Editor’s word on interior: Hyundai has loaded the Verna with goodies that can make it compete with the cars that are a segment above. The quality of the materials used is also decent, hence there isn’t anything wrong that can be spoken about the interiors.
Step on the inside and you shall be pleased. The black and beige interior scheme works out well on the aesthetically designed instrument panel. The fit and finish of the plastics is good and feels premium. The centre console is ergonomically designed and doesn’t feel overboard.
Front row passengers get ample headroom and legroom; and the large comfy seats provide good back and thigh support. Crawl into the rear seats and there is sufficient head and knee room. The rear seats are flat and do not provide adequate thigh support.
Base Model: The base model of the Hyundai Verna comes only with the 1.4-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel engine. Major features in this trim level are immobilizer, central lock, full wheel cover, LED turn indicators or ORVMs, chrome grille, blue interior illumination, power windows with driver side auto down, keyless entry, AC, Driver Information Display and power & tilt steering.
EX: The EX variant of the Verna comes with 1.6-litre petrol and both the diesel engine variants. It comes with comes with driver side airbag, ABS with EBD, rear disc brakes, impact sensing door unlock, rear defogger with timer, two tone chrome rear garnish & chrome interior package, high gloss black and wood grain interiors, power windows with auto down, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity with steering mounted call and audio controls, climate control, clean air cluster ionizer, sunglass holder, front seat sliding armrest with storage box, tilt adjustable driver seat and iPod cable.
SX: This variant is available only on the 1.6-litre petrol dn diesel engine options and it offers few more features that are dual airbags, 16 inch alloy wheels, supervision cluster, rear view camera with display on auto dimming rear view mirror, electric folding ORVMs, cooled glove box, luggage net and hook and adjustable rear headrest.
SX (O): Even this version is available only on the 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel engines and it comes loaded with frills like side and curtain airbags along with front dual airbags, speed sensing door lock, chrome outside door handles, smart key with illuminated start button and leather upholstery.
Ed's take: Build quality, touch and feel of the plastics on the Rapid are good and live upto Skoda’s brand expectations. The space is also sufficient in both the rows and even the boot is large. The only thing, we wish was added are the extra bells and whistles.
The interior is the place where you shall spend most of your time and hence the ergonomics and build-quality are important, not to forget the interior space. The instrument panel of the Rapid is ergonomically designed, backed with some good quality plastic. The cabin insulation is also good.
There are acres of space for the front row passengers in all the sedans, with large and comfortable seats that offer enough thigh and back support. Crawl into the rear seats and you realize that the Rapid has sufficient room there as well, though the seats aren’t very supportive. They feel a bit flat with not much thigh support. The Rapid even gets the convenience of adjusting the co-driver seat from the rear. The boot space is also good enough.
Active: This is the base variant of the Rapid that is available only with the manual versions of the petrol and diesel. It has manual central door locking, manual AC with adjustable rear AC vents, anti glare rear view mirrors, rear defogger, rough road package, engine immobilizer, front center armrest, tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel, and anti pinch system.
Ambition: The Ambition comes in petrol, diesel and also the automatic petrol version. It gets central door locking, ABS, front rear fog lamps and driver airbag are added in the model. Other add-ons include body colored ORVMs and door handles, remote control with foldable key, driver seat height adjuster and rear center armrest.
Elegance: This is the top of the line version of the Rapid and is also available with all the engine options. It comes loaded with all the brownies that the Rapid will possess. Front passenger airbags are also added. A security code for audio player, AUX ports for media player and memory card, automatic climate control, electrically adjustable mirrors, MID (Mobile Internet Device). Now, it even gets projector lamps, Bluetooth and USB connectivity too.
Verna comes with four engine options— of which two are petrol and other are diesels. Both the higher engines comes with manual and automatic transmission. All the engines are good and we recommend using the lower powered engine as this sufficient.
The 1.4-litre petrol engine produces 106bhp of power at 6300rpm and a maximum torque of 138Nm at 5000rpm. This is the same engine block that also propels the automatic version of the i20. Like any of the modern petrol engines, the refinement levels are high and there is no clatter drama. The power delivery is fairly linear, however one has to downshift to overtake. But the drivability is good and it can potter in city traffic even when lugged into a higher cog. The 5-speed manual transmission is slick and the throws are short. As per the ARAI test, the 1.4-litre petrol has a fuel efficiency of 17.43kmpl.
The second petrol engine on the Verna is the 1.6-litre mill that comes with an option to be paired with a 5-speed manual box or a 4-speed automatic. This engine produces 122bhp of power and a torque of 158Nm at 4200rpm. This is one of the most refined engine blocks from the Hyundai spectrum. The mid-range of this engine is strong and there isn’t much of low range grunt. Hence, one has to shift into a lower gear to make the overtaking move. Like all the Hyundai’s, the manual box is slick with positive shifts. The Verna manual’s mileage is 17.01kmpl and 15.74kmpl as per the ARAI report.
The 1.4-litre engine is very torquey at 220 Nm and you realize this especially when the turbocharger spools, and you feel the power getting unleashed. this is the same engine that powers the i20 diesel and here, it comes mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The gear ratios have been revised and the lower gears are shorter to reduce the turbo lag. However, this hasn’t worked too well and there is still noticeable turbo lag which is typical of the new diesels. The turbo kick is something you need to get used to, since the car is quite a rocket once you get the turbo spooled. To overtake, one needs to downshift. As per ARAI testing cycle, the 1.4-litre has a mileage of 23.5kmpl.
Automatic and manual versions both are offered on the 1.6-litre diesel version. This oil burner churns out 126bhp of power and 260Nm of peak torque. This engine is highly refined with low NVH levels. Crank the engine and it will spring to life and settle quickly without much of the clatter drama. The engine has enough torque throughout the rev band and at any time, has sufficient power to overtake. There is a slight turbo lag, which could be a problem in heavy city traffic, but the engine is back in business once it crosses 1800rpm.
Hyundai has definitely introduced new generation engines on the Verna, but the automatic transmission that comes mated to these motors are old-school four-speed boxes. The shifts on the box are slow and lethargic— being no match to the present day auto boxes. Being a four-speeder the fuel economy isn’t very high, and the efficiency as per the Automotive Research Authority India’s (ARAI) cycle is 19.08kmpl, while the manual Verna returns 22.32kmpl. The manual one is a 6-speed box, with slick and positive throws.
Ed's take: The 1.6-litre diesel engine of the Rapid is far superior to its petrol brethren in performance and fuel efficiency. The power delivery is linear and it is fun to drive in the city or the highway. We recommend the diesel version of the Rapid for its sheer pleasure and economy.
With the increasing cost of petrol and higher efficiency of oil burners, manufacturers are tuning petrol cars for better mileage over performance. Similar is the case with the Rapid. The 1.6-litre engine produces 103bhp at 5250rom and a peak torque of 153Nm at 3800rpm. This 1.6-litre petrol engine has a decent turn of pace; however do not expect them to be strenuous. The NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels are fairly low on the petrol version.
One needs to downshift them for quick overtaking manoeuvres, as most of the power is delivered at higher revs and you feel the lack at lower speeds.
5-speed manual: 3.5/5
The 5-speed manual transmission on the 1.6-litre is smooth and the shifts are also positive. This is one of the slickest shifting gearbox in its segment and it is joy to use as well. The Skoda Rapid returns a fuel economy of 15.42kmpl in its manual avatar as per the ARAI cycle.
6-speed automatic: 3/5
The Rapid also gets the option of a six-speed tiptronic self-shifting transmission. The shifts on the Rapid are lethargic and one can rightly say “the box does blunt the engine’s performance”. We wish the Rapid came with the DSGs, but that would have increased the cost of the car. As per the ARAI test, the Rapid returns a fuel economy of 14.4kmpl.
1.6-litre diesel: 4/5
The 1.6-litre diesel engine of the Rapid churns out a power of 103bhp at 4400rpm and a maximum torque of 250Nm at 1500-3000rpm. The NVH levels aren’t low, and there is a lot of diesel clatter on this engine.
This is oil burner is a stonker of a performer and it has deep reserves of torque at low rpm. Plant your right foot and the engine surges you forward. The diesel version of the Rapid outperforms the petrol Rapid not just in fuel economy but also in performance. The 5-speed manual transmission on the 1.6-litre diesel is a delight and the shifts are also positive. This is one of the slickest shifting gearbox in its segment. The oil burner powered Skoda Rapid returns a fuel economy of 20.54kmpl in its manual avatar as per the ARAI cycle.
Hyundai always had a plush ride quality and the Verna is no different. The soft suspension makes the ride good, however the handling is decent.
Engineers in Hyundai have focused to provide the best ride quality for passengers and they have succeeded in this endeavour. The ride suppleness of the Verna is excellent as it irons out most of the jolts on bad and patchy surfaces. The suspension soaks up all the road vibrations keeping the occupants intact.
With soft suspension, the handling cannot be phenomenal. Hence on being chucked into a corner, the car doesn’t respond with the same alacrity as its competitors. To make matters worse, the light steering wheel feels slack and doesn’t weigh up as the car gathers speed. This further reduces the morale of the driver.
Ed's take: The ride on the Rapid is a tad stiff, but most of the road shocks are filtered out. The Rapid lives up to the Skoda badge in the handling department. The well-balanced chassis of the Rapid makes it joy to drive around bends, and even the response from the steering wheel is good as it weighs up well.
These sedans are built for better comfort and hence ride quality on the sedans is pretty much sorted. These cars can go through the potholes with a muted thud and the suspension absorbs most of the jounces and rebounds, keeping the occupants intact. Skoda Rapid has a tad stiffer when compared to competition.
The chassis of the Skoda Rapid is well balanced and this sedan is capable of handling turns at a higher speed. You can push it around bends without a second-thought. The tyres on the Rapid squeal when pushed to their limit— despite the there being sufficient grip. The steering wheel of the Rapid is fantastic. It is exactly how a driving enthusiast would want.