The small car segment of the Indian market has been monopolised by the brand Maruti Suzuki since the launching of the Maruti 800 in 1983. The legacy of the Maruti 800 has been carried forward by the Maruti Alto introduced in 2000 and re-launched in 2012.The Hyundai Eon has become a tough competitor for the Alto after its launching in 2011. A new variant of the Eon has been launched in May 2014 with a 1litre volume engine. A comparison of these two hatchbacks will be useful for the buyers.
The Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 comes in 7 petrol and 3 CNG versions whereas the Eon comes in 6 petrol and 3 LPG variants. The new Alto features petal shaped headlamps with black accent and a two part chrome grille with Suzuki logo flanked by two chrome strips at the front. The fluidic Eon has the grille and the bumper in a trapezoidal form at the front along with swept back headlights. The smooth lines on the body of the Eon make it more attractive.
The new Alto has a more spacious cabin than its predecessor with new accents, quality plastics and a new dash colour. The plastics in the cabin of the Eon look a bit cheaper. To keep the prices low, the entertainment and safety features are kept at a minimum level in both models. For comparison, we will take the models Alto VXI and the Eon Sports. The AC in the Alto is automatic where as that of the Eon is manual. There is no music system in both the cars. An engine immobilizer, an airbag for the driver, a child lock facility and fabric seats are featured in both. The Alto features power steering, power windows for the front seat, body coloured bumpers and internally operated ORVMs with turn indicators additionally.
The power of the 814 cc, 56 PS and 75 Nm torque Eon engine is more than the 796 cc, 48 PS and 69 NM Alto engine. But the lighter Alto has better acceleration. The mileage of the Alto at 22.74 kmpl is better than the 21.1 of the Eon.
The ground clearance of 170 mm of the 3495 mm long Eon is 10 mm more than that of the 3395 mm long Alto. The Eon has a larger boot space of 215 litres than the 177 litres of the Alto.
The price range of the Eon at Rupees 2.38 to 3.83 lakhs is marginally higher than the range of Rupees 2.37 to 3.49 lakhs of the Alto. The after sale services of the Alto is better because of the wider service network that Maruti has and, thereby, easy availability of spares.