Cartrade Comparison Test
The Hyundai Verna is perhaps the primary reason for all the manufacturers putting extreme stress on a modern design. It looks very sporty for its class and the Fluidic Design Sculpture has done an amazing job.
Though, we prefer the first generation Fluidic Verna to this as this has got a bit edgy on the overall profile. The last update on the Fluidic Verna was seen as a facelift which tightened its corners and also made the overall profile look smarter than before. Essentially, the headlight cluster was changed along with a revamped radiator grille which got a brand new twin slat design. The front bumpers got new contours and the headlights received a pulled back treatment to make it look better as well as offer brighter illumination. It is only toe front profile that received a major change as the side profile was left untouched. The rear taillight was updated too with an LED like effect and so were the rear reflectors.
The new Fiat Linea received an update in the form of a smarter front and rear, though the overall shape and dimensions were retained from the earlier version. Among the changes, the front bumper was revised with a grander feel and chrome embellishment along with a resurfaced front bumper. The new changes on the Fiat Linea made it look more elegant than before making it loom unique for its segment. Even the headlights were updated with more effective reflectors for better illumination at night. The side was left intact as the strong shoulder line running along the silhouette did not demand any changes whatsoever. To the rear, there is a wide chrome strip neatly placed on the tail lid along with a brand new LINEA logo nicely embossed on the top of the lid.
Hyundai has led the game in terms of features and options and the Verna too endorses the same but the only aspect where the Verna loses its momentum is space and thus is clearly not the one for those looking for grand space in a mid-size sedan. The seats in the Verna are comfortable for short as well as long commutes since Hyundai has updated the padding and cushioning of them. Everything about the seats is fantastic except for the under thigh support which lacks the necessary comfort. Taller passengers will enjoy the space inside the front zone in the Verna as the driver’s seat also gets height adjustment.
The Hyundai Verna offers a plethora of features and options which includes a 1 GB on board memory for storing unimaginable number of songs. In addition, it gets automatic headlights along with rain sensing wipers and push Start/Stop button. To aid driving in tight spots, it also offers rear view camera with park assist.
The inside of the New Fiat Linea was completely revamped compared to the earlier version as the entire focus was shifted to premium occupant comfort. The instrumental cluster has lucid display of numbers along with the necessary piece of information regarding driving conditions and to the centre lies the infotainment which gets a piano black surround engulfing it. The AC vents above that too are finished in rich glossy layers of plastic and they have a utility zone above with a cover. The beige and black combination of front dashboard layout looks very plush.
In terms of comfort, the Fiat Linea doesn’t disappoint at all as it gets perforated leather seats finished in beige cream. They are definitely not easy to maintain but at the same time lend a cushy feel to the occupants robbing of any fatigue caused while driving on highways and city conditions. The deeper slotted cluster makes It a bit uneasy for the driver but then the overall comfort of the Linea is impressive. Not just that, it also gets modern elements like automatic headlights, automatic wipers etc but then loses on certain essentials such as park assist.
Hyundai Verna also leads the segment when it comes to offering multiple engine and transmission options. There are precisely two petrol and two diesel engines with an optional choice of automatic transmission in both fuel types. The 1.4-litre Gamma VTVT petrol engine makes 105 bhp of power at 6300 rpm and 138 Nm of torque at 5000 rpm. The higher displacement 1.6-litre Gamma motor delivers a higher output of 122 bhp at 6300 rpm and 158 Nm of torque at 4200 rpm. Both these engines are offered with a 5-Speed manual transmission.
The diesel variants make use of a 1.4-litre U2 CRDi motor that makes 88bhp at 4000 rpm and 224 Nm of torque at 1750 to 2750 rpm. The more powerful 1.6-litre CRDi diesel motor generates 126 bhp at 4000 rpm and 265 Nm between 1900 to 2750 rpm. Both these versions make use of a 6-speed manual transmission. The petrol 4-speed automatic variant uses a 1591cc motor that makes 122 bhp at 6300 rpm and 158 Nm at 4200 rpm. The diesel four-speed automatic variant uses a 1582cc motor that churns out 126 bhp at 4000 rpm and 265 Nm at between 1900 to 2750 rpm.
