The 2017 Hyundai Verna borrows its styling from the new Elantra
The new Verna's cabin is finished in a dual-tone colour scheme
Engine options include 1.6-litre petrol and diesel four-cylinder units
The Hyundai Verna, originally launched over a decade ago went through three generations in India was long overdue for an update. With competition selling nearly 10 times the number of units Hyundai sold every month, the Korean automaker needed a much needed shot in the arm in this segment. Now in it's fifth generation globally and fourth in India, the new sedan has now officially been launched at a competitive price of ₹ 7.99 lakh to ₹ 12.61 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) to take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Honda City, Volkswagen Vento and the Skoda Rapid. We got behind the wheel of the new Verna at Hyundai's in-house test track at the Chennai research and development centre to get a first hand feel of the new car. Read on to know more!
So lets start with the way it looks. In a move that is very unlike Hyundai, the Korean automaker has taken an evolutionary approach to the styling on the new car. The new 2017 Hyundai Verna though does look like a shrunk down version of the larger Elantra with the swept back headlamps that house the daytime running lights and projector units and the chrome festooned projector fog lamp. The Verna also gets the new Hyundai grille design that is a lot wider than before and also a lot edgier. When viewed in profile, the Verna still has that very typically swoopy and almost fastback like look that is complimented by the 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheel that come on the top spec car.
The 2017 Hyundai Verna is based on the new K2 platform
The rear though is the most interesting and also the most progressive when it comes to overall design. To begin, the Elantra influenced tail lamps with the arrow head lighting pattern looks very edgy and the bumper has very strategically placed cuts and plastic trim that give the car a sportier stance. The Verna also gets a chrome accent piece on the boot along with new 1.6d badging nomenclature and ORVMS with integrated turn indicators.
2017 Hyundai Verna's cabin layout
When it comes to the interior of the new Verna, similarly to the exterior, Hyundai has opted for an evolutionary update. That said, the new interiors do look and feels considerably better than the last gen car. To begin with, the new Verna has a two tone dark grey and beige interior palette which has been matched with a satin grey central console screen bezel. Hyundai has taken a conscious call to stay away from the gloss black that you see on almost all cars today and the satin grey finish is also found on the steering wheel and other smaller plastic trims.
2017 Hyundai Verna is based on the new K2 platform
The new Verna gets a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment setup that comes with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also gets mirror link and the Verna's infotainment can also be controlled by a cell phone app. The new Verna also gets Bluetooth/USB/AUX connectivity. In terms of convenience features, the new Verna gets cruise control, rear windscreen blind and a rear AC vent along with a fold down hand rest for rear passengers. But the most important addition to the Verna has got to be the addition of cooled seats, which is a segment first in India and is available only on the SX(O) variant that also gets a push button start. The Verna also comes with a sun roof in the SX and SX(O) variants.
We have had the chance to drive the new Verna for a few laps at Hyundai's own test facility in Chennai and here is our first drive analysis. But before we go into details of how it drives, let us talk about the engine. The new Hyundai Verna comes with a 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre diesel engine, both mated to an automatic or manual 6-speed gearbox. The petrol engine makes 121 bhp and 130 Nm of peak torque while the diesel puts out 126 bhp of peak power and 245 Nm of peak torque.
2017 Hyundai Verna come with new design updates and styling
The 2017 Hyundai Verna has better NVH levels over its predecessor
We got behind the wheel of the diesel in both the manual and automatic gearbox version, so lets start with the manual first. The impressive figures on paper when it comes to power and torque figures have always translated well to tarmac in the Verna and this generation is no different. Power delivery is smooth and kicks in as low as about 1200 rpm going all the way up to about 4000 rpm. There is no sudden jerky delivery either - but linear and smooth, a trait that the Verna has always had in the past too. The big other noticeable factor in the new Verna is the level of refinement. It might not be revolutionarily quiet but it is most certainly one of the most quiet diesel sedans in its class. The Verna also scores high when it comes to vibrations and harshness with levels low enough to be invasive especially in cruising conditions.
2017 Hyundai Verna infotainment system
And now to the important question! One that we are sure we will be asked over and over again by a plethora of Indian consumers who are keen to buy a sedan in this category. How does the new Hyundai Verna handle and ride? Well, the last generation Verna was plagued with issues when it came to handling due to Hyundai making sure that the chassis was tuned more towards comfort. And although this new generation Hyundai Verna is still very much tuned for comfort, it handles much MUCH better than its predecessor.
The new-gen Verna gets projector headlamps along with LED DRLs as well
To begin with, the new Verna gets a new platform called the K2 which also features over 50% high tensile steel in its construction. The new suspension setup has been completely overhauled to now be much responsive and reduce the tell-tale body roll that the Verna always had. There is still some degree of roll though and the rear end is still slightly softer than the likes of the Volkswagen Vento or even the Honda City, but as we mentioned earlier, this new generation is much much better.
The next-gen Verna also gets 16-inch diamond cut alloys on the top trims
And the story is the same when it comes to steering response. The completely numb and lifeless steering from the last generation has been replaced by a quicker and more responsive steering rack which still gets electric assist. It still continues to be relatively lighter at low speeds but weighs up well as you get faster. That said, as we did mention, the Verna is still aimed at a buyer that prefers a comfort and ride quality to performance. Since we did drive the new Verna on a test track however, ride quality over undulated roads and potholes remains to be seen.