Hyundai Verna Hatchback First Drive Review

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Hyundai Verna Overview

The Hyundai Verna 2018 is the new generation model, which was launched last year. The demand for this sedan has been good and it has been selling well since launch. Most of the variants of the new Verna have a waiting period of 4 to 5 weeks. It is the diesel version of the car which has a higher demand. This is surprise, as the mid-size sedan segment has been shifting toward petrol power cars. An example of this is that the Honda City, which is Verna’s closest rival has 70 per cent of its sales coming form the petrol version. Quite in the opposite fashion, the Verna sees almost 60 per cent of it sales driven by the diesel version. This includes both manual and automatic variants.

The Verna comes with a 1.6-litre diesel and is mated to a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission. This new generation Verna is built on the Elantra platform. It follows the Fluidic 2.0 design language of Hyundai. Hyundai has priced this vehicle aggressively in comparison to competition. The lighter K2 platform has been used to develop this car. The car feels premium and is aimed at evolved buyers.The new Verna has about 50 per cent ultra high strength steel used, which adds to the light weight. The build quality of this car is also better than ever before.Check for car loan interest rate.

The car is dimensionally different and has good space overall. There a lot of features on offer. As per Hyundai the next-generation Verna has undergone testing in different parts of the country for high speed stability, uphill drivability, cruise control and other aspects. The Hyundai Verna 2017 is a fuel efficient car too. ARAI figures suggest 17.7km/l on the petrol engine, while the diesel engine is around 24.5km/l.

Hyundai Verna Exteriors

See the new Verna in passing and chances are you’ll mistake it for the Elantra. Yes, the details are different and there is a visible difference in size too, but the Verna’s basic silhouette and design do make it appear very Elantra-like. And like the Elantra, the new Verna’s styling conforms to Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, so the look isn’t as flamboyant as the last-gen Verna’s, but this is a handsome car nonetheless. As on all new Hyundais, the centrepiece up front is the ‘cascading grille’ that does appear a bit large on the Verna but it helps add visual width to the car. Upswept headlamps and the shapely bumper, with chrome surrounds for the fog lamps, add distinction and definition to the front. The familiar glasshouse and neatly arced roof do link the new Verna to the last one but you won’t find any glitzy cuts or creases on the sides of this one. Rather, embellishments come in the form of chrome door handles and chrome piping at the window line. Sadly, the new Verna looks a bit ungainly when viewed from the rear three-quarter angle. The rear bumper that is shaped to aid air flow is bulky and even makes the top-spec Verna’s smart 16-inch wheels appear smaller than they are. However, the sleek tail-lamps add elegance to the look and are majestic with their LED elements lit.

Last gen to current gen, the Verna has grown 65mm in length and also sits on a 30mm longer wheelbase. Interestingly, the new Verna is identical in length and wheelbase to the Honda City. And note that the similarities to the Elantra are not just skin deep. The Elantra’s sophisticated K2 platform also forms the basis for the new Verna. Structural rigidity is significantly up on the old Verna, with 50 percent (up from 13 percent) of the body shell made from light and stiff advanced high-strength steels. The cross members have also been strengthened to increase energy absorption in the event of a side impact. Hyundai has also worked to keep outside noise where it belongs and the engine mounts have been optimised to this end – there’s an insulator in the transmission tunnel and more noise absorbing materials have been employed in the region of the doors. And while the new Verna continues with an electric power steering and the familiar independent MacPherson struts up front and a non-independent, torsion beam rear suspension layout, Hyundai has revamped the entire setup for better comfort and driving dynamics.

Hyundai Verna Interiors

Being a Hyundai, the Verna comes with very good quality materials used on the inside. The dashboard has a driver-focused layout and the dual-tone colour theme looks pleasant. Compared to the older Verna, a lot has changed and the new generation car definitely feels a much better place to be in. Fit and finish is definitely very good and the build quality isn’t bad either. The sedan comes with features like ventilated front seats, electric sunroof, hands-free smart trunk, voice recognition, cruise control, 7.0-inch audio system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Navigation, automatic climate control, rear parking camera and keyless-go. The audio system sounds pretty good while the cooling performance from the AC is brilliant.

