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City & Vento, be warned...


Hyundai is pulling out all stops to make the Verna a success. Out this June, possibly even by May, the new Verna will have quite a few things that its competition does not have. More on that later. First, the looks of the car.

The Verna is a dramatically different animal in terms of appearance compared to its predecessor. Where the last-gen one was bland, this one is much more stylish with strong features and character lines. Though it does not look as futuristic as the Honda City or icy-cool like the Volkswagen Vento, it is contemporary to look at and will be at home on the streets of Madrid, Mumbai or Moscow. Prominent eagle’s-eye headlamps, the new hexagonal Hyundai grille, strong creases on the bonnet, prominent scalpel strokes on the flanks and a bootlid incorporating a discreet spoiler are the highlights of the car. The DLOs (daylight openings) are smart and are the key elements that define the new Verna’s coupe-like profile. The dual-chrome tipped exhausts are unique for India.

Inside, the blue treatment given to the displays have now made way for a classy blue-and-white combination. The instrument console is sober and European and at the centre between the two dials is a multi-information display. On the central console, there is a profusion of buttons for the stereo and it takes some time to get used to, while below it, the climatiser is easy to use. The dials for the airconditioning look like they have come off the i20. Hyundai claims the AC has something called the Cluster Ioniser that promises clean air – this again is an India-specific feature. The dash plastics seem to be of a higher grade than what you typically see in this segment. There is perforated beige leather all around in the top-end trim that we saw the car in.

Now for the more important stuff, the powertrain. The Verna will come with a choice of four inline-four engines – 1.4 and 1.6 in petrol and common-rail turbodiesel respectively and there will be a choice of manual and automatic transmissions too.

The two petrol engines are: 1396cc with 105.5 bhp@6300 rpm and 13.8 kgm@5000 rpm & 1591cc with 121.3 bhp@6300 rpm and 15.8 kgm@4200 rpm.

The diesel engines are 1396cc with 88.7 bhp@4000 rpm and 22.43 kgm@1750-2750 rpm and 1582cc with 126.2@4000 rpm and 26.5 kgm@1900-2750 rpm – the latter also has VGT.

The 1.4 petrol will be paired with a 5-speed manual transmission, while the 1.6 petrol will have the 5-speed manual as well as a 4-speed automatic option. The 1.4 CRDi will have a 6-speed manual gearbox while the 1.6 CRDi will have the 6-speed manual as well as a 4-speed automatic tranny option. The petrol 1.4 and the 1.4 CRDi are the same as seen in the i20, only the petrol 1.4 is marginally more powerful in the Verna, while the diesel gets the same six-speed MT.

Fuel efficiency as certified by ARAI for the Verna is as follows:

1.4 petrol – 17.43 kpl

1.4 CRDi – 23.5 kpl

1.6 petrol – 17.01 kpl

1.6 CRDi – 22.32 kpl

So how is it to drive? Well, you will have to hold on for that!