The Hyundai Verna is the crowned king when it comes to the compact sedan segment. Launched in late 2017, the car took on its then rivals, the Honda City and the original Maruti Suzuki Ciaz to come out victorious. Earlier this year, it faced fresh competition from the Toyota Yaris too. But even the mighty Toyota wasn't mighty enough to pip the Verna to its top spot. And now, the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz facelift, recently updated with a new exterior, a new interior and of course a new petrol engine will try to take the fight to its biggest rival once again. But will the changes be enough to give it in an edge?? Read on to find out.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Facelift VS Hyundai Verna Exterior Design
Both the Hyundai Verna and the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz facelift are three box sedans of a conventional size that follow a sort-of similar overall design direction. Pulled back but sharp headlamps, horizontally stacked tail lamps and a well designed profile. Of course, there are differences too. Where the Verna has a very in-your-face family look with that new grille, the Ciaz is a little more restrained. But the updates on the Ciaz facelift really seem to work very well. The new grille and front bumper give the car a much sportier stance that was much needed. Both cars get a set of LED daytime running lights and projector headlamps but while the headlamp and the foglamp on the Verna has a standard florescent yellow bulb, the Ciaz has an all-LED setup. The white headlamps combined with the white fog lamps make the Verna look a tad bit upmarket and the fact that you don't have to do these changes aftermarket and get them as factory fitted standard equipment is a step in the right direction.
While design is a personal choice, I do prefer the front end of the Ciaz but the rear end of the Verna because of those well placed cuts and plastic trim pieces in the bumper that makes the Verna looks a lot nicer. Both cars get LED tail lamps with a very cool lighting pattern too. Both also get a really cool set of 16-inch alloy wheels that come finished in a two tone grey and diamond cut finish. While the Verna gets a modern take on a traditional 5 spoke design, the Ciaz gets a very cool three dimensional multi spoke design. Honestly, it is great to see automakers in this segment finally offering a set of wheels that make the car look complete. All in all, both these cars are great lookers.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Facelift VS Hyundai Verna Interior Design And Space
In today's day and age where even an entry level Rs 4 lakh hatchback gets a touchscreen with navigation, it is difficult for an automaker to impress. Both these cars have touchscreen with navigation, both get Apple CarPlay, both have Android Auto, both get automatic climate control and both get cruise control. That said, the Verna goes not just a step but a giant leap further by offering ventilated front seats and a sunroof. I have said this earlier and I shall say this again, ventilated front seats are one of the coolest (all puns intended) features you can have on any car in India today. Especially considering the fact that we deal with both a hot and a humid climate in most parts of India.
In terms of design however, the Verna and the Ciaz both are similar but both offer their own extras. While the Verna feels a little more premium with its better quality plastics, the Ciaz with it's lightwood faux inserts combined with the silver bits looks a little more upmarket. Both also have the standard USB ports and charging bits and both also get two cup holders up front and enough door card storage space. The Verna does get an extra USB slot though, an absolute necessity considering the number of gadgets we carry today.
While the Verna pips the Ciaz in terms of features, the Ciaz fights back - and how! - in terms of interior space. The Ciaz is a larger car with the longest wheelbase and it does show. The front is a lot more spacious with more elbowroom and the rear leg space on the Ciaz is a lot lot more than the Verna. And that is really strange considering the fact that Hyundai could have most certainly made the Verna a little as it is now based on the same platform that underpins the Elantra. Now only is the Verna the smaller car in this comparison in terms of rear leg space, it is also the smallest in its segment.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Facelift VS Hyundai Verna Engines and Gearbox
The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz facelift gets a new petrol engine. A 1.5-litre unit that replaces the older 1.4-litre unit. It makes 103 bhp of peak power and 138 Nm of peak torque. The engine is mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic. On the other hand, on the Verna you can get a 1.4-litre engine, which makes 99 horsepower, or you can get the more powerful 1.6-litre option, which makes 120 Bhp. While the 1.4-litre engine gets a 5-speed manual, the 1.6-litre gets mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic.
