Comparison – Compact Hatchback
The compact hatchback segment is a competitive one in India and Maruti Suzuki has always been the undisputed king of the segment followed by Hyundai. However, Maruti Suzuki’s figures for the last fiscal year showed a drop in overall growth and sales figures in its bread and butter segment. Datsun, owned by the Renault-Nissan Alliance, is targeting its own niche in the entry level segment with the eagerly awaited Redi-Go which is set to be cheaper than the Go hatchback as well.
The Datsun Redi-Go will be launched in mid-2016 as per sources and it will be interesting to see how it fares against its two key rivals, namely the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 and Hyundai Eon. The Maruti Alto 800 and Hyundai Eon have wheelbases of 2360 mm and 2380 mm respectively which is part for the course while boot capacity stands at 177 and 215 litres respectively for the twain. So far, the Hyundai Eon comes up trumps but there are no confirmed details for the Datsun Redi-Go as of yet. However, in terms of overall design, the Redi-Go will get the signature Datsun grille along with strong and visible character lines. The Redi-Go may appeal to Indian buyers with its sporty, rugged and masculine look. The Eon has the Fluidic design template from Hyundai which is also quite elegant to look at. The compact hatchback Alto 800 is the simplest and plainest of the lot in terms of design. In spite of new tail lamps, headlights and a few curves, the Alto 800 still looks quite dated. Even the Eon has grown on car lovers in terms of its look but the Redi-Go promises to be a refreshing and unconventional looking compact hatchback that may just come out trumps in terms of design and exteriors.
Coming to the interiors, the Redi-Go should be as spacious as both its competitors if not a little more. Datsun should offer the Redi-Go with top class stitching and upholstery. The Eon currently has a much better fit and finish in comparison to the Alto 800. The Eon feels more spacious and refined. The size of the Redi-Go should work in its favor along with the better quality interiors.
The Redi-Go should be coming with a 0.8 liter petrol engine while the Alto 800 also offers a 0.8 litre engine for both petrol and CNG variants. The Eon offers a 0.8 litre motor for both LPG and petrol engines while there is also a 1 litre petrol engine option on offer. 5 speed manual transmission is a common feature for all three cars while the Eon offers better power and torque figures than the Alto 800 which are expected to be matched by the Redi-Go.
In terms of fuel economy, the Alto 800 is the clear winner with 22.74 kmpl for its petrol variant and 30.46 km/kg for the CNG version. In comparison, the compact hatchback Eon offers 21.1 kmpl and 21.1 km/kg for its 0.8 litre petrol and LPG variants. The 1.0 litre petrol model of the Eon offers 20.3 kmpl. The Datsun Redi-Go is expected to offer between 20-23 kmpl which may help it outstrip the Alto 800 and emerge a leader in terms of fuel economy. This is the interesting thing to watch out for.
In terms of safety features, the compact hatchback Redi-Go is expected to offer better and more comprehensive safety features as compared to its rivals. The Eon offers driver airbags and front fog lamps for its Sportz variant and these are present in the Magna+ (O) model too. For the top end Alto 800 variant, an optional driver airbag is present along with a standard immobilizer and tubeless tyres.
At present, the Hyundai Eon offers similar equipment and features as the Alto 800 but feels more premium, spacious and a better value proposition as compared to the same. However, the Redi-Go will definitely eat into the Eon’s desirability with its unconventional styling and design, expected fuel economy figures (best-in-segment) and abundance of safety and comfort features.