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Verna 2011

Verna 2011

Verna 2011 Verna 2011 Design & Engineering The latest Verna looks nothing like its predecessor and

Design & Engineering

The latest Verna looks nothing like its predecessor and that’s a good thing. Out go the mundane lines of the older car and in comes a fresh, bold new look thanks to Hyundai’s new ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design language. Fluidic Sculpture is Hyundai-speak for a more dynamic design. Up front, there is a strong family resemblance to the freshly face-lifted i10 in the manner in which the large and smartly detailed headlights sweep back into the body. A ‘V’ on the bonnet that originates just above the hexagonal Hyundai grille adds much muscle to the front. But what really catches your eye is the ‘L’-shaped foglights that sit neatly recessed low down in the front bumper. They look distinctive and are especially attractive at night. Viewed side-on, the Verna looks fantastic, credit for which goes to its swooping character line that rises from the front bumper, slashes past both door handles and extends right till the tail-light. The coupe- like roofline that flows into the chunky tail only adds to the effect. Well executed creases at the rear and spread-out tail-lights further embellish the Verna’s style quotient. And the twin tailpipes will definitely be a hit with enthusiasts.

The new Verna is built on a completely new platform with its 2570mm wheelbase a whole 70mm larger than the older car. Another big change is the electrically powered steering that comes in place of the outgoing model’s hydraulic unit. However, the suspension layout is traditional, a combination of MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam axle at the rear.

Hyundai has really upped the quality ante in the recent past and the Verna is no exception with reasonably tight panel gaps and a paint job that has a deeper gloss than before. However, it still doesn’t exude that feeling of solidity of a European car like the Fiat Linea and the door shut has a disappointingly hollow feel to it. Perhaps it’s because the Verna is on the lighter side. Despite all the equipment that’s packed into it, the 1.6 diesel Verna tips the scales at 1191kg, its 1.6-litre petrol engine sibling weighing 120kg less. This compares well with the competition for this class of car.

Interior Going by the new Verna’s adventurous exterior styling, you’d expect something equally funky on


Going by the new Verna’s adventurous exterior styling, you’d expect something equally funky on the inside as well. There is some disappointment here as Hyundai has played it safe with a rather conventional design. The shield-like fascia though does look quite appealing. Beige is the colour of choice for the seats and lower portion of the dashboard and this really enhances the ambience in the car.

Interior quality is impressive and is a big improvement over the previous model. We really liked the textured dashboard, the damped feel to the AC vents, knurled finish on the climate control dials and the chunky steering (borrowed from the i20). Plastic quality is good but not consistent throughout the cabin. The power window switches look like they belong to a segment below and the faux wood on the dash doesn’t look convincing either. The door armrests are also poorly finished and the fit on panels near the footwells could be better too. But overall, the Verna exudes a richness that makes the insides a nice place to be.

There is reasonable space for knickknacks including a sunglasses holder near the rearview mirror. But the door pockets are shallow and not really suitable for holding more than a few newspapers at best. There is also a bottle- and cupholder beside the handbrake that comes positioned a touch too close to the driver’s seat.

Frontal visibility from the driver’s seat is good but the sloping rear windscreen and high rear passenger headrests hamper visibility out the back. The front seats themselves are well bolstered with ample support for your back. If we had a grouse with these seats, it’s with the short squabs and a general lack of under-thigh support. But this is more of an issue at the rear which, along with just about average headroom and restricted visibility out of the rear window (a side effect of the Verna’s high belt line), mark down the Verna as a chauffeur-driven car.

Passengers will also have to slightly contend with the Verna’s low stance – getting in and out could be an issue for some. The generous width and flat floor offer enough space for a fifth passenger but the seat contours make the rear bench best for two. Earning back brownie points is the generous legroom at the rear and a nicely angled backrest. The Verna’s 465-litre, well-finished boot is generously trimmed and offers more than adequate space for large suitcases. The trouble is the loading lip which has a narrow aperture and is quite high.

Take one look at the equipment list on offer on the 1.6-litre Vernas and you could mistake it for a car in a higher class. You get keyless entry, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, an iPod- ready music system and steering-mounted audio controls. And we’re talking base models here. The higher SX trim level comes with even more goodies like electrically foldable external rearview mirrors, an automatically dimming internal rearview mirror, a reverse camera, cooled glovebox and alloy wheels. The top-of-the line SX (O) variant gets ABS with EBD and leather upholstery in addition to the above. Phew. The automatic variant (on offer with either 1.6 engines) will only be sold in top spec, making it the most expensive car in the range.

in top spec, making it the most expensive car in the range. Performance & Economy Depress

Performance & Economy

Depress the clutch, thumb the starter and you will realise just how refined Hyundai’s latest U2 diesel engine is. Idle is a mild hum and even when you get going, noise and vibrations are well contained.

This 1.6-litre common-rail diesel churns out a class-leading 126bhp and 26.5kgm of max torque but these figures are only impressive on paper. They somehow don’t translate into blistering performance on the road. Its 20-80kph timing of 13 seconds is actually half a second off the older Verna’s time. And this is despite the new car having an additional sixth ratio. The culprit here is the tall gearing which has blunted performance in the interests of fuel efficiency. In fact, you have to really break the highway speed limit to make the most of the sixth gear which, at 80kph, turns over a lazy 1500rpm, which is just above tickover!

Power delivery, however, is pretty linear and you can barely feel the turbo kicking in. There’s a gentle surge at around 1900rpm, followed by a strong thrust till the model’s 5100rpm rev limit. What’s good is the engine is fairly tractable for normal driving and you don’t have to constantly work the smooth-shifting gearbox.

Like the diesel, the all-new Gamma petrol engine scores high on refinement too with a near-silent idle. Peak power is 121bhp, making this the most powerful car in its class. But once again, the car just doesn’t feel as fast as it should forcing us to suspect the power of the Korean horses under the hood. The dash to 100kph is completed in a brisk 11.49sec and the engine has a fairly linear power delivery. The mid-range is strong but the top end beyond 4000rpm is stronger. So as the revs rise, the Verna pulls harder. Hence, to get the most out of this engine, you need to keep the motor spinning. This can be a task at times because with widely spaced ratios (between second and third), the engine doesn’t always fall back into the meat of the powerband, even at high rpm upshifts. The five-speed gearbox itself falls easily to hand

and is always smooth in operation.

Tall gearing may have dulled the diesel Verna’s performance but it has also enhanced mileage. 13.8kpl in the city and 17.9kpl on the highway is impressive for such a powerful motor. The petrol Verna did well too, returning 9.8kpl within the city and 15.3kpl on the highway. Long distance range is a bit restricted as a result of the relatively small 43-litre fuel tank.

as a result of the relatively small 43-litre fuel tank. Ride & Handling If your driving

Ride & Handling

If your driving is restricted to the city, you’ll love the Verna’s electrically powered steering. It is light and just what the doctor ordered for effortless scything through crowded urban streets and squeezing into tight parking spots. Drive faster than city speeds and the story becomes quite different. There is an irritating dead zone at the straight-ahead position and a disconcerting inconsistency in the way the steering weights up. So what you get is a rather disconnected driving experience with little feedback from the road. Hard acceleration also brings about some torque steer on the diesel Verna.

Given India’s roads, ride quality can make or break (literally too) a car. The good news is that the Verna delivers on this front. Low speed ride is good with the softly set-up suspension ably absorbing all but the largest potholes. There is, however, a fair amount of vertical movement on the petrol Verna especially at the rear, this bobbing only amplifying with speed. The diesel’s stiffer front springs (to carry the additional weight of the engine) do their bit in delivering a flatter high speed ride. The added weight up front also allows the steering to weight up better.

High speed bumps also tend to unsettle the Verna a fair amount and call for a steady hand on the steering wheel. Straightline stability is average and not quite as reassuring as it should be. The Verna’s ride-oriented soft suspension has also invariably dulled driving dynamics. Cornering manners are tidy but this is no Ford Fiesta. The body rolls quite a bit and, given the vague feel at the wheel, does not bode well for really enthusiastic driving. However, there is ample grip from the oversized 195/55-R16 Bridgestones when such an occasion does arise.

The Verna comes with disc brakes all around and the top-end model we tested is equipped with ABS and EBD as well. Sadly, the brake pedal is devoid of much feel in the crucial first few centimetres of travel.

Also, in panic stops, the soft rear struggles to hold its line and threatens to step out. This can get unnerving if you are not used to it.

step out. This can get unnerving if you are not used to it. Verdict 8/10 While


This can get unnerving if you are not used to it. Verdict 8/10 While enthusiasts may


While enthusiasts may not take well to the Verna’s floppy high speed ride and uninvolving driving experience, these are secondary considerations to typical buyers in this segment. What you get is

smashing styling and really well designed and comfortable interiors. Then there is the strong punch from the pair of highly refined petrol and diesel engine powertrains. Also, low speed ride is good and the light

steering is a boon in the city. And given the long list of equipment on offer, you do get a whole lot of car for your money. The Verna may not be exceptional in any one area but as a jack of all trades and very

competitive pricing, it has the makings of a winner.

Data Specification Verna Length 4370mm Height 1475mm Wheel base 2570mm Width 1700mm ENGINE


Data Specification Verna Length 4370mm Height 1475mm Wheel base 2570mm Width 1700mm ENGINE
Data Specification Verna Length 4370mm Height 1475mm Wheel base 2570mm Width 1700mm ENGINE







Wheel base








4-cyls in-line, 1591cc petrol/ 4-cyls in-line, 1582cc, diesel



1.4 Petrol 105bhp

6.99 lakh, 1.6

Petrol 121bhp 7.64-

9.64 lakh, 1.4

Diesel 88.7bhp

8.09 lakh, 1.6

Diesel 126.3bhp 8.74-10.74 lakh




Bore/stroke 77.0/85.44,77.2/84.5

Front, transverse




Valve gear

4 valves per cyl,dohc/ 4 valves per cyl,dohc


121.3bhp at 6300rpm/ 126.3bhp at 4000rpm


15.8kgm at 4200rpm/ 26.5kgm at 1900-2750rpm

Power to weight 113.25/ 106.04bhp per tonne






5-speed manual/ 6-speed manual



1071kg/ 1191kg







strut, coil





torsion beam

coil spring



Rack and pinion


TIME (sec)


0.60, 0.59


1.20, 1.14


1.75, 1.67


2.75, 2.36


3.64, 3.56


4.92, 4.51


6.29, 5.64


7.66, 7.51


9.14, 9.01


11.49, 10.54


13.86, 12.33


16.16, 15.20


19.38, 18.12


23.36, 21.26


27.95, 25.37


27.95, 31.49


27.95, 38.58


20-80 in 3rd gear


40-100 in 4th gear

18.30s, 15.10s



80-0 kph

24.29m 2.19s






Type of power assist Electric




Tank size

43 litres


Ventilated discs

Tank range



Solid discs



Rs 8.94 lakh/ Rs 10.04 lakh


24 month/

unlimited km