Maruti is doing what it is best atagain, and that is to detect a niche and satisfy it with a model thathas an impossible-to-ignore price-tag. At Rs 3.09 lakh for the basefive-seater and Rs 3.42 lakh for the top five-seater AC edition, theMaruti Eeco is only that, an economical mode to transport five orseven (people in comfortableness.

Like you might have alreadysuggested, the Eeco is not all-novel. It’s a Maruti Versa with adownsized edition of the 1.3-liter G-series engine it arrived with.This 1.2- liter engine today produces 73 bhp but the important thingis, the Eeco with this engine will now meet the novel BS IV emissionnorms that arrive into effect from April this year. And, including a1.2-litre engine and being below four meters in length means itqualifies in the Indian government’s eyes like a little car. Whichit isn’t perfectly.

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At first glance, it’s instantlyapparent that this is the Versa with minor alterations to theexteriors. The head- and tail-lamps have subtle changes like do thebumpers, all of which do nothing to hide the age of this plan. It’sa boxy plan reminiscent of the 1980s and there’s no doubt aboutwhere it arrived from – Japan is full of vans as these. The Eecotoo stands on skinny and weedy 155-section tyres which arrive on13-inch rims that feel tiny relative to the rest of the car.

Butpardon the feels, think out of the box and you’ll detect a hugelypractical car. You walk into it like opposed to crouching within. Thehigh-set seats offer a supreme view of the road and this, combinedwith the large glass area, produce the cabin feel big. It alsoproduces the Eeco extremely simple to pilot in traffic, viewing itscompact dimensions. The back bench is not the most comfortable about,but at least it is more spacious as compared to similarly pricedcars. However, it’s not adjustable or removable and, shockingly,Maruti has left out headrests for the back occupants.

TheEeco’s dashboard is extremely like to the one in the Alto. There’sa large scoop over the glove box to hold matter and the air-convents are similar as well. The steering wheel and gear lever are alsoborrowed from the Alto. Overall quality is poor but then again youpay hence small, it shouldn’t arrive like a big shock.