I would anyday prefer a Hydraulic PS over a EPS,
Maintenance free - no oil, no pump, no belt, no belt noise, no leakages
No direct load on engine
effortless steering (not much muscle work required)
MUCH LESSER IN WEIGHT COMPARED TO HPS
Cheaper than HPS setup
Less time consuming when assembling/even servicing
Dead steering - zero feedback at the steering wheel examples are i10, alto etc
Definately not for the enthusiast type drivers
Hydraulic Power Steering
1. Good feedback at the steering wheel (also judging road grip in corners etc is easier)
2. Can be fit into a variety of vehicles - cars, jeeps, trucks, buses etc
3. A must have for enthusiasts & for drivers who live to drive
-ves (I hate to type this)
1. Maintenance is not so easy - older the unit, more prone to leakages/breakdowns
2. Proper Functioning of HPS depends on more than one part - the pump, belt, bearings, the steering rack, hoses etc
3. Time consuming to repair or replace
4. Condition of oil & pump decides the amount of force you need to put at the wheel.
5. Needs a bit more involvement at the steering wheel, than EPS.
Here is a quick list of cars that host factory fit power steering units:
1. HPS (factory fit)
Fiat Palio, Petra, Punto, Ford Ikon, Maruti Baleno, Esteem, All TATA cars, All fiat cars, most of the ford cars. LINEA has the best HPS unit this side of 12lakhs. Old santro & santro xing too had HPS.
2. EPS (factory fit)
All current generation (in production) Maruti cars have EPS only! - Alto, WagonR, Estilo, Swift, Dzire, SX4, Ertiga (irrespective of petrol/diesel/lpg - no maruti has HPS)
Hyundai EON, i10 & i20. I read somewhere that TATA is working on developing a EPS unit that will replace all HPS units in its cars.
Regarding power consumption (loss of BHP) here is a shocker - Daewoo Matiz too had HPS unit (yes it was just a 800cc engine still it had HPS.
Eps is more of a cost cutting measure. It is an alternative that companies chose to save time while making cars & servicing them later.
The easiest way to identify of a car has HPS or EPS is as below.
Open the bonnet engine & peep into the engine bay - if you find a yellow cap with a steering wheel symbol on it. It is a HPS unit that's in use.
If you dont find a Power steering oil filling cap, then just look behind dashboard, you might find a EPS motor fit onto the Steering column. A few pics to show the same.
EPS motor in a ALTO LXi
Old honda city engine bay with HPS (not so sure, can someone confirm)
Fiat Linea T-jet (100% sure) it is a HPS
My favorite the "PALIO" with HPS lid blown up image.