In India, there is a niche market for microvans at a cheaper rate. One car that fulfils this criterion to a tee is the Maruti Suzuki Eeco.
The Maruti Eeco model is based on the Avery model and was introduced in the Indian market in the year 2010. This car is available in both five seater and seven-seater version. This model competes with another microvan model of Maruti called the Omni. This car, like its sibling Omni has a very simple design. While Omni has a plain front profile, the Eeco model comes with a small-protruded front that houses the coolants for the engine and wiper & washer mechanism. It features a black coloured hard plastic front and back bumper with integrated turn lights. The engine grille design of this car is more expressive compared to what we find in the Omni model. Other than that, this car looks similar to the Omni model, including the sliding doors. It also has high -quality body graphics (absent in the base model), which improves its look only marginally.
While the looks of this car are not very impressive, you need to look beyond the beauty of this car and focus more on its practicality. This car is designed to provide a cheap form of transport, which can be used for multiple purposes, like a school car, pool car, cargo vehicle, or ambulances. As a car meant for transporting numerous passengers or cargo, the exit and entry of this vehicle are very important. Thanks to the sliding door, and the height of the car, it is very easy to get in and out of this car without hitting your head on the roof of the time. The car seats are also well built and allow the riders to travel in relative comfort. Unlike the Omni, the Eeco model comes with air conditioner (only for the five-seater trim) and it has provision for installing speakers (audio system and speakers are not available in sale package, you have to install it yourself). The seats come with vinyl covering. This car also has power steering wheel, which is a godsend if you want to negotiate the heavy Indian traffic. The front seats are reclining and are provided with integrated headrests. You will not find any utility pockets either at the front doors or at the rear doors. The glove box is also very small, and you will find only one power outlet to charge your smartphone or iPad at the front. You will find the AC vents only at the front. The instrument cluster of Maruti Eeco is very plain and comes with digital speedometer, fuel, and temperature metres. The entire car is furnished in dual tone colour and has very little utility space in terms of cup and bottle holders, and side pockets. This car also does not have any power windows, but they have a child lock facility (which is extremely important as it is used widely to transport schoolchildren in many cities of India).
Maruti Suzuki Eeco runs on an efficient 1.2 litres petrol engine (you can also opt for the CNG variant) that comes with DOHC configuration. This 1196 cc engine can generate a maximum power of 73 bhp resulting in a torque of 101 Nm @3000 rpm. To take this power to the rear wheels of the car, it comes equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission box. You will not find any lack of power at low rpm (which is a great thing!) and the power shift occurs smoothly.
If you are interested in this car then you can buy the base 5 seater variant for a price of Rs. 3.65 lakhs (approximate), 5 seaters with CNG compatible engine and AC for a price of Rs. 4.38 lakhs (approximate). If you are looking for a 7 seater, then you have to pay Rs. 3.52 lakhs (approximate). The main competitors of this car are Maruti Suzuki Omni, Datsun go Plus and Mahindra Suparo.