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Conquering Baguio with the Hyundai EON

The little car that really could!
by Gelo Gonzales | Jun 28, 2012
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The Hyundai EON is a very small car. The kind of car that highlights efficiency, practicality, and above all, cramped parking maneuverability--perfect for us who absolutely detest parallel parking.

Its purpose is simple yet noble, and that is to get you to places—from the office to your house, and vice versa while running a few errands in between—without having to accrue huge fuel receipts. And quite comfortably too. A car that’s very much ideal for first-time owners, the EON’s brilliance lies in fully being aware of its identity. It isn’t loud nor does it attempt to feign luxury. Yet one thing is clear: the EON proves that a good ride should not be for the privileged few.

We've already tackled the basics of this little mean machine in a preview we published a while back. But let's reiterate the figures: a 0.8-liter MPI engine that produces 56 hp at 5,500 RPM, a 5-speed manual transmission, motor-driven power steering, 215 liters of luggage capacity, integrated CD/MP3/tuner audio system, and keyless entry. Again, nothing mind-blowing. But you'll be surprised how far an 800cc engine could actually take you.

Hyundai invited us for a little test drive for the little car, and took us to a most imposing destination: Baguio. The trip began at the Hyundai showroom in North Edsa, swiveled through the rough roads of Tarlac and La Union, and finished in the City of Pines.

Our first question was, is it even possible? Can this car take us through the dizzying, ziggy-zaggy paths along Kennon Road without having to require a wrecker? Let's cut the trip short and forgo any anticipation, because our sweet answer is this: yes.

We made it to Baguio, and it's all thanks to the hardworking 56 horses steaming under its hood. The car was pushed to its limit, and worried as we were, it did its job. Yes, you'd have better options going up those mountainous terrains (you could feel it groaning a couple of times), but once again it proved that this is a well-designed car apt for the many, different driving conditions one would encounter in the country. Through unpaved roads, with the rain pouring like mad, through straightaways, the EON was able to justify its tagline of "Live Brilliant."

Presently, if we're going to talk about fuel-efficiency, the EON definitely is a winner. Hyundai claims that it has best-in-class fuel-efficiency of 26.3 km/L. During the test drive, a huge section of the trip was dedicated to proving just that: drive from Manila to La Union while spending the least fuel possible. Several techniques were applied including turning the aircon off, folding the side mirrors for better airflow, and running at a very measured pace.

Every now and then, we applied these techniques, but the heat got the better of us, and running at a mere 40 kph gets boring especially when there's a long stretch of car-free road in front of you. So, you know, we kind of still pushed the car, airconditioning and all. Surprisingly, we still proved to be efficient. The electronically-lit fuel gauge proved it as the meter only dropped one light down when we reached La Union. That's a huge middle-finger to all the gas guzzlers out there.

At 498,000 pesos, the EON MT GLS is a practical choice. It's efficient, it has power to take you around the city, and best of all, it's a pretty ride--the same way the iPod Nano looks sleek. Without a doubt, it looks like Hyundai's got another winner in their increasingly impressive stable. Available as well is the EON MT GL at 438,000 pesos. 

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WORDS BY GELO GONZALES
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