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Old 1st August 2007, 19:12   #1
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Default Verna 1.6xi @ 2000Km

Let me begin by giving a small introduction about my driving route and usage pattern, before going talking about my car. I will also make a small comparison between different cars in this segment, basically, the descision process i used to select the Verna.

I stay in Basavanagudi, and my office is on the Intermediate Ring Road, Koramangala - near the Domlur flyover. There are two main routes that i use to go to office. One route is the Wilson Garden - NIMHANS - St. John's - Koramangala route, which is about 14Km, and the other one is JC Road - Hudson Circle - MG Road - Airport Road route, which is about 17Km. I generally leave by around 8-30, 9 in the morning, and leave office by 5 in the evening. These times are important, as the morning slot is the very very heavy traffic slot, and the evening slot is a light to medium traffic slot. As people staying in Bangalore can attest, the two routes that i have mentioned, are among the heavily plied roads, especially in the morning hours, and i generally have to spend about 45 minutes in the morning, and about 40 minutes in the evening for my commute.On weekends, i generally go on long drives, usually on the outer ring road, from KRpuram, all the way to Silk Board junction (about 30Km), or on the Bangalore-Mysore road, from Bangalore to Srirangapatnam and back(about 100Km one way) - this because i like going on long, fast drives.

In city traffic, i generally maintain a speed of about 60Kmph in 3rd/4th gear, and on highways, i maintain a cruising speed of 140Kmph in the 5th. As you can probably guess, i tend to maintain high revs, close to 5000 on the inbuilt tacho. Even my gear changes are at close to 5500rpm.

A small bit about why i chose the 1.6xi -
  • Before buying the car, i had test driven the Fiesta, Aveo, SRV and the SX4. Of all these cars, i liked the suspension of the Verna the best. My office is in a tech park, and standard to all tech parks, there are plenty of speed breakers - both, the riveted metallic ones, and concrete mount everests - inside the tech park. On these speed breakers, i test drove all the 5 cars, at speeds ranging from crawling slow 15-20kmph, to relatively fast 60kmph, and amongst all these cars, the Verna was the one with the least amount of jerk/impact on this. Honestly, the SX4, when going on these bumps, felt just like my 800.
  • As standard to all tech parks, there was one stretch where you could really accelerate the car. The SRV and Fiesta reached speeds of 80 in the second gear, before i felt the power taper off. The Verna managed near 75, while the SX4 began to run short of breath at 60 itself. Maybe it was something to do with the test cars, but i felt that the SX4 was woefully under powered - almost felt as if i was driving my 800.
  • When it came to the interiors, the SRV was the roomiest of all, probably because of its hatch-back type layout on a sedan chassis. Other than that, the Verna has the most comfortable back seat.
  • Looks-wise, i liked the SRV the most - especially, the one that GM gave for the test drive. It was the SRV with the special Blue (the one that you have to pay an extra 40K for), with additional body skirts and an additional rear spoiler. The overall look was one straight out of NFS most wanted. However, the most irritating thing about the SRV was that GM had taken the lazy, cheap, way out and placed the left hand drive of the American SRV in the right hand seat. This meant that the turn signal indicator controls were located on the left hand of the steering column, and the windshield wiper controls on the right hand side. All during the test drive, i kept turning on the wiper when ever i wanted to turn right!!!!! Not something that i want in a car that i pay 9 lakhs, and then have to replace the windshield within a year because of all the scratches. My next best choice, looks wise, was the Verna. Call me a dope, but i liked the bold headlight styling, and the jet-engine intake like front grill. Plus, with the fog lamps installed, the car looked absolutely stunning.
  • I finally selected the Verna, as i did not feet the SRV worth the 9Lakhs, on road, and i have heard some pretty scary stories about the Ford service in Bangalore. The SX4 was out because of its suspension, and its performance.
I bought my car from Trident Hyundai, and the car config is as follows. Its a 1.6xi, with the standard KENWOOD DPX MP 5040 double din player, with the standard 4 speaker + 2 tweeters, seen on the 1.6xxi. I have installed the imported mag wheels available at the Trident Hyundai showroom, and leather seats, again available from Trident. I went for these accessories from trident itself, as this would reduce hassles when it came to any defects within the warranty period, plus, also the fact that these parts were cheaper by almost 5K at the showroom, compared to other after market shops.

