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Old 13th October 2011, 01:20   #1
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Default Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

Note from Mod : Team-BHP's official Hyundai Eon review has been uploaded at this link (Hyundai Eon : Test Drive & Review).



Hyundai Eon

Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions-photo0778.jpg
Guesstimated price band: Rs. 2.5-3.2 lakh or 2.7 to 3.4 lakh

Key technical specifications:

Dimensions:
  • Length: 3495 mm
  • width: 1550 mm
  • height: 1500 mm
  • wheelbase: 2380 mm
  • front track: 1386 mm
  • rear track: 1368 mm
  • ground clearance: 170 mm
  • fuel tank capacity: 32 litres
  • boot space: 215 litres
Engine:
  • 3 cylinder in line, 9 valves, 3 valves per cylinder
  • 814 cc, SOHC
  • 56 PS (54.88 bhp) @5500 rpm
  • torque: 7.6 kgm@4000 rpm
  • ARAI mileage: 21.1 kmpl
  • 5 speed manual transmission
Suspension:
  • front: McPherson strut with coil spring and anti roll bar
  • rear: torsion beam axle with coil spring
  • shock absorber: gas type
Brakes:
  • front: disc
  • rear: drum
Tyres:
  • 145/80 R12 (D-Lite, D-lite AC, Era)
  • 155/70 R13 (Magna, Magna (o), sportz)
  • Tubeless tyres
Colours:
  • Coral White, sleek silver, mushroom beige, dark grey metallic, pristine blue, maharajah red
key equipment is in previous eon thread.

Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions-photo0770.jpg

First Impressions: It may have taken 11 long years, but Hyundai has finally hit the nail left, right and center in the coffin altogether.

Last edited by GTO : 24th October 2011 at 17:34. Reason: Adding link to official review
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Old 13th October 2011, 01:21   #2
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Default Re: Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

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Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions-photo0777.jpg

Its perhaps the most eventful day of 2011 and the one that will be remembered for times to come. An eventful year till now with the Indian automobile market hitting pendulums and tantrums, this is one year which threw a lot if surprises. There were some unexpected hits and misses, petrol prices shot up the sky and the automobile industry is at its decline. To add nails to the coffin, rising interest rates and dull navratra season only added to more fire sticks being used to burn the effigy of Ravan.

Lets go back to year 1998 when our country's numero uno, Maruti Suzuki's supremacy was challenged by two unlikely Korean Challengers, Daewoo and Hyundai. The fight for supremacy even started before the Matiz and santro were launched as to which brand will kill off the zen, the bestselling hatch that time. There were star wars, car wars, PR wars and cola wars, not to add the inter Korean wars with Maruti merrily watching from parde ke peeche as its dominance was not affected that much.

Fast Forward. The new millenium. The petrol hatch kei car market is different. There have been twists and tales at a faster rate than ekta kapoor's serial CVs might have expected that time. The war was intense, Maruti launched its first new car in 6 years, the Wagon-R and its bread and butter 800 was chugging along as the country's bestselling car.

September 2000. The most important launch in Maruti's history, after a long 27 year hiatus, the alto, is crucial for the company's long term future. For the first time in a budget kei-car, two engine options are launched, the 796 cc f8D and 1061 cc f10D. Out of which, the f10D finds some good homes, but not enough to make a business case and dying a premature death in just 4 years. Its the former, the 800 cc alto that becomes the new peoples' car in the country.

As the years pass by, the ever competent and fantastic product, the matiz, is history due to company's bankruptcy and its the santro that keeps on evolving and improving year after year, led by BVR Subbu's marketing campaign to establish as Hyundai's foothold in the fiercely competitive lower B segment.

Nine years later, the story is different. The maruti vs Hyundai war scales new heights when Hyundai debuts its global made-in-India i10 and gives a serious threat to the then half hearted launches from MSIL: The Zen estilo and the Facelifted Wagon R. Maruti responds by launching the Ritz in 2009 but it still cannot hold a candle to the i10 in terms of sales despite selling strongly. Its the swift and the alto which keeps the gurgaon factory running to full capacity and sends MSIL's cash registers ringing.

MSIL only knows well how much its bread and butter model, the alto may be under big threat and its biggest fear is Hyundai. As a pre conceived counter attack, the company hurriedly mushroomifies the alto and plonks the A-star's engine and launches it the Alto K-10, only later to realise that the A-star is a market dud, having made a blink-and-you-miss me appearance. Nothing but a result of smashing an alto at the rear.

Eleven years have passed since maruti has first launched the alto, and the stakes are high. More high than what lagaan had in 2000 when it was pitched against gadar. Both emerged victorious but ultimately it was lagaan which got global acclaim. But this gadar between maruti and Hyundai is now fought at an entirely new level.

