Face Off: Renault KWID vs Hyundai Eon

Front view of the Renault KWID

The budget hatchback segment has not seen too many models off late. Although the Maruti Alto was the segment leader, the Hyundai Eon quickly displaced the Japanese auto giant from the top spot. With the Eon’s rampant success, no manufacturer has dared to enter this price bracket for quite some time now. French automaker Renault has finally decided to step up and take on the South Korean manufacturer.

The KWID is Renault’s answer to the hugely successful Eon. How well does it fare against the Hyundai Eon? We find out.

Design:

Hyundai Eon:

The Hyundai Eon was one of the earliest models in the South Korean manufacturer’s range to don the Fluidic Design philosophy. As we have mentioned time and and time again, Hyundai’s latest design language is one of the best in the auto industry. With the launch of the Fluidic Verna and i20, Hyundai gained an immense fan following here in India and soon displaced Maruti Suzuki from some segments of the market.

front of the Hyundai Eon
Front View of the Eon Hatchback from Hyundai

The Eon is a quite the eyeball grabber with its aggressively styled headlights, sharp angles and bright color options. With the Eon, Hyundai proved that great design need not come with an exorbitant price tag. However, the Eon has been around for quite sometime and its charm has slowly started to wear off.

Renault KWID:

Renault proposed an interesting twist to the formula for an entry level hatchback with the KWID. With the SUV and crossover fever showing no signs of subsiding any time soon, Renault has taken the advantage to bring out an SUV crossover in the budget segment of the market. The KWID’s high ground clearance, heavy duty plastic cladding, flared wheel arches and muscular lines infuses the little French hatch with a bit of SUV DNA. A refreshingly different approach to a segment populated by orthodox body structures.

Front view of the Renault KWID
Front view of the Renault KWID

Winner: Renault KWID

 

Interior:

Hyundai Eon:

The interiors of the Hyundai Eon is absolutely stunning. However, the beautiful interiors come at a cost. Although the Eon offers quality, it compromises on space. Tall passengers may feel slightly uncomfortable at the back and the fixed headrests may not be to everyone’s liking.

Interiors of the Hyundai Eon
The interiors continue the implementation of the Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy

Renault KWID:

Hyundai set an all new benchmark in terms of design and quality with the Eon’s interiors. Although Maruti Suzuki did introduce a minor facelift of the Alto to compete with the South Korean hatch, it failed to garner the same level of praise as its competitor. Renault understands that good interiors are important and managed to provide the KWID with an impressive cabin. Although not as radical as the Eon’s interiors, the KWID’s cabin is a mature blend of minimalism and style. The sporty three spoke steering wheel, quirky air vent design and the fully-digitized instrument cluster add to the charm of the car. The KWID also features an infotainment system that comes with a 7 inch screen. A first for this segment.

Winner: Renault KWID

Engine:

Hyundai Eon:

Hyundai offers three engine options for the Eon. The LPG and 800 cc engine provide the same power output of 55 hp at 5500 RPM and peak torque of 75 Nm at 4000 RPM while the more powerful 1.0 l variant churns out 68 hp @ 6200 RPM and 94 Nm of torque at 3500 RPM. All engines are mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox.

rear hyundai eon in white
The Hyundai Eon is powered by an 800 cc three cylinder petrol engine

Renault KWID:

Renault has not released any details about the KWID’s engine specs. However, if rumors are to be believed then the budget hatch will house an three cylinder 800 cc engine that produces around 57 hp and 90 Nm of torque.

renault kwid rear view
The KWID is also powered by an 800 cc engine however, Renault’s three cylinder petrol mill is expected to produce slightly more power

Although Renault is yet to fully release the KWID’s drivetrain details, it is unlikely that the manufacturer will introduce a 1.0 l engine in the hatchback’s lineup.

Winner: Hyundai Eon

 

Verdict:

The Hyundai Eon proved what could be of budget hatchbacks. The South Korean car maker may have been the first to introduce premium features in this segment however, Renault has taken it one step further with its KWID hatch. Offering more creature comforts than any other car in its range and the interesting design makes the Renault KWID a guaranteed winner.

