It is common knowledge that low-cost cars are made up of low-cost bits. Such entry-level vehicles are made with just two targets in mind: a subterranean price and two-wheeler-shaming fuel economy.
Hyundai’s Eon takes things to the next level. With heavy sculpting and intricate details, you’d have to go all the way up to a Mercedes-Benz CLS to see anything similar. Hyundai has also given the Eon attractive headlights, complete with chrome detailing. And the top-spec version looks like it will get fog lights as well.
Stiff and light Like all compact Hyundai hatchbacks, the Eon is built around a 2,380mm wheelbase. But this car is even shorter in length than the Santro, and lighter too.
Fresh, modern and sufficiently spacious like the exteriors, even the interiors look modern and grown up. The insides, which remind you of a well kitted-out i10, are full of clever shelves and cubbyholes. The car is well equipped too. It sports a CD player, USB audio, remote locking, a shift indicator on the dash, and tilt steering.
With the steeply raked windscreen at the front and the short length, space is at a premium. The luggage space is large for this class. The boot, dimensionally similar to the Santro’s, holds 215 litres of luggage. This means knee room for rear-seat passengers is tight.
The Eon is powered by a three-cylinder version of the Santro IRDE engine, and at 814cc and 56bhp, it seems to have a decent pep. Hyundai, however, hasn’t managed to get the refinement of the three-cylinder unit right. In the prototype we drove, there was some vibration at idle. The motor thrummed at times and although it did smoothen up once on the move, the top-end felt a bit strained. There’s surely scope for improvement here.
Price: R 2.8-3.8 lakh (est ex-showroom)
Kerb weight: 715-795kg
Engine: 814cc SOHC, petrol
Power: 56bhp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 7.65kgm at 4,000rpm
Boot: 215 litres
Fuel economy: 21.1kpl