Our journey began on a bright and early morning at Hyundai North EDSA. The first leg would take us through the North Luzon Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, a quick detour through Nueva Ecija, and then to McArthur Highway. We'll be covering 146 kilometers in the morning before we make it to our first stop at the Isdaan restaurant in Tarlac for lunch. Charlie and I are good chums and occasionally work and hang out together. So spending the long five-hour trip together shouldn't be much of a problem.
After the quick meal, we travelled yet another 100 kilometers to our final checkpoint at a Caltex gas station where we finally filled up our tanks to the brim and measured who got the best mileage. Each leg had a maximum travel time of two and a half hours, where a penalty of 0.1 liter is given for each minute you arrive late.
The all-female duo of Tet Andolong from Business Mirror and Lindy Pellicer from Turbo Time consumed a total of 8 liters. But due to a hefty time penalty, 0.8 liters were added to their total and put them out of contention. Coming in at third were Vince Pornelos of AutoIndustriya.com and teammate Iñigo Roces of The Manila Bulletin, while the father and son tandem of Ron and Ronald delos Reyes used up 8.1 liters with a time penalty of 0.6 liters, thus giving them second place.
Then it was our turn to top up at the tank. With 8.3 liters of fuel going in our EON, we used up a few milliliters more than our competitors, which got us worried. But, as the rules would have it, Charlie and I made it on time in both legs and incurred no penalties at all. This means that our record of 8.3 liters of fuel used to cover a total distance of 246 kilometers was the day's best and earned us the award of being the Hyundai EON Live Brilliant Economy Run Grand Champion, thus beating Hyundai's own record with our 29.361 km/L run. Hurrah!
Aside from the eco run, Hyundai also had a photo scavenger hunt in store for us the very next day. This allowed us to visit all of Baguio's most famous landmarks such as the The Mansion, the Philippine Military Academy, and the Botanical Garden. Once again, I was teamed up with Charlie, with the addition of Eggay Quesada of Stoplight TV, and Kris Lim of Business Mirror to form Team CreatEON.
Searching around the best sites around Baguio City, we found a safe haven in the woods in Camp John Hay. We gathered a stable of horses and positioned them around the EON for out entry entitled “Best Ride in our Stable.” This earned us fifth place in the photo contest, adding to our previous victory in the eco run. Though it wasn't the clean sweep we were hoping for, the experience, camaraderie, and thrill that we had in the hunt that made it memorable.
Small in Size, Big in Character
Measuring at 3.5 m long, 1.5 m wide, and 1.5 m tall, the EON is tiny in comparison with the other behemoths on the road and is actually a shy smaller than the i10. But, even for a guy of my size (6’4”), I fit comfortably riding and driving it for long periods of time. Head room is also quite impressive, despite my preference of sitting at a high seat level. Now if the EON can fit me, it should have no trouble accommodating your entire family.
Under the hood is a frugal 800c three-cylinder engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission. Despite only it having 55 horses, I didn’t feel that it lack power, especially driving up Baguio's steep slopes. Acceleration is satisfactory for a sub-1 liter engine with two people on board plus luggage. On the way home, with the eco run now behind us, I was able to push the EON to a top speed of 140 km/h. Not bad at all for such as small and economical engine.
Overall, the Hyundai EON is a very practical car that suit the needs of today's motorist, especially during these times of erratic fuel prices. And after I got to know this little car quite well, I highly recommend it to most of my friends and family who complain about the prices at the pump. Prices start at a very affordable P438,000 for the entry-level model, but if you want more features and a body-colored bumper, the full-spec version comes in at P498,000.
I would like to thank and congratulate HARI for letting me be part of this successful event, and I hope we can be part of their future activities. To Charlie Cruz, it’s an honor to be your teammate and navigator. I wish we could do this again and defend our title!