2014 Hyundai Eon - Driven
The concept of entry level hatchbacks has quite literally changed after Hyundai introduced the Eon back in 2011. Be it styling, interior or the petrol motor under its hood, the Eon was the perfect boy which we all envied back in our school days. This was also the car which actually gave Maruti, India’s largest car manufacturer sleepless nights, forget Alto the Eon stole all the limelight and still manages to stay under it even today.
Quite honestly if we actually decide to get an entry level hatchback for our family this definitely has to be the first car that we search for in the internet and try to get a glimpse of it while going to the showroom. The South Korean Auto maker surely benefitted and thus the Eon went on to become perhaps the second most successful product after the Santro and according to the reports Hyundai manages to sale atleast 10, 000 units of the Eon monthly. It was also launched at the time when Hyundai were actually struggling in the Indian market.
When Maruti entered the segment with the M800 there were no competitor and peoples were actually happy with what they got because it was a value for money product, but as time passed the demands of the potential buyers also changed they now wanted little more and the Eon was able to deliver exactly that.
The entry level hatch embodied Hyundai’s new design language what is also popularly known as fluidic design and also uses an all new platform. It is also powered by a newly developed 3 cylinder engine which is the same unit that powers the i10 hatchback minus the 1 cylinder. The Eon with its lower body weight also is able to return an impressive fuel efficiency at the same time.
Continue reading for the full driven review
Although the car looks wide and long towards the front profile but the rear profile of the hatchback gets a short overhung
As already mentioned above Hyundai embodied their fluidic sculpture design language in the Eon and we actually never expected nor thought that the entry level offering can look this good.
The Eon gets a hexagonal sunken type grille towards the front with the Hyundai logo integrated in it and this might look identical to the ones you will find in the i10 also. The swept back clear lens headlamps halogen units further contributes in its good looks. Another interesting styling feature towards the front is the new bumper which finishes towards the stylish front wheel arches.
Talking about the wheel arches in particular Hyundai has made the wheel arch slightly beefy perhaps to hide the small dimension of the car and add some more flair and muscle to its overall design. The side profile of the car looks rather simple though and there is a character line which begins from the front headlamps and finishes towards the rear taillamps. What looked odd to me are the puny 13 inch wheels although the variant I drove was the top end Sportz variant while the base variant gets even smaller 12 inch wheels.
Although the car looks wide and long towards the front profile the rear profile of the hatchback gets a short overhung. The beautifully finished taillamp design definitely will catch your attention too. The hatchbacks fit and finish quality looked superb and honestly I searched for panel gaps (thinking that it was an entry level offering) but to my surprise found none actually which truly impressed me. However one thing which disappointed me was the rear boot opening which actually is small and also taill and might cause problem while loading or unloading any luggage or good from the boot.
|Wheel base||2380 mm|
|Boot volume||215 litres|
|Ground clearance||170 mm|
The duel tone finished especially the Beige color towards the lower half of the dashboard provides an upmarket feel inside
The front doors opens really wide which definitely gives you an easy access to the front seats, the cabin in particular looks outstanding and honestly! You will be surprised when you will find out that you are actually getting all these stuff for that amount of money.
The dashboard looks new and funky with all those creases and lines, the plastic quality is truly impressive and in par with the i10 or other Hyundai products. The duel tone finished especially the Beige color towards the lower half of the dashboard provides an upmarket feel inside. The steering wheel is also positioned well and gives the driver a commanding view of the road ahead but the thick A-Pillars can cause some blind spots when you are turning your car in tight spaces and heavy city traffic. The instrument cluster looks sporty and consists of three pod design integrated with fuel gauge and temperature gauge and a speedometer gauge in the middle, surprisingly there is no Rev counter, the big centre dial also gets a small digital screen which displays ideal gears for best fuel economy and trip meter readings.
The hexagonal shaped centre console gets 2-Din Audio with AUX-in & USB ports with 2 front door speakers (available only with Magna+ and Sportz trims only) but there is always an option to fit an aftermarket audio system. The controls for the AC and audio system are easy to operate and get access to from the driver seat.
There are number of cubby holes for the convenience of the passengers too inside the cabin. There is always the big glovebox on the dashboard which can store number of useful things, and then there is even some contoured space on top of the dashboard to store few things, the doors in particular also has enough space to hold a bottle.
I drove the top end Sportz variant which was equipped with CD player that came with USB and Aux capability, front power windows, keyless entry and even a steering tilt-adjust. The base D-lite variant of the Eon on the other hand does not even get few basic things like an air conditioning or power steering.
IS THE CABIN SPACIOUS?
Offcourse! It is spacious and can fit 4 adult occupants quite comfortably. The rear bench looks extremely comfortable but it lacked some under thigh support which is quite acceptable keeping in mind the fact that this is only an entry level offering. The rear bench can easily accommodate 2 adults but will definitely be a tight squeeze for the third passenger.
