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2018 Hyundai Verna Test Drive Review

2018 Hyundai Verna – Click above for high resolution image gallery

2018 Hyundai Verna Review

Car Tested: 2018 Hyundai Verna; Road Test No. 848; Test Location: Kochi

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 9.31 – 15.15 lakhs

The new Hyundai Verna has improved in almost every aspect except space

The Verna has been a proper success story for Hyundai, not just in Asia but across the globe. The C-segment in Asia has seen the arrival of newer products and thus the older Verna started feeling outdated. With the launch of the new car, we are eager to find out how it fares and whether it has what it takes to shake up the Japanese dominated segment.

Motor Quest: The Hyundai Verna now enters its fifth generation. The first generation model wasn’t sold in Asia while the second generation was launched here as the Accent. The third and fourth generation cars were sold with the Verna name itself.

The new Verna gets some snazzy styling elements

Exteriors – Well, the new Verna does look very stylish. It looks like a mini-Elantra and that’s not really a bad thing. The sedan gets LED DRLs with projector headlamps, projector fog lamps, LED tail lights and 16-inch diamond cut alloys. It is also longer and wider than the previous model and also gets a longer wheelbase. The Verna looks well-proportioned and the design looks sportier. The roof-line has been given a coupe-like slope for better aesthetics. The sedan is available in a range of colours, but the new Orange shade looks super cool.

The design of the dashboard looks similar to the Verna’s siblings

Interiors – Being a Hyundai, the Verna comes with very good quality materials used on the inside. The dashboard has a driver-focused layout and the dual-tone colour theme looks pleasant. Compared to the older Verna, a lot has changed and the new generation car definitely feels a much better place to be in. Fit and finish is definitely very good and the build quality isn’t bad either. The sedan comes with features like ventilated front seats, electric sunroof, hands-free smart trunk, voice recognition, cruise control, 7.0-inch audio system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Navigation, automatic climate control, rear parking camera and keyless-go. The audio system sounds pretty good while the cooling performance from the AC is brilliant.

The dedicated car app gets its data from the OBD port

Ventilated seats & sunroof are the best features on the new Hyundai Verna

Hyundai has also developed a Connected Car app for the Verna which is compatible with the top SX(O) variant of the car. The app is extremely good and shows details like RPM, current speed, fuel range, etc. It even shows the number of times you’ve done hard braking or hard acceleration in the car. The app is nifty but it should’ve been offered for all variants. The smart trunk feature on the car is worth a mention. You need to have the key fob in your pocket and if you stand near the boot for more than 3 seconds, the boot releases. However, the boot doesn’t really open up fully and you actually need to open it manually after the lock releases.

Rear seats are comfortable but there’s not much space on offer

I found the front seats to be comfortable even over long drives and support for the lower back and under thighs is decent enough. The rear seat is also well-shaped but space is very limited. Kneeroom just cannot be compared to the Honda City and Maruti Ciaz while headroom is also just average. I am almost 6 feet tall and my head was almost touching the roof when I sat at the rear. However, the rear bench feels pretty comfortable in terms of support. The car also has a number of cubbyholes, bottle-holders and storage spaces inside the cabin. While the equipment list is very good, space is at an absolute compromise which can be a major deal-breaker especially for those people who are chauffeur-driven. The boot is well-shaped and can definitely hold quite a lot of luggage but at 480-litres, it is slightly smaller than the City and Ciaz.

The petrol engine is lively and refined

Performance – The petrol engine on the Hyundai Verna is the same 1.6-litre unit as before, while the smaller 1.4-litre unit is no more available. The VTVT motor is very refined and smooth and is pretty silent on idle too. Power delivery is linear and performance feels punchy. The drivetrain doesn’t really go out of breath even at speeds above the ton and revs freely all the way to 6500 RPM. After 4000 RPM, the motor tends to get quite noisy and the noise filters inside the cabin too, this is more prominent on the automatic variant. Fuel efficiency for the manual version will range between 11-13 km/l under real-world conditions while the automatic model will churn out anywhere between 9-11 km/l.

The diesel engine has a lot of grunt and is quite powerful

Both the mills offer very good drive-ability with smooth power delivery

The 1.6-litre CRDI diesel engine is also the same as before. Again, refinement levels are very good and hardly any clatter filters inside the cabin. Turbo lag is very less and power delivery from the mid RPM spectrum is very good. This is also the most powerful oil burner in its segment and this is evident from the performance that it churns out. The powerplant feels punchy right up to 4500 RPM. Fuel efficiency will hover around 15-17 km/l for the manual option and 12-14 km/l for the automatic version. Both the mills on the Verna have been tuned nicely and performance isn’t an issue with any of the versions.

