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Old 19th March 2009, 09:05   #1
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Default Verna CRDI SX ABS - A wonder machine

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.

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! :-)

Update @ 14500 kms / 7 months / 7 long drives + Daily office commute

The car has consistently delivered whatever it promised since the day one. Although I never put up any stickers on my car, have now put up two Team-BHP stickers on either side of my rear bumber. I'm proud to display my association with Team-BHP, the place for serious auto enthusiasts in India.
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Old 19th March 2009, 12:36   #2
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Very nice review!

What tires are you running? Post some pictures of your ride.
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Old 19th March 2009, 12:42   #3
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I have driven my Broher's car Verna Crdi SX ABS for more than 2000kms.
It's very eager to pull and has good mileage return.
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Old 19th March 2009, 12:56   #4
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Congratulations on your choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmn View Post
Road handling with the Verna has been excellent – especially with the recommended upgraded tyres (refer my response to comments).
Cna you please elaborate on this?
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Old 19th March 2009, 12:59   #5
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Nice review, sdmn ! Could you post some pics, and also give some more details like dealership experience/price etc. Thanks!
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Old 19th March 2009, 14:17   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nagvasireddy View Post
Congratulations on your choice.

Cna you please elaborate on this?
Nagvasireddy, sorry about that. I tried posting that as a reply to another thread on tires but no clue if it got posted or not. Am still in the Newbie category so not sure whether it was because my page timed out or some other reason. Anyway, here is the information on my tire upgrade:

I upgraded my tires to Bridgestone Turanza ER60 with the following specs: 195/60R14 86H. (http://www.bridgestone.co.in/tyre/tyres
elector/bypattern/bypattern.asp?pattern_i
d=5B56). This is recommended for the Verna CRDI since handling and road grip greatly improve with it. This spec is also optimum for Verna diesel since it is not too wide (only 10mm wider than original Bridgestone B250 185/60R14) and there is no change in the wheel diameter - it is the same 14". However, it has a much superior tire design. It cost me an additional 13k only when I did the tire upgrade before taking delivery of the vehicle.
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Old 19th March 2009, 14:20   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post
Nice review, sdmn ! Could you post some pics, and also give some more details like dealership experience/price etc. Thanks!
Shall post some pics soon. Regarding dealership experience, I bought the car from Advaith Hyundai on outer ring road in Bangalore. The sales person was Mr.Mayur, and he was very nice. This is the 3rd time I am buying through him. Price was 9.7 lakhs in July 2008 - but this was before the Govt's economic stimulus package. Now I guess the car is cheaper by 20 or 40k? Not sure of the exact on road price now.
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Old 20th March 2009, 11:01   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmn View Post
I upgraded my tires to Bridgestone Turanza ER60 with the following specs: 195/60R14 86H. (http://www.bridgestone.co.in/tyre/tyres
elector/bypattern/bypattern.asp?pattern_i
d=5B56). This is recommended for the Verna CRDI since handling and road grip greatly improve with it. This spec is also optimum for Verna diesel since it is not too wide (only 10mm wider than original Bridgestone B250 185/60R14) and there is no change in the wheel diameter - it is the same 14". However, it has a much superior tire design. It cost me an additional 13k only when I did the tire upgrade before taking delivery of the vehicle.
Thanks. Mine is a Verna CRDi too. I will keep this in mind when I change my car tyres next time. BTW, when is the right moment to change the tyres (based on KMs run) assuming normal wear out?

Last edited by nagvasireddy : 20th March 2009 at 11:07.
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Old 15th January 2010, 06:44   #9
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Question Hyundai Verna - Automatic temperature contol - recirculation/ fresh air mode query

Quoting in part for clarification

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmn View Post
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.

Why I went for the Verna VGT SX:

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 (emphasis mine - murugan).
Please check whether your car automatically adjusts recirculation / fresh air mode. According to the Hyundai reference guide dated 4/4/08, page 6, http://hyundaiverna.co.in/RefrenceGuide/VernaQRG.pdf the air intake control has to be selected manually. The Sep 09 brochure and the current website Verna : Feel It pictures also look similar. Does your model do this automatically?

Awaiting your reply.
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