NEW DELHI: Hyundai Motor India (HMIL), the country’s second largest carmaker has been facing some pressure in the market for the last few months and badly needs a revival agent.
All the eyes are on the soon to be launched executive sedan Verna if it can give the verve and vigour to the carmaker’s portfolio?
Currently, the segment has been dominated by Honda City and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, however, the new generation Verna will also have to compete with changing dynamics of the Indian automobile market.
In the current market condition, it should compete with the compact SUVs that have been priced in a similar price range.
New Verna Exterior
In the first encounter with the car, there is no dramatic change that you can notice, it continues to give a strong reminiscence of its previous generation.
The upper bonnet (hood line) is carved like the i10 Grand, front grill carries forward the same cascading theme like Elantra and Xcent. While there are several elements like doors and windows that have strong resemblance to the previous generation of Verna.
It is to be noted that one of the main reasons for Hyundai’s success in India has been its high design value so the expectation is always upward.
The carmaker, if you see closely doesn’t lack any style element in the new Verna too. Fitted with a decent large headlight unit, and, of course, with the projector beams and LED running lamps looks good but it is not path breaking as the previous generation already has it.
The run around of chrome line makes the fog lam look good. If you zoom out and look at the vehicle, character lines are as accented just as much as required, so on the side, like the previous generation the roof line window lines also remain almost similar.
While the most beautiful addition are the lamps. The tail-lamps once again follow a similar triangular theme. Wasteline and fascia of vehicle continue to remain in good proportion.
Sunroof adds to the look of the vehicle. The new Verna also has elegantly designed 16-inch alloy wheels which look quite stylish however a close wheel arch would have added to the look.
New Verna Interior
The new Verna doesn’t give you much of a surprise from inside too, but the cabin certainly looks as elegant and neatly laid out as the previous Verna and other existing Hyundai cars in India, however, there are few new additions like the steering wheel.
The new Verna scores better than its rivals here in terms of additional features and tools. The car fitted with a 7.0-inch touchscreen gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and voice commands.
Verna also gets an edge over its rivals with cooled/ventilated front seats. The new Verna also features an air conditioner vent at the rear seat too. Verna competitors like Ciaz and Honda City have better legroom, though, the new Verna has become more spacious but still is not as roomy as its two rivals.
While the thigh support and headroom also looks not the best in the new Verna. On the practicality and storage front the new Verna scores decently.
New Verna Drivability
The biggest highlight of the new Verna is its new K2 platform built with increased share of high strength steel chassis and the retuned suspension that uses shock absorbers and springs with higher damping and improved rebound rates, which makes Verna much better than its rivals in terms of drivability.
The minor change on rear of the suspension makes the ride quality even better than the outgoing Verna.
We got very little time with the car and this review is based on whatever little we could comprehend in that short time. Earlier Verna had multiple engine options but this time only 1.6 L DualVTVT and I.6 L CRDi VGT diesel engines have stayed.
While the old four-speed automatics have been replaced by new six-speed transmission and also instead of five-speed transmission with the 1.6 L petrol, now this engine has been mated with a six-speed transmission.
So this time fuel engines get six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions.
As we drove the diesel automatic performed quite decently and probably is the most saleable option in the Verna offerings. However, gearshifts are not as quick as one requires it to be like we have some other cars in the segment.
The equal and right distribution of torque makes the Verna diesel with automatic transmission effortless. At 128 hp it does decent job and meets all the torque requirements.
The car pulls decent even at the lower revs. Overall the performance of the engine is effortless.
The cabin also feels almost noisefree. The most important change that you feel while driving is the much-improved chassis and body control and high stability in the car at curves and turns at faster speed.
The car remains completely stuck to the road and you don’t feel losing balance at all. The carmaker seems to be have worked hard on improving the steerability of the vehicle and they have been successful too in this.
The carmaker has established its focus on making safer cars with the construction of the K2 platform which has much improved crash worthiness.
The car is also fitted with six airbags, impact sensing autodoor lock and ISOFIX mounts for child seats and adjustable height seat belts.
Though, from the naked eye Verna may not seem to be having any remarkable change in the look and styling but the improved drive quality and retuned engine makes a noteworthy option in the segment.
Even, if we talk about design, it doesn’t look any dull or lesser compared to its competitors.