2015 Hyundai Verna: First Drive
Hyundai made a humble start in India by introducing a cost effective hatch before gradually progressing to the upper segment. The company launched a host of premium offerings. Some of them were ahead of its time. One such car was the Hyundai Verna. Introduced in 2006, the Verna progressed steadily in the Indian car market.
It was given a serious makeover in the form of Fluidic Design in 2011 which grabbed everyone’s attention. Not just did Hyundai take the design to another level, they also introduced features which were normally seen on high-end cars. It has been a best seller for Hyundai until Honda and Maruti Suzuki marched in with new generation launches of City and Ciaz.
Hyundai has decided to make the 2015 Verna more equipped to take on its Japanese rivals. They have drawn new lines on the outside and made the interiors more feature rich. They also claim to have sorted its ride and handling with improved dynamics. We explain all that you should know in our first drive report.
The first generation Verna had nothing worth mentioning in terms of its design. It was only in 2011, Hyundai took a giant mammoth of a leap transforming the dull looking sedan to a piece of impressive looking machinery. The Fluidic Design worked wonders in terms of styling also translating into better sales.
Being a facelift, the new Verna gets styling revision in terms of more angular lines than earlier. The curvy flowing headlights have made way for an edgy design, which was previewed with the new generation Elite i20. It reminds of the one seen on the Santa Fe as well except for the absence of DRLs. The projector headlights that didn’t go well with the earlier shape finally fit into this one.
The grille has got larger with a wing shaped twin slat profile. There is a new elevated profile running along the length of the hood. The fog lamps now sport a boomerang shape which again has been done to compliment to edgy looking headlights. With all these new additions, the front stance looks wider than earlier.
They have not touched the side profile at all and even maintained the 16’ diamond cut alloy wheels. We don’t see that as a minus... reason being the proportions just look correct for a compact yet sporty looking car. The external mirrors are electrically adjustable and also come embedded with turn indicators.
They have added more detailing on the tail light cluster giving an LED effect, which makes it a bit different than earlier. It would have been impressive if Hyundai offered LEDs for real making it a first in class. Wonder how much of a cost addition would it be as the same is offered in an entry level Tata Zest too.
To make the rear look clean, they have also hidden the exhaust pipes with the new two tone rear bumper. The shape of the rear reflectors has been changed too. Final word on the design is the New Verna remains as appealing as it was earlier. It has the looks of a quick car and in certain areas overtakes the City but in terms of elegance, it remains second to the Ciaz
You might not notice any visible change inside the New Verna as they haven’t done anything to create a distinct impression. But then there are new additions which can make your life easier and more convenient.
The legroom continues to be an asset for both rows and the seats too have been cushioned adequately. The front row seats feel a bit more comfortable with the lumbar as well as under thigh support; the latter is clearly missed on the rear seats. Hyundai has also introduced a smart Ergo lever on the front passenger seat, which can help the one seating in the rear adjust the front seat. There is also a revised armrest for the rear seat with twin cup holders.
Similar to the earlier version, the multi-spoke steering wheel has controls to operate Bluetooth telephony along with controls to operate the entertainment screen. Customers get a 2-DIN music system with additional USB/Aux-In support. To remove the hassle of carrying music always, there is a 1GB on-board memory, which will be offered in higher trims. Even though it earns points for being a simple yet useful system, it looks outdated compared to that in the City and Ciaz as both these cars get a more modern touchscreen unit
Among the new additions, there are rain sensing wipers, rear parking camera, glove box cooling and a new colour on front dashboard layout. The instrumental cluster has been updated too with a more soothing background and also additional information on the central screen with distance to empty and fuel consumption.
There is no beating Hyundai in terms of various engine options it offers. Unlike just offering a dedicated petrol and diesel, Hyundai Verna comes in four power trains namely 1.4L petrol, 1.6L Petrol, 1.4L Diesel and 1.6L Diesel engines with an optional automatic transmission in both fuel types.
If you aren’t aware then let us update you that the Verna has the most powerful engine compared to its competition, which is a good thing. The not so good thing was the uneven ride quality and Hyundai claims to have found a solution to this by tweaking the rear suspension. There is a new Low Velocity Control Valve which absorbs the shocks without letting it travel directly to the body. Even the rear coil strings have been tuned to offer ideal stiffness on bumpy rides.
The diesel unit, which we tested, feels as strong as earlier. The big on displacement 1.6L engine makes 128PS of power and 260Nm of torque. These numbers are the best in class no doubt but with the improved dynamics, it feels even better. Firstly, the motor doesn’t rattle like other conventional 1.5L units especially compared to the City, which is unpleasantly audible.
It does not need an initial build up to make the engine squeeze those power and torque numbers as the delivery is almost instantaneous. The rev band stretches to the maximum as the throttle is increased. On straight line roads, it took us no time to reach great triple digit speeds. The improved ride quality helps the car feel confidently planted.
The steering wheel also has been tuned to offer more connect between the wheels increasing its response. The steering in diesel feels on the heavier side compared to that on the petrol. The agility of the Verna made quick manoeuvring really easy. On highways too, the steering weight feels just right. Even though it feels confident on straight roads, the stability is not at its peak on turns where even at the slightest brake; it tends to lose its line. The rear discs have been omitted on the new version, instead ABS comes as standard on all variants. Both together would have made great sense.
The ability to take on harsh surfaces has got a boost with the changes in the suspension setup. Instead of bottoming out on every undulation, as earlier, the New Verna absorbs the disturbances smoothly. The petrol unit too remains as impressive with a quick power delivery.
|Variant||1.6 SX CRDi|
|Power PS/RPM||128.08 / 4000|
|Torque NM/RPM||260 / 1900-2750|
|Turning radius in M||5.2|
|Fuel Tank Capacity L||43|
|Fuel Efficiency in KMPL||23.9 - ARAI|
|Side and curtain airbags||No||No||Yes|
|ABS with EBD||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Front Fog lamp||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Central locking system||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|LED Indicators on outside mirror||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Blue interior illimination||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rear view camera with display on ECM||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic air conditioning||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electrically foldable outside rear view mirror||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electric power steering and tilt function||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|MT Shift indicator||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2-DIN integrated music system||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Steering wheel mounted controls||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electric power steering||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electric folding ORVM||No||Yes||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Power PS/RPM||126 / 4000||99 / 3600||91 / 6000|
|Torque NM/RPM||260 / 1900||200 / 1750||130 / 4000|
|Turning radius in M||5.2||5.3||5.4|
|Wheel||195 / 55 R16||175 / 65 R14||195 / 55 R16|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Fuel Tank Capacity L||43||40||43|
|Claimed Fuel Efficiency in KPL||23.9||25.1||20.73|
Hyundai Verna has always been a strong recommend in terms of a premium good looking sedan. The facelift has not completely changed its design but the minor tweaks have made it look more sorted than earlier. The otherwise long list of features has got few additions making it at par with competition. Also, the efforts in improving the ride and handling has paid off well. It still does not match the amazing drive dynamics of the Ford Fiesta but then it feels in control and is comparatively better than earlier.
The 4S Fluidic Verna was launched on 18th February 2015. It is priced at Rs. 7.73 lakh for base petrol variant and Rs. 8.94 lakh for entry-level diesel variant.