And that extra power on paper in the Verna does translate to a much better driving experience. Acceleration is effortless and more importantly, the engine has a really good mid-range performance, which means that you don't have to constantly shift down a gear. Or in the case of the automatic, a slight tap on the throttle makes the car surge without necessarily having to kick down. On the other hand, while the engine on the Ciaz is really refined and is great for city driving conditions, it does feel a little strained when pushed hard - especially over triple digit speeds.
And that brings us to the diesels. The Verna here too offers not only a bigger but also a much much more powerful engine. The 1.6 4-cylinder turbo makes 126 bhp and 260 Nm. The Ciaz on the other hand gets the tried and tested 1.3-litre multijet engine that makes just 89 bhp of peak power and 200 Nm of peak torque. While the Verna's diesel gets mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic, the Ciaz diesel only gets mated to a manual gearbox with an automatic variant expected sometime in the future.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Facelift VS Hyundai Verna Fuel Economy
While the Ciaz is the less impressive of the two in terms of driving dynamics, its does excel when it comes to fuel economy. And that is mainly due to the fact that both the petrol and diesel engines get the SHVS or mild hybrid setup that comes with dual lithium ion batteries. The batteries help with the start stop system, which in turn improves fuel efficiency. The petrol Ciaz with the manual gearbox returns 21.56 kmpl. The Verna on the other hand gets 19.1 kmpl for the 1.4-litre petrol manual and 17.7 kmpl for the 1.6-litre petrol manual. The automatic petrol Verna (which is available only with a 1.6-litre engine) gets 15.92 kmpl. The Ciaz petrol auto on the other hand gets a substantially better 20.28 kmpl. For the diesel engines, the 6-speed manual Verna offers a fuel economy figure of 24.75 kmpl while the 6-speed auto gets 21.02 kmpl. The diesel Ciaz on the other hand offers a whopping 28.09 kmpl - the best in class.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Facelift VS Hyundai Verna Ride Comfort and Handling
Both the Verna and the Ciaz are tuned for ride comfort as opposed to all-out handling dynamics. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing considering the fact that the buyers of these cars aren't exactly heading to their nearest race track every weekend. That said, while the Verna feels maybe a little better spring or slightly more comfortable, the Ciaz most certainly is a better handler of the two. High-speed drivability of the Ciaz too - even with the power disadvantage, is much better. That said, thankfully, that boat like instability that the Verna was infamous for at high speeds has almost vanished as this new platform and suspension setup is a big step forward.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Facelift VS Hyundai Verna Safety
With ABS and airbags about to become a mandatory fitment very soon, it is no surprise that all Ciaz and Verna variants come with it as standard. While all the variants get ABS, ISOFIX and two airbags, the top spec Verna also offers a 6 airbags option making it a much much safer option. The Ciaz petrol automatic on the other hand does get switchable traction control though.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Facelift VS Hyundai Verna Price
While the Verna starts at a slightly lower price point as compared to the Ciaz, the higher versions are considerably more expensive. The Ciaz manual petrol is priced between Rs 8.19-9.97 lakh as compared to the Verna at Rs 7.99-11.51 lakh, nearly Rs 1.5 lakh more than the Maruti Suzuki. The Verna petrol auto is available only in two variants with prices ranging from 10.65-12.65 lakh. The Ciaz on the other hand gets three variants to choose from with prices ranging from Rs 9.8-10.87 lakh.
While the petrol market in India is certainly booming, it is still the diesel engines that get a substantial chunk of sales figures. Just like the petrol manuals, the diesel manuals too have four variants each. Prices for the Verna diesel range from Rs 9.59-12.85 lakh. In comparison, the Ciaz diesel ranges from Rs 9.19-10.97 lakh - almost Rs 2 lakh cheaper than the Hyundai, which is a massive difference in this segment.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Facelift VS Hyundai Verna Verdict
So, lets wrap this up then and answer your question. Which one should you buy. And actually the answer is quite simple. If you can afford it, the Verna is still the best all round car in this category. Yes, we know it is two lakh rupees more expensive but then you do get those extra features and as I mentioned, if you really can stretch the budget, then why not. But when it comes to sheer bang for your buck, Maruti Suzuki has hit it out of the stadium with the new Ciaz. To get this much kit at that price and with that much space is truly a real value for money proposition.