Sold in over 60 countries with different names, the Style icon of its segment which dominated its class for a long time here before the Honda and Suzuki stepped in to provide some serious competition, the Hyundai Verna has a new 2015 version of it. Hyundai calls it the Verna 4S.
Launched in 2006, Verna performed decent initially to become a blockbuster hit. In 2011 the Fluidic Verna was launched & its design turned a lot of heads and the attention persisted. This though is the final face lift for this version of Verna, next year will probably see a whole new Verna.
The No.1 spot of this segment was snatched by the City and Ciaz is also behind that, so how could Hyundai not make any effort? Let’s get started with first impressions.
From a distance it looks quite similar to the old one but if a get a little closer the first thing you notice are the stretched, larger projector headlamps with LEDs this time. Next is the change of the hexagonal grill to dual slat grill along with a new bumper design. The fog lamps have also been changed.
Side profile remains the same except for the alloys. At the rear, opinions regarding the change will be the same as that for the side. However on a closer look you will see LED tail lamps and new reflectors down on the bumper. Also, the exhaust has been hidden to give a neater look.
Verna’s interior was always a reason for its popularity before and Hyundai has not tried to experiment with it this time since it feels very premium, with the cream coloring. Features and equipment list on this car was always unmatched by any other car of its segment which actually back in 2011 gave it the edge and also made a benchmark for the other rivals. This car was loaded like an android phone and remains to be loaded even now, this time’s addition is the music system which comes with a 1 GB internal memory. Rest of the features have been kept as well. But hey, no rear A/C vents?! Other than that the rear seats have been given better cushioning and under thigh support which was a downside in the previous Verna. In addition to this you also get a lever on the front passenger seat for the rear passenger to adjust the front seat which we first saw in the Vento. Except for the rear A/C vents the Verna 4S does more than just an impressive job.
The Verna comes with ABS as standard in all variants and yes… 6 Airbags in the high-end.
Space and comfort:
465 liters of boot space isn’t that impressive but enough of boot space! Legroom at the back is good enough and overall it feels comfortable. Although the rear suspension has been tweaked to the stiffer side it has not affected the comfort majorly and the cabin still feels good except for the window or the shoulder line being a little high which doesn’t give you that airy, spacious feeling like the Ciaz.
The Verna’s biggest downside previously was the vehicle dynamics. The ride and handling were just not good enough when compared to the others. So, the question arises have Hyundai done anything about it? The Answer is yes, but the car still is not a match to its rivals when it comes to handling. Here’s an explanation. The Verna was known to have a very twitchy behavior and high speed stability was poor, you could only wish for it to have make it through a corner like its rivals. The steering feedback was bad but the new one has better feedback. The suspension tuning has helped, although it still feels quite on the softer side when try to hit the apex while making through a corner. But, of course it isn’t meant to break lap times on a track. It is a sedan with luxury features to be used in the city and on the highway as well. Which brings us back to the stability at high speed of this car which was a problem back then and isn’t the case anymore. Talking of highways, cruising is this car feels good because of the 6th gear available. And pot holes? What pot holes? This car just goes over them. Like a boss. The rear disc brakes have gone out and the drums have been brought back which obviously affects the braking now and isn’t like before. Overall quite a lot of improvements have been made but it still has to match up to its rivals in terms of handling.
Engine and performance:
Work has been done towards refinement of the engine, especially diesel. Hyundai is offering 4 engine options totally 1.4 & 1.6 in petrol and diesel respectively. The Diesel’s refinement is something Honda should take note of, it’s really unheard in the cabin.
The diesel engine is also the most powerful in its segment with 128PS of power and a good 260 Nm of torque from 1900-2750 RPM and with the turbo kicking in post 1800 RPM until which you do feel the turbo lag. The petrol has a power output of 123PS and 155Nm of torque at 4200 RPM. The petrol is also pretty decent.
The Fuel Economy has increased by roughly 1.5-1.8 KMPL on the diesel and tweaks have been done for refinement of the engine and the new low friction coats on the pistons helps.
1.6 Petrol Mileage is 17.01 ARAI
1.6 Diesel – 23.9kmpl ARAI
The Verna has not just cosmetic changes but has improved on its weaknesses and has carried on its strengths, loaded with features and upmarket styling and quality with a powerful and refined engine fills in the check boxes of a value for money car also brings it back to the race with improved handling.