The larger petrol motor, with its virtue of producing greater numbers, is suited for both highways and city traffic conditions. Though, the motor offers a lot, it still does not match up to the iVTEC which comes in the Honda City. The motor has been greatly refined to make sure there is no unnecessary grunt experienced while the motor revs at higher speeds. The NVH levels too have been worked on and no ambience noise seeps inside the cabin making it uncomfortable for the occupants inside. The CRDi motor doing duty on the diesel Verna has gone through a similar improvement with an improved low range response and impressive NVH levels.
Powering the new Fiat Linea are two impressive units. Firstly, the petrol variants make use of a 1.4-litre T-Jet motor that makes 112 bhp at 5000 rpm and 207 Nm of torque at 2200 rpm. Officially, Fiat claims that the new Linea petrol delivers 15.7 km/l. Secondly, the popular 1.3-litre Multijet diesel, which also happens to power most of the offerings starting from a regular hatch to premium mid size sedans, makes 91bhp of power at 4000 rpm and 209Nm at 2000 rpm. This one delivers an official mileage of 20.4 km/l. Both these engines occupy a 5-speed manual transmission.
Clearly, the power output of Fiat Linea is not the best in the segment because it rivals the likes of Hyundai Verna and Honda City, both of which sit very high with impressive numbers. However, to Fiat’s benefit, the Linea has been tuned to offer greater driving pleasure. The motor feels refined and the transmission too offers smooth quality of shift, the two quintessential for good driving. The T-Jet petrol motor behaves very contrary to the diesel as it revs freely and gives enough confidence to be belted to extreme limits on highways. In fact, the motor is so good that a further tuned version powers the Abarth Punto Evo.
Ride and Handling:
The Hyundai Verna offers a great deal of convenience and efficiency and this applies to both petrol and diesel motors. With a lighter steering wheel and an impressive lower rpm grunt, this one feels good to drive in city where easy manoeuvrability plays a vital role. Also, aiding this feeling is its compact dimensions compared to that of Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. In the new Hyundai Verna, the suspension setup has been aptly updated to improve the much criticized ride quality.
This has paid great dividends while driving over speed breakers where the wheels tended to bottom out but now with the larger travel of suspension, nothing of that sort happens. At high speeds, the confidence level is still not the best in the segment and a lot of that is felt due to the vague steering inputs, However, the ride quality has definitely improved from the previous version as this one feels more stable and planted on highways.
This is a dimension where Fiat cars have always been very strong and the new Linea too endorses the same with great confidence. Yes, we did mention of the motor not churning impressive numbers but the quick agility of the Linea with its direct steering input makes it a brilliant performer on both city and highway driving. The suspension setup which makes use of an independent unit on the front wheel along with a torsion beam for the rear make it take rough sections and undulations with a superb capability. The Linea sits on a taller ground clearance of 190mm but the same doesn’t act as an hurdle while handling the vehicle around corners.
Unlike typical large dimensioned cars which are severely discomforting on high speeds and sudden manoeuvres, the Linea behaves like a thorough breed offered with a well set confident ride and handling package. Further aiding the confidence feel, the Linea also occupies great set of front and rear brakes which have enough bite to bring the car to a standstill from extreme speeds.
Value for Money:
If there is anything that speaks volumes about the Hyundai Verna, it has to be the way it looks and till date not many cars look as zesty in design as the Verna. This is then followed by a long list of exhaustive features, typical Hyundai trait, and here too Hyundai leads the game. It did receive competition from Honda City and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz but still has managed to hold its ground.
The prices of Hyundai Verna range from Rs 8.18 lakhs to Rs 10.67 lakhs for petrol variants while the same is from Rs 9.51 lakhs to Rs 12.88 lakhs for the diesel variants. All these prices are ex-showroom Mumbai.
The new design of the outside along with modern additions makes the Fiat Linea an impressive offering. Inside, the interiors have been updated to make it feel as strong a contender as its rivals. The ride and handling too scores impressively but overall the Linea doesn’t feel as new as the competition as other manufacturers have switched to a new platform while the Linea is still a refurbished offering on the earlier platform. The price of new Fiat Linea for the petrol variants lay between Rs 7 lakhs to Rs 9.77 lakhs while that of diesel variants are between Rs 8.67 lakhs to Rs 9.99 lakhs. All these prices are ex-showroom.
Hyundai Verna vs Fiat Linea:
Hyundai Verna is our pick when it comes to overall product. The Linea is more fun to drive, but it is the Hyundai Verna that will be our clear recommendation.