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Old 30th March 2009, 17:57   #1
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Default My Predator - Ebony Black Hyundai Verna CRDI SX ABS - 100,000 kms update on pg 15

After a nearly 2 year stint in Ahmedabad, I finally got the desired transfer to Kolkata, my home town. My office here is almost 20kms from my house. Taxis were too expensive to sustain on a monthly basis, and all other transportation options in Kolkata border on the edge of archaic/painfully slow. We already had an Indica at home, but more often than not my mom (an active socialite and an absolutely kamikaze driver)would be driving it around town! Dad had his own office car. This meant I had to purchase a car for my own, to satisfy my daily office commute as well as my (never-ending, sigh!) social commitments.

I was looking for a sedan around the 8-9L mark. I am a reasonably fast driver, and love to do long trips outside town. My preferences were Performance, Space and Features (in that order). The following cars were considered:

Ford Fiesta: I have been a fan of this marque for a long time. An uncle had an Ikon 1.6ZXi, and I had driven that car on many long drives outside town. However, the Fiesta proved to be an underwhelming experience. The diesel seemed too slow, and not something worth spending that much money on (remember, performance was my first criteria!). The petrol was quite powerful and a good handler. But my parents hated the interiors of the sport model. The petrol top model felt too pricey. Moreover, the dealer was quoting an insane 16pct interest rate! In the end, felt that the Fiesta was simply not worth so much.

Chevrolet Aveo: A very good looking car. The GM dealer in Kolkata was giving us a very good discount and interest rates. But the car itself felt slightly wallowy, and the petrol 1.4 felt too strained. Surprisingly, even my mother (a firm supporter of beauty over substance) wasnt too impressed with the looks.

Chevrolet Optra Magnum: Though clearly out of budget, I took a TD nevertheless. A beautiful car! Very well equipped, very powerful (the diesel) and a therapeutic driving experience. My only criticism was that it felt like a barge while driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Ultimately, out of budget stayed out of budget.

Mitsubishi Lancer: Though the Lancer was a childhood fascination, the adult me quickly rejected it once I visited the showroom. The car came with 165/80 tyres (too high pro to promise even decent handling), the dealer did not have a model ready for TD, and a 88BHP engine seemed too passe for this day and age.

Mitsubishi Cedia: Now this was the most serious contender to the Verna. Everything seemed perfect with it. The engine was whisper quiet and powerful, the car was beautifully furnished, handled well, and even the base model came fully equipped with Airbags, ABS & EBD. Plus the dealer was offering me a 1L discount (not kidding) which brought its price right into my budget. My mother was crazy about it. Had almost signed on the dotted line for a Blue Cedia Select when the Verna happened.

(At this point, I would like to make it clear to the HC fans that I was never considering the NHC. I hate the looks of the car, and the NHC handles like a pig compared to the OHC, which I so loved).

The TD experience

To be honest, I never really liked the looks of the Verna. I still dont. The only reason I walked into a Hyundai showroom was because I was considering the Accent as a budget option. After TDing the (quite predictable) Accent, I was having a casual chat with the sales guy. He was informed of my priorities, and he meekly suggested that I take a test drive of the Verna Diesel. I laughed in his face, saying "Boss, I want performance, not mileage!". He quietly said "Sir, aap ekbar gaadi TD to karke dekho" The next Sunday he was at my house with a TD CRDI.

And from the moment I turned the ignition on and engaged first gear, I was a convert!!!! The initial pick-up was pleasant enough. Then we got on to the main road, and I put the car in second and floored the throttle. The savage acceleration actually pushed me back, and the car picked up speed like crazy! This with 4 people (me, my parents and the sales guy on board). I took the car on to the expressway and took it upto 140. Not a single rattle, no let-up in acceleration. My heart wanted more but I resisted (since it was a TD car). Spent the next 20 minutes wildly zig-zagging around Salt Lake roads (they're quite empty on Sunday afternoons, so no risk). The car's handling was adequate, at best. The braking wasnt very confidence inspiring either, but the sales guy assured me that the optional ABS+ Rear Discs package would take care of that. Most often though, I was flooring the car and laughing off at the surge it provided! After a looong TD, as I waved goodbye to the sales guy, I was standing there with a wide grin on my face.

The purchase experience

After the TD, spent 3 days debating between the Cedia and the Verna. The former lost out due to 2 reasons. Firstly, it was a petrol. Considering I would be doing about 1100Kms in a month, the running costs of the petrol Cedia would be almost 1.8 times that of the diesel Verna (do the math). Any long drives I took would also cost more. Secondly, I heard very favourable reviews of Hyundai A.S.S. in Kolkata, while reviews of Mitsubishi owners were not only hard to come by, but adequate at best. (I owned a Maruti 800 earler which was replaced by a Tata Indica. I was tired of the niggling problems on that car and was dying to get back to good A.S.S. standards, where problems were listened to and taken care of once and for all). Ultimately booked an Ebony Black Verna CRDI SX ABS on 11th September 2008.

The dealer promised delivery within 15 days, and on cue, called me on 25th Sep saying the car was ready. I took delivery on 27th Sep. Though there were no problems with the car itself, the documentation had quite a few issues. (Read about my delivery woes on Pras.Oct's Verna ownership thread.) Thankfully, they have all been resolved by now.

Living with it - The ownership experience

The car has been with me for 6 months now, 6.5K kms and 2 services old.

Engine and Drivetrain: The Engine of the CRDI is beyond criticism. Its a total powerhouse, responsive at all speeds and throttle positions. The power-spread continues unabated till 130-140ks. I have done 165Kmph as my fastest so far. The car is quite noisy at startup, but the clatter goes down dramatically once the engine warms up. Its the only point-and-shoot diesel I have driven. (For you dirty minds out there, I meant Point into a gap in traffic and Shoot forward). The gearbox is about average, although the fantastic power spread ensures that I dont have to change gears much to stay in the powerband.

Ride and Handling: The car has the best ride quality of all the cars (except the Optra) I had tested. Very absorbent ride on all surfaces, cossets the occupants at speed. The 185/65 Bridgestone tubeless tyres have good cushioning. Plus the fact that the cabin is super-insulated means a stress-free, comfortable driving experience is ensured.

Contrary to what all auto magazines claim, I DID NOT find the handling too wallowy. Agreed, its not a natural driver's car like the OHC or the Civic, but its not too bad. I tend to drive any car by the scruff of the neck, and the chassis and tyres have taken all punishment I have dished out with a lot of poise.

Another plus point is the manouverability of the car. I find no problems driving around even in congested North Kolkata roads. It is predictable and safe. The turning circle is also pretty neat. Part of it could be due to the fact that the wheels are pushed out to the edges and there is very little front overhang.

Space and Features: Interior space is very good. We are a family of 4 tall people with heavy builds, and all of us fit in comfortably in the car. Useful touches like the Driver's armrest and the abundance of cupholders and cubbyholes are well appreciated.

The car is rich on features. The factory fitted Kenwood Music system (Double DIN, plays CDs, MP3s, Radios and Cassetes) is of good quality. Very good midrange and clarity. Would ask Metal fans to fit an additional subwoofer for enhanced bass though. AFAIK, Hyundai have changed the ICE on the 2009 Verna. Its no longer a Kenwood, and no longer has a cassette player.

Its got many classy features like a lit glovebox, lit boot, damped sunglass holder etc. The boot is claimed to be only 390 litres, but feels good enough for most purposes.

FE: The car was giving me a FE of 13-14kmpl from the outset. Now it has improved to about 16-17kmpl. I would like to make it clear that I'm not a stickler for FE, and not the kind that stands around in pumps with furried eyebrows and a glass ruler in hand! However, in these recessionary times, such good FE is definitely a bonus.

After Sales Service: Thankfully, Hyundai A.S.S has been as good as expected. On my first service, they offered a pickup-and-drop. The car reached my home at night gleaming.

This time I took my car personally for the second service. The customer care executive patiently heard me out. He did a free(!!!) touch up job on the few scratches the car had gathered over the last 6 months. A rattle had surfaced on the left door side after the first service, which was promtly taken care of. In addition to the usual costs of 2nd service, I also got a Teflon (re) coating done. Best of all, as Hyundai Customer Service Week was going on, I got a 20pct off on all costs. The car was delivered on time. Very, very satisfactory!

The company calls me once every month to take feedback on the ownership experience. I dont know whether this is standard with all Hyundai/all Verna owners across the country!

Other incidents/accidents: As with all cars that lead a Life in a Metro (heh heh), My Verna has had its usual share of scratches and dents. My Kamikaze driver mom has brushed both left and right fenders (now touched up after 2nd service) in separate accidents. Once I was reversing in a narrow lane, close to an apartment gate, and the stupid (and blind, I guess) watchman opened the gate outward bang on my car's boot. The dent still remains.

