The Hyundai Verna was born as the Accent in 1994. In India, it was initially sold as the Accent and did extremely well in its class. Later, in 2006, the 3rd generation Verna was born in India that was positioned above the Accent, as it was a much larger car. The 4th Generation Verna came into existence in 2011 and landed the same year on Indian soil. This was the model that introduced the Fluidic design terminology from Hyundai to its lineup, and later this design language was taken up by the entire lineup of the Korean car maker. Now, Hyundai takes the Verna legacy ahead by launching the 5th Generation Verna in India. We drive the latest and much anticipated Verna to get you this detailed road test review. So fasten your seatbelts and read on to know all about the 2nd best-selling model from Hyundai.
Food For Thought: Since the 1st generation Verna, Hyundai has sold 8.8 Million units globally. The Verna is also badged as the Accent, Avega, Brio, Altitude and Solaris in the global markets that it sells in. The 1st gen Accent was codenamed X3, 2nd gen was the LC, 3rd was the MC and the 4th was RB. This the 5th gen Verna gets coded as HCI. Hyundai Verna is the best-selling family sedan in many countries. The New Verna is based on the K2 platform shared with the Elantra. The New Verna uses 50% AHS (Advanced High Strength steel) which adds to its overall body strength.
Starting with the overall dimensions, the All New Verna has grown in size over its predecessor. The car now measures 4440mm in length (65mm more than old Verna), 1729mm in width (29mm more), 2600m of wheelbase (30mm more), 44mm extra rear legroom and 3mm more headroom over the old Verna.
Hyundai has taken the fluidic design language that it started with the 4th gen Verna to the next level. If the last gen Verna had a loud and very flashy design, then this 5th gen Verna gets a lot mature, sedate design language on it. One quick look at it and you are instantly reminded of the current Elantra. The family look is very much evident. Starting on the face, you get the cascade frill with 5 horizontal chrome strips running across and surrounded by chrome strip running around the face and housed in honeycomb matt black grill on the back. Under this grill you get a kind of lip spoiler that extends itself across the lowest level of the front bumper.
The front bumper gets neat chiseled style lines that look pleasing, coupled by round projector fog lamps housed in black with thick chrome surround bands that give a strong dynamic look to the face. Headlamps get the wraparound design and come with day time running LED strips along with projector lights for the main beam. These are wide shaped headlights that extend themselves into the side fenders. The sides get a definitive sharp waistline that runs from the front fender across the doors just below the door handles and ends just on the tail lights. The lower section of the doors also gets a striking sharp character line.
Wing mirrors get electric adjust and auto fold/unfold feature and come in body colored housing. Mirrors now look much more streamlined in design to go with the overall styling. The roof slopes down sharply towards the C Pillar, giving the rear section a coupeish feel. The latest gen Verna comes with electric sun roof, making this the 1st Verna to ever sport a sun/moon roof. The New Verna gets brand new 5 spoke alloys that look extremely trendy, one of the best-looking alloys of the segment. Mounted on Hankook Kinergy tubeless tyres of 195/55 R16 spec.
The rear angle is the best profile of the New Verna, and also the one that we loved the most. The rear windshield is placed at a rather sharp angle to mate with the sloping coupe-like roofline. The rear bumper gets a sharp running line on the sides that flows smoothly just below the boot lid. The tail lights remind you entirely of the Elantras and get a very trendy-looking triple boomerang LED lines that look extremely sporty too. The tail light extends itself on the rear fenders, mating with the sharp waistline. The rear bumper gets a pair of slim stretched stop reflectors that compliment the already trendy looking tail lamps. The bumper in fact, extends itself a bit outside, reminding a lot of the Mercedes CLA.
The boot lid opens with a wide loading area and has an overall capacity of 480 litres, that is 20 litres more over the older Verna. Overall, the New Verna looks strong, bold and extremely dynamic, especially the rear profile that we fell in love with. The Verna now looks a lot more mature, has a wide stance and appears a lot larger with good road presence as well.
Step inside the new Verna where you are welcomed by a twin-tone interior theme in black and beige. The dashboard in dual tone is large in size and extends itself into the cabin area. The instrumentation is large and clear to read out, with neat round dials and a multi function display (MFD) in the centre, which Hyundai calls the Supervision Cluster. The three spoke steering gets leather wrapping and a dash of silver insert on it, and comes loaded with the multi function control buttons, along with cruise control on it. Manual height adjust is available on the steering. But we missed the adjust for reach though, as it adds to the comfort factor eventually. The AC vents and the central console get silver surrounds on them.