The front seats are comfortable and gets integrated headrests but because this car is not so wide the driver elbows keeps touching the driver side passenger’s elbow while changing gears. As far as the rear seat occupants are concerned they will find accessing the rear seat little troublesome because of the small door openings. What else disappointed me was also the headroom available at the rear but as far as the legroom is concerned the Eon provides descent space until and unless the front passengers decide to push their seat back (You know what I mean!).
The Hyundai Eon is powered by 0.8 Litre, three cylinder petrol engine, the 814 cc unit happens to be the same 1.1 Litre iRDE unit which is placed under the hood of the i10 but to keep the pricing down and improve the fuel efficiency Hyundai has actually removed a single cylinder from the four cylinder layout while keeping the basic three valve per cylinder layout intact. The three cylinder unit is capable of producing about 56 Ps of peak power at 5500 rpm 75 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm. The engine is paired to a 5 speed gearbox which sends power to the front wheels.
|Valve gear||3 vlaves per cylinder, SOHC|
|Power||55bhp at 5500 rpm|
|Torque||75 Nm at 4000 rpm|
This is definitely not a powerful engine and thus the performance is also average as you all already would have expected and know. The three cylinder petrol motor tends to get noisy when you actually push it hard although Hyundai has tried to reduce some amount of noise and the refinement level is also quite impressive. The car definitely has a turbo lag which is noticeable while you accelerate (but the first three gear ratios are short which actually makes up for it) and especially in any overtaking situation the best thing you can do is lower the gears to gain some more momentum. Apart from all that the Eon is one perfect city car.
I tried to push it hard but the engine took its own time to reach the three digit speed but because the noise it was making at higher Rpm’s did not impressed me much and I felt I was straining the engine so I decided not to push it harder but that actually does not mean you can’t do three digit speeds on the highway with this hatchback because it felt quite happy and responsive upto speed of 80-90 kph. The gearbox on the other hand was smooth while the clutch also felt light and responsive.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The Eon is an extremely light car and has been fitted with McPherson strut suspension setup towards the front and Torsion Beam Axle setup towards the rear which provides well cushioned ride in the city but the hard bumps and bruises can be felt easily inside the cabin. The car feels well planted on road but there is a slight body roll if you push the it hard in the corners. Although I did not get a chance to sit in the rear bench while the car was in motion but I felt the hatches suspension setup works quite well in lower speeds and inside the city.
The electrically assisted power steering felt light and you can actually use your two fingers to maneuver the car. The Eon uses disc brakes towards the front and drum brakes towards the rear which are quite responsive too.
The Eon has been fitted with drive side airbag only available with the Sportz trim but quite surprisingly it does not get an ABS setup.
The prices for the Hyundai Eon has been provided below:-
|Hyundai Eon D-Lite||3.11 lakhs Ex-showroom Price (New Delhi)|
|Hyundai Eon D-Lite +||3.36 lakhs Ex-showroom Price (New Delhi)|
|Hyundai Eon Era +||3.50 lakhs Ex-showroom Price (New Delhi)|
|Hyundai Eon Era + LPG||3.77 lakhs Ex-showroom Price (New Delhi)|
|Hyundai Eon Magna +||3.81 lakhs Ex-showroom Price (New Delhi)|
|Hyundai Eon Magna + LPG||4.08 lakhs Ex-showroom Price (New Delhi|
|Hyundai Eon Sportz||4.10 lakhs Ex-showroom Price (New Delhi)|
The Alto800 is the biggest competitor for the Eon and is also the entry level offering from Maruti and the successor of the iconic M800. Powered by a three cylinder 796 cc petrol engine the Alto800 is capable of producing about 47.5bhp at the rate of 6000rpm and a maximum torque of 69Nm at the rate of 3500 rpm. The engine is paired to a 5 speed gearbox.
You can read more about the car here..
The Eon surely brings the ‘IT’ factor in the budget hatchback segment, this is definitely not a boring car as far as styling and features are concerned and honestly look far better than its rivals. When it comes to fit and finish and interior the Eon definitely managed to tick all the right boxes here, yes! This is definitely not a spacious hatchback and the third passenger at the rear bench is a big NO but the interior looks sober and does not make you feel that you are driving any cheap hatchback. The three cylinder petrol engine is definitely not responsive but this car is not built for racing purpose either. The Eon promises to be a sober hatchback in city traffic and also won’t let you down completely on the highways either. Fuel efficiency is also good (although I was not able to record then exact readings) but expect it to return fuel efficiency figures around 20 kmpl ARAI rated fuel efficiency figures of 21 kmpl).
Definitely a more sportier and fun loving engine would have changed the game completely but keeping the pricing in mind Hyundai Eon is definitely a worthy hatchback which fills all you budget hatchback needs gracefully.
- * Styling
- * Interiors
- * Value for money
- * Engine lacks reponse
- * Headroom for the rear seat passenger
- * Small boot Opening