Since a lot has already been said about the Interiors of the car, i will not dwell on this for very long. But a few things that i would like to point out are these
  • The Verna has a "cockpit" style interior, with the central dash column turned slightly towards the driver, so that it is more easily accessible to the driver.
  • I would have loved to have on steering audio controls for the audio system. I have heard that there are some remote control holder available that allow the remote control of the audio unit to be attached to the steering wheel. If anyone knows about this, please let me know....
  • The bottle holders are absolutely brilliant. Each bottle holder (two, in tandem, behind the gear shift, next to the hand-brakes) has four spring loaded clips, so that any sized bottle / cup can be placed in the holder, and these springs will hold it securely. Am not sure if other cars have it, but this keeps bottles from falling off the holder in cases of sudden breaking, and high speed turns. Though no one is allowed to smoke in my car, the ash tray is also quite good. Its completely detachable, and can be moved from the front seat to the back.
  • The Hand brake is placed in an awkward position, in such a way that to get a good grip, you need to squeeze your fingers between the brake handle, and the driver's seat, thus increasing your reaction time in case of an emergency.
Now, on the day-to-day driving performance of the car....

The car is a pleasure to drive. Like i have said before, my commute takes me thought bumper-to-bumper traffic (on JC Road), as well as fast moving, heavy traffic (on Airport road, near the command hospital). By fast moving, i mean speeds of close to 70Kmph, with distances of less than 3-4 feet between vehicles. The handling of the car at these speeds is brilliant. I have had to slam the brakes suddenly, in the fast moving section, and have stopped before hitting the car in front. The car can accelerate with the best on the roads, in day to day traffic, and has more than once, helped me go through multiple signals, just before they turn red, i feat i doubt i could have managed in any other car in this segment. In-spite of my high revs driving, i am getting an average of 10Kmpl in city driving, with AC on. Every time, i have filled in about 35L of petrol, and have gotten 340-350 KM before the next fill of 35L. The car has a low fuel indicator, that turns on when there is about 5L left in the pertol tank, and this is plenty warning to stop for pertol, especially when driving on highways, though i tend to fill the tank when it gets near the "E" mark, which means there is still about 10L left in the tank.

On highways, i get an average of 14Kmpl, and like i said, i maintain cruise speeds of 140Kmph (mostly because i dont want to go faster than that). The fastest i have dared to go, is 165Kmph, though i could feel that the car had a lot more to give, i did not want to abuse the car. My car does not have ABS, and i have had to brake from 140 to 10 - to avoid speed breakers on the highway (near populated areas) - My car does this admirably well. It has never fishtailed, even though i will be turning alongwith the road during this braking. I have even had to slam the brake one, to come to a dead stop from 140kmph, and again, like i said, it has maintained a straight line - albeit with a nice set of tire scorch marks, but like i said, that is the price i pay for not having ABS. Though, i must say that, while braking, my car does seem to have a wish to fishtail to the left, it has never done so.

Since i have just crossed 2000Km, i think the next time i go for a ride, i will push the car to the limits, and see what it can do.
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Old 1st August 2007, 19:42   #2
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@ashwin390 - Very good write up !!!

The verna is no doubt a very very good car amongst petrol midsizers. Hyundai of course is making very very good cars, I have had a total of 5 Hyundais in the last 7 years and drive 2 currently. I love their quality.

Many people ( including many friends ) hate Hyundai, they swear by MUL & Honda, but I only tell them one thing. YOU HAVE TO OWN & DRIVE A HYUNDAI IN INDIA TO SEE HOW IT PERFORMS / GIVES VFM ETC.

