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Old 17th March 2009, 16:14   #1
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Default My Hyundai Verna CRDI SX ABS Review

I took delivery of my Hyundai Verna VGT (CRDI) SX with ABS on July 23rd 2008 from Advaith Hyundai in Bangalore. Being an auto enthusiast, I have been researching cars to buy for a while. I was waiting to return to India and settle down to buy a new car. As one among the 1 or 2 % population of India that pays heavy income taxes, I wanted to get something back from the government – so went for a diesel car to get back some money in the form of diesel subsidy.

Why Diesel?
When compared to a similarly sized petrol sedan, the Verna diesel will certainly be more economical, especially since I make inter state travels in my own car.
However, even if cost of petrol and diesel become equal in future, the ’fun to drive’ factor of a modern powerful turbodiesel like the Verna CRDI makes it a compelling buy!

Elimination of other models:
I was buying a new car to use it for a minimum of 5 years, and wanted to go for the top end variant of any model I would finally choose. I had an eye on the Scorpio for the last 3 to 4 years, and was almost sure I would buy the Scorpio VLX. However, since I had only seen it from the outside and read about it, I wanted to take a test drive myself before making the big decision. Vijay Auto promptly sent one home, and I got into the Scorpio with a lot of expectations. I was shocked to see its interiors – to me it was a jeep with a powerful engine and superb exterior styling. The interiors were very bad – poor finish, sharp metal frames, very poor plastic quality, and overall a jeep feeling – you don’t feel like you are sitting in a Rs.12 Lakhs SUV. Since interior luxury, comfort and ride quality were as important for me as exterior looks and engine power, I decided against the Scorpio. The Innova is the king in interior quality and comfort – but external looks, bulkiness and the fact that it was going to be soon re-launched with a new avatar made me decide against it.

The next set of powerful diesels in my budget were the Chevrolet Optra Magnum and the Hyundai Verna. Any Chevrolet was an easy elimination for me because GM hardly has any service center presence outside major Indian cities – and I was buying a car for long drives! The next option was the Hyundai Verna, and I decided to take a test drive. I had already owned two Santros and have been very happy with Hyundai – both the product as well as the service.

Wondering what happened to Ford Fiesta Duratorq? Since it was also in the scene, I decided to check out its specs. I eliminated it without even a test drive for two main reasons:

1. Too underpowered (68 BHp) for overtaking on Indian highways that need quick surges without downshifting. Even a Santro gives you 62 Bhp.
2. Expensive maintenance costs of any Ford in India (at least so far that’s the reputation). And not to mention non availability of service centers in India outside major cities. Hyundai has plenty, and is next only to Maruti in terms of service network.

Why I went for the Verna VGT SX:
The test drive was an instant hit – I loved it from the first minute. The moment I entered – I knew I was entering a vehicle with the class I expected, and the moment I started accelerating, I knew this was the engine I needed. At 2000 rpm, the Variable Geometry Turbo kicks in, and from that moment, even if you have 5 people, luggage, and AC on, the car literally makes you feel you are taking off in an aircraft – no exaggeration here. Test drive it yourself to feel what I’m saying. So appropriate when Hyundai gave it the tag line – “Feel it”. That’s it – feel it.

The instant acceleration you so badly need on Indian highways to overtake – with full load and A/C, and without downshifting from 5th to 4th gear is exactly what the Verna has.

Interior space - the Verna is very spacious inside and also feels very luxurious. It has a driver’s left armrest that is very useful during long drives. It also has a rear center armrest with two cup holders in it – again, makes rear seat travel very comfortable. Of course, there are enough cup holders and bottle holders other than these too.

Mileage - For Verna’s Power of 110 BHp, it gives an amazing mileage of 13/18 (City/Highway), with A/C on all the time.

Automatic Climate Control – I’m so happy I have it. I just have to touch one button without taking my eyes off the road, and the Automatic Climate Control does the rest to maintain internal temperature to the level I have set. I always set 22C and have been very comfortable with it. Went on a long drive over the Aug 15th to 17th long weekend – and believe me, during hot afternoon, a very hot cabin cools in less than 30 secs! And since it is automatic, it automatically adjusts blower speed, recirculation / fresh air mode, compressor on/off, etc. and keeps adjusting them by itself as the cabin gets cooler.

FINAL VERDICT – The Verna diesel is the king of diesels among the cars available in India now. Being an owner who has invested in the car, I have been tracking the sales numbers too. Verna is leading the category with Ford Fiesta and Suzuki SX4 following behind (although SX4 only has a petrol version to offer). Also, Hyundai is already world no.5 in global car sales – so I feel confident with the company too. If you need a luxury diesel sedan (Swift Dzire, Mahindra Logan, Tata Indigo etc. are not in this category – they are entry level sedans), the Verna should be your choice! I shall update the review with more information / experience as and when I have it.

Update @ 6000 kms / 3 months / 4 long drives + Daily office commute

1. The Verna CRDI could overtake almost any vehicle that I tried to overtake. It is very agile – its too quick and just surges ahead. Other cars need some time to get to speed. And remember, in all these trips – I had 3 to 4 people and a fully loaded boot, with A/c On. Now that’s performance. The Verna’s surge and pick up is most useful when you are stuck behind a long train of vehicles moving slow, with oncoming traffic also. In such situations, you can easily overtake 2 to 3 vehicles at a time and get out of the mess in no time; and Indian highways are so full of these situations. Verna really shortens your journey time.