The worst incident was when a drunkard banged his Santro into my car's rear (right side) on New Years Eve. It was a deep depression, and the paint had come off. Next morning, I unscrewed the boot's inside panel and managed to push out most of the depression. However, a small crescent still remains.

To sum up, I think the Verna is the best all-rounder car in the C segment. My only grouse with the car is that it has weak headlamps. Very scary if you're driving on a highway in the rain. I tried replacing them with Xenon HIDs. but was told (by Hyundai service people) that it would void the electronics warranty.

Modifications done

So far, all mods have been purely cosmetic. Read on:

1) Yongle 14" Alloys (stock tyres)
2) G-Sport crimson-beige dual colour, art leather upholstery.
3) Llumar Sunfilm all around (including an anti-glare film for the front windscreen)
4) Teflon coating every 6 months. Also Underbody Rubber Paint and a Special Imported protective paint for the silencer.
5) Hyundai original protective cover. Very light, anti-scratch material, good heat retention.

Next on the list are a body kit and HIDs. Keep reading this post. Pics will be put up soon.
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Old 30th March 2009, 18:27   #2
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Very very well written predator. You are obviously quite fond of your car, that's why you're on this site!
Instead of xenons you could upgrade to a 100/90 with relays, I don't think that'll hamper your warranty. Speak to your service guy.
0t- What was otr cedia?
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Old 30th March 2009, 18:32   #3
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Very very well written predator. You are obviously quite fond of your car, that's why you're on this site!
Instead of xenons you could upgrade to a 100/90 with relays, I don't think that'll hamper your warranty. Speak to your service guy.
0t- What was otr cedia?
Thank You.

As per the service guys, any modification done to the existing wiring would void the warranty. Would still ask your specific question, though.

The Cedia OTR was coming to 8.7L.
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Old 30th March 2009, 18:35   #4
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Congrats on getting the Torque Monster

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As per the service guys, any modification done to the existing wiring would void the warranty. Would still ask your specific question, though.
I believe if no wires are cut then it wont but still consult as its a new car
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Old 30th March 2009, 18:54   #5
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Then we got on to the main road, and I put the car in second and floored the throttle. The savage acceleration actually pushed me back, and the car picked up speed like crazy!
Been there, done that! (though on a fellow BHPian's car!)
The turbo feel in the verna is fabulous!
Quote:
The company calls me once every month to take feedback on the ownership experience. I dont know whether this is standard with all Hyundai/all Verna owners across the country!
The Hyundai guys at Hyderabad also call my colleague every month to get feedback on his i10. Hyundai cares for its customers!

Quote:
I tried replacing them with Xenon HIDs. but was told (by Hyundai service people) that it would void the electronics warranty.
Will upgrading to 130/100 also void warranty? I guess the extra wiring will be only the relay!

Quote:
The Cedia OTR was coming to 8.7L.
Sweet. I know I sound crazy, you must have picked up Cedia as well!
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Old 30th March 2009, 20:55   #6
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verna looks best in black.how about some pics of your car
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Old 30th March 2009, 23:14   #7
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@predator I wanted the blue onyx originally which wasnt available. Second choice was the black which dad was against, so went for the real earth. But the verna in black is awesome, though perhaps in chennai it would have turned me into a walking omelette!
Glad to hear that all your documentation issues and that rattling issue was taken care of. My baby is doing well too after all the work on the dashboard and parts replacement. Sadly though the roads in chennai are of such pathetic quality that it just speeds up the wear and tear process on the car. In spite of my best efforts to maintain her in top class condition I just cant help but hope that she lasts through all the bad roads and the constant threat of random idiots on these roads (what is with people over taking on flyovers??? )!
All the best with your gal. May our turbo charged love affairs continue forever!
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Old 31st March 2009, 11:10   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dockap View Post
verna looks best in black.how about some pics of your car
Coming right up. Just gimme time to get over year-ending pressures in office!

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Originally Posted by pras.oct25 View Post
All the best with your gal. May our turbo charged love affairs continue forever!
Amen to that!

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Originally Posted by pulsar56 View Post
Sweet. I know I sound crazy, you must have picked up Cedia as well!
Yeah, I could have. Just wish my paycheck was double of what it is in reality!
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Old 31st March 2009, 11:42   #9
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Excellent review.

Yup u are right. there is a competition between Verna D & Cedia.

Verna D is a real all rounder.

IMO apart form outer looks (which is really basic) it is fantastic.

Engine has lots of praises form many experts.

& yes, more importantly, Hyundai is very well known for its *** & Caring for their costumers. Now Hyundai got a one more highly satisfied costumer.

Enjoy driving, & do post pics.
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Old 31st March 2009, 12:02   #10
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Nice review, detailed and succint, together. If only the Verna had airbags, considering the i20 has 6 of them.

BTW, why do you consider alloy wheels to be only a cosmetic modification? Have you felt no difference in handling (wheels must have become lighter)?
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Old 31st March 2009, 13:09   #11
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Nice review, detailed and succint, together. If only the Verna had airbags, considering the i20 has 6 of them.

BTW, why do you consider alloy wheels to be only a cosmetic modification? Have you felt no difference in handling (wheels must have become lighter)?
I have a doubt. If alloys make a car lighter, then would that not affect the suspension of the car too? Specially for a lighter car like the verna with a softer suspension setting? Why would people go for alloys then apart from the looks factor?
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Old 31st March 2009, 13:22   #12
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BTW, why do you consider alloy wheels to be only a cosmetic modification? Have you felt no difference in handling (wheels must have become lighter)?
I agree with you on this. The wheels have done their bit on making the car handle better. Definitely a mechanical mod, then.

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I have a doubt. If alloys make a car lighter, then would that not affect the suspension of the car too? Specially for a lighter car like the verna with a softer suspension setting? Why would people go for alloys then apart from the looks factor?
Fitting of alloys has the following benefits beside looks:

1) Alloys are lighter in weight than same sized steel wheels. As a result, your car's sprung weight reduces, steering lightens up and it handles better. For the FE maniacs, fitting of alloys also means a slight reduction in fuel consumption.

2) Alloys are much tougher material than comparable steel wheels. So the incidences of bent wheels due to hitting potholes at speeds reduces.

However, being tougher than steel wheels, they do transmit more shocks to the suspension rather than absorbing them. Doesnt make so much a difference to modern day cars though, as their suspension systems are toughened up and made "India spec" before being launched in the country.
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Old 31st March 2009, 13:41   #13
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Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post

1) Alloys are lighter in weight than same sized steel wheels. As a result, your car's sprung weight reduces, steering lightens up and it handles better. For the FE maniacs, fitting of alloys also means a slight reduction in fuel consumption.
Lighter steering? Any lighter then it already is in the verna?
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Old 31st March 2009, 15:26   #14
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Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
To sum up, I think the Verna is the best all-rounder car in the C segment. My only grouse with the car is that it has weak headlamps. Very scary if you're driving on a highway in the rain. I tried replacing them with Xenon HIDs. but was told (by Hyundai service people) that it would void the electronics warranty.

Modifications done

So far, all mods have been purely cosmetic. Read on:

1) Yongle 14" Alloys (stock tyres)
2) G-Sport crimson-beige dual colour, art leather upholstery.
3) Llumar Sunfilm all around (including an anti-glare film for the front windscreen)
4) Teflon coating every 6 months. Also Underbody Rubber Paint and a Special Imported protective paint for the silencer.
5) Hyundai original protective cover. Very light, anti-scratch material, good heat retention.

Next on the list are a body kit and HIDs. Keep reading this post. Pics will be put up soon.

Congrats on your new car , rest assured that you have selected for yourself a very dependable and vigorous car .

regading the HID i would suggest that you dont put in the HIDs with the proper projector lamp setup , your visibility would increase for sure but them the focussing of the lamps would go for a toss. Thos would lead to unnecessary glaree to incoming traffic. I think yo ucan try to put HIDs in the running lamps but for the headlamps i think that the 110/90 would be better suited.

I personally would prefer the 130/110 W but these bulbs generate enough heat to fade your reflectors in about two years. But the intensity of these lights are comparable to the 35W hid bulbs but with proper focus and no dazzling to the on coming traffic.

Drive safe !
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Old 31st March 2009, 18:08   #15
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Originally Posted by pras.oct25 View Post
Lighter steering? Any lighter then it already is in the verna?
Yes Pras. Very marginally lighter, but noticeable nevertheless.

@Hellstar - Thanks for the info, will keep it in mind. However, as far as I understand xenons, they do not create a circular beam like halogens. Instead, the light is dispersed in a uniform field in front of the vehicle. How can they create glare to oncoming traffic?
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