Cheers again on this excellent buy, let us know another detailed report on crossing the 5000 km mark.
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Old 1st August 2007, 19:49   #3
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Good review. Your revs are mind blowing
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Old 1st August 2007, 19:49   #4
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Think this is the first review by a Verna Xi owner. Good job with the writeup.
Heard the petrol version gives good mileage and it too sells in decent numbers that was expected.

now,
why didnt you go for XXi?
the tyre are?
why not the Honda City?
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Old 1st August 2007, 19:52   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin390 View Post
  • However, the most irritating thing about the SRV was that GM had taken the lazy, cheap, way out and placed the left hand drive of the American SRV in the right hand seat. This meant that the turn signal indicator controls were located on the left hand of the steering column, and the windshield wiper controls on the right hand side. All during the test drive, i kept turning on the wiper when ever i wanted to turn right!!!!! Not something that i want in a car that i pay 9 lakhs, and then have to replace the windshield within a year because of all the scratches.
Nice write-up man !!!

This is a standard in all Ford , GM cars. I had problems with it when I switched over to Ford from Maruti and sometimes even driving the two cars alternately. But finally I got used to it and now no problems

140 + is damn good velocity. Take care & Drive safe !!
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Old 1st August 2007, 21:03   #6
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Hey, Ashwin,
Nice writeup. Especially nice to note that you're passionate about your Xi.

Most Verna reviews & ownership reports have been on the CRDi, with reviews focusing on the CRDi and probably mentioning the VTVTs as an underpowered sibling.
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Old 1st August 2007, 22:11   #7
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nice review. i own a VErna SX and i too just love my car. im so happy with their *** and attitude towards customer(so far). Its excellent. i own a hyundai already. At first the only thing i didnt like in my car when i bought was it looks, now after looking at it often, im just loving the look of it.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 10:12   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
now,
why didnt you go for XXi?
the tyre are?
why not the Honda City?
well, the xxi was 70k costlier, on road. The advantages that the xxi has over the xi are as follows
  • xxi has the kenwood system as a standard, and it get two tweeters extra. I got both these installed as an option, for 20K. So, the audio of my xi is exactly the same as the audio of a factory fitted xxi
  • the xxi has alloy wheels as standard. however, i did not like the alloys that they gave. I went for the alloys that were available as an accessory from the trident showroom itself. the tyres are Bridegstone 175/90 R14
  • also, the xxi gets an additional meter which gives the "distance to empty" - basically, the distance i can travel before my petrol tank empties out. As i understood it, this reading is based on a volumetirc estimation of the petrol remaining in the tank, and is multiplied by the factory programmed mileage. And its a well known fact that the factory predicted mileages are always well above the actual mileage. The company claims that the verna should get a mileage of 12 in city driving!!!!! had this calulation been based on a dynamic mileage calcualtion, it would have been great. but as per my understanding, this was not the case, so it would only be misleading me into getting into empty tanks!!!
  • The xxi also had an additional "map lamp & sunglasses holder" near the internal rear view mirror, and a luggage holding net in the boot. These i could live without.
  • The xxi also had climate control. My dad has a corolla, and i was not impressed with its climate control. And i do not imagine the climate control of the verna xxi being better than that given on a toyota corolla. So, could live without this also
  • by going for the xi with my selection of accessories, my car is almost at the same level as the xxi, plus for the same cost, i get alloys of my choice, and leather seats/steering cover and gearshift knob.
This i felt was much better value for money as compared to an xxi.

I did not go for the city because of two reasons. It woefully underpowered. Like i said earlier, i love going on long, fast drives. And i felt that the city would not be able to meet my "speed" requirements .
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Old 3rd August 2007, 13:44   #9
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i still do not understand the distance to empty feature in my VERNA SX. i would have been happy if they provided me with average fuel efficency which i found in the manual but not in my car. i don't know why they illtreat the indian customers by cutting these silly things which would be more useful if provided with the car. Not providing an AIR bag option is another example.
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Old 3rd August 2007, 14:47   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin390 View Post
the xxi gets an additional meter which gives the "distance to empty" - basically, the distance i can travel before my petrol tank empties out. As i understood it, this reading is based on a volumetirc estimation of the petrol remaining in the tank, and is multiplied by the factory programmed mileage.
Damn, using a factory hard-coded mileage is quite stupid on Hyundai's part. I would rather they tell me how many litres are present in the tank (as a number, not an angle on the fuel gauge), and let me make a seat-of-the-pants guesstimate to the distance to empty.
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Old 27th August 2007, 10:35   #11
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Default verna petrol / diesel ashwin390

dear ashwin390,

thank you for that review - it was extremely useful. i have a few doubts - we are planning to buy a verna too, after much research and test driving (even between categories! - we were finally down to the innova, verna and swift!!!) of course chose the verna, but now not sure between petrol and diesel. so my doubts are -
why did you not consider the diesel?

