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Hyundai Verna Review & Test Drive

Hyundai Verna Overview

The new 2017 Hyundai Verna is the latest firecracker from the Korean carmaker. The 5th generation of the compact sedan arrives well in time to catch the festive season across India, and in typical Hyundai fashion its looks to be another blockbuster. But I have good news for you – that is not simply because the new 2017 Hyundai Verna is priced super aggressively – its more so because it is, in fact, a great little package of excellent features and good overall performance.

Hyundai Verna price in Chennai

Read on to know more! The all-new 2017 Hyundai Verna is available in diesel and petrol – and both engines types have the choice of a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic variant. Hyundai has ditched the 1.4-litre engines this time around and has opted for the 1.6-litre on both engines. Yes these are the engines from the last car, however they have been redone almost completely, and are now both more refined, more efficient, and for the most part, more fun too!  Check for low interest car loans on Hyundai Verna at Fincarz.

Hyundai Verna Exterior & Look

The outgoing Verna was a tad too long in the tooth, but the fluidic design language did make an impact and even the competition was forced to respond with radical designs. I personally believe that the design didn’t age too well, and perhaps the designers at Hyundai resonate with my thoughts. The new Verna incorporates cleaner lines, has less creases and uses more angular cuts for a chiselled look. The face looks handsome and sharp. I prefer the older design of Hyundai’s hexagonal grille, and the new one draws attention away from the good-looking features like the sleek headlamps or the detailed fog lamp housings. There is no denying that the cascading grille with its chrome treatment looks more premium though.

The headlamps have LED DRLs shaped similar to those on the Elantra. Ditto for the detailing of the tail lights and the rear bumper. Look at the side profile though and you will notice that the Verna has a tallboy stance compared to the sporty low-slung poise of the Elantra. The sharp shoulder line and detailing of the doors looks classy, while the headlights and tail lights extending sharply into the bodywork add a sense of motion to the design. The outgoing Verna started the buzz about the diamond-cut finish for the alloy wheels and the new ones get it too, albeit with a new design.

Hyundai Verna Interior & Comfort

The bigger wheelbase should’ve translated into more room for the rear-seat occupants, right? Sadly that’s not the case. My near six-foot frame just about managed to be comfortable in the rear bench, with the front seat set to my driving position. The travel range on the front seats is a bit too much, honestly. While it offers some much needed room for taller drivers to get comfortable behind the wheel, it doesn’t leave much for those at the rear. Push the front seats all the way back, and it won’t be kind to even kids. The “ergo lever” from the old Verna has been ditched, so you can’t be cruel to the front passenger. To let you sit in peace, Hyundai has carved out some space under the front seats to let you rest your feet on the flat floor.

Squeezing three in is possible, but definitely not recommended. Although the hump on the floor isn’t tall, the cabin doesn’t feel wide enough to accommodate three in comfort. The sloping roofline eats into the headroom as well. The final piece of the puzzle is the high-set window line that robs the cabin of its sense of space.To counter that, Hyundai has stuck with the tried-and-tested beige and black interior combination to uplift the ambience. There’re some brushed silver accents, too, that work well to lend some contrast. It does look chic, but the design as a whole fails to wow. Just like the exteriors, it is subdued and designed to not distract you on the go. What’s really really good, is the overall fit, finish and quality. It’s nearly on par with the Germans – and that’s as high as praise gets.

The top-spec SX (O) version is stuffed to the gills with features including ventilated seats, a hands-free boot release, push-button starter and leatherette seat covers. Sadly, the SX+ (the top-spec diesel automatic) misses on these and to top it off, there are silly omissions such as adjustable rear headrests and a release switch on the boot. The six airbags have been given a miss as well, and the top-spec diesel automatic gets dual airbags and anti-lock brakes like the rest of the Verna range. It does get the feel-good features, though, that include the one-touch open/close electric sunroof and the 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and navigation.

If you’re seated at the rear, there’s enough to keep you occupied too. You get a manual rear blind, a set of rear AC vents, a central armrest and a USB charger for your phone. That said, you better have a long cable, because there’s no place to keep the phone. Also, there’s enough room for your luggage with the 480-litre boot (20-litre bump up). Yes, that’s not as much as the City (510-litres) or Ciaz (also 510-litres) – and you could say the same thing about the in-cabin space as well. But, in terms of quality of materials used and the equipment on offer, the Verna has definitely hit the ball out of the park.

Hyundai Verna Engine & Gearbox

The 2017 Verna now come with just two engine options, petrol and diesel, and both are the more powerful 1.6-litre engines. The VTVT petrol makes 123PS of power and 151Nm of torque while the CRDi diesel makes 128PS and 260NM of torque. Manual and automatic transmissions are available with both engines and in the interest of better driveability and efficiency, they are both 6-speed units.