2. With 110 Bhp, the Verna CRDI is more powerful, and is more peppier than its petrol counterpart (103 Bhp). All other Diesel cars in India have lesser power than their petrol counterparts. This is possible with cutting edge technology – VGT (Variable Geometry Turbo).

3. Road handling with the Verna has been excellent – especially with the recommended upgraded tyres (refer my response to comments). My family is all praises for the smooth journey. Where I see other cars slowing down due to potholes, the Verna glides in comparison – thereby allowing higher average speeds.

4. The Verna feels very stable and composed even at very high speeds. Many times I have been surprised to see the speedometer at 100 kmph and wondering if I was really going that fast. On new Indian highways, you can cruise at 120 - 140 kmph with the Verna CRDI, and still have lots of power available on tap, to overtake!

5. The seats in the Verna are really very comfortable. In one of my long drives, I drove 8 hours one day, and 5 hours the next day. I did not have any body fatigue. All I needed was some sleep! :-)

I have done 7 long drives and 14500 kms now, and waiting to do more. Will post more updates shortly.

Warm regards,
Sandeep
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Old 17th March 2009, 18:23   #2
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One of the most positive review of Verna VGT I have seen. Good to know that you enjoy the car. Most among the 2 crore elite people in the country would opt for a Honda or Toyota.
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Old 17th March 2009, 18:40   #3
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Nice review form a Verna lover.

I also agree that, in the class, Verna D has no competition at all.

If Hyundai improve her looks, she will really a hot car to have.
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Old 17th March 2009, 19:59   #4
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sdmn,

Great review. Please post some exterior and interior pics.
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Old 17th March 2009, 20:28   #5
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@sandeep - Another very happy verna crdi owner! We should form a club!
Do put up a nice detailed review of your experience with your babe so far in terms of performance, service, any issues etc etc. I have finished 5 months now with my car and it has been quite an adventure!!! Do check out my ownership thread and post your comments on your verna/hyundai experience
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...di-sx-abs.html (My Hyundai Verna Crdi SX with ABS)
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Old 17th March 2009, 20:40   #6
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Hey Pras,

That isnt a bad suggestion. Maybe we can have a Pan-India Verna CRDI owners club! You know, we could have collective muscle against the dinosaur called Hyundai!

Anyway, on a serious note, welcome to the forum Sandeep. My reasons for ultimately choosing the Verna over other cars (I test drove no less than 9 different models from 6 makes) more or less mirror mine. You will not only find extensive research and discussion on your car model (as have we), but on everything that has wheels. Do post some pictures of your ride.
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Old 17th March 2009, 20:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Hey Pras,

That isnt a bad suggestion. Maybe we can have a Pan-India Verna CRDI owners club! You know, we could have collective muscle against the dinosaur called Hyundai!

Anyway, on a serious note, welcome to the forum Sandeep. My reasons for ultimately choosing the Verna over other cars (I test drove no less than 9 different models from 6 makes) more or less mirror mine. You will not only find extensive research and discussion on your car model (as have we), but on everything that has wheels. Do post some pictures of your ride.
Yes We should plan something. Would it be weirdly ironic if we made the tag line of the club "no smokin"?
Funnily, I didnt test drive anyyy other car when I bought the verna! I was so totally in love with it. The only other option I had for reference was my uncles fiesta which I wasnt the least bit happy with. I only compared between the verna petrol TD and verna diesel TD (that also because petrol was only available for TD the day i went for diesel TD!). Its almost like we were meant to be..
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Old 17th March 2009, 20:52   #8
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nice review, having driven the petrol counterpart i know how this thing goes.
post some pics please.
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Old 17th March 2009, 21:15   #9
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@sandeep - i was wondering why your review looked so familiar! Just realized that I had read it when I came across mouthshut.com as one of the major centers for user reviews on all sorts of products! A lot of the reviews on that site and tbhp helped me a great deal when I went ahead to finalize the verna. Its a small world (wide web) isnt it!
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Old 17th March 2009, 21:16   #10
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One of my very good friends drives a Verna SX and has driven the car extensively on highways. Although he absolutely loves the power on tap, a recent drive in Optra TDCi and Ford Fiesta has completely changed his mind. He now finds Verna too skittish at high speeds and lacking any confidence and this in on 195 section tyres. Given an option again he would go for Optra TDCi in the blink of an eye.
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Old 17th March 2009, 21:41   #11
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Another happy owner of the beast!

Quote:
So appropriate when Hyundai gave it the tag line – “Feel it”. That’s it – feel it.
That's what my signature says!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmn View Post
The Verna CRDI could overtake almost any vehicle that I tried to overtake. It is very agile – its too quick and just surges ahead. Other cars need some time to get to speed. And remember, in all these trips – I had 3 to 4 people and a fully loaded boot, with A/c On. Now that’s performance. The Verna’s surge and pick up is most useful when you are stuck behind a long train of vehicles moving slow, with oncoming traffic also.

Agree with you completely. This car even with full load accelerates away in glory ending up with a wide grin on your face
pics?

Last edited by live2drive : 17th March 2009 at 21:43.
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Old 17th March 2009, 21:55   #12
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Nice review. On the highway, there isnt a faster car, Yet! Each time I try a new destination in the verna, I lop hours off my previous timing in another car. And at the end of it, I dont feel like i've been cheating death because of the ease and speed with which overtaking is completed.
4 wheel discs and ABS completes the package.
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