our usage is currently not very high, but if we tried am sure over 4 years we could drive more (especially on weekends and driving holidays that we take). isnt it better to have the flexibility of the diesel advantage in the long run? (long run i mean over the bnext 4 years - thats our loan period).
currently xi is 6.44 lakh, xxi is 7.02 lakh and diesel sx is 8.04 lakh. what do you advise us?

also we have an office deal that is 2474 emi per lakh for 4 years - we have to pay 15% as residual value at the end, or 2555 emi per lakh for 4 years with a 10% residual value. do you think this is ok? which one is better?

please let us know asap as we have to make our decision immediately.

greatly appreciate the help, thanks,
d
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Old 27th August 2007, 11:51   #12
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Well, the reason i did not go for the diesel was the fact that, compared to the ex-factory price of the xxi, the sx is 1 lakh costlier, and is not a feature to feature match. the sx, if i am not mistaken, is the diesel equivalent of the xi. so, i did not feel that the additional 1.7 lakhs was warranted.

Also, my daily driving is about 30km - office and back - and for such short drives, the diesel is not really worth it.

Considering that i use speed or shell premium, which is at about 52 Rs a litre, the 1.7 lakhs difference should result in about 3200 litres of petrol. I need about 20 litres a week (i get an average of 10kmpl, and i drive about 50kms on the weekends, partying with my friends, making it a total of 200kms) which would make it about 1040 litres a year, or about 3120 litres in 3 years. So, by my logic, the 1.7 lakhs that i am not paying for the diesel should directly help me pay for 3 years of pertol!!!.

My loan gets repaid in 3 years, after which, i would probably change my car anyways.

However, in your case, you will need to calculate and see how much you will be able to save by going in for the diesel verna.

Coming to your payment options, it will all come down to how much of a loan you are applying for. At any rates, if i understand correctly, 15% of the residual value would mean that after the car's value has been depreciated in the books of the company for 4 years, you will have to pay 15% of the residual value. Generally, the depreciation rates for such assets is about 30%, meaning that the vehicle will lose 30% of it value every year.

Assuming 30% depreciation, at the end of 4 years, the car's value will be 24.01% (0.7x0.7x0.7x0.7) of its original value. You will need to pay either 10% or 15% of 24% of the original car value. In this case, you are better off with the 2474 per lakh, as the total money that you will pay out will be less. Assuming that you go for a 100% financing and you buy a 1.6xi, which is 7.5 on road, you will pay a total of 2474x7.5x48 = 8,90,640. To this, if you add the 15% of the residual value, which is calcuated on the ex-showroom price, it will be 0.15x0.24x6.44 Lakhs, which will be 23,193 Rs., bring your total price to 9,13,833 Rs. However, if you go for the 2555 option, the price would be 9,35,262 Rs., which is about 21,428 Rs costlier.

Like i said, you will need to recalculate these figures keeping in mind the amount of loan you want to take, the prepayment options (considering that you may want to leave the company before these 4 years are completed), the actual depreciation rate in your company (your company finance guys should be able to help you with this) and other such considerations.

hope this helped.
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Old 27th August 2007, 15:58   #13
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Good write up, happy and safe driving!
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Old 27th August 2007, 16:20   #14
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Good write up!
Ashwin, with your kind of driving dont you think the VGT with 110 bhp and 24 Kgn of torque will be better for the adrenalin rush? I understand that daily usage do not justify the mileage for a diesel car, but the drivability and power flow from the VGT mill is amazing, is n't it? Just curious.
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Old 27th August 2007, 16:52   #15
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Nice review. I test drove both Verna Petrol and Diesel, but the Petrol version could not match the Diesel. Once you put on the 1 st gear and accelerate it goes like a rocket and need to put the seat belts, but the petrol version didn't attract me. I had a plan to diesel one but since my running km is very less and the diesel version is very expensive having basic features, have to go for a petrol car. Due to other factors I went for SX4.
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