Its post-festive season and as is the case every year, our shoot/testing schedule is packed with all the recently launched cars. This also means that our long term fleet is at its busiest, being pressed into service as backup vehicles. Besides Kapil’s diesel Swift automatic, the Verna has also covered a lot of ground in the last couple of months and as always, there are only little things to nit-pick.
Given that I have been doing a lot of highway runs in the Verna since the last update, it is time to put this car’s long-distance ability into focus. We Indians love plush ride quality and swear by cars that offer one. I am happy to report that this latest iteration of the Verna has improved big time when it comes to ride and handling. Unlike the previous gen model that felt really fidgety at high speeds, this one’s rock solid, with just a hint of that up-and-down movement when it’s fully loaded. Better still, the Verna’s low speed ride is cushy, more importantly refined with hardly any noise of the suspension working. Top marks, there.
Upfront, the seats are nice and comfortable and visibility is great, making for an excellent long-distance cruiser for the front passengers. The longer journeys surely feel less taxing thanks to cruise control, which I know some of you would find pointless on our roads but when you are doing constant Bombay-Pune runs on the expressway, it is a boon.
The Verna might not have the biggest boot in its class but what I really like about it is that it’s got a wide opening and a nicely damped floor. There is enough space to load it up for a weekend trip or possibly even more.
Although long-distance travel is nice and relaxing for the driver and the front seat passenger, things are a little cramped at the back. Rear seat space isn’t one of the Verna’s fortes – the headroom is adequate but the same cannot be said for legroom or shoulder room. Its fine for my 5-foot 7-inch frame but if you are the kind that always travels with their family, you would have to look elsewhere.
Still, it’s not a major grievance and living with the Verna has been positive for the most part. Having racked up over 13,000kms so far, the car has loosened up nicely and I am getting slightly better fuel efficiency than what I did when I picked it up a few months earlier.
Odo – 13,979 km
Faults – None
Fuel Efficiency – 12.2kmpl
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi