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Toyota Yaris vs Hyundai Verna vs Honda City: Petrol Automatic Comparison Review

Published On May 16, 2018 By Tushar for Toyota Yaris

Does Toyota’s midsize sedan have what it takes to draw you away from stalwarts like the Honda City and Hyundai Verna?

City vs Verna vs Yaris

Cars Tested: Hyundai Verna Petrol AT SX (O) / Honda City Petrol AT ZX / Toyota Yaris VX AT

Engine: Verna - 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol | 123PS/151Nm vs City - 1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol | 119PS/145NM vs Yaris - 1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol | 107PS/140Nm

Verna Road Test Fuel Economy: 12.17kmpl (City) / 18.43kmpl (Highway)

City Road Test Fuel Economy: 11.21kmpl (City) / 16.54kmpl (Highway)

Yaris Road Test Fuel Economy: 16.40kmpl (City) / 16.31kmpl (Highway)

Price As Tested: Hyundai Verna: Rs 12.56 lakh | Honda City: Rs 13.70 lakh | Toyota Yaris: Rs 14.07 lakh (All prices ex-showroom, Delhi)

Pros

Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris

  • Excellent ride quality. Very stable and comfortable, no matter the road condition or speed.

  • CVT automatic is easy and relaxing to drive. Very fuel efficient as well, especially in the city.

  • Noise insulation is very effective. Keeps occupants cut off from the outside world.

Honda City

  • Palatial cabin. Spacious enough for four adults who are well over 6ft tall.

  • Wow design inside and out. A car that makes you want it.

  • Steering is the most engaging to use in this competition.

Hyundai Verna

  • 6-speed automatic transmission is very responsive and intuitive. Makes driving a hassle-free experience.

  • Comfortable ride quality. Not as good as the Yaris but close.

  • Consistent fit, finish and build quality both inside and out.

Cons

City vs Verna vs Yaris

Toyota Yaris

  • Infotainment system looks aftermarket, takes a lot of time to boot and is illegible under direct sunlight. Not expected at a premium price.

  • Cabin space is average for something of this size. Three abreast will be uncomfortable.

  • Few feature misses: Reach-adjustable steering, auto-dimming IRVM, LED headlights, sunroof, vanity mirror illumination.

Honda City

Honda City

  • Sub-par noise insulation.

  • Stiff ride quality. Bad roads will see occupants getting uncomfortable.

  • Fit, finish and build quality, while decent, aren’t as good as the Verna’s or Yaris’.

Hyundai Verna

  • Rear seat space is average for the segment.

  • Design is functionally perfect but lacks the “wow” factor. Comes across as a bit bland.

Standout Features

Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris

  • 60:40 split folding rear seat

  • Front parking sensors

  • Roof-mounted AC vents

  • 7 airbags as standard

  • Noise insulation windows

  • Powered driver’s seat

  • Infotainment system with gesture control

  • Wi-Fi, Miracast and HDMi connectivity, along with MirrorLink

  • 4.2-inch TFT MID

Honda City

Honda City

  • All LED exterior and interior lighting

  • Reach-adjustable steering

  • Wi-Fi and HDMi connectivity, along with MirrorLink

Hyundai Verna

Hyundai Verna

  • Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, along with MirrorLink connectivity

  • Ventilated seats

  • Smart trunk

  • Projector front fog lights

Exterior

Honda City

The Honda City may be the oldest car here but it certainly doesn’t seem so. With the 2016 facelift, the Honda City looks like the most youthful car of the lot and even comes across as the biggest car here. What the City does well is offer a lot of flash value. Its daytime running LEDs look the best integrated while the all-LED exterior lighting adds a healthy dose of WOW to the styling. There’s a heavy dose of cuts and creases across the body and while it has 16-inch wheels like the Hyundai Verna, the design is far more daring.

Toyota Yaris

On the other end of the spectrum is the Toyota Yaris. While Toyota’s breadwinners, the Fortuner and Innova, have radical new designs, the Yaris takes a different approach. The use of chrome, cuts and creases is minimal. While the competition offers 16-inch wheels, the Toyota Yaris sticks with 15-inchers. Not to mention, the wheel design is bland as white sauce pasta. One place where the Yaris gets a bit cheeky is the front end, with the plus-sized air dam and narrow grille. While it does make the styling look less subdued, it isn’t a universally likeable face. That said, it is the most sombre of the lot and that did seem to click with the Yaris’ target audience: buyers over 30 years in age.

