Pros : Seating, Space, Price, Mileage
Cons : Nothing
I was driving a non-AC Maruti 800 since year 2002 which was purchased by my father at that time. That Maruti 800 is still in a good condition but everybody knows that it's not spacious and also as it was a non-AC, so it was horrible to drive it in summers. Since Feb 2016, I was thinking of purchasing a new hatchback car (with AC). I belong to a middle class Indian family and my budget was not that high.
I could do without many features (which are available in expensive cars) like power steering, power windows, rear defogger, rear wiper, ABS, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), speed sensing door lock, parking sensors, vanity mirrors on sun visors and various other luxury features as these were also not available in Maruti 800.
After all I had to shift from a 14 year old non-AC Maruti 800 to a better car. I studied about various hatchback cars on internet and then I observed that majority of popular hatchback cars of different brands like Maruti Swift, Maruti Ritz, Ford Figo, Toyota Etios Liva, Volkswagen Polo, Hyundai Grand i10, Hyundai Elite i20, were having a 1200cc engine with 4-cylinders and 16-valves, after knowing that I had determined that I was going to purchase a car which was going to have a 1200 cc engine with 4-cylinders and 16-valves.
On road price of above mentioned cars was around 6 lakhs or more. I could spend only 4 lakh rupees as down payment. Now if I had to purchase a car out of the one mentioned above then I had to take a loan of 2 lakh rupees from some bank.
Other problem was: - I don't like dwarf cars and I was interested in a very tall + spacious car and out of the one mentioned above only Maruti Ritz has got a tall boy design but I wanted an even taller car. Now Maruti Wagon R has also got a tall boy design & it is taller than Maruti Ritz but it has got only 1000 cc engine with 3 cylinders whereas my aim was to get 1200 cc engine. Tata Nano has also got a tall boy design but again it's got 624cc engine with only 2-cylinders.
After a lot of research, I could found only one car (Eeco) which suited me in every manner and that too from the brand of Maruti Suzuki (which is having largest support network in India). On 23rd May 2016, I have finally purchased Maruti Eeco 5 seater with AC/heater at an on road price of only rupees four lakhs and am really proud of my decision.
Exterior - Tall boy design (height is 6 feet which is slightly more than that of Toyota Innova). Eeco can be considered as a small SUV or an SUV for middle class Indians. It has got very good ground clearance.
Interior (Features, Space & Comfort) - Very spacious with nearly 540 litres of boot space, very comfortable high seating with very good leg space and very good head space, good under thigh support, good for long journeys.
Engine Performance, Fuel Economy and Gearbox - Very smooth & responsive engine, good fuel economy & very smooth gearbox with diagonal shift assist.
Ride Quality & Handling - Excellent ride quality which is comparable to that of an SUV due to its tall and spacious design & high seating and noiseless engine and good suspension. Easy handling though it takes effort in using sliding doors.
Final words: - Middle class Indians who are planning to purchase an Alto 800 or Alto K10 or Wagon R or Tata Nano should consider buying Eeco. Cost of Eeco is only nearly one lakh more than that of Tata Nano. Cost of Eeco is about 50 thousand more than that of Alto 800 & somewhat less than that of Alto K10. Cost of Eeco is one lakh rupees less than that of a Wagon R.
Eeco is the only car on the Indian roads which is offering a 1200cc engine with 4-cylinders + 16-valves at the most economical on road price of only 4 lakh rupees. A 6 feet tall, very spacious, very large boot space of 540 litres, heightened seating with good under thigh support (as that available in an SUV), 1200cc engine with 4-cylinders 16-valves, very good ground clearance.
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