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New 2015 Hyundai Verna facelift test drive review

  • Feb 14, 2015
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New Hyundai Verna 2015 facelift
Background

The first Verna was launched in the Indian market in 2006. It changed the way we Indians looked at a C segment sedan and impressed customers with its diesel performance. A design tweak and four years later, we got the Verna Transform in 2010 but the biggest revamp came in 2011 when the new look Fluidic version was launched. Over the last three years, Hyundai has updated the model with minor changes and this helped the Verna remain at the top of the charts but that changed once the new City and the new Ciaz hit the market.
This new face-lift version aims to get back some of the lost market share – will it?

What has changed – exteriors

New Hyundai Verna 2015 facelift

The biggest change in the new Verna is the way it looks. It won’t be wrong to call it a baby Sonata and the car is one of the best looking in the segment. The front is now dominated by a wing shaped grille with two horizontal chrome slots. The new bigger headlamps with projectors look great and the revised bumper with Boomerang shaped fog lamps adds to the premium appeal. The new Verna gets 16” diamond cut alloy wheels for the higher versions.
Not much has changed at the back except for a revised bumper with integrated reflectors and a blackened lower part. The tail lamps have been changed slightly to impart an LED effect.

Front-Shot-Red

Although changes to the design are majorly limited to the front end, the new Verna does look very stylish. It’s easy to mistake it for a car from a bigger segment and this mild facelift seems to have worked well in its favour.

What has changed – interiors

New Hyundai Verna 2015 facelift

Step inside and you are greeted with the same high quality interior as any Hyundai product. Even four years down the line, the design of the facia doesn’t seem to be out of place in the segment. The two-tone design with darker upper part feels good to touch. You also get wooden type inserts around the infotainment system and on the door pads. Hyundai has made slight changes on the inside and some of these include 1 GB of internal memory for the audio system (that also gets revised color scheme). Space up front is generous though at the back, rivals like the City and Ciaz are way ahead.

New Hyundai Verna 2015 facelift

In terms of changes, rear left passenger gets an ERGO lever to push forward the front seat for extra space – this feature was first seem on the Volkswagen Vento. The rear cup holders are also revised slightly and further seat comfort has been enhanced slightly. Absence of rear air-con vents is still a letdown.

How feature loaded is it?

New Hyundai Verna 2015 facelift

The Verna was always one of the most feature loaded cars in the segment and the new one is no different. From keyless entry and start-stop to reverse camera and cooled glovebox, the new Verna will continue to pamper owners easily. That said, rear air-con vents, standard navigation system, sunroof etc are still missing as options. Hyundai has also done away with rear disc brakes but will offer ABS as standard across all versions.

Are the engines same?

New Hyundai Verna 2015 facelift

The Verna continues to offer four engine options to customers. These include the smaller 1.4-litre petrol and diesel units and the bigger 1.6-litre petrol and diesel units. We were only given the bigger 1.6-litre diesel to review on the drive and we weren’t complaining because this alone outsells all other engine options put together. It continues to put out the same power (128PS) and torque (260Nm) but the certified economy has been bumped up to 23.9kmpl.

New Hyundai Verna 2015 facelift

This engine has always been a hit when it comes to refinement and outright performance but where it lacks is the low end punch which is essential for city use. Part throttle response is good no doubt but while driving the car with three on board along with air-con working mildly, we had to wait for the engine to hit the 1900-2000rpm mark before it really got going. Considering it has 128PS of power on paper, engine performance under 2000rpm can best be termed as average.
Hit the highways though and the Verna can easily make other expensive sedans eat dust. There is ample torque in reserve and this car can chew up miles rapidly. We also like the way the 6-speed manual gearbox works – short and smooth throws make it a joy to use.

And does it ride well?

New Hyundai Verna 2015 facelift

We drove the car with three people on board and the initial few km were inside Udaipur. The road to the Abu highway had its own share of undulations and broken patches and the suspension did feel slightly stiffer as compared to the outgoing model. The older version had to tendency to be too soft for highway and was known to wallow over flowing undulations. Thankfully, engineers have worked hard and ironed out these issues in the new model. The rear shock absorbers now come with LVC or low velocity control valve and this ensures an appropriate damping force. The coil springs have also been revised to ensure ideal spring stiffness and finally, the new ‘bump stopper’ comes with emboss finish to counter the ‘thud’ noise which was a common issue with the old Verna.

New Hyundai Verna 2015 facelift
All these changes go a long way in making the Verna feel confident at high speeds. The Abu Highway has enough long flowing corners, some of which have mid-corner bumps. The new Verna handled these with ease and the car felt reassuring at various speeds.

Will it sell?

New Hyundai Verna 2015 facelift

The Verna was the segment leader till the new City and the new Ciaz came in. A typical buyer with Rs 8-11 lakh in hand is looking at various aspects which include space, comfort and economy. Features, brand value and performance are parameters which are considered too, but at a later stage. While the new Verna isn’t generous on space, it is comfortable and efficient too. It looks great, is feature packed and Hyundai is known to make cars that require low maintenance. Interior quality is up there with the best and four engine options and two transmission options will keep most buyers satisfied.
The new model will surely help Hyundai to get back some of the lost market share but it will be hard for the Verna to push aside the segment leaders and capture its throne back.

Prices to be announced on the 18th Feb 2015

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