At the budget end of the small car market.
The fiercely competitively A plus segment. Monopolised by the Alto.
Enter the EON.
A whole new micro compact car by Hyundai, making its world debut in India today, just like the santro did in 1998 and i10 in 2007.
Hyundai delivered two consecutive blockbusters. But, will it be third time lucky?
After 11 years, will India get its first proper alternative?
Has hyundai hit the nail right on MSIL's head?
Time to find out.

Somehow in the late evening of October 12, 2011 after finishing off my day's hectic work, after like 6 pm, I was going back to catch my 6 wheeled rocket (PUNBUS) back to my house. But seeing a gleaming red eon parked outside the Hyundai dealership and with a trade plate only made me suspicious. Thought, lets take a chance and ask if they can give us a short test drive. And luckily, after much convincing, managed to got it, even though it was a 10 minute one. But its more than enough to get a quick first impressions.

As an owner of erstwhile matiz (2000-2006) and santro (late 2006-present) its only too easy to draw first hand conclusions, not to forget driving the alto 800 cc many times.

Design:

The first thing that draws into your mind when you look at the car is a shock. It looks unlike anything we have ever seen and its sure to divide opinions. The car looks light years of the dull dated alto twins and is Hyundai quirkiness at its best. Full of myraid creases and curves, the design is sure to divide opinion. Its the latest application of Hyundai's "fluidic sculpture" design philosophy and the design surely is inspired from the Indian art and culture. From our raagas, song and dance. I saw the car physically today for a short time and was kind of impressed by the design.
The front somehow looks pretty polarizing but modern at the same time and you find it hard to believe that this is a 3.2 lakh rupee car. The headlights look big and imposing for the dinky sized car and may or may not go down well in the long run. The huge overstyled front bumper with its trapizoidal fog lamp housing looks superb and well integrated with the hexagonal family grill, though in my books its the elantra that sees its best application.

Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions-photo0776.jpg

The side is a different picture and is the prettiest looking portion of the car. Some traces of chevrolet beat can be found but for a downsized car, the proportions are super...unlike the oversized creases in the beat. The hints of brushstrokes, akin to Indian modern art is evident by the two prominent creases that run down the flanks of the body and merge with the small belt line, more so towards the small windows at the rear, which will surely add to the claustrophobia.

Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions-photo0779.jpg

The rear is the least impressive part somehow. It resembles a dancer dancing to the tunes of kathak but its execution could have been better and more cohesive. In a narrow car, the windscreen, tailgate and rear bumper look out of proportion and look distinctly feminine. The taillights are reminiscent of the fluidic verna hatchback and somehow it also resembles the 2006-2011 I30.

Overall the design is good and modern, one I think will surely be a hit with the ladies. The car looks best in a shade of Maharaja red, and brings out the best of its curves. It looks dull in white and pretty incomplete, especially the magna variant.

The interior:


Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions-photo0772.jpg

Hyundais are always known for their quality interiors and this one takes it to a new level altogether. while I cannot comment on the built-to-a cost interior fittings of the base d-lite and era models, the interiors of magna and sportz are of shockingly superb quality for a cheap budget first-time-car-buyer-targeted hatch. And more superb is in the way its packaged in a car thats shrunken 15 percent compared to a santro.

Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions-photo0773.jpg

The car is very spacious for its size and 4 medium sized adults can seat comfortably, though for all the legroom may best be described as adequate but spacious all the same. Push the front seats back and the legroom comes as a shock, the seat travel is long and legroom is superb..in fact its more than the cramped santro and in the league of the matiz, the erstwhile master in interior packaging. The successor, the spark also appears quite spacious in the front but its poor dash board design compromised legroom. the alto? Its not in the picture here. Its about half a size smaller.

Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions-photo0774.jpg

The seats are quite comfortable and would impress the target customers. The cushioning is thin but decent but the base is nicely curved, if a bit flat. The seating is low and the dashboard is set pretty high, which means the visibility of the outside road can be a challenge to vertically challenged drivers. The steering is tilt on the sportz model I drove and its easy to find a good driving position. We need to remember that some features have been overlooked because of the cost pressures and not crib about it. The 3 spoke airbag equipped steering wheel feels superb and great to grip which is only standard on the sportz. The rest of the lineup gets a more convectional 2 spoke wheel.

Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions-photo0775.jpg

Coming to the rear, you are in for a shock. The seating is low, but space for two is superb. Legroom is easily the best in class and if I can get my memories right, a bit more than the matiz also. Now its nothing but a result of packaging and increased front seat travel. The santro is cramped at leg space but the eon is not a 5 seater. Its narrow and the 5th passenger will be a tight squeeze, despite the close-to-flat rear floor. The comfort quotient is above average and would satisfy the target customers. While the santro has firm rear seats, this one is a bit soft but the "H" point support needs improvement. Rear seat back is decently inclined though.

The rear window tilting upwards for style also means that passengers sitting near the doors can get a coughed up feeling, thanks to the tiny windows and low rear seats. Though the beige interior theme does try to correct this to some extent, but the reality can be judged when a person sits inside. The knees up factor in most hyundai cars is somehow not that much present in the eon and does earn some brownie points.

Engine, gearbox and drive:


Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions-photo0771.jpg

I had to travel back a long distance, so had a very tight schedule. 7-8 minutes was all I had a disposal, the result of this being a "quick first drive".

The car is powered by a downsized version of 1086 cc epsilon engine of the santro by chopping off one cylinder and 272 cc of displacement to get to 814 cc. Rest of the architecture remains similar like e-RLX tech, 3 valve configuration etc. Having lived with this engine for a good 5 plus years and 114,000 kms, its easy to differentiate on how much this engine is good at.

The motor is well known for its low end torque and pulling from the third gear in the santro. The characteristics in the eon is however, different.
The engine at idle is refined but still cannot match the smoothness of the santro, though compared to the m-tech and f8d, its far better. The inherent thrumness of the 3 cylinder is felt outside but inside the cabin, the refinement is unbelievable. There is not a trace of vibration anywhere and despite cost pressures, Hyundai has done a very good job.

The gearshift is smooth and in the league of santro and performance is decent. The perky nature of the engine is felt the minute the throttle is pressed. With my drive confined to 5-6 kms of stretch between sherpur chowk and sanewal at the outskirts of Ludhiana, the car performed superbly at a small open stretch. The limitations of a brand new barely run in car meant that I did not accelerate hard but drove like a normal city car. In that manner, the response is good. Power delivery at lower rpms is linear but the engine does not have that 3rd-gear-pulling-power magic of the santro. It needs to be downshifted since peak torque comes in at a high-ish 4000 rpm. The engine loves to be revved and though it can get vocal, driving with 2 persons the car performs superbly in city and semi highway stretches. The cluster has a gearshift indicator which indicates a shift to second at 30, 3rd at 40-45 range to encourage driving for maximum fuel efficiency. The motor is clearly tuned for efficiency (not the santro's best part) and it feels this way.

With the AC on and two persons on board, the performance drop is not that much noticeable and the engine copes up with the AC on pressure well, unlike the matiz (which bogged down as a result of a heavy duty compressor) and the alto F8D (which is even worse). It was humid today, the AC cooling was decent, more in the santro league.

A small stretch near the dealership had big potholes and we got a chance to drive over it. Ride is decent, better than both the stiffly sprung santro and the softly sprung i10. In fact, for a car of its size, the ride at front is superb, though deep craters can toss passengers around. At the rear, its above average and wee but better than the alto. Low speed ride is fantastic but the car's rear tends to get skittish when it goes over deep potholes. The GC is decent and should wasn't an issue with the 2 of us at the front. Loaded with 5 and luggage, I would reserve my comments until we get to know from future owners.

While the package is superb, Hyundai's service network is a big plus but its the cost of service that will be checked by prying eyes. As an owner of the santro who still sticks to Hyundai workshops, I only know too well how much a routine service costs in Tier A cities. Though I expect Hyundai to work hard to reduce the labour rates and the cost of maintenance. Only after some months we can comment on this.

As an overall package, the Eon is unbeateable. Its a car that does what its target customers (first time buyers or secondary users) ask for and if its priced in the ballpark of 2.5-3.4 lakh, its unbeateable value for money. It may cannibilise the santro's sales, but its after the alto that Hyundai is after. And hyundai will be only too happy if current santro or i10 owners would look this as a second car for light runs or intra city commutes owing to its incredible user friendliness and dimensions, making it easy to drive and park, in fact, it also makes a nice city runabout for women.

For me, the nano is still the King of the A segment.
But for now, the A plus segment has a new winner.
And its the Eon.

Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions-photo0769.jpg

Perhaps, the MOST important launch of this year. And a promising one at that.
For Hyundai, its undoubtedly the most important launch after the santro and the real acid test will begin in just a short while from now.
Let the games begin.

Last edited by sidindica : 13th October 2011 at 01:42.
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Old 13th October 2011, 01:35   #3
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Default Re: Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

Awesome quick drive and nice interior pics.
Hope you did not have to travel till Ludhiana just for this drive.