Diesel

The 1.6 CRDi engine of the 2017 Hyundai Verna is as powerful as the outgoing model but now puts out more torque at lower rpm. This means that even at low city speeds around 30kmph you can leave the transmission in say 3rd and it will pull away cleanly when you press the gas pedal. There’s just a gentle step up in acceleration when the turbo comes into its own at around 1700-1800rpm. And the great thing is that the engine doesn’t feel breathless below that point either. For more info on Hyundai Verna visit cmap

It is a little clattery, though, and at just above idle and between 1100-1800 rpm at medium throttle inputs, it’s quite audible inside the cabin. In all other rev ranges the engine does quieten down to a much more bearable note. Hyundai is claiming that the diesel Verna should return 24.75kmpl for the manual transmission and 21.02kmpl from the auto box. The previous generation Hyundai Verna was rated at 23.9 kmpl for the manual, and 19.08 kmpl for the auto.

Petrol

The 123PS petrol Verna is undoubtedly the quieter of the two and considering that it has been tuned for better driveability in town it doesn’t like being rushed either. If calm and collected is your mood then it will reward you with smooth progress with as much as 130.5Nm of its 151Nm total available from as low as 1500rpm. In fact, with the 6-speed manual transmission we were even able to pull away (very slowly) from as low as 25kmph in sixth gear without so much as a complaint from either the engine or the transmission.

If you need to make rapid progress, for example when we had to make it back to the hotel before they shut the buffet, then you need to keep the petrol spinning over 3500-5000rpm which is this engine’s sweet spot. Hyundai is claiming 17.7kmpl for the manual and 15.92 kmpl for the automatic petrol. This is marginally higher than the Verna 4S’s 17.01 kmpl for the manual and 15.74 kmpl for the previous 4-speed auto.

Automatic Gearboxes

We didn’t get a chance to drive the diesel manual 2017 Verna but the 6-speed conventional torque converter automatic transmission was a pleasant surprise. Torque converter transmissions were called ‘slush boxes’ on account of their slow responsiveness and disconnected feeling at the throttle pedal. But I really liked this Hyundai iteration. It’s responsive and quick and when driving around town and light or medium throttle inputs feel very direct and connected.

Only when you floor the pedal do you start to feel some slip and you can hear the transmission struggling to keep up with the engine revs. You can also switch the transmission into manual mode if you are in the mood for some spirited driving, where it will hold a selected gear, but we preferred to leave it in auto mode, which seems to make the most of the torque from the diesel engine and still gives you the buttery smooth gear changes that torque converter gear boxes are known for. A claimed mileage of over 21kmpl (diesel) makes it sound almost too good to be true.

Hyundai Verna Driving Dynamics

The one serious shortcoming in the old Hyundai Verna was that it wasn’t a confident high-speed machine. With the new K2 platform and changes to both the front and rear suspension setup, Hyundai has completely transformed the driving experience in the 2017 Verna. The steering is still fairly light in town, making negotiating the tight traffic-filled street of Kochi a breeze, and when speeds increased out on the highway a nice reassuring weight enters the equation. The steering also feels quite direct and this really helps with letting you know what’s happening at the front wheels.

It’s very well behaved around corners too. The chassis stays fairly flat and though there is some roll when really pushed it’s always predictable and controlled. The brake pedal is quite firm and though it is very linear and has more than enough braking force we do wish it was a little lighter action.Comfort hasn’t been compromised as the ride quality is still pliant in the new Verna. It’s on the firm side but yet manages to absorb bumps and imperfections in the road. This is down to Hyundai doing a lot of work on the suspension. It’s changed the setup of the McPherson linkages up front to limit the horizontal displacement that occurs when the front wheels go over sharp bumps and in the rear, the angle of the shocks have been changed to a more vertical design to better improve the backseat ride. It has worked.

Hyundai Verna Safety & Security

Dual front airbags, ABS and ISOFIX come as standard across all variants of the 2017 Hyundai Verna. The EX variant adds reverse parking sensors, a rear parking camera, projector fog lights and auto-headlamps, along with impact/speed sensing auto door locks and a rear defogger with timer. The SX variant of the new Verna adds an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror and height-adjustable front seatbelts, while the range-topping SX (O) gets side and curtain airbags, for a total of 6 airbags.

Hyundai Verna Price in Chennai

Hyundai Verna On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 9,15,783 to 15,45,901 for variants Verna 1.6 VTVT E and Verna 1.6 CRDI SX Plus AT respectively. Hyundai Verna is available in 12 variants and 7 colours. Below are details of Hyundai Verna variants price in Chennai.

Hyundai Verna Final Word

The Verna reminds me of the new Elantra in more ways than one and that isn’t a bad thing. The elder sibling has won all the comparisons we put her through, and the Verna replicates almost all of the virtues that helped the Elantra win. Furthermore, Hyundai has managed to price and package the Verna rather well despite the absence of the entry-level 1.4l engines and the inclusion of new-generation safety features and creature comforts. As a package then, the Verna should be able to breathe fresh air into a segment that is fighting for existence in the wake of the compact crossovers and SUVs.

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