2020 Hyundai Verna Road-Test Review – Some Unfinished Business

The Verna is to Hyundai, what the City is to Honda and the Ciaz is to Maruti Suzuki. These three models have always fought for the top place in the mid-sized sedan segment. The Hyundai Verna has been an extremely huge-selling car model for the Korean car maker and has been kind of a benchmark in terms of feature list, equipment and looks. Hyundai has recently given a major refresh to the Verna in the middle of the lockdown and here we have the 2020 version for our road test review. So sit back and read on as we get you all on the latest Hyundai in town. So here we are kick-starting our reviews and road tests just as the unlock phase starts across India. We know it has been a really difficult phase during the Covid-19 lockdown for all of us, but let us put all of that behind us and look forward to better times and things coming our way.

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Food for Thought

The Verna car model has been an extremely strong and important player for the car maker globally since long. Hyundai brands the Verna as the Accent in a few markets, including China and the USA. In a few other countries like Russia, the Verna is badged as the Solaris. Other car makers like Chrysler and Mitsubishi have also marketed or assembled the Verna. In Puerto Rico, Hyundai sells the Verna as the Brio. While Hyundai launched the Verna as the Accent in Korea in 2006, India too first saw the Verna in the same year.

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Exteriors

The 2020 Hyundai Verna has the same proportions as the outgoing model of the car, which means it has a overall wheelbase of 2,600 mm, is 1,475 mm tall, 1,729 mm wide and has an overall length of 4,440 mm. But there is more to it, the designers at Hyundai have been extremely clever with this refresh. The latest incarnation of the Verna looks a lot larger and wider than the outgoing model and all this is because of the new design language used mainly on the front and rear end.

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The Verna gets a brand new imposing and dynamic face that consists of a large and wide grille with studded mesh styling finished in dark chrome. The front bumper also gets an all new design which now looks a lot bolder and stylish. It also gets a wide lip spoiler finished in dark chrome finish that runs across the lower front end. Head lights get an all new design element in them which now sport a boomerang style DRL along with a full LED white glow headlight beam. The tiny round fog lamps come with a yellow projector glow in them, while the front bumper also sports a faux air curtain on the extreme edges to give that extra sporty and unique styling touch.

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The side profile more or less reminds you of the outgoing model, but there are some neat refreshes here too. The 2020 Verna now gets Diamond cut alloy wheels of 195/55 R16 specs, giving the sides the much needed upgrade along with the chrome-lined door handles and the extremely premium-looking chrome beltline that runs across the window area right till the C-pillar.

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The rear profile gets its upgrade with new restyled LED tail lamps coming in place along with an all new sharper-looking rear bumper. The rear bumper, like the front one, gets a lip spoiler placed on the lower section running across it that’s finished in dark chrome. The bumper also sports slim, wide shaped stop reflectors on the extreme corners. Other changes include a much chunkier shark-fin antenna finished in body color placed on the roof.
The 2020 Verna as mentioned, looks a lot larger than actually it is due to the bold style treatment it’s got. The Verna that we drove had the newly introduced Starry Night paint which is like a dark metallic blue colour. It looks extremely nice and catchy.

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Interiors

Step inside the 2020 Verna and you instantly realize the changes that the cabin has been given. The cabin gets a dual-tone color scheme of black and beige, while the dashboard gets an all new design. The wide styled AC vents look classy in their new design with a dash of chrome running on them. The dash gets two highlight elements; the center dash gets a brand new 8-inches touchscreen infotainment system. This latest generation AVN unit comes loaded with all connectivity features for music, radio, GPS, bluetooth connectivity, phone connectivity and also works in tandem with the impressive Hyundai BluLink connectivity app. Hyundai has been loading their recent car models with the BluLink feature, which is highly informative and adds a lot to the safety and convenience factor.