Also ReadToyota Yaris: First Drive Review

Hyundai Verna

It’s the Hyundai Verna that takes the healthy middle ground. The car sports a low-slung design and coupe-like roof, but the Fluidic 2.0 design is classy and not loud. The usage of chrome is tasteful and the 16-inch wheel design is sporty but not as flashy as the City’s. The Verna doesn’t get LED headlights but the projector fog lights with cornering lamps work excellently in low light conditions. In our opinion, its Elantra-inspired rear end also looks the best and most well-proportioned here.

Like we saw in our previous comparison, the finish and build quality of the Verna is a benchmark and that doesn’t change even with the entry of the Yaris.

Interior

Honda City

Let’s cut straight to the chase. The Honda City is still the king of cabin space. Not only is the maximum knee room the highest in this competition, the minimum knee room is a full 140mm more than its closest rival here, the Toyota Yaris. Honda’s intelligent use of cabin space also makes this the only car where you can seat three in the rear, since it has the most shoulder room, headroom and the widest seat too.

Front

Legroom (min-max)

Knee room (min-max)

Seat base length

Seat base width

Honda City

980-1200mm

580-800mm

510mm

510mm

Hyundai Verna

1030-1270mm

600-815mm

510mm

500mm

Toyota Yaris 

870-1070mm

575-810mm

480mm

485mm

That aside, the Honda City’s large glass area and smart combination of light beige and dark black make this feel like a car that’s a size larger. The badi gaadi experience is complemented by the 510-litre boot which is more accommodating than its rivals’. Some cool touches like the LED interior lighting, soft-touch pad on the dashboard and touch panel AC also help make the cabin feel fancy.

Toyota Yaris

The Yaris feels even fancier on the inside and it does so by focusing on the senses. Touch the leather on the seats and door pads and you find it’s of a better quality than the others here. Even the cabin plastics feel premium, and soft fabric touches around the cabin make it feel all the more upmarket. What really stands out is the cabin insulation. Shut the doors and the Toyota Yaris completely cuts you off from the outside world. On the move, the Yaris is the most peaceful cabin to be in. It’s also the most senior citizen-friendly, since the seats don’t sit as low as they do in the City or Verna.

Rear

Shoulder room

Headroom

Seat base length

Seat base width

Honda City

1325mm

895mm

480mm

1300mm

Hyundai Verna

1315mm

875mm

490mm

1260mm

Toyota Yaris

1275mm

890mm

435mm

1260mm

Much like the Honda City, the Toyota Yaris has a great sense of space. Keyword being sense, as it’s largely down to the light beige interior. Take that out of the equation and you find that the Yaris isn’t as spacious as it seems. The knee room is just enough to seat two six-footers one behind the other and taller passengers will want for more headroom. One thing is clear: the Yaris is a 4-seater. The cabin simply isn’t wide enough for 3 abreast and the intrusive front armrest console makes matters worse.

Hyundai Verna

However, it’s good for a chauffeur-driven owner or a small family, while ensuring that the cabin still feels special. That’s where the Hyundai Verna falls behind. The overall design is a bit too familiar and those upgrading from say, a Hyundai Xcent, may not find it to be that much of an upgrade.

Rear

Knee room (min-max)

Honda City

790mm-1000mm

Hyundai Verna

600mm-840mm

Toyota Yaris

650mm-815mm

Also, the Verna’s darker cabin robs it of that sense of space, as does the sloping roof that eats into the rear headroom. Suffice it to say, the Hyundai Verna too is a 4-seater only. But, quality is still top notch and consistent. The seats also offer great all-round support, while the slightly firm cushioning makes it long drive-friendly. And there’s one place where the Verna punches back.

Technology

Toyota Yaris

Every car here offers something unique and there’s a lot in common too. Push-button start, smart key, auto AC, touchscreen infotainment, rear camera, cruise control and armrests at the front and rear are common to all.

Hyundai Verna

But the Hyundai Verna strikes the healthiest balance of sensibility and novelty. All three have 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment systems with navigation and MirrorLink, but the Verna’s is the only one to offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Importantly, it has the quickest overall response and has the cleanest user interface. It also offers ventilated seats which proved to be a major boon in our 40-degrees Celcius+ test conditions. No, it doesn’t have LED headlights like the Honda City, but the projector headlights proved to offer a better light spread at night, making us use the high beam less while driving on unlit village roads.

A major boon are the projector fog lights with cornering lamps which work excellently. Even the rear camera is the nicest here, since it’s the only one to offer dynamic guidelines that make parking easier. The smart trunk works every time too, but if you’re having a chat near the boot, there’s a good chance the boot will keep popping open (if you have the key with you).