Hyundai has also developed a Connected Car app for the Verna which is compatible with the top SX(O) variant of the car. The app is extremely good and shows details like RPM, current speed, fuel range, etc. It even shows the number of times you’ve done hard braking or hard acceleration in the car. The app is nifty but it should’ve been offered for all variants. The smart trunk feature on the car is worth a mention. You need to have the key fob in your pocket and if you stand near the boot for more than 3 seconds, the boot releases. However, the boot doesn’t really open up fully and you actually need to open it manually after the lock releases.

I found the front seats to be comfortable even over long drives and support for the lower back and under thighs is decent enough. The rear seat is also well-shaped but space is very limited. Kneeroom just cannot be compared to the Honda City and Maruti Ciaz while headroom is also just average. I am almost 6 feet tall and my head was almost touching the roof when I sat at the rear. However, the rear bench feels pretty comfortable in terms of support. The car also has a number of cubbyholes, bottle-holders and storage spaces inside the cabin. While the equipment list is very good, space is at an absolute compromise which can be a major deal-breaker especially for those people who are chauffeur-driven. The boot is well-shaped and can definitely hold quite a lot of luggage but at 480-litres, it is slightly smaller than the City and Ciaz. For more info on Hyundai Verna check Vci-india

Hyundai Verna Transmission

The new Verna carries forward the four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines from the old model, though, they have been suitably tweaked for use here and also see revisions in their power and torque outputs. The dual variable valve timing-equipped petrol engine, for one, makes the same 123hp of max power as before but now does so at 6,400rpm rather than the earlier Verna’s 6,300rpm. And where the engine developed its 155Nm of max torque at 4,200rpm in the old Verna, it makes a marginally lesser 151Nm at a later 4,850rpm in the new car. Hyundai has also enhanced the engine’s low-end pulling power to ease drivability. At 1,500rpm, the engine makes 130Nm as opposed to 121Nm in the older car.The revamped power delivery characteristics, as well as the adoption of a six-speed manual gearbox in place of the old five-speeder, have had a measureable effect on performance.

The new Verna petrol manual is not only quicker than the old car in flat-out acceleration and through the gears, but is actually the quickest of its peers in gears four and five, and all but matches the surprisingly brisk Maruti Ciaz in the third gear slog too. There’s a new-found flexibility to the engine, which is a boon in town and allows you to ◊ get by driving in a higher gear without much protest from the car. And it’s not that the pleasant gearbox or the light (if slightly springy) clutch are bothersome to use either, refinement levels are also excellent at low revs so you’d just find yourself upshifting early by default. At times when you do hold on to the gear, the engine will rev cleanly to 5,000rpm, after which it takes its time to get to the 6,500rpm limiter. That Honda City VTEC-like manic top-end rush is, unfortunately, missing.

Compared to the manual, the petrol automatic is quite different in character. It’s nice and well-mannered when you are ambling around town, but so much as hint at the need for more performance and, with a dab on the throttle, the six-speed torque converter automatic will respond readily, if a bit over enthusiastically, with a downshift and sometimes even two. Unlike typical new-age autos that are tuned to keep revs low for best efficiency, the Verna’s unit keeps revs around the 2,000rpm mark. While that gets you instantaneous responses from the engine, you also hear more of the otherwise quiet engine and get the feeling that the gearbox is perpetually in a sort of ‘Sport’ mode setting. You can take manual control via the gear lever to get the gearbox to behave as per your liking and it’s nice how responsive the system is.

If you happen to be a high-mileage user, it’s the diesel Vernas that will be of greater interest to you. The 1.6-litre variable geometry turbo-diesel continues to top the segment for power (128hp) and torque (260Nm) but the crucial difference is that max torque is now available at a more accessible 1,500-3,000rpm, as opposed to the narrower 1,900-2,750rpm band in the last Verna. Also interesting is the fact that the six-speed manual gearbox runs shorter third and fourth gears here.

We expected the new Verna diesel to be quicker than the old one and it is. The new Verna’s 0-100kph time of 9.32sec betters the old car’s class-best figure by 0.4sec, but what’s more telling is the improvement in in-gear acceleration. The new Verna is not mere milliseconds but full seconds quicker than the old car in benchmark roll-on times! 20-80kph in third gear takes 9.87sec to the old car’s time of 12.17sec, while 40-100kph in fourth gear takes 11.88sec to the old car’s 15.25sec time. Shorter gear ratios aside, the difference in performance is also down to how the updated engine produces its power. Where the old version of the engine bunched up its power for release after 1,800rpm or so, you get to the best of what the new version has to offer far earlier on. A Skoda Rapid or Volkswagen Vento diesel is quicker still in the gears, but where power from the VW TDI engine comes in a rush, the build of power is smooth and linear in the Verna.

The Hyundai unit is responsive and likeable, and what makes it more likeable still is the high level of refinement. Sure, there is an audible clatter at middle revs but the sound seems relatively distant and is nowhere near as gruff or as loud as that emitted by other diesels in this segment. Noise levels do increase significantly as you extend the engine, but given the ready power on offer you’ll seldom feel the need to explore the top-end of the rev range. Once again, gearshifts on the six-speed manual gearbox are nice and the clutch, though springy, has a progressive action.

The other Verna diesel is the automatic and its six-speed torque converter ’box too is well in tune with the characteristics of the engine. It effects gear changes in a timely manner, is quick to adapt to changes in driving style and is also responsive to manual inputs via the gear lever. Performance is strong too, with kickdown acceleration at par with the dual-clutch gearbox-equipped versions of the diesel Vento and Rapid.

Hyundai Verna Driving

Dynamics on the 2018 Hyundai Verna are leagues ahead of the older car. The steering is so much better now. It feels direct but still lacks feedback. At low speeds, it is light enough while it weighs up slightly on the highways. However, it still feels dead and lacks a proper connect. The vehicle remains stable on straights as well as twisty roads alike but doesn’t feel as eager or sure-footed as cars like the Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid. The Verna is a very good cruiser but I wouldn’t call it a fun-to-drive car.

The suspension has been set-up nicely and it gets a mildly stiff setting. It absorbs bumps and potholes well and the car’s body remains fairly composed all the time. If you hit sharp undulations, the suspension does have a tendency to thud. Ground clearance isn’t much of an issue while braking performance is brilliant with the pedal having good bite and generating much better feedback too. The Verna comes with Hankook tyres and grip is satisfactory for regular usage. While the older car used to feel like a boat, this one is completely different.

Hyundai Verna Safety

We don’t need to mention that Hyundai has a stellar after-sales network in India with sales and service outlets present almost everywhere in the country. On the safety aspect, the new Verna gets 6 airbags on the top variant while all the other variants come with dual front airbags as standard. ABS with EBD is also offered as standard on all variants. This time, Hyundai has used high tensile steel to the tune of 50% on the car which is again said to improve the strength of the body structure.

Hyundai Verna Cost in Hyderabad

Hyundai Verna On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 13,94,556 to 15,69,321 for variants Verna 1.6 VTVT SX O and Verna 1.6 CRDI SX Plus AT respectively. Hyundai Verna is available in 5 variants and 7 colours. Below are details of Hyundai Verna variants price in Hyderabad. Check for Verna price in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive.

Hyundai Verna Final Thought

Judged against the old Verna, the new model comes across as a far superior product. It’s better built, even more refined and comes packed with the latest of goodies, and then some. Hyundai has also done well to (largely) address the old Verna’s wayward handling, making the new car better to drive and, by extension, a more wholesome package. Also, petrol or diesel, manual or automatic, you won’t be left wanting for the way the Verna performs.

There isn’t much to complain about really, but if there’s an area where the Verna underwhelms, it’s the rear-seat experience. It is significantly down on space when compared to rivals like the City and the Ciaz, to the extent that it could be a deal-breaker for many, particularly chauffeur-driven buyers. Had Hyundai managed to eke out more room in the back, the Verna, seen as a whole, would have simply been hard to fault. As is, the new Verna makes for a great mid-size sedan but not a perfect one.

 

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