockpit is quiet modern, neatly arranged and again wakes up the entry level small car segment to new possibilities.
The instrument cluster gives a warm neon green glow. You need to check it out while the engine is on and moving and in night it glows with quiet a bit of greens and few oranges in a warm glow. All the variants sports the same instrument cluster that has a dual tripmeter, low fuel warning, graphic band fuel gauge, gear shift indicator.
The top most variant sports a trendy metallic finish 3 spoke steering wheel while the rest sports a 2 spoke non-metalic steering wheel.
Check that small spoiler type protrusion on the dashboard above the A/c vent, I like that small cobra hood effect that it brings. Except for the base variant, rest comes with A/c fitted. While you have to burn the pockets if you want to go for the music console since it is available only in the top 2 variants. Again, the metallic finish would go hiding in the starting two variants…
The glove box in beige color and deep enough and also a neat looking dashboard storage on top serves the practical needs…
side pockets …. and then you got couple of cup holders too…
The front seating is quiet comfortable with enough leg room and head room and the bucket type single unit front seats soaks you well into a riding position. While the rear can comfortably sit two adults. If you complain if the leg room is bit cramped, don’t get carried away with the exterior and interior look and feel, we are still driving a small car. So three adult means you would be stuffed with not much room to turn around.
For a small car, Eon comes surprisingly with a larger boot space. 215 L space is larger than even what Honda Brio sports. I wondered if few inches of the boot space could have been released to give the rear leg room a bit more.
So that is about the interiors and exteriors – which are uber ocol and striking for the segment.
Hyundai comes in 6 colors: Coral white, Sleek Silver, Mushroom, Dark Grey Metallic, Pristine Blue and Maharajah Red.
Now lets claw into the heart of the car…
Under the hood of the small wonder baby is a 814 cc , 3 cylinder engine that delivers 56 PS @ 5,500 rpm and 75 Nm torque @ 4,000 rpm. If you want to compare it with Alto, again Eon is notch up with Alto having the figures of 47PS and 62Nm.
So far irresistibly good but how it rides and performs?
So I revved up and went into the roads, Eon engine is fairly refined well. It’s a smooth rush forward and comfortable to ride in city condition. The steering feels good on your palms and responds well and it is easy to navigate through the chaos of the Indian roads. Eon has a good turning radius and turning, parking all is a pleasant affair. For a small car, the suspension is decent enough. A few complaining note would be gear shift is not very smooth and there is a vibration in the gear knob vibrates a bit. Also a dash of chrome on the gear knob would have added an extra zing to the look. It looks bit antiquated. The road view is clear and great from riding position. For a small car, I think Hyundai has done extremely well both look wise and performance wise.
Eon comes in 6 variants: D-Lite (the starting variant) , D-Lite(o), ERA, Magna, Magna(o), Sportz. Personally, I hate digging into information of so many variants, it just confuses a customer. One has to sit and analyze, ponder and figure out his best buy pouring into various spec sheets.
As far as mileage is concerned, Eon boasts of ARAI certified mileage of 21.1 kmpl, again a best in the class.
GingerChai Verdict: It’s all about Money, honey! Why Alto sells? It is perceived to give a good value for money. After the demise of 800, Alto fulfilled the motor dreams of vast majority of middle class households who wanted a budget car that would be their first car. So with Eon eyeing at the share of Alto pie, it has to got the pricing right and the value for money factor. Looking at the spec and price chart, obviously Eon is pricey entry level small car. The top two variant (you can include the middle fourth variant too) are too pricey that If you relax your purse strings a little bit more you get the likes of Beat, Figo etc who sports a better engine and other specs. So Hyundai is actually placing their bets on carving a new segment on the entry level small car with its premium offering. Definitely, the car has is futuristic, no doubt it has turned the notion of entry level small car with its out of box offering but then it also comes for the extra price. Being a price sensitive market, how far it would rattle the Maruti Suzuki’s Alto cart, we need to wait and watch. One thing, Eon will sell. It will bring numbers to Hyundai.