Hyundai EON Expert Review

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Introduction

When Hyundai Eon was launched, it made almost all the heads turn thanks to its attractive design, which was non-existent in its segment. Yes, the Maruti Alto 800 may be the best selling car in the country, but we all would agree it’s not particularly expressive. So, when Hyundai launched Eon, the vibes were so strong that the Maruti launched a special edition variant of the then Alto just a day before the Eon launch. Hyundai Eon has the big responsibility to follow the footsteps of the iconic Santro that put the Korean car company on the right track.

Pros
  • Looks fantastic, especially considering its segment. The styling does not seem aged, even 5 years after its launch.
  • One of the best car in its segment in terms of build quality. Is miles ahead of the the Alto.
  • The interiors have a premium feel with good quality of materials and high levels of fit & finish.
Cons
  • Steering does not weigh up well at highway speeds, failing to instill confidence in the driver.
  • The Noise & Vibration levels are high, characteristic of 3-cylinder engines. Stand-out features

Stand Out Features

  • First-in-segment features like Tilt Steering & Driver Side Airbag

    First-in-segment features like Tilt Steering & Driver Side Airbag

  • Available in 0.8l & 1.0l engine variants.

    Available in 0.8l & 1.0l engine variants.

CarDekho Verdict

Hyundai Eon brings to the table what the other cars have failed to at the same time inspired other companies (read Renault with their Kwid) to bring a great looking car that offers best-in-class build quality, good fuel economy and lots of features in this segment. In typical Hyundai way.

"The Eon is certainly eons ahead of what the Alto offers and is almost head on with the Renault Kwid. "

The Eon is certainly eons ahead of what the Alto offers and is almost head on with the Renault Kwid. So close, that we couldn’t come to a conclusion between the two. The biggest advantage the Eon holds over the Kwid is that it's available without a waiting period, however the Kwid is more appealing as it is the new k(w)id on the block.  

Exterior

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.

Exterior Comparison

Hyundai EON Maruti Alto 800 Tata Nano Renault KWID
Length (mm) 3495 3430 3164 3679
Width (mm) 1550 1515 1750 1579
Height (mm) 1500 1475 1652 1478
Ground Clearance (mm) 170 160 180 180
Wheel Base (mm) 2380 2360 2230 2422
Kerb Weight (kg) - 695 695 -
 

Boot Space Comparison

Hyundai EON Maruti Alto 800 Renault KWID Tata Nano
Volume 215-litres 177-litres 300-litres 110-litres

Interior

Get inside and you will be greeted by one of the best designed interiors with the quality of the fit and finish matching it. The Eon gets the segment’s best looking dashboard (equalled by the recently launched Renault Kwid maybe) and it’s hard to believe in this segment. Hyundai has upheld its reputation of putting the best looking interiors with amazing build quality.

The interiors get a black and beige layout. The dashboard is spread like the wings of a bird with a V shaped centre console.

The instrument cluster features a large circular pod that houses the speedometer and a MID at the bottom, displaying the odometer, trip meter and shift indicator. There are two small circular pods on either side showing the fuel level and engine temperature gauges. Overall, the meters are easily readable and are designed neatly. The lack of a tachometer is easily felt and there is no option for the same even in the top variants.

The steering wheel is nicely designed with a V-shaped silver highlight in the middle and is of a good size, if not a tad bigger. The steering wheel also gets a first-in-segment tilt adjustment.

The centre console houses the middle AC vents and a 2-DIN audio system and air conditioning controls below. The switches and knobs are of good size and quality.

The glove box is wide and deep, offering lots of space for your needs. Other storage spaces come in the form of a storage spot on the top of the dashboard, bottle holders on the front doors, door pockets and cup holders in the middle.

Both the front and rear seats offer amazing under thigh support especially in this segment. The front seats get integrated headrests that are positioned very efficiently and the cushioning is also good. At the rear, the space available is one of the best in the segment (not surprising considering that the Eon gets the same wheelbase as the Santro and i10).

215 litres of boot space means you can travel with your luggage neatly tucked in the rear. The boot space is one of the biggest in the segment miles ahead of the Alto’s 177 liters and Nanos abysmal 80 liters. Only the newly released Renault Kwid beats the Eon as its boot space stands at 300 liters.

Performance

The Hyundai Eon is now available in two petrol engine options - 0.8L iRDE engine and 1.0L Kappa engine.

Eon 0.8L iRDE

The Hyundai Eon 0.8L iRDE is powered by a 814 cc, 3-cylinder petrol engine that puts out 55 bhp of maximum power at 5500 rpm and 76 Nm of maximum torque at 4000 rpm. It is the same unit that powers the i10 in a downsized form with a cylinder chopped off, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The engine is nicely refined but still you can feel the engine upon starting it through the gear lever.

The engine is designed to offer maximum fuel economy, so don’t expect outright performance. The 3-cylinder unit is best suited for city driving. The throttle response and low end power delivery is not bad. The engine responds nicely to short bursts of acceleration and can cruise in the highways around 120 km/h without any hassle. But be it the traffic laden city roads or the highways, the gearbox demands a healthy workout from you to extract the performance you expect.

The clutch is one of the lightest that you can experience and mix that to the light steering and the city driving will be effortless. The steering is a tad too light to our liking and this proves to be a problem on the highways when you are cruising in triple digit speeds. The lack of feedback from the steering can be frightening at high speeds around the curves.  

