The Maruti Alto has been on top of Indian car sales charts for a long time now. It is undoubtedly the segment leader and the most successful car in the Indian market. Hyundai launched the Eon three years back and it has also been a huge success. Looking at the market response many more manufacturers are working on launching a product in this segment. The newest entry into this segment is the all-new Datsun Go. Datsun as we know was an iconic brand owned by Nissan. We never really got to see any Datsun vehicles in India, but now Nissan have re-launched the brand here. The Go being their very first product. So let’s see how well the Datsun Go fares against it’s competitors.
Engine and Gearbox:
The Datsun Go is clearly the one to go for if you are looking for better performance since it has the most powerful engine of the lot. The Go is powered by a 1.2L 3-cylinder motor producing 67bhp of power at 5500rpm and 98Nm of torque at 4000rpm. The motor of course is familiar to us as it is seen in the Nissan Micra, though it has been detuned for the Datsun Go. The ARAI mileage is 20.63kmpl
The Hyundai Eon is powered by an 814cc 3-cylinder which develops 55bhp of 5500power at rpm and 74.5Nm of torque at 4000rpm. The engine is just about enough for city runabouts. I really wish Hyundai would have given it a 1.0litre petrol engine. They are still speculating about launching it though! The ARAI mileage of this motor is 21.1 kmpl.
Maruti Suzuki’s Alto 800 is the most underpowered car of the lot. It has a 796cc, 3-cylinder engine that produces 47bhp of power at 6000rpm and 69Nm of torque at 3500rpm. It has an ARAI mileage of 22.74kmpl making it the most fuel efficient car out here.
Exteriors and Interiors:
(Spacious interior of the Datsun Go)
The Datsun Go has a very simple plan-jane design to it. The large honeycomb grill upfront looks smart. Customers can be easily fix the simple look by getting a good set of aftermarket wheels and tires for the car. It will surely enhance the looks but a huge margin! But there is one area where the car really kills it’s competition, the interior space. The cabin space and even the external dimensions of the vehicle overall are from a class above. Even the Handbrake and gear lever have been repositioned in order to accommodate a front bench seat. Very good thinking from Datsun and Nissan Engineers!
The Hyundai Eon seems to be the one which will attract a lot of younger customers. The Eon like any other Hyundai product is designed quite well. It looks funky and has tremendous modifying potential. Though there are a few disadvantages like the rear seats feels a bit claustrophobic because of the swooping window line. The interiors are well-designed and the cabin has good amount of legroom and headroom.
The Maruti Alto 800 is the smallest car out here. And as soon as you step into the cabin the difference can be easily felt. Still the car can seat 4 passengers comfortably and is surely better in terms of headroom when compared to the previous generation Alto. The design is simple and inoffensive, so it will appeal to all types of customers.
So pricing wise all three cars are not too far apart though the difference could be the deciding factor for many buyers who are on a strict budget. The Alto of course has the upper hand here since it is the cheapest amongst it’s competitors.
-Datsun Go: Rs 3.12lakh to Rs 3.70lakh
-Hyundai Eon: Rs 2.87lakh to 3.85lakh
-Maruti Alto 800: Rs 2.41lakh to 3.53lakh
(All prices ex-showroom, Delhi)
Overall all three cars are very evenly matched. Each of them have a share of strengths and weaknesses, so the customer is going to be quite confused. At the end of the day it depends on the customer’s specific needs. If you’re on a budget then obviously you should go in for the Maruti Alto 800 since it is a good all-rounded product. The Hyundai Eon is the best of both worlds. It is cheaper and more fuel efficient than the Datsun, has more space than the Alto 800 and also is the best looking out of these three cars. Couple that with Hyundai’s good reliability and service support the Eon makes a very strong case for itself. But my pick of the lot would be the Datsun Go. It has a bigger cabin, better engine and at the end of the day is worth that extra money. But at the same time it could also be a gamble since Datsun and Nissan are not well established when it come to maintenance and servicing.