Maruti Suzuki’s Alto is ruling its segment from well-over a decade. Time after time, the Japanese giant has continued to successfully hold that numero uno spot. But now it’s quite predictable that this task is ought to become tougher going forward taking into account the ever-increasing purchasing power of first time car buyers in India and the gamut of entry level hatchbacks on offer. Two such names in market are Hyundai Eon and Datsun Go. Thanks to upmarket styling, Eon came no less than a breath of fresh air in 2011. Datsun Go on the other hand is the most recent entrant among the lot but has already climbed to the fame of being among those very few driver oriented hatchbacks in this segment. Now that Hyundai too has upped its ante by plonking a more powerful 1.0L Kappa engine and therefore filling the only biggest void in Eon which was the uninspiring performance, it’s sure going to be a tough call for buyers to pick one.
Unquestionably, Datsun Go is subject to most eyeballs. Some people still tend to perceive it to be an imported car while other informed folks were inquisitive about its features. I have lost the count of heads this car made turn while we were heading for the photo shoot. Eon is a far more familiar face and may not necessarily receive the same amount of attention yet it looks just as fresh as it used to three years ago. Hyundai’s fluidic design is rather flamboyant which has consequently managed to find its own space in the hearts of several young Indians. Although Datsun Go’s looks are cunningly sharp but toned down and that’s precisely what makes it an instantly appeal to everyone type of design. Since the Go is based on Nissan Micra’s platform, it also visibly looks a segment bigger and more intimidating on the road when viewed from the outside rear view mirror. But at the same time, Eon’s compact dimensions are a great boon while maneuvering through congested locations.
Additionally, Hyundai Eon is relatively taller translating that it’s easier to get in and out one. The Eon 1.0 Liter is available only in the Magna+ variant as of now due to which buyers will have to sacrifice on a few features that are otherwise equipped on the top-end Sportz variant of 800 CC model. Though there aren’t any significant changes on the exteriors whatsoever. Only key difference are non-body colored door handles and ORVMs. Alloy wheels are skipped on the top variants of both the cars but the wheels feature catchy alloy look-alike covers. The rear profile of Go and Eon are poles apart. The Hyundai boasts a lot of attitude with its large tail lamps that stretches out from bumper to almost till the roof. Hatch door is marked with four different badges, including new “1.0L” marking which is the only prominent distinguishing factor between the Eon 0.8L and 1.0L models. Go, on the flip side, remains modest throughout. It's clean hatch features no badges obviously apart from the Datsun logo and Go brand name. The smoothly merging taillamps with the haunches of rear fenders definitely further enhance the sportier aspect of its design.