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Hyundai Eon review
Driven September 2011
It did not take long to establish the second spot in the Indian market behind Maruti. The odd looking Santro did splendidly well and got them the number they were looking for, but now they’ve finally got the capacity and the line up to try and get closer to Maruti, may be even topple them. The gap is still enormous, but if Hyundai’s brand new hatchback works, it could shrink very rapidly.
The HA concept, or the Eon, as it is being called now, is loosely based on the Santro with an engine that has been derived from the long standing Epsilon engine. The design team has gone all out and delivered a number of wedges and curves in the name of fluidic design and achieved a degree of style that this end of the market hasn’t seen. Unlike the older small cars, the Eon isn’t very tall which helps its proportions.
It shares the same wheelbase as the Santro but legroom is tight for the four adults that can fit in. The boot seems to have been given preference here and is pretty spacious for a car this size. Interiors aren’t too bad either with a lot of attention being paid to the finer details in the cabin. Practicality has been a top priority and it shows with the number of pockets and recesses that you can reach to dump stuff into. Materials however aren’t quite the level we’ve become used to from Hyundai, the buttons specially have no feel.
The 814cc, 3-cylinder engine makes 55bhp, which looks impressive on paper, but are difficult to find when you are on the move. Engine responses are slow and it gets loud pretty easily. The upside, they claim, is staggering fuel efficiency. Hyundai believes it will easily go past the 20kpl mark in the ARAI certification and will be one of its strong selling points. The lightweight will surely help this cause.
In a nutshell, the Hyundai Eon has been made to please every entry-level car buyer. Styling, design and efficiency are its calling cards. However, with rumours of a refreshed Maruti 800 and a fast approaching Volkswagen Up! Hyundai will have to play it smart and price the Eon well to make a success out of it.