The Hyundai Eon gets a new 1-litre engine, which provides a much-needed power bump. We do our Hyundai Eon and go for a spin to see if refinement levels have improved as well.
For once, first time buyers looking for an affordable hatchback are spoilt for choice. Times have indeed changed, and a budget car doesn’t necessarily mean a cheap looking car that’s been re-packaged for the unteempth time. Hyundai is one of the companies who took up the ambitious challenge of competing in the budget segment, and, in 2011, launched the Hyundai Eon – which became the entry-level model in their portfolio. But, after taking customer inputs, they realised that the 800cc engine of the Hyundai Eon was just too underpowered. The Korean carmaker headed back to the drawing board, and, after extensive tests and some serious brainstorming, Hyundai has launched a more powerful variant that promises to iron out its issues.
This new Hyundai Eon gets a much-needed heart transplant, and is now powered by a 1-litre engine – 998cc to be precise. It’s a state-of-the-art Kappa engine, which produces an additional 13bhp over the older engine – taking the engine output to a healthy 68bhp. The Hyundai Eon, thanks to its compact dimensions, was always great to drive in heavy traffic and in congested areas – but the 800cc engine was easily exhausted and would run out of breath when you pushed the pedal to the metal. Not only is the 1-litre more responsive, but with the extra power it offers far better overall performance. And the change not only leads to more galloping power, but the NVH levels have also improved drastically as the new engine offers superior refinement – making the drive a lot more pleasurable. One noteworthy point is that the Hyundai Eon has very good sound insulation. As a result, wind, engine and even road noise is nicely filtered out of the cabin – all you get is a barely audible hum that you hardly notice.
The driving dynamics of the car we had for our Hyundai Eon were a double edged sword though. The steering remains extremely light and has absolutely no feedback – so, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, the Hyundai Eon is a breeze to drive, but when you’re at higher speeds the car starts to feel vague. Hyundai has a tradition of setting up the suspension of their cars on the softer side, and the Hyundai Eon too follows suit. Though it manages to carpet potholes very well, rear passengers can get a bit nauseous as it tends to wallow – especially at high speeds. At three digit speeds, while the Eon remains steady, the lifeless steering doesn’t inspire much confidence. And since it is a tall boy-ish design, you do need to go easy on the turns as there’s plenty of body roll. It’s not alarming, but it doesn’t encourage enthusiastic driving either.
As far as the design is concerned, the Hyundai Eon has always been pleasing to the eyes – as our Hyundai Eon 2014 confirms Fluidic design makes it look contemporary and trendy. The best part is that the Hyundai Eon 1.0 feels quite premium for its segment and doesn’t make one feel like they’re in a budget hatch. This is especially true for the the 1-litre engined version, as it’s only available in the Magna+ variant. So, it offers oodles of standard equipment, such as a radio, MP3 player, USB and auxiliary ports, and a drivers’ airbag – apart from features like front power windows, keyless entry, and air conditioning. The cabin fit-and-finish is also definitely class leading and feels premium. The front seats provide decent support, but on long drives they do tend to get spongy and soft – while the rear legroom is functional at best.
The Hyundai Eon 1.0 has always been a modern, affordable car – and the new swept back headlamps add even more character to its contemporary design as we can surely say after our Hyundai Eon 1.0. It fulfils the needs of a small family nicely, and now with the new 1-litre engine, it’s quite zippy to drive. It’s light weight and compact size certainly makes the Hyundai Eon 1.0 easy to drive in the city. The icing on the cake is that it looks good too. At Rs. 3.83 lacs (ex-showroom, Delhi), it’s certainly a sensible value-for-money buy.
- HYUNDAI EON 1.0L
Engine: 998cc / 3 cylinders / 12 Valves / DOHC
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual / Front-Wheel DrIVE
POWER: 68bhp @ 6,200rpm
TORQUE: 94Nm @ 3,500rpm
Price: `3.83 lacs (ex-showroom delhi)