Toyota Yaris

The Yaris is the newest on the block and makes a statement with its segment-first features. Front parking sensors, a powered driver’s seat, a 60:40 split folding rear bench, the 4.2-inch TFT MID and the best of all, rear roof-mounted AC. It’s the most effective at cooling the rear bench quickly and the rudder-like vents give it a wider air spread. It’s also the only car to offer three rear headrests and a 3-point seatbelt for the middle occupant.

However, it has some annoyances. The lack of a dead pedal and the narrow footwell will often see your left foot resting almost directly underneath the brake pedal. And then there’s the infotainment system. Not only does it look aftermarket, the touch response is a bit laggy, and the screen itself is difficult to use under direct sunlight. Pairing Bluetooth devices take a bit too long as well and the interface just isn’t as pleasing to the eyes as it is in the City or Verna. Oh yes, and because of the India-exclusive roof-mounted AC, there’s no sunroof (offered in some markets overseas).

Honda City

Honda does offer a sunroof with the City (Verna gets it too) but the overall features list is focused more towards novelty than functionality. Save for the LED interior lighting and reach-adjustable steering, there’s not much unique in here. The Digipad infotainment system is definitely better to use than the Yaris’ head unit but it still isn’t as good as the Verna’s. That said, if it’s punchy music you like, the Honda City’s 8-speaker sound system does a better job than the 6-speaker setups of the Verna or Yaris. However, one silly miss is rear parking sensors.

Performance

City vs Verna vs Yaris

None of these cars will let you down, as far as the drive experience is concerned. But if it’s calm and comfortable you’re after, the Yaris is the way to go. What strikes you the most is the car’s refinement. There are no vibrations or any harshness to speak of. The only time the engine is really audible is when you have to punch the throttle. In everyday city traffic, the Toyota Yaris is smooth, relaxed and easy to drive.

 

Toyota Yaris

Hyundai Verna

Honda City

Acceleration (0-100kmph)

13.39 seconds

12.04 seconds

11.90 seconds

Kickdown (20-80kmph)

8.36 seconds

7.14 seconds

8.22 seconds

Its CVT has been tuned very well too and doesn’t make the engine gain and lose revs unnecessarily. This behaviour also helps fuel efficiency, and if you’re a calm driver, the Yaris rewards you heavily. However, it’s not a particularly engaging or punchy engine. The power and torque output are the lowest in this competition. Power delivery is flat throughout the rev range and the Yaris was the slowest in the 0-100kmph sprint.

Honda City

 

Toyota Yaris

Hyundai Verna

Honda City

Claimed FE (kmpl)

17.1 MT, 17.8 CVT

17.70 (MT), 15.92 (AT)

17.4 (MT), 18 (CVT

Tested FE (kmpl) (highway/city)

16.31 / 16.40

18.43 / 12.17

16.54 / 11.21

If it’s driving drama you want, it’s the City that’ll satisfy you. With a 0-100kmph time of 11.90 seconds, it’s the quickest here and the engine itself doesn’t mind being revved hard. The i-VTEC is an engine that’s game for some fun, especially when you slot it into S (Sport) mode. But while this engine is revered for its refinement, it’s defeated on this count. Both the Yaris and Verna are smoother to drive and are quieter too. The biggest stumbling block is the CVT. It’s essentially the same technology as the Yaris’ transmission but feels older, makes the revs fluctuate more and isn’t as responsive. The throttle response isn’t as direct as the Yaris either and can feel a bit jerky at times. This also takes its toll on fuel efficiency in the city.

Related: Toyota Yaris CVT vs Hyundai Verna Automatic: Real World Mileage Comparison

Hyundai Verna

Braking

Toyota Yaris

Hyundai Verna

Honda City

100-0kmph

3.37 secs / 43.61m

2.96 secs / 42.19m

3.20 secs / 41.14m

80-0kmph

2.71 secs / 27.20m

2.32 secs / 26.26m

2.60 secs / 26.23m

Here too, it’s the Verna that strikes the best balance. It isn’t as relaxed or smooth as the Yaris but presents no unpleasant surprises. Driving it is as difficult as blinking and when you want to punch it, the Verna doesn’t hesitate or express resentment. It’s marginally slower in the 0-100kmph sprint than the Honda City but the traditional torque converter transmission helps make it over a second quicker than its rivals when it comes down to in-gear acceleration. Gear changes are super smooth as well and under part throttle, they’re almost imperceptible. The only thing missing are paddle shifters, which both the Honda and Toyota get.

