It’s the clash of the entry level hatchbacks or let’s simply call it people’s car. Maruti Suzuki’s all new yet familiar Alto 800 vs the pretty, daring and cute Hyundai Eon.
Alto as we all know has been India’s top seller in small car segment for many, many years now. So let’s find out if this blockbuster model in its new revamped avatar as the Alto 800 battle it out with the extremely fresh and fluidic looking Korean baby car, Eon?
Hyundai’s bold and fresh mint for India’s small car dreams, Hyundai’s idea of providing people with more style even in entry level segment car instead of bare-bone basic looking first car. Eon has upped the ante in design department never before seen in this segment. Eon sports a very upmarket feel, dual tone interiors and quality of materials giving a premium look. The Korean car maker has carried the fluidic design philosophy it showcased in Verna which is many segments ahead. Eon looks a teen model in designer clothing.
New Maruti Alto 800
Revamping a new design for an aging brand is a tricky affair. If one goes for a complete makeover, we risk alienating the followers who are used to the design elements of the outgoing model. Remember Zen Estilo? A complete new design only send the popular Zen brand into disarray. So Maruti has stuck to the concept of original Alto as Indians know yet given a makeover to give a new life to the popular 800, to en-cash the legendary Alto brand name that redefined the Indian car market.
So we still have design change but the heart and soul of the original Alto is not lost.
Design and style
Eon redefined the earlier notion that small cars can care less of the design. The Koreans brought in the contemporary style to small car. In a segment that looked frozen in decade old designs, Eon whipped in the freshness and flair of the fluidic philosophy that Hyundai is suddenly been obsessed of. It boldly flaunts its curves and slashes. It has the right proportion and sculpted by designer hands. Only problem with Hyundai Eon is it might polarize the audience. People might drool over it or might hate the unabashedly bold and modern design.
On the other hand, the new Maruti Alto 80o’s new makeover looks half-hearted. The need to retain the old legacy of Alto and yet infuse some new design changes has a mixed effect on the new design. The car looks awkward in certain angles, has a high ground clearance, small wheels making it look out-of-place at certain angles. Having said that, it manages to retain the Alto charm which is vital for the brand’s success. While Eon might give a polarized verdict, the new Maruti Alto 800’s design might find mass acceptance in this segment inspite of it looking bland and bit awkward.
On the interiors side, Hyundai has done a wonderful job with Eon. Right from dashboard layout and design, instrument cluster, dual tone interiors , Hyundai has made sure the small car looks vibrant and contemporary. While the earlier Alto had a cramped insides, Maruti has been able to free a bit more space in the new Alto 800. The new Alto 800 also gets a new dashboard,air vent designs and funky seat fabric pattern but pales in comparison to Hyundai. Though Maruti had done a decent job with the interiors of the new Alto 800, Eon looks swanky and purely on value for money outclasses the new Alto 800.
Performance, ride and handling
Eon sports a slightly larger 814 cc engine that delivers a 55 BHP where as Alto 800 comes with an updated 796 cc engine firing a 47BHP. Both come with five speed, manual gear box with three cylinder petrol engine.
Eon needs downshifting of gears and needs revving the engine to get the best performance out of it. The three cylinder engine is pleasant but the gear lever vibrates a bit. On the other hand, Alto’s engine is more refined and feels peppy, gear shifts are smooth. Though Eon’s gearshifts isn’t that bad but requires more effort to slot in. Both being city cars and sporting compact dimensions are easy to drive through the city traffic conditions. Alto rides slightly better, had a nicer steering ability but both cars needs lot of focus while driving through highways. However don’t try to mess around or try matching up with big boys on highways.
The new Alto 800 comes with basic package with the trusted legacy has a decent performance, hassle free tried and tested mechanicals and comes out as a good engineered and very dependable car.
However Hyundai Eon manages to deliver more bang for your money. It looks generations ahead, great upmarket interiors, has a premium look and feel to it.
While the new Alto 800 tries to keep the Alto legacy alive and cashes on the nostalgic value plus as a dependable car, Hyundai Eon is bold in design and gives more value for the money you put in and that’s why Hyundai Eon gets our final nod ahead.