There's no denying the fact that the Maruti Suzuki Alto is the most popular car in the country, and if our words are not enough, facts will make you think the same. Maruti sells almost 22000 units of Alto every month, making it the most sold car not only in India but worldwide. And it's always challenging to challenge a rival like this. Hyundai on the other hand, like to compete with Maruti and they have products for every segment, every class.
We pitched the Hyundai Eon 1.0L against the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 and this is what we felt after driving both the cars.
It's really hard to differentiate the litre-class Hyundai Eon to the 800cc Eon because visibly there is no difference at all apart from a small badge. The Hyunda Eon is smallest Hyundai to based on company's fluidic design language and it surely does look good. With the curves and flowing lines, swept back headlamps and tall-boy design, the car is probably the best looking entry-level hatchback in the country.
On the contrary, the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 is a completely new design altogether. The exteriors of the Alto K10 is a generation apart from the previous K10 and are inline with the Alto 800. Though they are a no match the looks of Hyundai Eon and looks boxy and dated. The front looks unique with swept back headlamps, but that' it. The side is Plain-Jane and the rear is same as the Alto 800.
Like the exteriors, the interiors of the Hyundai Eon also feel like they belong to some expensive car. Hyundai gave a beige treatment to the interiors, which makes it look upmarket and roomy. The space is adequate and two adults and 1 child can be seated in the back seat genuinely. We faced a lot of problems with the bonnet opener. The button is placed in an odd position and if you have long legs, you could accidently hit the button opening the bonnet.
The interiors of the new Alto K10 are refreshingly new and a feel good factor. The dashboard and seats are done in black, with the generous use of piano black around the central console and silver accents everywhere. The legroom is a bit less in the rear seats and a well, built person will have to adjust to find the space to fit the legs. Yet you can't match the interior quality to the Hyundai Eon and it wins in this department.
Engine, Performance and Transmission
Hyundai gave the Hyundai Eon the much needed treatment of a 1.0-litre engine. The new unit is a three-cylinder Kappa engine that produces 68 bhp and a peak torque of 94Nm, a significant increase over the 800cc Eon. The 5-speed manual gearbox does wonders on this car and it is evident as soon as you push the car on the first gear. It doesn't feel like a small engine, and infact the car does a handsome 0-100 kmph in 14 seconds (company claimed). The 1.0-litre dual VTVT, DOHC engine delivers and ARAI-certified mileage of 20.3 kmpl.
The Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 is powered by the new K-series petrol unit that comes with a drive-by-wire technology. The engine delivers a maximum power of 67 bhp and a torque of 93Nkm. An ARAI certified fuel economy of 24.07 kmpl makes it a fantastic buy. But that's the end of it. The engine not as zippy as the Eon and comes with both Manual and Automatic gearbox. It does a 0-100 kmpl in over 15 seconds.
Ride and Handling
In terms of ride quality and handling, like any other car in its segment, none could actually beat a Hyundai. The Eon is no different and gets a motor-driven electric power steering that's pretty smooth and easy for the in-city driving conditions. The ride is smooth too, and the car soaks most of the bumps.
While the ride quality in the Eon is good, it's the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 that makes you feel confident inside the cabin. The car is not as high as the Eon and that helps it stick to the road when cornering hard. Driveability is again very good and you feel confident while going over the rough patches.
Safety and Equipment
The Hyundai Eon doesn't even come with a driver side airbag on any of the 1.0-litre model, not even as standard, which is pretty strange. Though it comes loaded with factory-fitted audio system, gear-shift indicator and a low-fuel warning indicator. While it misses on the tachometer, it has plenty of cubbyholes.
The Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 gets a driver-side airbag on the top-end variant. Other features include only front power windows, integrated audio system, keyless entry, gear shift indicator, and much more.
If you are willing to pay a premium of Rs 80000, Hyundai Eon is the car for you. It has a peppy ride, feature rich cabin, and good looks. On the other hand, if you need a brand reliability, lots of savings and safety (that one extra airbag), go for the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10.