by- Nitin Sharma
It was in the year 2006 when Hyundai made an attempt to capture the then hottest segment in the market which was the C segment sedan with Verna. It was a time when Honda City was doing quite very well in the market and left little or no room for any competition to come in. Even after that Hyundai made numerous attempts by transforming the Verna to beat the City but it wasn’t till 2011 when the manufacturer came out with Fluidic Verna which showcased the company’s new fluidic design language and wowed the whole country with its looks. Soon after getting launched the Verna got the title of car of the year from numerous auto media channels and this was the first time City started facing some serious competition.
But later on the competition started to improvise itself and in order to survive in the market, Hyundai’s Fluidic Verna headed towards a much needed makeover.
Last year just after the Honda was done with launching their latest gen Honda City, Hyundai came out with an all new Fluidic verna and once again turned the table upside down. The car which was already loved by the masses had become even more charming.
One look is clear to notice that the latest gen car is wider than its predecessor, though it is not much that has increased here. But the length of the car is significantly increased by nearly 70mm and the height has been kept the same as earlier. Now this design is not evolutionary but instead is more revolutionary. The grill is now what you’ll see in every modern Hyundai i.e. company’s trademark hexagonal layout surrounded by thich chrome strip. The headlamps might look quite similar to the previous car but just a bit stretched to the back now. They also house LED daytime running lights. The fog lamp housing is also changed and now looks much more mature than the previous generation’s L shaped design. Come around the side and the very first thing that will grab your attention are these all new 16 inch alloy rims. The beltline is now quite prominent and runs across the length of the car starting from the front wheel arches and melds into the tail lights. Due to the increased width of the car, the roof looks a bit low set though it isn’t and also melds into the tail in rather sweet manner. There is even a small shark fin style antenna which looks quite premium.
Back is undoubtedly the best angle to look at this car with those wraparound split tail lamps which looks utterly delicious and those small slits inside them adds to the drama. There is also some black cladding on the lower bumper which complements the looks even more. In all the new Verna looks way much more better and premium than its predecessor. The boot now comes with auto opening mechanism which means if your hands are full of stuff and you can’t physically press a key to open the trunk, all you need is to get close to the tailgate, swirly your feet below the bumper and Voila! The boot opens itself.
Now inside is where we spent most of our time so it is very important that a car have equally good interior to complement its exterior. Thankfully Hyundai’s interiors are one of the best in the class and Verna is no exception. Everything here is done in typical Hyundai fashion with the interior being all beige and black. The car’s fluidic exterior design language is quite noticeable inside too as you can see a lot of curvy lines here too. The steering wheel is also quite huge and feels very nice to hold and gives a very commanding feeling. Dominating the center console is a big 7 inch touch screen infotainment system which is also compatible with Android Auto, Apple Carplay and Mirrorlink. The gear knob is the similar you’ll find on more premium Elantra sedan and also helps in increasing the premiumness of the cabin. The front seats are quite very comfortable in itself and what is really a boon are these extremely wonderful ventilated front seats and this is very premium feature considering our Indian weather conditions.
Now the rear seats are equally crucial as most of the buyers might find themselves occupied here. The leg space is quite decent even with the front seats completely back. Though what is not very good is the headspace and the taller people say 6 feet and above might find it tight. The cushioning is a bit firm for our liking. The seats though are wide enough to accommodate three adults and the floor board is also nearly flat.
The New Fluidic Verna is loaded with all the bells and whistles which include projector headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights, LED tail lamps, 7 inch touchscreen infotainment system with access to Apple Carplay, Android Auto and Mirrorlink and also Voice control, smart tailgate, electric sunroof, rear AC vent, rear sunshade and also some first in class features like ventilated front seats. For safety we have as much as 6 airbags, isofix mounts, ABS with EBD, rear parking camera with sensors and many more.
Now the Verna comes with three engine options. A 1.4L 4 cylinder petrol mill churning 100 bhp power and 132 NM of peak torque, another petrol engine which is a 1.6L motor producing 123 bhp power and 151 NM of peak torque. Now for those who want a diesel motor an option of 1.6L 4 cylinder diesel engine which produces a total output of 128 bhp power and 260 NM of peak torque. Settle on the driver’s seat and what you’ll notice is that though the seat is quite low set but still the ingress is easy and also the outside visibility is quite good. The suspension is not very firm or neither very soft but still to say so we found it a bit on the firmer side. Whenever you find some nasty big potholes, there is a bit of thrashing. Now a firmer suspension on the other hand means excellent high speed manners and this is where the Verna truly shines and that combined with its amazing steering geometry, this car is really very fun around the corners. The insulation is also quite good and very less road noise is filtered inside and the cabin is well kept away from whatever is going outside.
The Diesel motor, well to say the least it is quite peppy but suffers from a decent amount of turbo lag but once you are past the 1500 rpm mark, from there the pull is quite very linear. What is to keep in notice here is that most of the meat of the engine is concentrated on upper rpms so you have to push the engine really hard if you want you access all of that power. The gearbox is also a nice unit but where is lags is when you want to do sudden overtakes, it is a bit slow to respond there and gets confused on which gear to pull. But for day to day drives it is quite effortless.
The prices for Verna starts from around 7.86 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi for the base petrol variant and goes upto as high as 12.98 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi for the top end diesel automatic with all the goodies. The Verna has always been a very good value for money option and in its latest avatar, it just takes bar ahead.