Hyundai Verna has always been a prominent player in the mid-sized sedan segment in the Indian market. It has churned decent moolah for Hyundai in this highly competitive segment, which comprises of heavyweights such as Maruti Ciaz, Honda City, Volkswagen Vento and others. The sales of the Verna sedan dipped concerningly over the past few months as the design was outdated and it missed out on some tempting features as compared to its arch rivals Honda City and Maruti Ciaz, both of whom received a facelifted version with fresh styling and modern features. Therefore, the South-Korean automaker has introduced the next-gen Verna sedan with new styling and sophisticated features to regain the lost ground. The new sedan comes in both petrol and diesel fuel trims with manual as well as automatic transmission. It has been offered in four trim levels: E, EX, SX, and SX (O). The 2017 Hyundai Verna is based on a new architecture, while flaunting a new design and boasting of several first-in-segment features. Check Ex Showroom Price of Verna
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
The new Verna is bigger as well as more spacious than its predecessor and also gets a slightly lengthier wheelbase which automatically translates into more interior space. The new car also underpins a new reworked Hyundai i20 platform.
Now let’s talk about the styling, shall we? The old Verna was always one attractive looking sedan, and thus Hyundai decided not to mess too much wi9th the overall silhouette of the car and thus decided to make minimal changes to keep things fresh on the new car. As a result of all that the new generation Verna gets a redesigned headlamps and grille towards the front, the new ‘C’ shaped LED Daytime running lamps has also are integrated into the new headlight unit. The headlight assembly, in particular, gets projector units. The front profile now is dominated by a large cascading Hyundai grille. The front profile also gets new fog lamp cluster which is surrounded by a chrome embellishment. There are not many changes made to the side profile though however, the new sedan does feature a new set of alloy wheels for the top end trim. The swooping roofline towards the rear makes things more interesting. Talking about the rear profile, in particular, it gets this newly designed wrap around tail lamps which look quite similar to the ones found in the new facelift Xcent sedan only slightly bigger. The integrated boot spoiler too helps in adding a sporty appeal to the vehicle.
CABIN AND COMFORT ;
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.
We 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.
ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;
The 1.4-litre petrol engine is gone. Hyundai won’t be offering it any more for the Indian car market on the Verna. In petrol there is only the 1.6-litre, which produces the same amount of power. The 1.6-litre diesel engine is also on offer. Whats more, it will be churning out similar torque with changes in tweaking. Both the engines have been tuned for better performance, be it in city or even on the highway. This is what makes it stand out in the crowd.In terms of performance, the petrol and diesel engines have very good power. We haven’t driven the petrol yet, the diesel is for sure and a good choice when it comes to driveability. The clutch is quite light and gear shifts are quick. There is more than sufficient torque in this engine and the Verna is stress-free to drive as well. The automatic is for sure more comfortable option, especially for city driving.
The torque of the 1.6-litre petrol sets in at a lower rpm. The 1.6-litre diesel has a much higher torque at 25kg-m at 1250rpm. The petrol has 6-speed manual and automatics have 6-speed AT. 126bhp is the power that the Diesel has and 121bhp of power is what the petrol engine gets. Hyundai is looking at making the Verna a premium offering and this it wants to achieve by making only 1.6-litre petrol engine available and taking out the 1.4-litre petrol and diesel. The steering geometry is also improved as per the company and it now offers better feedback. The gearbox location is also changed for optimisation, the company states. The engines have good enough power and improved torque for better drivability. One doesn’t have to shift gears that oftenThere isn’t a major increase in the mileage of this new car. The company hasn’t revealed the figures, but most certainly it will be similar. For the first time we see Hyundai offering distance to empty and mileage indicator on the driver information system.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The new Verna is also a huge improvement in terms of ride and handling. The suspension setup is stiffer and logic dictates that the ride should thus be stiffer but that isn’t the case. The suspension isn’t crashy as before over bumps and potholes and is a lot quieter in that sense, while still soaking it all up. There are a few thuds when going fast over broken roads but on the whole the ride is a lot more settled which makes for a better in-cabin experience. Another huge improvement is stability at speeds. The older car’s softer setup caused the car to wobble at speeds, especially given the undulations on our roads but the new setup does a far better job of keeping the car planted.
Cruising at highway speeds is thus a far better experience. This should make the new car more likeable, be it for the driver or occupants. The firmer suspension helps around corners as the car feels more planted, also courtesy the grip from the 195/55 R16 Hankooks it comes shod with. Steering feel has improved with a more weighted feel at speeds and around corners but I would have liked the system to be slightly more communicative. Brakes have a progressive feel but more bite would certainly make for a more reassuring experience. On the whole the new car is a huge leap over its predecessor but still isn’t worthy of being called a driver’s car unlike some of its rivals.
Dual front airbags, ABS and ISOFIX come as standard across all variants of the 2017 Hyundai Verna. The EX variant adds reverse parking sensors, a rear parking camera, projector fog lights and auto-headlamps, along with impact/speed sensing auto door locks and a rear defogger with timer. The SX variant of the new Verna adds an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror and height-adjustable front seatbelts, while the range-topping SX (O) gets side and curtain airbags, for a total of 6 airbags.
To put it simply, the Verna’s package has only become stronger. The new design is mature and likeable, and like most Hyundais – it is loaded to the gills as well. Our short spin has us impressed with the drivability of the diesel, and the dynamics when you hustle it. Yes, the interior could’ve looked a lot less simpler and some more room at the back would’ve made it the perfect package. But, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Verna will catapult right to the top of the consideration list for the self-driven lot. It isn’t going to be easy, but Hyundai does look well-prepped to slug it out with the updated Honda City and the to-be updated Maruti Ciaz.