2015 Maruti Alto vs Hyundai Eon

maruti suzuki alto k10 interiors

The sub six lakh category is one of the biggest and fastest selling segments of the Indian automotive industry. Although this particular segment has been mostly dominated by Maruti Suzuki since the birth of compact budget four wheelers here in India, Hyundai has slowly gained ground in this popular segment. The Eon has been hugely successful for its stunning exterior, quality interiors and good pricing. The Maruti Alto on the other hand has failed to evolve with the changing times and has fallen behind in terms of tech and design. Maruti Suzuki has thus launched the 2015 Alto K10, to launch a counter attack against the Koreans. Who wins? Lets find out.

Design:

2015 Maruti Suzuki Alto K10:

Maruti Suzuki has ditched the safe approach and gone for a radical redesign of the small hatch. The new Alto K10 is now more aggressive and striking to look at than any of its predecessors. A strip of chrome adorns the grille adding a bit of upmarket appeal lacking in models of the past. The uninspiring headlight design has been revamped as well for a bit of flair. The rear too has been remodeled in keeping with the overall design of the front fascia. Despite all this however, the Alto K10 still retains its boxy silhouette and isn’t nearly as jaw dropping as the Hyundai Eon.

maruti suzuki alto k10 front
THe Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Facelift

Hyundai Eon:

As we have stated time and time again, Hyundai Fluidic Design has worked beautifully over its range and has completely turned the public’s impression of the South Korean automaker’s image around. Creating impressive, quality work at the price that Hyundai offers its models in is something that truly needs to be appreciated. The Eon too is quite a good looking machine. Its sensual curves and aggressive headlights are well ahead of its time and as a result, despite the South Korean car maker leaving the Eon virtually unchanged since its launch, the car still manages to grab eyeballs wherever it goes.

front of the Hyundai Eon
Front View of the Eon Hatchback from Hyundai

Winner: Hyundai Eon

Interiors:

2015 Maruti Suzuki Alto K10:

The first major revamp in many years, the Indian car maker has finally graced its little hatch with a bit of premium interiors. The piano black center console and steering wheel sport a silver finish. The center console consists of a conventional music system with iPod, USB, AUX IN and CD compatibility. However, the beige and black theme of the cabin leaves much to be desired. The 2015 Alto K10’s interiors is a huge step up from the previous generation and shows Maruti’s progression as a brand that not only focuses on cost effectiveness but presentation as well.

maruti suzuki alto k10 interiors
Interiors of the Alto K10

Hyundai Eon:

Despite the huge leap forward in terms of the Alto K10’s interior, the Eon is far ahead of its competition. The entire cabin is made from quality plastics and fabrics. The stunning design and good materials make the Eon feel far more expensive than it really is. However, the South Korean automaker has made drastic compromises to space and ergonomics for such beautiful interiors. For example, if you have a tall friend sitting in the front passenger seat, one must first push the passenger’s leg away before changing gear.

Interiors of the Hyundai Eon
Interiors of the Hyundai Eon

Winner: Hyundai Eon

Engine:

2015 Maruti Suzuki Alto K10:

Perhaps the Alto K10’s only saving grace, the 998cc four cylinder petrol mill produces 67 HP @6000 RPM and a peak torque of 90 Nm comes in at 3500 RPM. Mileage is at 24.07 km/l. One of the Alto’s biggest upsides when compared to its Korean rival is the availability of an AMT gearbox.

Hyundai Eon:

The Eon is offered in two engines, the 814cc and the 1.0 L model. The 814 cc three cylinder engine produces 55 HP and 75 Nm of torque while the 1.0 L unit churns out 68 bhp @ 6200 RPM and a max torque of 94 Nm @ 3500 RPM. Fuel economy is rated at 21.1 km/l and 20.3 km/l respectively. However, despite the better engine options, Hyundai has never been a pioneer in engine performance and the 814cc falls short of its Indian rival. The 1.0 L model has eliminated all of the shortcomings of its 814 cc sibling however, Maruti Suzuki’s Alto K10 can and does do everything the Eon 1.0 L can do a little bit better.

