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The Hyundai Verna has been a part of our long term garage for over of a year now. It’s a car that most of us have in office have used at some point and found it hard to return the keys to the previous user, because it’s so versatile and easy to live with car. The Hyundai Verna has proved to be a great city car, making my short commute to work and back home pretty relaxed and enjoyable. I didn’t get a chance to take it out of town until a recent trip that I took to Mumbai. That’s when I experienced an all new side of the car.
I had heard from the others in office when they had driven the car to Auto Expo in Delhi and back to Pune earlier this year about its great highway manners. I came back really impressed with the Hyundai Verna’s ability to eat miles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’ve got the top spec diesel variant and another thing that struck me was the engine’s excellent refinement at low and high speeds. Hyundai has nailed it with an engine that revs quickly when in town and feels very relaxed out on the highway. I would have liked a little more weight and better feedback from the steering, but it’s really light and comfortable to use in the city.
Another aspect that made the highway driving experience better was the excellent stability of the car and the confidence inspiring ride quality. This was something really lacking on the previous generation Hyundai Verna, a car owned by a friend of mine, which I have spent time driving back home in Kerala. Where you needed to slow down considerably for bumps and undulating surfaces in the older car, this new Hyundai Verna just glides through. This was very prominent once I got off the expressway and headed into the city, where the road is full of undulations and some nasty speed bumps. Despite the constant changes in surface, the Hyundai Verna kept me comfortable. Planted and stable at cruising speeds, it absorbs most bumps and undulations easily, making the driving experience relaxing.
Aiding to the Hyundai Verna’s driving experience was the set of MRF Perfinza tyres we had fitted on the car about 6000 kilometres back. The MRF rubber really helped improve the driving dynamics of the Hyundai Verna, as they are 205 sections, 10 mm wider than the standard tyres. This, obviously, has improved the cornering grip, while the compound has been perfected for our road conditions, helping to further improve on the ride. The MRF tyres ran flawlessly, showed little signs of wear and even reduced road noise to a minimum.
In terms of interior too, the Hyundai Verna has really won my heart. The air conditioning works really well, I especially like the cooled seats, which make sure you are not really sweating, irrespective of outside temperature. The infotainment system is easy to use and gives me access to everything I need while driving, without having to take my eyes off the road. The system has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are really great convenient features. While the fronts seats are comfy, my friends sitting in the back during my trip to Mumbai said they could have done with a bit more leg and head room, though they did appreciate the rear sunshade in the blazing heat. But that’s more than made up for by the generous boot, which gobbled up luggage for four people with plenty of room to spare.
Driving on the congested roads of Mumbai is where the all-round ability of the Hyundai Verna started to shine. It was super easy to manoeuvre around in traffic and hassle free to park, thanks to the excellent, high resolution rear view camera and parking sensors. Despite being a manual, I didn’t feel tired driving through some pretty heavy traffic. The clutch was light, despite our test car having run over 15,000 kilometres.
I tanked up the Hyundai Verna before leaving Pune and during my 400 odd kilometre round trip over a few days, it consumed less than half a tank of fuel, which should theoretically give it a real world cruising range of about 800 kilometres. The on-board computer displayed a consumption of over 16 kmpl at most times, this despite my heavy right foot which makes the Hyundai Verna pretty inexpensive to run.
Add that to its properly premium look and you know it’s a car that will win hearts. I’m always excited to see another one on the road and you see plenty now, which really is no surprise. The Hyundai Verna is a car that will be hard to replace, as it ticks all the right boxes in terms of what I require in a car. Despite all the hard driving, there were no rattles or squeaks in the cabin, an indication of a well-built car. All this is thanks to the more rigid build of the new Verna. Hyundai clearly is a company that’s on a mission to provide their customers with quality cars in India and across the world. My time with the Hyundai Verna has taught me just that.