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Hyundai Verna Facelift Review & First Drive

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Hyundai Verna Overview

To say the new Hyundai Verna received a warm welcome in India would be an understatement. In its first full month of sales, Hyundai’s latest mid-size sedan managed to outsell chief rivals, the Maruti Ciaz and the Honda City, with over 6,000 cars going home to ‘early adopters’. Competitive pricing (Rs 7.99-12.62 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi) has helped the Verna’s case but Hyundai has also made sure that it has a Verna for every sort of mid-size sedan buyer. While the cheaper 1.4-litre versions haven’t made it to the new car, on offer are 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engine options, each with the choice of manual and automatic gearboxes. We’ve tested all four versions of the car to see if it delivers the goods to sustain this initial hype.

Hyundai Verna Design

That’s possibly because although the Verna looks simpler, its basic stance is still plenty attractive. It retains the coupe-like profile and now that it is a bit bigger (longer overall by 65mm and has a longer wheelbase too, by 30mm), it looks all the more special. Hyundai hasn’t skimped out on kit. Flanking the now-signature cascading front grille are two large projector headlamps with daytime running lamps. There’s no LED lighting, but you do get a pair of projector fog lamps.Check Hyundai Verna  price in Mumbai at Tryaldrive.

The wheel wells are packed well; the 16-inch “diamond cut” alloy wheels make sure of that. The tail lamps are LED units, which I may add, look particularly good when they’re lit up in the dark. In their zest of not going overboard, the usage of chrome is minimalistic too. Compared to the outgoing version, the new Verna looks a bit mellow. But the design is cohesive, and you definitely won’t accuse it of trying too hard. Glass half empty, or half full? Depends on how you like your cars.

Hyundai Verna Cabin

The design of the cabin isn’t reminiscent of the Elantra though. It takes the Hyundai’s typical black and beige approach for the dashboard fascia and the upholstery, while the layout of the dashboard elements is quite similar to the other cars in the family like the Creta. I would have preferred an all-black theme for the cabin. That not only works better for our dusty conditions, but also ages gracefully compared to what we have seen on typical Hyundai cabins. The gloss black inserts are fingerprint magnets as expected, but the satin-finished bezels around the infotainment and AC vents look upmarket. The materials feel premium on all touch points and the cabin doesn’t feel too plasticky unlike some of its rivals.

The front seats of the new Verna are quite accommodating and now come with a ventilated function. The latter complements a well-tuned automatic air-conditioning system which worked flawlessly in the hot and humid weather of Kochi during our tests. Cooling at the rear is quite effective too. The rear bench offers decent space and under-thigh support, but doesn’t feel as roomy as the backseat of the Ciaz. Like the Ciaz though, the Verna too gets a rear windshield blind and it’s manually operated. The cushioning of the seats is slightly on the firmer side and that should work well for long journeys. The glass house is generously large and along with the sunroof, it gives the cabin an airy feel.

The top-spec trims come with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system similar to the Creta. It gets Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Mirror Link and satellite navigation. Hyundai has provided three USB ports in the cabin, one of which is mated to the infotainment’s audio interface, while the other two are meant for charging compatible USB devices.There are plenty of storage spaces inside the cabin too, comprising of the cooled glove box, two cupholders each in the tunnel console, and the rear armrest and 1l bottle holders in all door pockets. The storage spaces and all the switches fall easily at hand. At 480l, the Verna’s boot isn’t the best in class but is designed well and has easy accessibility. The bootlid has an automatic hands-free opening operation and needs you to simply walk close to it with the key in your pocket. I have used it extensively on the Elantra and it’s a good feature to have for shopaholics.

Hyundai Verna Performance

Hyundai has bid the smaller 1.4-litre engines goodbye for now. So you just have the 1.6-litre engines on offer now. These engines have been mildly updated in the interest of better drivability. These are paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Also, it’s got an all new chassis borrowed from its elder sibling – the Elantra. The K2 platform did help the Verna shed some weight. And, while the car is bigger and has gained quite a few features, it is said to weigh as much as the outgoing iteration. Exact figures aren’t available yet, but, for reference – the Verna 4S tipped the scales at approximately 1200kgs in its heaviest avatar.

Let’s start off with the 128PS (@4000rpm)/260Nm diesel. On paper, the power and torque figures remain unchanged, but the torque has been made more accessible. New pistons and piston rings have helped reduce friction while an improved turbo has helped improve the boost at low rpms. So, the torque is delivered earlier and is spread wider across the rev range (1500-3000rpm vs 1900-2750rpm). In fact, at as low as 1250rpm, the diesel motor is already dishing out 245Nm, instead of the 176Nm the older tune offered.To know more information on Hyundai Verna visit Pdagreen

Driving inside the city is a fuss-free affair. The diesel was easy to drive in its earlier guise and now the engine doesn’t require you to downshift frequently either to slow down for a speed breaker or pace up for a quick overtake. Steady pace is the name of the game with the diesel. It can build speed effortlessly and maintain them too, but it doesn’t feel eager to get there. Even on the highways, you can dance out of your lane, step on the gas and execute a clean overtake – as long as you aren’t in a hurry. That’s a trait the petrol motor shares with the diesel. It too doesn’t like being hustled, and prefers it if you take things steadily. If you absolutely need to get a move on, you will have to keep it in a lower gear and make sure the tacho is ticking around 3500-5000rpm, because that’s where the torque is. Push it any further and it runs out of steam. In other words, don’t bother redlining it.