The center dash comes with a 7 inch all color IPS panel unit. This latest infotainment unit comes loaded with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Mirror Link connectivity, along with the latest generation navigation. You get USB, Bluetooth, wireless phone connectivity inbuilt here. In addition to this, Hyundai has developed a special app called as the Hyundai Blue that can connect and control the AVN system from the smartphone once installed. Along with this, you have an highly advanced Hyundai Auto Link app that once connected to the smartphone acts like a mini onboard computer that reads out live readings for speed, engine RPM, engine load, odometer, fuel efficiency, distance travelled etc. You also can monitor the cars health, call for roadside assistance if needed etc., while connected to this cool app that connects via Bluetooth.
A dual zone climate control comes with the New Verna, along with air vents for the rear (a 1st for the Verna). Hyundai has incorporated a world 1st Eon Coating technology that prevents any unpleasant smell to develop on the AC Evaporator unit, that includes bacteria and other micro organisms that house on the AC coils, hence giving out fresh air from the climate control unit. The seats come with dual tone leather upholstery in black and beige. Front driver’s seat gets manual height adjust, while both the front seats come with a segment first ventilation feature which when in operation flows out cool air from the air-con via perforation on the seats. This feature comes real handy during the summer time when your back can get wet and sweaty. This feature was first seen on the Sonata and Elantra.
The front seats offer good comfort level and back support. There’s good head room and leg room in the front. The rear seat comes with center folding armrest and an adjustable pair of headrests. Seating at the rear is best suited for two passengers, while the leg room is not the best in class, headroom is good. You also get a manual sun blind for the rear windshield, which again is the segment first. As mentioned, the rear AC vent is a very welcome inclusion on the Verna, one that had been missing since long. The New Verna comes with lot of storage space, bottle holders in door pads and a neat storage space under the closable center armrest between the front seats. Interiors are well-appointed, fit and finish of the plastics and switchgear is good. Everything seems to be built to last long. Only grouse being the not best in class rear seat space. Overall the cabin on this one is far better than the older Vernas.
Engines – Transmission – Suspension
Hyundai has got the New Verna with a choice of 1.6 litre Diesel and 1.6 litre Petrol engine options mated to 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Hyundai has decided not to get the 1.4L engines on to the New Verna. The petrol version gets powered by the 1.6L Gamma Dual VTVT engine that makes 123PS @ 6300RPM (best in class) with 154Nm of torque @ 4850 RPM. The Diesel engine is the 1.6L U2 CRDI VGT engine that hits out a segment best of 128PS @ 4000RPM with 265 NM of torque between the 1500 – 3000 RPM. You get an option of a 6 speed manual transmission or a 6-speed CVT automatic gearbox to choose from with these engines. We drove the Petrol Automatic and the Diesel Manual New Verna and here is what we experienced.
The 1.6L Petrol engine is the same unit that also powers the Creta in the Hyundai lineup, with some fine tuning done to suit the Verna. This is a highly refined and smooth engine. Shift to the drive mode on the auto transmission and the quick acceleration is what you experience instantly. The torque converter does its job well. You get tip-tronic option on this shifter without a Sport mode. The drive feel is very balanced and the power delivery is good at all speeds. Overtaking is easy and the drive feels a lot more connected than earlier.
The Diesel engine Verna is our pick, we drove this most. This engine has also been reworked to an extent for the New Verna, and feels amazingly refined and silent. The cabin is extremely silent with lot of work being done for the sound deadening to reach this level. The 6-speed manual shifter is joy to shift, and the clutch feels a lot lighter than the older Vernas. The steering has got a lot of life in it as compared to the dead one on the older Verna. The car accelerates quickly, and the heavier diesel engine helps in improving the ride and handling of the diesel Verna. The suspension works amazingly well, due credit to Hyundai to have got the setup to such good levels. We drove both on bad roads and good, but the car handled the terrain extremely well.
Braking on both the versions was good and lively with good amount of feedback available with front disc and rear drum brakes across the variants. It handles extremely well as compared to the older one, all due credit going to the R&D center in Germany which has influenced it. Overall, the New Verna drives very positively and strongly, with a drastic improvement in overall drive, ride quality over the old Verna.
The Verna has been a strong performer for Hyundai till lately, when the old Verna sales began to drop due to the newer cars in the segment – namely the Honda City and the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. Now with the New Verna, Hyundai has a product that can help it reclaim its top position in the segment. Loaded with features, many being first in class and good looks, powerful engines to choose from and clever pricing make the All New Hyundai Verna a very viable option in the segment for you. The icing on the cake is the 4500 bookings that the New Verna has received in less than a month from opening. Its bookings a clear indication of the Emperor striking back…and in style!
Photography by Dr. Anand Narvekar