The 2017 Hyundai Verna has been in the news recently. Not only did it manage to clinch the title of the ICOTY, or the Indian car of the year, the Verna also managed to bag as many as 25 other awards from various automobile media houses. That makes it the most awarded car of 2018.
What makes the new Hyundai Verna so special and a new hit? We lived with the car for a few days and here is our observation.
This does not come as a surprise because the Korean giant is known to offer segment first and segment leading features. Apart from the usual set of highlights like a sun-roof, LED day time running lights, multiple connectivity options including Mirror Link / Android Auto / Apple CarPlay, the Verna scores top marks for segment best features. These include the largest touch-screen system : 17.7 cm to be precise.
Next is the practical hands free boot, cooled seats for Indian summers and charging points at both the front and the rear. You also get best in class sliding front arm-rest and Hyunda’s Eco Coating tech that prevents unpleasant smell to develop in the A/C evaporator by degrading the bad bacteria developed in the A/C Coils.
With three engine and two transmission options, there are as many as 12 versions to pick from. Infact, there is a price difference range of over Rs 5 lakh between the entry level 1.4-litre petrol and range topping 1.6-litre diesel automatic. This means the Verna ends up catering to a large group of buyers, including those looking at investing into a premium hatchbacks or a compact sedan.
Performance on tap
The new Hyundai Verna continues to hold its guard in terms of segment leading performance. While the 1.6 petrol motor is good for 123 bhp / 155 Nm, its the 1.6 diesel that assured us of grinning moments during the days we had the car with us for. It is not common for an everyday family sedan to crack the 10 second barrier for the 0-100 run but the Verna does that. Further, the engineers have re-tuned the mapping to ensure the same torque comes in at a lower engine speed, there by eliminating turbo lag and making rush hour commutes a better experience. And yes, the 1.6 diesel is now available with a 6-speed automatic too. Brilliant.
No two ways about it – Hyundai was one of the first manufacturers to offer premium products in a segment. Remember the first gen i20 or how the Eon changed perceptions of an entry level hatchback? The new Verna feels plush and premium and you would hardly find any faults with the build quality. This includes paint quality and quality of plastics inside the cabin. Hyundai understands that if a consumer is spending over Rs 15 lakh (on-road) for a car, they better deserve the best or nothing. The Verna is sold across the world and not just limited to Asian markets, another reason why the overall quality is top notch.
And it looks beautiful
We saved the best for the last. The new Verna looks like a baby Elantra and that is a huge compliment. Trust me, if you notice both the cars in similar shades, you will be confused at first glance. The brilliant front DRLs, beautiful 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, floating C pillar merging into the boot and that rear end with the two LED tail-lights has won our hearts. Buy the Verna in red and you will be turning more heads than expected. They often say, first impression is the last impression and if you want to announce your arrival at that reunion or a family wedding, this is it!
For the record, over 8.8 million (88,00,000) units of the Verna have been sold across the world. While the last generation version was averaging just 600 units from March 2017 till July 2017, the new Verna is improving this by over 6 times, doing just over 4000 units every month from September 2017 to January 2018.
And while the new Verna is a great all-rounder, we would like to point out a few short-comings. See, no car is perfect and there is always a scope for improvement. For example, the diesel automatic is not offered in the range topping SX(O) trim. The feature list, though comprehensive, does without auto wipers or auto folding outside mirrors. And if you are primarily looking at back seat space and comfort, look elsewhere.