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. 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.