The 1.0-litre Hyundai Eon takes on the Japanese rivals in its segment, the Datsun GO and the Maruti Alto K10. This is the battle of the performance entry-level cars, writes Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com.
Cars for first time car buyers can't have a compromise anymore as buyers have turned more aware and want something which is a jack of all trades, even if it's a master of none.
The Alto has been the best selling car in India in the 800cc avatar but the K10 model is also considered by many buyers.
The Alto's key rival is the Hyundai Eon while the Datsun GO was the latest entrant in the segment.
While the GO and Alto K10 had ample performance, the Eon lacked punch but Hyundai has given the car a new 1.0-litre engine which brings it back into contention.
So which car is the best of the trio?
It's easy to decide which is the best looking car here, the Alto K10 simply feels too dated to even contest against the other two more modern vehicles.
The Maruti is also the smallest in dimensions and feels too yesteryears. Between the GO and Eon, it's the Hyundai which pleases you with its curvy lines and cute face.
The Datsun is bigger in dimensions so it does have more presence on the road but the Eon is the better car to look at between the two.
The Alto being the oldest car here has the worst interiors, be it design of space, or even equipment for that matter.
Maruti Suzuki has cut corners in several places and build quality is one of them, resulting in the Alto feeling like it would fall apart after some rough use.
The GO and Eon fare much better and are leaps ahead of the Alto in the interior department.
Cost cutting is evident on the GO too and things like lack of co-passenger power window control for the driver and internally adjustable rear view mirrors are big omissions.
In fact, the Datsun has many quirky bits inside the cabin like the dashboard mounted gear lever which touches your left leg when you depress the clutch.
The GO also has the worst NVH here and you can feel almost everything on the road, wind noise is just too high at speed.
The Eon fares much better than the GO in this regard, the GO doesn't feel like a conventional car, the Eon does and that gives it a lot of points.
Quality in the Eon is the best here and so is the comfort levels as the seats are better too.
The GO does have the most space but you get a bench type seat at the front which hinders visibility at the rear while at the rear the seat belt is manually adjustable.
The GO and Eon have quite a lot of storage bins which the Alto lacks.
The Datsun has its storage bins open which makes cost cutting even more evident. The boot in the GO is the biggest but the feel inside the Eon is superior.
So if you want space, the GO is the car to buy but if you want quality and feel good factor, the Hyundai emerges on top in the interior department.
All cars produce roughly the same horsepower (around 68 PS) but the GO has a bigger engine giving it the torque advantage.
The Alto is the lightest car of the trio, making it the fastest in terms of outright acceleration but the Maruti lacks drivability, the Eon excels here.
Vibrations can be felt in all these cars but the GO has the most, it also has the worst gearbox of the trio which is notchy while the Eon has the best.
Out of these three cars, the Alto is the most frugal but the difference between the three isn't drastic, these cars will return anything between 14-17 km/l, depending on your driving style.
The Eon doesn't handle well, it's comfortable when driven sedately but you won't enjoy pushing it around corners. The GO and Alto fare extremely well when it comes to fun behind the wheel as these cars handle well with good body control.
Although the Eon lacks when it comes to handling, it makes up by being the best riding vehicle of the trio. The Eon is softly sprung while the other two are on the stiffer side. The GO rides very maturely but all cars come with puny tyres and the lack of ABS means locking up while braking hard is a given.
The GO is the most stable car here.
The Alto is the only car here which feels dated and due to its age, it can't hold a candle to the other two when it comes to styling, equipment or space. This puts the Alto last in this shootout.
The Eon and GO are closely matched but the Hyundai comes out on top as it feels much better put together.
While the difference in performance isn't drastic as the Eon now comes with a more powerful engine, the GO simply feels cheap with cost cutting very evident at many places.
Buyers of this category of cars aren't focussed on handling where the GO beats the Eon, rather they want a car which feels good and performs adequately, it's here where the Eon manages to deliver much more value than the Datsun.Powered by