Hyundai Verna Petrol AT Test Drive Review
- Published On: 17 January 2019
- 7 min read
The new gen Hyundai Verna offers more features and better driving dynamics.
The Hyundai Verna has been a success story ever since it was launched in India. With the introduction of the fluidic Verna, the car continued to pull customers over to Hyundai dealerships. Hyundai launched the fifth generation of the Verna for the Indian market in late 2017. The car struck the right chords with the Indian buyer’s mind. The 2018 Hyundai Verna has been putting up a tough fight ever since its launch among the C-Segment Sedans dominated by the Japanese giants, the Honda City and Maruti Ciaz. The new Verna is available in both diesel and petrol guise. Interestingly, Hyundai offers the option of an automatic transmission in both guises, however, today we focus mainly on the Petrol AT.
Exterior – One look at the new Verna and you’ll realize that it is a pretty handsome machine. The car will also remind you of its elder sibling, the Elantra which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The car is now longer and wider than its predecessor and also gets a longer wheelbase. The new Verna looks quite sporty from almost all angles despite being designed very proportionately. It also gets a coupe-like roof-line to enhance the car’s appeal. On the features front, the sedan gets LED DRLs with projector headlamps, projector fog lamps, LED tail lights and 16-inch diamond cut alloys.
Interior – Just like any other Hyundai, quality of materials used on the inside is simply top notch. Fit and finish along with the build quality feel very premium. The dashboard gets a dual-tone black and beige treatment. The cabin is very driver focused and equipment rich. 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. It also gets the segment first smart trunk feature. 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. The top of the line variant, SX(O) also gets the Hyundai Connected Car app that shows a variety of car-related information on the owner’s smartphone. Overall, the Verna is quite a feature rich car.
Where the Verna hasn’t improved much is on the space front. While the rear seats offer great comfort and support in all aspects, they have been compromised in the kneeroom department. The space at the rear can in no way be compared to the likes of the Honda City or the Maruti Ciaz. However, if you won’t be chauffeur driven much, the Verna is sure to impress you with its front seat comfort. You won’t feel exhausted even after a long drive as the support for the lower back and under thighs is decent enough. The Verna loses out to its Japanese counterparts in terms of boot space as well, offering about 480-litres of luggage space.
Performance – The new Verna is powered by the same 1.6-litre VTVT engine as seen on its predecessor. This engine can be had with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic transmission. Power delivery from the engine is pretty linear and it doesn’t run out of breath even at higher RPMs. The automatic gearbox is a single-clutch unit. The shifts are pretty smooth but nowhere as quick as a DSG found on the Volkswagen Vento or Skoda Rapid, this doesn’t mean that the transmission is by any means, jerky. There is a slight delay before downshifts every time you mash the throttle open. It does lack a Sport mode but you do get a manual mode. The Hyundai Verna Petrol AT returns about 9-11 km/l in real-world conditions. Overall, this gearbox is well-suited for regular driving with an occasional aggressive burst offering sporty performance along with decent fuel efficiency.
Driving Dynamics – This is one division where the new Verna has improved a lot compared to its predecessor. The car feels much better to drive now with steering being more direct, however, it still lacks feedback. The Verna is now more stable at high speeds and around corners due to a slightly stiffer suspension setup. The suspension absorbs almost everything in its stride but does tend to thud over sharp undulations. The ground clearance at 165 mm is also pretty good for Indian road conditions. Braking performance has improved a lot as well, offering good bite and the correct amount of feedback.
Safety and After Sales Service – The Hyundai Verna isn’t a cumbersome machine to own given the stellar after-sales network of Hyundai in India. Hyundai has sales and service outlets present almost all over the country which definitely many buyers will keep in mind while spending their money. On the safety front, the new Verna gets dual front airbags, ABS with EBD as standard on all variants while the top variant gets six airbags for added safety. Hyundai has also used about 50% of high tensile steel to build the car which according to the company improves the strength of the body structure.
Verdict – Overall, the Hyundai Verna Petrol AT is a very capable car. It offers a never-ending list of features, is pretty good to drive and feels made to last. However, it does score poorly in the space category, especially the rear seat legroom. So if you’re the one who’ll be driving around mostly by yourself, the Hyundai Verna Petrol AT is definitely a good option to go for but if having a spacious cabin in your car is a priority, you might have to look somewhere else.