Eon 1.0L Kappa

Hyundai also added the 1.0-litre Kappa engine to the Eon range to compete better with the Alto, which is available with a 0.8-litre and a 1.0-litre engine option. The Eon 1.0-litre Kappa is powered by a 998 cc, 3-cylinder petrol engine that makes 68 bhp at 6200 rpm and a peak torque of 94 Nm at 3500 rpm.

Mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, the Eon 1.0L is for those who think that the 0.8L Eon is a bit slow. Though not by a large margin, the 1.0-L does offer a bit more zippy engine and Hyundai has also taken care of the jerkiness that you experience with the smaller engine. There are no other changes mechanically and the Eon 1.0L behaves the same like the 0.8L but with a bit more briskness. The Eon 1.0L is only available in Magna+ (O) variant.

Performance Comparison (Petrol)

Renault KWID Maruti Alto 800 Hyundai EON Tata Nano
Power 53.3bhp@5678rpm 47.3bhp@6000rpm 55.2bhp@5500rpm 37.5bhp@5500+/-250rpm
Torque (Nm) 72Nm@4386rpm 69Nm@3500rpm 74.5Nm@4000rpm 51Nm@4000+/-500rpm
Engine Displacement (cc) 799 796 814 624
Transmission Manual Manual Manual Automatic
Top Speed (kmph) 135 Kmph 140 kmph 135 Kmph 105 Kmph
0-100 Acceleration (sec) 16 Seconds 19 Seconds 19 Seconds 12.6 Seconds
Kerb Weight (kg) - 725kg - 765kg
Fuel Efficiency (ARAI) 25.17kmpl 24.7kmpl 21.1kmpl 21.9kmpl
Power Weight Ratio 765kg 65.24137931034483 bhp/ton - 49.01960784313725 bhp/ton

Ride and Handling

As far as the ride quality and handling characteristics are concerned, both the 0.8L and 1.0L behave similarly as there are no differences in the suspension setup. The Hyundai Eon gets the typical McPherson strut to the front and torsion beam axle to the rear for the suspension duties. While the Eon goes smooth as long as the roads are smooth and can absorb slight aberrations of without a problem. But as the going gets tough, the Eon does get going but you will feel each and every bit of those large bumps.

When it comes to handling, predictable is the word that describes that of the Eon. Hyundai Eon doe a neat job of going around the city traffic without any drama. Over the highways, while the straight line stability is good, going around the curves will rob you off the confidence. The skinny tyres are the major reason and hence we recommend wider tyre upgrade at the earliest. The tyres take no time to understeer if pushed hard and the body roll also crops in.

While the light steering is good for the city commutes, the feedback from it is almost nonexistent on the highways. The brakes though have a nice bite to them and inspire confidence during high speed braking situations.

Safety

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).

Safety Comparison

Hyundai EON Maruti Alto 800 Tata Nano Renault KWID
Airbags righticonClose righticonClose close righticonClose
ABS close close close close
EBD close close close close

Variants

  • Petrol
  • LPG
Variants Features Price
D Lite Integrated Spoiler, Chrome Grille, Engine Immobilizer, 3.29 Lakh*
Era Plus [ In adition to D Lite ] Silver Touch on Centre Fascia, Power Windows-Front, Central Locking, [ Variant D Lite price ] + 45,269 =  3.74 Lakh*
Sportz [ In adition to Era Plus ] Fog Lights - Front, Metallic Inside Door Handles, Driver Airbag, [ Variant Era Plus price ] + 59,753 =  4.34 Lakh*
1.0 Kappa Magna Plus Optional [ In adition to Sportz ] Front Fog Lamps, Internally Adjustable OVRM, 2-DIN Music System, [ Variant Sportz price ] + 14,247 =  4.48 Lakh*
Variants Features Price
LPG Era Plus Central Locking, Power Windows-Front, Air Conditioner, 4.0 Lakh*
LPG Magna Plus [ In adition to LPG Era Plus ] Music System with Auxin and USB, Adjustable Steering Column, Power Antenna, [ Variant LPG Era Plus price ] + 23,755 =  4.23 Lakh*

Hyundai Eon is available in six variants - five for the 0.8L version D-Lite, D-Lite+, Era+, Magna+ and Sprotz; and one Magna+ (O) for the 1.0-L version.

The D-Lite variant is the most basic variant with front and rear seat belts, engine immobilizer, integrated spoiler, bench folding rear seat, dual trip meter, remote fuel lid opener and tailgate release.

With D-Lite+, you get front speaker grille and the much needed air conditioner and power steering.

The Era+ variant offers you the option for choosing a LPG fuel source apart from tinted glass, body colour bumper, silver touch on center fascia, front door map with bottle holder, power outlet, front power windows and front door armrest.

Our favorite pick of the lot is the Magna+which is offered with central locking, internally adjustable wing mirrors, passenger side win mirror, tilt steering, roof antenna, front and rear speaker grille, rear parcel tray and 2 DIN Radio+MP3 Audio.

The top end Sportz gets you keyless entry, front fog lamps, driver airbag, body coloured ORVMs and door handles and metallic finish 3-Spoke steering wheel.

The Magna+ (O) features that are a couple of segments above like keyless entry and also includes front fog lamps, body coloured wing mirrors and door handles.

Hyundai EON similar cars to compare & consider  
*Ex-showroom price

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