Maruti Eeco is a cheap car for a big family. One of my friend got a chance to test ride Maruti Eeco a few months back. The car feels very good, though not as classy as earlier Versa, which I have driven earlier.
The main differences between the earlier versa and present Eeco are that its engine has been changed to a new 1200 cc one as against the earlier 1300 cc engine which is available in Gypsy King, Maruti Swift, and Maruti Esteem. The engine remains under the seat and is not under the bonnet as wrongly reported on many websites.
The roof of Eeco has also been lowered from extra high roof of Maruti Versa and this has actually given a good stance to this new car, rather than the top-heavy truck like stance of previous Maruti Versa. The dashboard is somewhat okay and looks like that of Maruti Alto's, though it is not well finished, probably as a result of Maruti cutting corners. The front seats are sufficiently bolstered for this class of car and have an integrated seat-cum headrest as in Hyundai i10. However, the middle 2 seats as well as rear seats are of very poor quality and a total letdown and feel like that of Delhi Corporation buses of old times. Seat back's height is also very low and can lead to a severe whiplash injury in case of a rear impact to this vehicle.
Moreover, this car does not even have the option of a power steering in any of the models. This may not matter with a light load, but with a full load on hilly roads, it will really tax a person's biceps and cause early exhaustion. It also does not have any music system or power windows either.
The front of Maruti Eeco is apparently increased in length marginally compared to that of Maruti Versa. The front looks tidy and the innards under the bonnet are well placed. The boot space is huge in the 5-seater Eeco and the rear portion has some space even in seven seater for some luggage. The engine is a bit raspy and not as smooth as the earlier engines that we are used to from Maruti brand in India. I suspect it is due to the requirement for higher compression ratio and emission standards. The A/C is sufficiently cooling during evening; however, I suspect it will be unable to cool the large cabin in hot summer days, especially with this big boot space. Moreover, the 7 seater Eeco does not even come with an air-conditioning option.
Least but not last, the driver's seat and position is totally royal and it towers over other small cars and feels similar to driving an Innova or Scorpio no less, except for the weedy and small steering wheel. The turning radius of Maruti Eeco is very small and I was only able to make a U-turn within half the road. If you have an open mind, this vehicle is enjoyable to drive.
All in all, Maruti Eeco car is economical and is a real bargain for the price Maruti is offering. It seems to be a waste of money to go for a small car like Maruti alto or Maruti Wagon R or Ritz for about 3.1 -4 lakhs when you are getting a big jeep-like car for just 10% more amount. Maruti Eeco 5 Str With A/C and Heater comes at 304213.17 INR in Delhi whether metallic or non-metallic. Maruti Eeco is good for middle class people having a big family.
Happy Economical Driving
Also read: Reasons to Buy New Maruti Alto 2010 with K-Series Engine: