The Fluidic Verna has been a runaway success for Hyundai. Everyone liked the Fluidic Sculpture and this became the new design language across the Hyundai product range. This year the Korean manufacturer revived the Fluidic Verna and we get our hands on the Fluidic Verna Model Year 2014 and tell you if it is any better and if it can still retain its 40 percent market share. We pit this, to the all new Honda City and tell you the correct sedan.
The Fluidic Verna’s design has been liked by several and this is one of the reasons why this vehicle has been successful. Prior to this, the Verna Transform was sort of dull in design. Its like a shift from an old HMT watch to a Fossil. The next-generation Verna is the first vehicle for the Indian market to get the Fluidic sculpture. The 2014 Model Year gets projector headlamps and daytime running LEDs. This makes the Verna look a lot more stylish and of course the LED contributes to the glam factor.
The silhouette of the Fluidic Verna remains the same. There aren’t any major changes on that. The crisp swage line runs across the sedan and it rises as you move towards the rear. The rear of the Verna is stylish, with the tail lamps extending to the fender and the slot for the license plate. The overall styling of the Verna is just brilliant. The Honda City does resemble a lot to its predecessor on the outside. Maybe Honda didn’t want to experiment too much with the design. The dimensions are the same, however the wheelbase on the new City is longer. The front has a cab forward design and the styling is sharp, just like a ninja’s blade. The rear has a brand new design that makes it look very European. The silhouette remains similar like the previous Honda City.
The interiors of the Verna are stylish and contemporary. It has a flowing centre console design that splits the driver’s side from the co-driver’s. The instrument panel has a nice combination of black and beige that makes it look sophisticated. The quality of materials used on the Verna is top-notch and even the fit and finish of the materials is good. The features list on the Hyundai Verna is long. It gets electrically folding mirrors, reverse parking camera, automatic climate control etc. The space on the Verna is good, it has comfortable seating at the front. The recline on them is good and even the space that they offer is sufficient for someone who is six-feet. The rear seats are also spacious and comfortable. They have sufficient headroom and legroom too. The rear seat headrest can be adjusted too.
The Honda City on the other hand has brand new interiors. These are trendy and look and feel good. There is the new Honda steering wheel design with the new-generation instrument cluster. The dashboard gets LCD screen and first-in-class touch automatic climate control. If you think the Verna comes with several brownies, then its time to see the City’s exhaustive list. It gets sunroof, colour screen as extra features over the Verna. Honda has ensured that it will leave no stone unturned when it comes to the new generation Honda City. The space on the City is brilliant again. It has sufficient room in the front and even at the back. The City has more knee room for the rear passengers, however the head rest is fixed and the head room too, could have been better. It has a massive boot too, however the access to it is poor.
Engine and Transmisison:
The Verna comes with a 1.6-litre diesel engine, while the Honda City has a 1.5-litre diesel mill. Verna produces 125bhp of power and it comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The power produced by this engine is good enough to drive in the city or the highway. It has a strong mid-range and very low on NVH. However, there is a prominent turbo lag, which means one needs to downshift a bit more often. The power produced by the oil burner is good and it doesn’t feel out of breath at any point. It does well in the city and even on the highway. The six-speed manual transmission is a bit rubbery, it does feel notchy especially when you need to shift quickly. It is more due to the fact that the slots are too close to each other. The Verna diesel returned us about 13-14km/l in city driving.
The City gets the 1.5-litre i-DTEC oil burner that produces 100bhp of power and 200nm of torque. This is the same mill that powers the Amaze also, however this has a six-speed manual transmission instead of a five. The six-speeder makes power linear and even there is no turbo lag below 1500rpm. The City doesn’t struggle to pull even in lower gears. It has a strong mid-range, however the NVH isn’t that low. This is an aluminium engine, hence is light and Honda uses a special low-friction oil for better efficiency. The result is that we got 15km/l in city driving.
The Verna has good ride quality and the handle has been decent. The only complaint we had was the high-speed stability. Hyundai engineers have worked on that and have improved the ride and handling to a great extent. The way the Verna now drives is just brilliant. The ride is pliant even at speeds in excess of 150km/hr. The Verna’s new driving dynamics even solves the braking issue. The Honda City on the other hand has soft suspension. The ride is supple on smooth road, however it is a tad bumpy at the rear on bad roads. The handling is good and even the ground clearance is good. All we wish the tyres on the City were a bit meatier for better handling.
The Verna and City come close when it comes to value for money. The City is a tad more expensive, but it also offers more features. If you do not have a budget constrain than the City is the choice for you. However, Hyundai is offering several powertrain options, increasing the flexibility for the buyer.