Winner: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10

Verdict

Despite Maruti’s best efforts, the Alto K10 still feels a bit dated in terms of design. However, looks can be deceiving and the Hyundai Eon is quite simply a poorly engineered car draped in a pretty gown. Although the 1.0 L model tries to make right everything that was wrong with its smaller engine’d model, it does not justify the almost Rs. 1 lakh price bump.

So if you are not the one doing the driving then the Eon with its comparatively comfortable seats, stunning interiors and good music system is the car for you. However, the Alto K10 is the better engineered car. The K Series of engines has proven itself in higher models of the Indian manufacturer and does incredibly well for its small displacement.

Hyundai Eon 1L – an expert review

When you plan to buy a car in the entry level segment, your options are large and for sure will include the Hyundai Eon, The Suzuki Alto K10 & the Datsun GO, to name the front runners.

Hyundai-Eon-1.0-Litre
Picture Credit : Hyundai Press Release

The Hyundai Eon boasts of an excellent packaged interior and the design is based on the fluidic concept and is sure to turn heads. The only thing that was a let-down was its engine option. A mear 800cc engine was shadowed by the 1l engine in the Alto K10 and the 1.2l under the hood of the Datsun Go.

Fortunately, Hyundai identified this problem and has introduced the Eon with a 1L engine. This engine is derived from the i10 sold in Europe and has come to the Indian shores for the first time. Based on the Kappa-2 Series of engines, it spews out 69ps and 9.6kgm of Torque. The older 800cc unit had only 56ps and 7.6kgm of Torque.

The exterior package of the Eon remains the same. The only thing that will differentiate the Eon from a normal spec Eon will be the 1L badge of the tail gate. The interiors too remain the same.

hyundai-eon-1-litre-kappa-road-test-review-india-zigwheels-20062014-g09_640x480

Picture Credit: Zigwheels.com

The 3 cylinder engine with VTVT (Variable Valve Timing) technology has an Aluminium engine block and head which makes it light. Along with this it features a low-friction timing chain and piston cooling jets, that keeps the car frugal. Although it is slightly down on fuel economy front,  it is still a winner at 20.3 KMPL (ARAI Figures)

On the inside, the engine start grunt by itself differentiates it from the standard eon. The vibrations coming into the cabin and through the gear stick are much lesser. The engine even idles smoothly. However, an aluminium engine translates to a noisier cabin. The soft suspension makes it a breeze for pot holed areas of the city. The car is well insulated to keep out wind and road noise.

The gearbox being the same seems better mated to the new engine and is much more comfortable. However torque at lower RPM is not available. You don’t need to work the gears much and the engine is happy at higher gears at lower rpm’s. This combo of engine with the gearbox has a time faster by 2.6 seconds to 100 kmph which is quite large. The Eon has always been a good city run-about with its smaller engine which did its duty perfectly in the start-stop traffic. This new engine makes it comfortable on the highways too. The 800cc engine felt inadequate and out of place on a highway.

Hyundai Eon:

Over all the Eon is a better place to be in than its competitors. The cabin just has a premium feel to it and the overall feeling is that you are in a car that is from a higher segment. There are no additional features on the interiors to set this variant apart. The car is available in only one variant which is the Magna +. This variant has power windows for the front, key less entry and internally adjustable outside mirrors. The integrated music system with USB & Aux input is an optional extra. The Airbags are also not a part of the package here.

At the time of launch, the MD & CEO of Hyundai Motors India Limited said “Hyundai Eon has been a trendsetter of style, performance, design and finesse in its segment and has received good acceptability and appreciation from its customers. Hyundai consistently innovates to meet and exceed the demands of the customer and the 1.0-litre Kappa engine now offered in Eon is an extension of our modern-premium brand philosophy and will delight our customers with unparalleled driving experience and further consolidate Hyundai’s position in the domestic market.

Bottom-Line:

The Eon is a futuristic & modern design when compared to its competitors. The only problem that existed was the small engine. This has been solved by getting this engine option. The overall package is really enticing as the car has been priced at 3.83Lacs – Ex Showroom Delhi.