The Maruti Suzuki Eeco is set to get a new lease of life in the coming months. The carmaker will upgrade its utilitarian people mover to meet latest crash test standards and emission norms. The Eeco got a safety update earlier this year with a standard-fit driver-side airbag, ABS and rear parking sensors, and another safety update is also coming soon. Structural enhancements and a redone nose will help the Maruti Eeco meet the latest crash test standards and pedestrian-protection norms, which come into effect on October 1, 2019 and October 1, 2020, respectively.
To meet BS6 emission norms, that come into effect on April 1, 2020, the Eeco will also get an engine upgrade. Interestingly, Maruti has no option but to update the Eeco’s outdated 1.2-litre G-Series petrol engine for the job. Suzuki’s latest K-Series petrol engines – used in models such as the Wagon R, Swift, Dzire, Ignis and Baleno – are designed for a transverse-mounted, front-wheel-drive layout, and cannot be adapted to the Eeco’s longitudinal engine layout and rear-wheel-drive architecture.
The current Eeco's the BS4-compliant 1,196cc, four-cylinder motor makes 73hp and 101Nm of torque in petrol form, and 63hp and 85Nm of torque when running on CNG. Mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard, the engine has an ARAI-rated 15.37kpl figure (21.94km/kg on CNG). With the jump to BS6 emission norms, we expect output and fuel-economy figures to drop.
It’s all but certain that the updated Eeco will be accompanied by a price hike. At present, the model retails for Rs Rs 3.52-4.86 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The Maruti Eeco has been around for a while now, having started its life as the Versa. While the original was a flop in the market, the model found success in its second lifetime as a utilitarian people mover. Maruti has sold over 5,00,000 units of the Eeco in the nine years that it’s been on sale. The Eeco is currently available in five- and seven-seat versions.
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