Seems like I can expect the Eon to deliver where the Brio failed me.

peace,
~kg

Last edited by kapilvgupta : 13th October 2011 at 01:36.
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Old 13th October 2011, 01:39   #4
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Default Re: Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

Awesome

You did it again Sid!!! Great quick first drive and write up. I am sure this is going to be a game changer in the entry segment. ALTO seems to be heading for Ctrl+ALT(O)+Del
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Old 13th October 2011, 01:40   #5
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Looks like the nail is hit right on the coffin. Great first drive sid. The car really looks too good to be called an entry level hatch and am sure Eon will become the second car in many Indian households very soon.
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Old 13th October 2011, 01:46   #6
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Default Re: Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

Awesome! Simply awesome, sidindica! Brilliant scoop/post like all your posts! Eon indeed looks a formidable rival not only to Alto but also to Honda Brio! I already am wanting to purchase it even when I purchased a Figo only about 1-2 months ago.

One small thing, "The cluster has a gearshift indicator which indicates a shift to second at 30". Seriously? Slotting from 1st to 2nd gear at 30kph will return optimal mileage?
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Old 13th October 2011, 01:48   #7
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Default Re: Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

Yippee the cat is out of the box!

Great review for a first impression. Loved you story line! Team-Bhp is only getting better like the Indian car scene.

One question. The e-RLX and the K series engines follow different architecture and I guess the K series is technically superior. Does that not still give the Alto K10 an edge. If they drop the price of the K-series (like Honda did), the eon may find it hard to take off. There might be an initial rush of bookings but when the initial euphoria settles down and business gets normal need to really see how Alto will be placed.

The ROI from Alto has been reached by Maruthi (years ago), they can easily drop the prices. Its very crucial for Maruthi to be a "Maruthi" that is Inida's amm junta car!

Interesting days ahead.

Good first impressions!
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Old 13th October 2011, 01:56   #8
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Default Re: Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

I ain't gonna compare it to brio due to obvious reasons. The brio can be my next replacement for the santro as its character is similar. (Small, FAST, agile.) The Brio can only be compared to i10. Point to point, the eon has only one formidable competitor-the Alto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kapilvgupta View Post
Hope you did not have to travel till Ludhiana just for this drive.

Seems like I can expect the Eon to deliver where the Brio failed me.

peace,
~kg
No, went there for a courtesy meeting with my client.

PS: I had a very tiring day and a tight schedule, so excuse for the lack of pics/ crappy C3-01 clicked pics in a hurry.

Last edited by sidindica : 13th October 2011 at 02:07.
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Old 13th October 2011, 02:01   #9
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Default Re: Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

Thanks a ton man. Its indeed a good review highlighting what we thought all along - bigger than price looks, premium interiors, and a very good driving experience. Coupled with decent mileage - that's all India wants. MSIL's headache just went up many fold.
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Old 13th October 2011, 02:05   #10
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Default Re: Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

One more feather added to your cap SID. Crisp and informative first drive impressions report. Time for a few questions now .

How many variants are being launched?
Is the sportz variant having ABS, airbag (optional atleast)?
Any segment first feature that you came across in the EON (other than the gear shift indicator)?
How is the boot space in EON compared to the ALTO?
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Old 13th October 2011, 02:10   #11
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Default Re: Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torque123 View Post
One more feather added to your cap SID. Crisp and informative first drive impressions report. Time for a few questions now .

How many variants are being launched?
Is the sportz variant having ABS, airbag (optional atleast)?
Any segment first feature that you came across in the EON (other than the gear shift indicator)?
How is the boot space in EON compared to the ALTO?
Havent seen the boot space. Missed it.

6 variants. All details here:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post2519273
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Old 13th October 2011, 03:22   #12
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Default Re: Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

Hi Sid,

Thanks for the quick review Did you had a chance to drive uphill?
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Old 13th October 2011, 04:27   #13
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Default Re: Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

Nice review Sid! The cabin space is a shocker. Even the swift back seat looks cramped compared to this. A true VFM package from Hyundai. 2011 is a landmark year for our automotive sector with many successful and VFM launches across the segments.
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Old 13th October 2011, 05:51   #14
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Default Re: Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

Thanks a lot for this review Sid. I dare say that you made the task of the mods a lot easier, when they go in for a formal Tbhp review!
Also - the interiors actually look better (in the sense updated and modern) than my 2009 i10 Asta. Certainly no visits made to the old parts bin here!
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Old 13th October 2011, 07:06   #15
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Default Re: Hyundai Eon: Quick First drive and impressions

hi all sidindica are you from ludhiana, ive been to pioneer hyundai quiet a lot .nice short first drive,i think the eon will effect alto sales
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