The gearboxes have been matched well to the engines

Hyundai has finally ditched the old 4-speed automatic gearbox. The new Verna gets 6-speed manual and automatic gearbox options with both the engines. The manual gearbox is very easy to use with its light and slick throws while the clutch is also pretty light. The automatic gearbox is a single-clutch unit. It doesn’t get a Sport mode but you do get a manual mode. Talking about this gearbox, the shifts are smooth but not as quick as something like a DSG. It you mash the throttle, there is a slight delay before it downshifts. However, I didn’t really find any jerkiness in the transmission. This gearbox is well-suited for regular driving with an occasional aggressive burst.

Body control on the new Hyundai Verna is very good

Driving Dynamics – Dynamics on the 2018 Hyundai Verna are leagues ahead of the older car. The steering is so much better now. It feels direct but still lacks feedback. At low speeds, it is light enough while it weighs up slightly on the highways. However, it still feels dead and lacks a proper connect. The vehicle remains stable on straights as well as twisty roads alike but doesn’t feel as eager or sure-footed as cars like the Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid. The Verna is a very good cruiser but I wouldn’t call it a fun-to-drive car.

The suspension is slightly on the stiffer side

The suspension has been set-up nicely and it gets a mildly stiff setting. It absorbs bumps and potholes well and the car’s body remains fairly composed all the time. If you hit sharp undulations, the suspension does have a tendency to thud. Ground clearance isn’t much of an issue while braking performance is brilliant with the pedal having good bite and generating much better feedback too. The Verna comes with Hankook tyres and grip is satisfactory for regular usage. While the older car used to feel like a boat, this one is completely different.

The Verna finally gets a new key

Safety and After Sales Service – We don’t need to mention that Hyundai has a stellar after-sales network in Asia with sales and service outlets present almost everywhere in the country. On the safety aspect, the new Verna gets 6 airbags on the top variant while all the other variants come with dual front airbags as standard. ABS with EBD is also offered as standard on all variants. This time, Hyundai has used high tensile steel to the tune of 50% on the car which is again said to improve the strength of the body structure.

The Hyundai Verna makes a strong case for itself in its segment

Verdict – The 2018 Hyundai Verna ticks most of the boxes right and it is indeed a very good product. The car has been priced attractively but these prices are only for the first 20,000 customers, post which there will be a marginal hike in price. The vehicle impresses with its performance, comfort, unending equipment list and of course the styling and except the lack of space at the rear, the Verna doesn’t really have any major downside and we think the Honda City and Maruti Ciaz definitely have a reason to worry. But people who really want a spacious cabin, they might have to look elsewhere.

The Verna has become a very likeable car now

What’s Cool

* Looks very beautiful and attractive
* Well-appointed interiors with good equipment
* Good performance from both the powertrains
* Much better driving dynamics now

What’s Not So Cool

* Space at the rear is a major downer

Alternatives: Honda City, Maruti Ciaz, Skoda Rapid, Volkswagen Vento, Fiat Linea

Boot space is lesser than the City and Ciaz

2018 Hyundai Verna Specifications

* Engine: 1591cc, DOHC, 4-cylinders | 1582cc, DOHC, 4-cylinders
* Power: 121 HP @ 6400 RPM | 126 HP @ 4000 RPM
* Torque: 151 Nm @ 4850 RPM | 260 Nm @ 1500 RPM
* Transmission: 6-Speed MT/6-Speed AT
* Fuel Consumption: 17.70 km/l (MT), 15.92 km/l (AT) | 24.75 km/l (MT), 21.02 km/l (AT)
* Fuel Type: Petrol | Diesel
* Suspension: McPherson Strut with Coil Spring (Front), Couple Torsion Beam (Rear)
* Tyres: 195/55/16
* Brakes: Discs (Front), Drums (Rear), ABS
* Safety: 6 Airbags, ABS, EBD

2018 Hyundai Verna Dimensions

* Overall length x width x height: 4440 mm X 1729 mm X 1465 mm
* Boot Space: 480-litres
* Wheelbase: 2600 mm
* Ground Clearance: 165 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 45-litres

Will you pick the new Verna over the City or Ciaz?

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