The C-segment battle is heating up again as Hyundai has brought out a fifth generation Verna sedan. It arrives after a long time and aims to bring Hyundai directly back into the battle against the likes of the Honda City and the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. There seems to be quite a bit that Hyundai has worked upon with regard to this vehicle and here is how it fares against its two major rivals. We have driven the new Verna and you can find out how it performs here.
Hyundai has gone for the family face design with this Verna and this means it shares a large part of its looks with the Elantra. Similarly, you see a lot of the Verna in the much smaller Xcent compact sedan.
This is not a bad thing in itself, but it has also dispensed with the unique fluidic design of the previous car. The Honda City, in many of its previous generations, was an understated car in terms of looks. However, in the current generation, and now, with the 2016 facelift, appearance has taken a higher priority and it does stand out. In particular, the tail lamps of both cars deserve notice as they are both wraparound full LED units with unique designs that lend an air of individuality to both cars.
Despite being the leader of the clan, the Ciaz is the most subtle in terms of looks. It’s a result of Maruti Suzuki wanting to play safe in a part of the market where it had struggled to succeed to make any kind of mark. It doesn’t look as exciting as the other two but, because it has the Maruti badge, the car will be a preferred choice among those who want to play it safe.
Interior and features
Given that all three cars exist with similar price ranges, it should be pretty clear that what they offer in the cabin too is quite the same. The overall layout is similar across all three cars and jumping between their cabins would yield not too much of a change. All three have segment standard features like beige and black dual tone interiors, touchscreen infotainment system, climate control, rear AC vents and multiple 12V sockets.
It’s the Verna that emerges out on top here as it has the most number of features on offer. This should come as no surprise considering that the Hyundai has always been known for offering good features. The new list now comprises ventilated seats, automatic boot opening and something called eco cleaning technology that purifies air before it enters the cabin of the Verna. The Hyundai Verna’s mobile app is better than the one offered by Honda for the City as you get more connectivity options.
Engine and gearbox
Once again, it’s the Verna that has emerged out on top of the pile. It gets a 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engine that produce 121bhp/151Nm and 126/260Nm respectively. Both can be had with a six-speed manual or a six-speed AT.
It’s a similar story with the City as you can have it with a 1.5-litre petrol or diesel unit that produces 117bhp/145Nm and 100bhp/200Nm respectively. There is a six-speed manual gearbox for both while the petrol engine can also be had with a CVT.
The Ciaz is the least powerful of the three as it is offered with a 1.4-litre petrol and a 1.3-litre diesel unit. The former produces 91bhp/130Nm while the latter is good for 90bhp/190Nm. A five-speed manual transmission is common while the petrol variant is offered with a four-speed AT. The Verna is the only one offered with a diesel automatic in this fray and now with a six-speed unit is quite far ahead of the rivals.
On the face of it, Hyundai appears to have done enough to bring the competition to its rivals. At the time of the launching, the carmaker said that it plans to sell around 4000-5000 units of the car. This is a tall order as the outgoing model was barely doing four digits before it got phased out.
For now, it looks like the City will sell strongly with regard to its petrol engine and the Ciaz is due to its Nexa badge. The Verna, on the other hand, will ring the cash register on the basis of its feature list and diesel AT option. The Hyundai Verna range is priced from Rs 7.99 lakhs to Rs 12.61 lakhs while the Ciaz range is priced from Rs 7.66 lakhs to Rs 11.55 lakhs. And the Honda City can be had in the range of Rs 8.46 lakhs to Rs 13.43 lakhs.