Hyundai Eon Facelift Review & First Drive

OVERVIEW ;

Small cars are very popular in India and to counter Maruti Suzuki’s dream run in the entry-level A-segment, Hyundai launched the Eon in 2011. The impact of the Eon was immediately apparent, within no time it became Hyundai’s best selling model in India while Maruti Suzuki could feel the heat and had to update its bread and butter model, the Alto, which was being sold unchanged for more than a decade. Everybody who drove the Eon was impressed by the car, Hyundai engineers (the car was jointly developed by the company’s R&D centres in Korea and India) had done a fantastic job of packaging everything so well in this small size that this entry-level automobile never felt basic or cheap. However, there was always one gripe, the 800cc engine which produces 55 BHP of power and 75 Nm of torque, made the Eon feel a bit underpowered. To address the issues of performance, Hyundai has plonked in a bigger 1.0-litre motor in the Eon, sourced from the European i10 and Kia Picanto. Check for review , features & price of Hyundai cars

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

The Eon is built on a completely new platform and to say that the Eon is good looking would be an understatement. Of late Hyundai has adopted their ‘Fluid’ design philosophy and we have seen the results of that on theVerna and the next generation Sonata and Elantra will carry the same design theme. The Eon too uses the same Fluidic design philosophy with the characteristic hexagonal face and the swept back headlamps. The elaborately designed headlamps, massive wheel arches, creases on the bonnet and the triangular fog lamps look cool. All these elements also add visual bulk to the design of this small hatch and this car is sure to appeal to a broad cross-section of people. At the side the shoulder line is prominent and it swoops up along the rear window. At the rear are the massive comma-shaped tail lamps and an integrated rear spoiler which carries on the overall funky look. The rear wind screen in large and the shut lines around the hatch are tight. Hyundai wants its customer to think of the Eon as a modern car which carries a small tag and overall the appearance is swanky it is really hard to think of the Eon as a budget hatchback. Check Ex Showroom Price of Eon

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Here is where major changes shall be made. To begin with, the Eon will now get a touchscreen system with maps. There shall be bluetooth connectivity as well. Hyundai is looking at storming this segment with additional features that go missing at the moment. This way the new Hyundai Eon 2017 will be competitive with the Renault Kwid in terms of features. This should help the company to increase its sales of the small hatchback. Where the Eon excels amongst the competition is the quality. This is a tall boy design, which means good headroom.

The Eon has been feeling the heat from the Renault Kwid and the Korean automaker has now introduced a touchscreen system on the Hyundai Eon 2017 Sports Edition. What is more that this is a 6.2-inch touchscreen system with Phone Link, where a user can add navigation through his/her smartphone. This is the first major change in the Hyundai Eon, since its launch in 2011.

The boot space on the Hyundai Eon 2017 is 210-litre. This is a lot more than the Tata Nano and the Maruti Alto. The interior upholstery is black and grey. This makes it a great option to consider. This small bit seem to surprise me for example beside having a glove box there is also a scoop on the co-driver side dash, which is deep enough to keep objects and not for name sake like in most vehicles. To blend with the dash the doors have a mixture of beige and grey too. The seats are all grey too. Hyundai has gone all Indian on this car. The centre of the dash has something called Pedestal Space. This is a flat surface for people to place their idols of which ever religion they follow. The legroom is just about right. Do not expect your grandfather’s chair. Pleasantly surprising is the length of the rear seat and the thigh support. The Boot space is not much but can fit in two large full size suitcases.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

The Eon comes powered by a three-cylinder, 814cc petrol engine. This motor is actually the 1.1-litre iRDE unit from the Santro (and original i10) with one cylinder less. Basic architecture remains the same, with a three-valve-per-cylinder, SOHC arrangement. With 55bhp on tap, the Eon slots right between the standard 800cc Alto and the larger-hearted Alto K10 on the power scale.Hyundai’s three-pot motor was never going to be as smooth as its four-cylinder counterpart, but refinement levels are just about acceptable for the class. Hyundai has equipped the engine with a counter balancer which cancels out vibrations to some extent. However, there’s a distinct imbalance at idle and you can feel vibrations filter through, notably via the gearlever. Things smoothen out when you tap the throttle but there’s always a thrum which you can’t miss.

We always liked the bottom-end pep of the long-stroke iRDE engine but sadly, in this three-cylinder avatar, the energetic character is missing. There is a flat spot when accelerating from very low engine speeds, so this motor needs to be revved a bit to gain momentum.The Eon does feel quite comfortable once on the move and keeping up with city traffic isn’t a problem either. It’s only when overtaking vehicles that the lack of outright power comes into play. Mid-range and part-throttle responses are mediocre and the Eon only ambles along until you get into the powerband. Also rev it past 5000rpm and the engine note goes from a thrum to a thrash.Clearly this motor has no sporting pretensions and, as you’d expect, performance isn’t staggering. The Eon takes 6.46 sec get to 60kph and 17.6 sec to 100kph. These figures do compare well with both Altos though. Hyundai has geared the first three ratios quite short to make the most of the engine’s limited power, so in-city drivability is acceptable for the most part. It is important to keep the engine in the powerband as it is not a quick-revving unit and does take quite some time to get back up to speed. This feeling is oft experienced when upshifting early from second to third gear

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.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

Hyundai has partly taken care of the safety by equipping the vehicle with a single driver side airbag. The reinforced cage of Eon is remarkably strong and has crumple zones to absorb the impact in an event of collision. There are impact beams on the doors of the car, making it pretty safe and strong. Even the floor of the Eon has impact beams to keep the cage safe. There are self-restraining seat belts for the driver and all the passengers. Eon also offers child safety lock on the rear doors, which refrains children from opening the doors from inside the vehicle. The Eon also comes with a remote control security system for convenience. The Eon is pretty loaded on paper, but most of these features come with the top variants only. Otherwise, Eon is a pretty sorted-out vehicle. The top trim also features fog lamps and engine immobilizer, which are not generally seen in this segment. In short, the car is feature rich, but most versions don’t have them!

BOTTOMLINE ;

That the Eon is the entry level hatch to buy is no question about. The interior and exterior styling makes this hatch look stylish and gives it a wide appeal. Because of how it is styled, you’re made to believe you are paying less for it. Interior space while not as good as the Tata Nano, is good enough for four passengers and the feature list for a hatch of its price is good. The engine isn’t as refined as the Alto K10 and neither is the performance as strong as its rival, but it’s good enough to get by and the fuel efficiency is good. Ride quality is one of the Eon’s strength and the handling is good as well. Hyundai has packaged the Eon brilliantly and its swanky appearance makes you believe that you’re buying not a budget hatch but a modern car and therein lies its appeal.

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