Related: Toyota Yaris CVT vs Hyundai Verna Automatic vs Honda City CVT – Real-World Performance Compared

Ride & Handling

Toyota Yaris

It’s simple, the Toyota Yaris is without challenge when it comes to ride quality. Thanks to its brilliant suspension tune and larger tyre sidewalls, it deals with bad road and sharp edges perfectly. Road imperfections rarely make their way into the cabin and thanks to the cabin insulation, the most you will hear is a little road noise. You might think that it’s set up soft but it isn’t. It doesn’t wallow through corners nor does it bounce about at high speeds. Even over highway undulations with a full load, the 2018 Yaris remains stable.

The Verna is also very comfortable to be in but there are a few areas where it doesn’t match the Toyota. Continuous broken roads will see occupants experience constant side to side movement. Also, sharp edges can be felt and heard as thuds, especially from the rear suspension. It’s a lovely setup standalone, just that the Yaris is better.

Unfortunately, ride comfort in the Honda City is something you will only experience on good roads. It is the black sheep here. Potholes and rough patches are not only felt through the cabin, you can hear them as well. Bad patches will see you slow down to avoid hearing the suspension crashing. However, it is plenty stable at high speeds and settles quickly after sudden lane changes. The steering is also the most responsive of this lot. It’s a little more fun to drive than the Verna and miles better than the Toyota Yaris. The Toyota has a great suspension tune for enthusiastic driving but the steering is devoid of feedback. Worse still, it never weighs up right, even as the speeds increase.

Safety

All cars here get ABS with EBD and ISOFIX as standard. But, apart from the ride quality, another place where the Yaris excels is in safety kit. While the Hyundai Verna and Honda City offer 6 airbags in the topmost variants (dual front as standard), the Yaris offers 7 right from the base grade!

Toyota Yaris Front Parking Sensors

The Toyota Yaris also gets front and rear parking sensors, rear wheel disc brakes, vehicle stability control, rear fog lights and hill start assist.

Both the Honda City and Hyundai Verna come with auto-dimming interior rear view mirrors. The Honda City offers a rear multi-view camera but oddly, it misses out on rear parking sensors. Hyundai does offer rear parking sensors and the rearview camera gets dynamic guidelines too, unlike its competitors. The Verna also gets projector fog lights with cornering lamps.

Verdict

City vs Verna vs Yaris

And the winner is… no one! In this comparison, each car brings something unique to the table which makes them cater to a specific need better than the others.

The Honda City’s major selling point remains its cabin space. Neither the Yaris nor the Verna can hold a candle to the sheer amount of room available in it. Not to mention, it has the most practical boot. It’s also the car that in spite of its weak ride, noise insulation and thirst makes you want it for its wow design. If you’re a family of tall people or have a weak spot for the badi gaadi experience, the Honda City will be difficult to walk away from, especially since at Rs 13.70 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), it’s cheaper than the 2018 Yaris. Related: Toyota Yaris Vs Honda City – Spec Comparison

But even with its premium price of Rs 14.07 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) the Toyota Yaris does make you want to do that. It’s not as spacious as the City but feels ages more premium and mature. The ride comfort and noise insulation are praiseworthy, while the drive experience is therapeutically smooth. Also, while the VX grade is expensive, the G variant does deliver great value, especially considering the standard safety. A go-to choice if you’re chauffeur-driven, don’t need the excess cabin space of the City and want it for Toyota’s excellent ownership experience.

City vs Verna vs Yaris

At Rs 12.56 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Hyundai Verna is the most sensible pick of the lot. It’s on par with the Yaris for space, rides and drives almost as well and offers great quality and features, all while being over Rs 1 lakh cheaper than both its rivals! The interior design could’ve been a little more special, but that aside, the Hyundai Verna does nothing wrong.

Ultimately, it boils down to what you want from your car. Related: Toyota Yaris Vs Hyundai Verna – Spec Comparison

Words By: Tushar Kamath

Photography: Vikrant Date

Toyota Yaris

Variants*Ex-Showroom Price New Delhi
J (Petrol)Rs. 9.29 Lakh*
J CVT (Petrol)Rs. 9.99 Lakh*
G (Petrol)Rs. 10.56 Lakh*
V (Petrol)Rs. 11.7 Lakh*
G CVT (Petrol)Rs. 11.76 Lakh*
VX (Petrol)Rs. 12.85 Lakh*
V CVT (Petrol)Rs. 12.9 Lakh*
VX CVT (Petrol)Rs. 14.07 Lakh*

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