HYUNDAI VERNA 4S: The Facelift

The Verna, when it first came out in 2006, was a next-gen replacement for the Accent. Back then it was just another sedan. By 2009 the Verna boasted of segment first features such as rear disc brakes, driver armrest, diesel + automatic combination (in 2009). Despite this, the Verna did not make a massive impact in the market. What really put the Verna on the map is when it came out as the fourth generation Verna, the one we rightfully refer to as the Fluidic one.

This Verna created quite a stir, and might just be the milestone where Hyundai broke out of the comfort zone they had found in their immensely popular hatchbacks. The Fluidic Verna boasted many segment-first features such as 6 airbags, a reversing camera, keyless entry & go, electric folding mirrors and more. Needless to say, the Verna managed to establish itself as one of the top dogs in the C2 sedan segment.18However, when Honda released their 4th Gen City and Maruti came out with the highly acclaimed Ciaz, Verna definitely felt their position in the pecking order become shaky. To stay in the game, Hyundai have brought about a facelift to their worthy contender and come out with the 4S Verna.

EXTERIOR

Hyundai rarely disappoint when it comes to aesthetics, so it was not a big surprise to have in front of us one of the most handsome cars in the market. The 4S Verna retains the fluidic design cues that helped make it so popular in the first place. The swept back projector headlight clusters now get a strip of LED running lights that pass-off as daytime running lights quiet easily. On the bumper are boomerang shaped fog lamps. The hexagonal mouth has been replaced with a distinctive twin-slat chrome grill and trapezoidal air dam.16Subtle creases run through the top of the hood and strong body lines blend well into the rest of its body. A swooping roofline, side mirrors with integrated LED indicators and diamond cut alloy wheels with chrome handle bars help retain the solid designs of the Verna’s side profile.vernarearLarge LED like tail lights with integrated indicators give personality to the rear. The rear reflectors similarly shaped to the front fog lamps and placed on the bumper. The exhaust has been tucked away underneath the car, so it is no longer visible like its chrome tipped counterpart in the previous Verna.15INTERIORS

As good as it is from the outside, the new Verna retains its appeal with its interiors that was well established with the previous edition. The two-tone dashboard carries on unchanged and you still get the same high level of fit and finish. And the new Verna is filled to the brim with features.

The steering wheel has adjustable reach as well as rake. Rain sensing auto wipers are a new addition. The headlamps are automatic and come equipped with the follow-me-home feature. Verna 4S has an engine start/stop button which starts the engine if you’re pressing down on the clutch. Press it without depressing the clutch you enter audio/ ‘ignition on’ mode.28There is no touch screen controls but it does come equipped with 1GB internal memory to store music. The head-unit has been upgraded to feature phone book and call log access. The reverse parking display comes on the inside mirror with red, yellow and green lines indicating a distance of 50 cm, 100 cm and 300 cm respectively. A new ‘Ergo’ lever has been introduced which allows the back seat passenger to push the front passenger seat all the way forward to enhance legroom.

PERFORMANCE

The engine and gearbox options include a 105bhp, 1.4-litre petrol engine (with a five-speed manual), a 121bhp, 1.6 petrol (with a five-speed manual or four-speed auto), a 89bhp, 1.4 diesel (with a six-speed manual) and lastly, a 126bhp, 1.6 diesel (with a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic).10Depress the clutch and push the start button to get the refined engine to start. The drive is smooth and power delivery is linear in nature. Mid range power is decent which makes it great for overtaking. On the open road, the engine effortlessly picks up speed and you can reach the triple digits very quickly. Maneuvering is easy thanks to the Verna’s responsive steering with good feedback, but you will need to put in minor inputs on the steering to keep it on course.9Although the rear discs have been eliminated, the Verna 4S does a decent job of bringing the vehicle to a stop. Also, ABS has been made standard, although it does tend to kick in too early at times. They have also tweaked the suspension hardware to make it ride & handle better. It takes up the bumps well and even deals satisfactorily with larger potholes. The Verna also takes onto corners confidently and won’t have the driver nervously gripping at the steering wheel.

VERDICT

Verna’s strong suit has always been its aesthetic appeal. The previous edition did land a few criticisms regarding its driving quality at high speeds and light steering controls. Hyundai have listened to the criticism and stepped it up with the Hyundai Verna 4S. The steering seems much more confident and high speed driving is more refined and stable. Add to that the plush cabin and feature laden facilities and it makes the Hyundai Verna 4S a well rounded car that is up to the competition.14FOR SPECIFICATIONS, CLICK HERE

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