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The second highlight on the dash is the all color TFT display that works as the digital instrument cluster on the Verna. The all digital instrument cluster is easy to read and looks extremely sporty with the speedo on the left and the RPM display on the right. There is also a small display in the middle that reads out the other tell-tale notifications and trip meters etc. The steering remains the same as the one on the outgoing model. The climate control remains the same single zone unit. (This did a good job during our shoot in some hot and humid, pre-monsoon climate conditions.) The music system that our test car came fitted with was the Arkamys system, this is a first-in-class audio unit that played some highly impressive audio levels from the six speakers via FM radio, Spotify source. The rearview mirror gets the auto dimming feature and also comes with the BluLink, SOS activation buttons on it.

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The 2020 Verna also gets the wireless mobile charging dock station on it. The seats on the top end trim that we drove get dual tone leather upholstery. The front seats also retain the cooled ventilation feature, which is a very comforting feature. The driver’s seat gets manual height adjust, front seats offer excellent support and feel very comfortable. Rear seats sport twin adjustable headrests and a foldable centre armrest. Legroom is pretty decent, though not the best in class but good enough for two. The Verna also gets a smart boot opening feature that automatically opens the boot lid if your hands are occupied and you have the key remote on you. Comfort level is very good for the rear passengers which get further highlighted with the rear Ac vents. The 2020 Verna also retains the sun/moon roof that adds to the overall premium appeal inside the cabin.

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Engine – Transmission – Drive

The 2020 Hyundai Verna facelift comes with as many as three BS6-compliant engine choices — 1.0-litre turbo-GDI petrol (120PS and 172Nm of torque), 1.5-litre petrol (115PS and 144Nm of torque) and 1.5-litre diesel (115PS and 250Nm of torque). So far as the transmission options are concerned, Verna 1.0-litre turbo-GDI petrol gets a 7-speed DCT. The Verna 1.5-litre petrol can be paired either with a 6-speed MT or an IVT, while the Verna 1.5-litre diesel has 6-speed MT and 6-speed AT options.

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We drove the top of the line 1.5-litre Petrol Manual for this review. The key highlights of this new 1.5L engine are its high levels of refinement and sheer smoothness. The power delivery may not be instant, but once you are in the power zone, the car feels pretty spirited and peppy. The gear shifts are very positive and precise, not forgetting the chunky leather-wrapped shifter that adds to the pleasure while shifting. The steering feedback is not the best in class, but nevertheless feels connected and a lot better than the older Hyundais’. The Verna drives a lot like a bigger car than it actually is, with the overall feel being very mature and ironed out. The comfort levels in the cabin are very good and driving the Verna now gives you a lot of premium feel.

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Safety

Hyundai has loaded a long list of safety equipment to the 2020 Verna which include the Hyundai BluLink feature where you can control a lot of features in the car using the mobile app. You can lock unlock, start the car(automatic version), track the car, check the speeds it’s done, check fuel levels, air pressure level, service due, push maps and locations to the cars GPS system to name a few.

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Other safety features include ABS with EBD, driver passenger and curtain airbags, electronic stability control, vehicle stability management, front and rear parking sensors, rear view camera with live guidelines, tyre pressure monitor, auto headlamps, automatic wipers, emergency stop signal, ISOFIX seat anchorage, electro chromic mirror, ECM with telematic switches, front height adjust seat belt, etc.

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Competition Check

2020 Hyundai Verna will continue to go all out against the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Skoda Rapid TSI, Volkswagen Vento, and the soon-to-be-launched 2020 Honda City in its mid-sized sedan class..

Verdict

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The Verna has always been a very strong model for Hyundai in the C-segment sedan, and with this upgrade the car now looks a lot more trendy and in-time. The car looks larger and bolder due to the front and rear end plus comes loaded with best-in-class features for convenience and safety. Also on the list are options of choosing between three engines and as many as three transmissions, making it one of the better options to choose from in this segment. The competition better watch-out for this one.

You also get with the Hyundai Verna something called as The Wonder Warranty scheme that allows the buyers to choose between three warranty options – 3-year/unlimited km or 4-year/60,000km or 5-year/50,000km. Besides, the Hyundai Verna facelift comes with a 3-year standard road-side assistance, Blue Link subscription and map updates.

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Review – Ritesh Madhok
Photography – Govind Gadekar

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