Hyundai has achieved some pretty significant milestones with the Verna. 8.8 million of these cars have been sold in 66 countries across the world, which explains the term global sedan. Hyundai has been selling the Verna in India for more than a decade now and this fifth generation of the car intends to take the success story forward. One of the most fiercely competed segments in the Indian passenger car space is facing a real threat with the arrival of compact SUVs so Hyundai has a huge task at hand of salvaging not just Verna’s but the entire segments pride. The car has already been launched at a very aggressive starting price of 7.99 lakh rupees ex-showroom, and the Korean car maker is pulling out all stops to ensure their latest product in the country is able to make a significant contribution to the company’s revenues in its third largest market globally.
One of the most attractive elements of the outgoing Verna was its curvaceous fluidic design. On the new one Hyundai says the exterior styling elements are inspired by dynamic expression. In fact the car looks like a slightly smaller version of the Elantra which isn’t really a bad thing. The front is particularly attractive with the cascade design grille along with projector headlamps with daytime running LEDs. The side profile is designed with a sense of sporty & coupe like silhouette and the slopping roof line makes the car look distinct. The split type LED tail lamps have also been borrowed from the Elantra and make this one premium. Because of its attractive rear the new Verna hardly looks like a 3 box sedan something for which Hyundai designers deserve a lot of compliments. Overall the car is now longer and wider than before and when compared to the other cars in the segment it does look bigger in size.
As is the case with most Hyundai cars even this one is loaded with features. The 7 inch touchscreen system has navigation and a rear parking camera. Its compatible with both Apple car play and Android auto and comes mated to a smart surround system by ‘Arkamys’ which promises to deliver a music experience much closer to the original intent of the artist. A world first feature is the Eco Coating Technology which prevents unpleasant smell to develop in the AC Evaporator. The Verna also is the only car in the segment to offer ventilated front seats. Ergonomics are also good as the car has a lot of practical storage options. And real time data is on offer courtesy the Hyundai auto link application. The second row also gets some features not seen on earlier on the Verna. This includes curtains on the windshield along with Adjustable Head Rests and a USB charging point. Another segment first feature is the Smart trunk that automatically unlocks and pops-out when the owner stands with-in 1 meter behind the vehicle with smart key for more than 3 seconds. The boot capacity of the new Verna stands at 480 liters.
To take personalisation to the next level, both the sports cars by Mercedes are completely custom isable under its designo platform. It offers a host of individualisation options to choose from including exclusive paint finishes, high quality interior appo.
Both the Petrol & Diesel engines on the Verna now are 1.6 liter mills. The Diesel at 128 PS is slightly more powerful when compared to the 123 PS Petrol. Both now also get better performing 6-speed automatic gearboxes. Gearshifts are as smooth as it can get and the slick gear stick is a pleasure to use. The engines are refined and responsive and have good torque to take them through in demanding situations. The petrol offers a maximum torque of 151 Nm while the Diesel at 260 Nm is certainly a bigger joy to drive. One of biggest strengths of the Verna is how Hyundai has managed to control the NVH levels so what you get is a silent cabin during your drive. Fuel efficiency has gone up too with the company now promising 17.7 kmpl on the Petrol manual and 15.92 kmpl on the Petrol Automatic. Diesel auto is 21 kmpl while Diesel manual offers the best mileage at 25.75 kmpl.
Handling & Ride
According to the company the aerodynamic design elements have increased the overall stability of the car and lowered the coefficient of drag to 0.308. At higher speeds the new Verna does offer a more confident drive than before. But having said that in choosing between ride quality and efficient handling Hyundai still seems to have stayed with the former, but just. The new suspension setup works wonders for the car. 165 mm ground clearance ensures a good balance between trouble free ride and good stability. The steering wheel is still light but responds much better now. Not having a really strong body was one the biggest concerns in the earlier Verna. The new one comes with super body structure built with 50% advanced high strength steel or AHSS. This is an additional 37% increase over the previous generation. AHSS components have been used to increase stiffness of chassis and protect passengers effectively in case of collision.
The new Verna is probably the best Hyundai product to hit the Indian roads. It checks all the boxes and that includes safety as well. This includes ISOFIX (Child Restraint System) as Standard fitment, 6 Airbags and Impact Sensing Auto Door Unlock. The starting price of Rs. 7.99 lakh (ex-showroom) is attractive but that is going to increase once the first 20,000 cars are sold. So in case you’re planning to buy this one, now is the opportune time.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars