2023 Hyundai Verna review: Will it disrupt Honda City? | The Financial Express

2023 Hyundai Verna review: Looks could kill

With radical styling, laden with safety and comfort features and a spacious cabin, is there anything the new Verna can’t do? Will this vantage point disrupt Honda City’s life?

2023 Hyundai Verna Review
Starting from Rs 10.90 lakh to Rs 16.19 lakh, introductory prices, the new Verna is in the thick of things and competes toe-to-toe with its rivals.

Hyundai took some time, radical new design ethos, customer feedback and state-of-the-art technology threw in a blender (figuratively speaking) and decided to turn the clock all the way forward and started a brand new era for the sedan segment. We are talking about the all-new Verna. Many may not know this, but before the new generation sedan’s launch was confirmed, the Verna remained the second most successful car in its class, barring a couple of months. 

Watch Video | 2023 Hyundai Verna Review:

Hyundai upped its game in the mid-size sedan segment by launching the Verna in 2006. Though it lacked the fineness of its rivals, Hyundai was in no mood to give up. In 2011, the Fluidic design burst into the scene with its jaw-dropping design and Verna captured the market. It was the original disruptor and now the all-new avatar is here to raise the bar further and look to dethrone a certain Honda City. Does the new Verna have what it takes to force a change of guard? Let’s find out.   

2023 Hyundai Verna review: Charismatic Style Game

If you thought the Fluidic Sculpture Design school of thought was spellbinding then you have another thing coming as the new Verna hits it out of the park and in some style. Inspired by a spaceship, the new Sensuous Sportiness philosophy,  many Star Trek fans will not be able to resist saying, “Beam me up”. 

The new Verna is all about making an audacious statement most unapologetically and that’s what people want. The styling may be on the polarizing side, but one simply can’t take their eyes off the new sedan. The front structure merges a vivid LED DRL across the boot lid while the parametric all-black design gives it an imposing presence along with the headlamps right above it. With sharp-edged front bumpers, the lower part of the front nose comes across as a Decepticon or an Autobot, whatever you fancy.

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The Verna boasts plenty of character lines on the bonnet and side panels. What takes the cake is the fastback roofline that brings back the classy retro chic look. Attention to detail is very important and here Verna ups the game with chrome finish door handles and the shoulder line. Hyundai has smartly given it a dull polished look rather than the usual shiny one. The Verna continues to sport 16-inch alloy wheels but now it gets a new busy looking design. 

In our opinion, the Verna makes a smashing statement from the rear with the connected LED tail lights inspired by the Venue and the Tucson. Aesthetically, the clean composition beautifully compliments the elongated LED lights.          

2023 Hyundai Verna review: Interiors and Features

Hyundai has introduced a clean dashboard layout with user-friendly functions. The centre panel is in soft leather material while the air condition vents get a smart metal finish. The showstopper is the twin 10.25-inch display — the infotainment screen and all-digital instrument cluster. To lighten the mood, the Verna offers 64 colour ambient lights and natural background sounds to attain some inner peace. What is interesting to note is that currently, the top variant with the 10.25-inch touchscreen has not received the update for wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay but the mid-level 8-inch one is readily available with these features.   

The new sedan is equipped with many first-segment features like a switchable control panel which doubles up as an HVAC or infotainment console. It also gets both heated and ventilated front seats. What was slightly disappointing to see is that only the driver’s seat is electrically adjustable minus height adjustment, which remains manual.   

The top trims come with additional features like a wireless phone charger, an 8-speaker Bose music system, a sunroof, keyless entry, connected technology, multiple language support including 10 regional and two international languages, voice command and 17 advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features.

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The Verna comes standard with six airbags, front and rear parking assist sensors, electronic stability control, ABS and EBD, hill-start assist control and other bells and whistles expected from a new-age sedan. It is only the second sedan after the Honda City to come equipped with ADAS functions. There are some additional features the Verna offers over the City as the front and rear radars help in reading the driving conditions better irrelevant of the visibility, adaptive cruise control with its automatic stop and go function and leading vehicle departure alert.

2023 Hyundai Verna review: Comfort and Space

The new Verna has a wheelbase of 2,670mm making it class-leading in the segment. Hence, Hyundai has rectified its perennial lack of space for the rear passengers. There’s more than enough legroom and the passengers won’t feel cramped. Even though Hyundai has opted for a fastback design, the swooping roofline doesn’t eat into the headroom. Even though Hyundai has increased its space, it still falls behind the likes of the City and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. Therefore, three adults sitting in the back can be a bit of a tight squeeze. With an angular seat squab, it offers decent thigh support and the contours on the backrest help in providing lower back support. 

The USP of a sedan is the boot space which SUVs usually can’t match up and the Verna offers the segment’s best 528 litres boot capacity. The luggage capacity is wide and deep enough to store large stroller bags and some. It is also accessible as the loading bay isn’t very high.

2023 Hyundai Verna review: Engine, Performance, Fuel Economy

The Verna is available in two petrol versions — the 113bhp 1.5-litre naturally aspirated and the 158bhp turbo. We got to drive the former mated to the 8-step CVT. The engine is very smooth and remains silent till you floor it. The CVT ably responds to the powertrain and quickly changes gears without stretching it thereby keeping a check on the rubber band effect, at least on initial gears. It is available in three driving modes — Eco, Normal and Sport. Eco is about increasing the mileage and is ideal for negotiating rush hour traffic. Normal mode ensures there’s enough power readily available for both city and high conditions. The Sport is where Verna happily picks up the pace without much argument. The issue one will face is that the engine’s top-end powerband is where the performance plateaus. The CVT Verna comes with paddle shifters which make the driving experience a bit more involving, but the engine can only do so much before it starts to taper off. 

The 1.5-litre is also available with a 6-speed manual transmission and according to Hyundai the manual returns 18.6 kmpl and the CVT 19.6 kmpl. Otherwise, the 1.5-litre NA is a smooth operator with a decent linear power response and is fuel efficient. This engine will also play a big part in increasing Verna’s market share. 

2023 Hyundai Verna review: Final word

The Verna is an allrounder which is what most sedan customers are looking for. It is now spacious and offers the best safety features in its division, top it off with a long list of creature comfort functions to pamper you and a reliable and fuel-efficient 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine. Hyundai has improved the ride quality of the Verna. It doesn’t feel like a soft cushy sofa that used to make rear passengers nauseous. The suspension setup makes the sedan feel more sorted and confident when it goes over pothole-riddled roads. It cushions undulations with ease and ensures a comfortable ride, especially for rear passengers. 

The new two-spoke steering wheel feels slightly heavier than the previous generation Verna. This is a good thing as the older steering was feather-light and had lifeless feedback. The new-generation Verna’s steering wheel is slightly more communicative, but Hyundai’s main aim has always been to make driving an effortless experience, especially when manoeuvring in tight parking spaces and in the city and it manages to do so.

Starting from Rs 10.90 lakh to Rs 16.19 lakh, introductory prices, the new Verna is in the thick of things and competes toe-to-toe with its rivals. Being the latest sedan in the market, the Verna certainly has an advantage, but it also ticks most of the boxes. Hence, it will be very difficult for a sedan buyer to not take it out for a test drive. 

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First published on: 30-03-2023 at 14:15 IST
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