While 123PS and 151Nm sound exciting on paper, the engine is evidently tuned more for everyday usability than outright performance. Hyundai has ensured there’s ample torque at the bottom end, and the engine now makes 9Nm more (130.5Nm vs 121.6Nm) at 1500rpm. The new 6-speed manual gearbox has taller ratios than the outgoing 5-speed unit, and it’s sublime in the way it goes about its business. For instance, you can drop down as low as 25kmph in sixth gear without hearing the engine cough and splutter. Sure, flat-footing it then won’t let you make swift progress, but the fact that it pulls without protest even from such low speeds is appreciable.

Both engines are smooth and refined, especially on start-up and idle. Get a move on, and the diesel sounds a bit gruff under 2000rpm. It does get gradually quieter as you make progress, though. The petrol, on the other hand, can only be heard if you’re wringing it. Otherwise, it’s happy maintaining its silence. The 6-speed automatic replaces the 4-speed unit that made the old Verna petrol a bit of a guzzler, and makes its way into the diesel variant for the first time as well. Irrespective of the engine it’s mated with, gearshifts are quick, smooth and more importantly, early. The gearbox complements the laidback nature of the engines nicely. The torque converter chooses the right gears at the right time, and doesn’t let you know you it did.

It feels “unpolished” only when you break out the heavy foot. There’s a whiff of lag before the gearbox sends the rev needle into the other half of the tacho, and when it shifts at the redline – it feels slightly jerky. There’s no Sports mode, and you get a manual mode instead (using the gear selector, no paddle-shifters). But, we’d rather leave it in Drive because it isn’t any quicker when you take charge. It also upshifts on its own if you hold the revs for too long. Finally, if the kitna deti hai question is bothering you, here are the ARAI-certified figures: 17.70kmpl (petrol-MT), 15.92kmpl (petrol-AT), 24.75kmpl (diesel-MT) and 21.02kmpl (diesel-AT). And, if number crunching is your jam check out our spec comparo.

Hyundai Verna Driving

You need to first have a go in the last-gen Verna to understand just how big a leap forward the new model has taken in terms of ride and handling. For starters, gone is the old car’s borderline scary, disconnected feel at highway speeds. What the stiff new Verna offers instead is a far more settled experience. It doesn’t move around half as much as the old car did and drives with a confidence and poise that was altogether missing then. There’s less vertical movement and even the odd bump taken at speed doesn’t ruffle the car as much. Further, the excellent road and wind noise insulation helps camouflage speeds; so on open roads you’ll have to keep an eye on the speedo to make sure you aren’t driving faster than you intended to.

That said, not all Vernas are alike. The heavier diesel models offer better body control than the lighter petrols. Our petrol manual test car felt the least sure-footed of the lot but was still a country mile better than its floppy predecessor. The new Verna also brakes better. The pedal feel is good, stability under braking is impressive and braking performance is among the best in the class. However, should you find yourself in a panic-braking scenario, don’t be alarmed by judders at the pedal, as it’s the ABS at work and it’s tuned to kick in very early.

On twisty roads, you’ll like the grip the Verna has to offer and the fact that it changes direction without much fuss. It’s just that the steering isn’t rich in feel and, on changing radius turns, the inconsistent way it weights up leaves you unsure of exactly how much lock to give. Sure, there’s less of that looseness in the steering and body even, but a Ford Fiesta (RIP) this is not. The lightness at the Verna’s steering does equate to less effort at parking speeds though. If not for its handling, you’ll like the Verna for the way it tackles our pockmarked roads at typical city speeds. Nothing comes jarring through to the cabin and the suspension always does its work quietly. The Verna can’t completely arrest small ripples on the road surface but it doesn’t unduly bob or pitch either.

Hyundai Verna Safety

Though there are no crash safety ratings out for this car yet, Hyundai promises that the Verna is now safer than before with more than 50 per cent of the chassis structure incorporating high-strength steel. The top-spec trims are being offered with up to six airbags, while two front airbags, anti-lock brakes and Isofix child seat anchorages are a standard fit across the range. The seats also get adjustable head restraints all around.

Hyundai Verna Cost in Mumbai

Hyundai Verna On Road Price is 13,89,381/- and Ex-showroom Price is 11,62,118/- in Mumbai. Hyundai Verna comes in 7 colours, namely Fiery Red,Phantom Black,Flame Orange,Star Dust,Polar White,Siena Brown,Sleek Silver. Hyundai Verna comes with FWD with 1591 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 121 bhp@6400 rpm and Peak Torque 151 Nm@4850 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Hyundai Verna comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Hyundai Verna Conclusion

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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