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Old 18th February 2015, 11:10   #1
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Default Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

The 2015 Hyundai Verna has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 7.74 - 12.20 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• Handsome looking sedan. New face is mature, with toned-down fluidic styling
• Competent 1.6L motors, especially the torquey diesel. Wide range of engines & transmissions
• Interiors offer adequate space with good fit & finish. Cabin refinement levels are superb
• Ride comfort & on-road behaviour have noticeably improved. No more nervousness
• Features such as projector headlamps, reversing camera, pure keyless entry & go, rake & reach steering etc.
• Top notch safety equipment includes 6 airbags, ABS + EBD, impact sensing door locks & more
• Hyundai's fuss-free ownership experience & excellent after-sales service

What you won't:

• Missing equipment (vis a vis competition). E.g. rear a/c vents, touchscreen headunit & cruise control
• Rear disc brakes have been deleted from the Verna facelift
• Insufficient under-thigh support from the low rear seat
• Though improved, the ride & handling package is far from segment benchmarks
• Competition (Vento, Linea, Fiesta, Rapid) is more fun to drive! Verna's EPS & dynamics are boring
• 4-speed Automatic gearboxes. This segment calls for 5-speed ATs
• On-road price difference between the 1.6L petrol & diesel is ~1.5 lakhs. That's higher than the competition

Last edited by GTO : 18th February 2015 at 13:13.
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Old 18th February 2015, 11:23   #2
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

Since the Hyundai Verna has already been reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on changes made to the 2015 Facelift. For easy reference, here are direct links to the complete Hyundai Verna road-test:

Exterior Design & Build Quality

Interior design, space, practicality & features

Engine, gearbox, suspension & on-road behaviour

Other Points

Last edited by GTO : 18th February 2015 at 11:36.
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Old 18th February 2015, 11:25   #3
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

The first Verna to be sold in India was actually the Accent's next-generation replacement. Hyundai wanted to sell both simultaneously - at different price points, of course - hence, the Verna nomenclature was introduced in 2006. The Verna had a tough time in the market. What started off as an inoffensive, boring sedan only got worse with its scary midlife makeover in 2010 (Verna Transform - link to image). As one would expect, the ugly styling didn't go down too well with the masses, and it showed in the mediocre sales numbers. Even though the Verna had segment-first features like rear disc brakes, driver armrest, diesel + automatic combination (in 2009), the car failed to create an impact and remained a rather forgettable sedan.

Then came the 4th generation Accent - the model India knows as the Fluidic Verna. This car turned the tables around for Hyundai. Sales shot up & stayed above the 4,000 / month level for a long time, even touching 6,000 on occasion! The Hyundai Verna convincingly dethroned the Honda City from the top of the C2 segment charts. The fluidic styling (which some found overdone) became a hit with the masses. It was sold with 4 engine options (1.4L / 1.6L in both, petrol & diesel) to cover a wide range of price points, with optional automatic transmissions too. The Fluidic Verna boasted many segment-first features such as 6 airbags, a reversing camera, keyless entry & go, electric folding mirrors and more. Interior fit & finish were second to none. It did have weaknesses though. The rear seat was positioned too low, offering poor underthigh support. And just like its predecessor, high speed ride & handling were poor.

In Jan 2014, Honda launched the 4th-generation City...this time with a diesel engine & superior equipment levels. Almost overnight, the Verna went into limp mode. Its sales average for the first half of 2014 dived to 3,406 / month, while the monthly average over July - Dec 2014 was 2,283. Fierce competition also emerged from unexpected quarters, namely the Maruti Ciaz. A giant leap ahead of the SX4 in every way (including quality), the Ciaz has already sold over 6,000 copies in 2 of the 4 months of full production.

While the Verna still manages to outsell its European & American rivals by a healthy margin, it now occupies a distant 3rd place in the C2 sedan pecking order. No doubt, the Verna is also beginning to show its age, as its been around for 4 years now. When spending big bucks, Indians love the 'freshest', hence age can be a major deterrent to sales. The facelift we're reviewing here is possibly the last update to the Verna, before the next-generation model comes in (link to scoop pictures).

Of late, Hyundai has started adding prefixes to its model names. Case in point, the 'Grand' i10 & 'Elite' i20. The Verna undergoes the same process, although not as convincingly. Hyundai calls this facelifted version the '4S' Verna. What does 4S stand for? Style, Speed, Sophisticated interiors and Safety . For all you know, the next-generation Verna too will carry a fancy pretext before its name.

Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)-hyundai-verna-price-specs.png

I love the styling of this facelift and can safely say that it's one of the handsomest cars from the Hyundai stable. We'll cover the exact design differences in the photo captions below. One welcome move by Hyundai is ABS coming in as standard across all variants. They have retained the top variant with 6 airbags too. However, the company has silently removed the rear disc brakes!! You might recollect that rear disc brakes were removed from the 2010 Verna Transform, but reintroduced on the 2011 Fluidic Verna. Apart from this, there are minor additions to the interiors which we'll list in the next post. On the mechanical front, Hyundai has tweaked the power steering and rear suspension.

So, what's new on the outside?

The face looks like a toned down version of the Sonata, rather than a reworked Fluidic Verna:

Side profile remains largely unchanged. The prominent waistline, swooping roofline, chrome door handles and 16" diamond cut alloy wheels are all the same as before:

Rear 3/4th view. Changes to the rear are a lot more subtle:

Notice how the HYUNDAI badge has been removed:

Gone is the hexagonal mouth. Now replaced with a distinctive twin-slat chrome grill and trapezoidal air dam:

Stunning new headlamps. They remind me of the Ciaz' unit for some reason. Notice how large the projector appears. It even has the eyelid we'd earlier seen in the Elite i20:

'Boomerang' shaped foglamps in a different layout. The last time we heard the term 'boomerang' was when Maruti presented the Ritz' unconventional tail-lamps:

The bonnet has a sleeker design with subtle creases in the center, when compared to the older car's 'in-your-face' style:

Unlike the li'l Grand i10, the mirrors don't fold/unfold when the car is locked/unlocked:

No passenger-side request sensor either:

Rear disc brakes have been deleted from the equipment list. On the flip side, ABS is standard on all variants:

Roof antenna is smaller. Looks much better than the super long unit of the older car:

You'd need to be an informed car enthusiast to realise that the tail-lamps have different elements in them, lending that "LED" look:

I like the new reflectors. Similar shape to the CLA's tail-lamps:

Chrome tipped dual muffler tips are history. The new bumper hides away the muffler tip. This black insert breaks the bulk of the bumper:

The challenger (Verna) vs the segment leader (City):

Only after these cars were parked together did I notice some similarity in their character lines:

Last edited by GTO : 20th February 2015 at 16:53.
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Old 18th February 2015, 11:26   #4
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

So, what's new on the inside?

Same steering, now adjustable for rake as well as reach:

Rain-sensing 'auto wipers' have been added:

Auto headlamps aren't as quick to respond as you'd like. When you enter a tunnel, they take a lethargic ~4 seconds to switch on, and 3 seconds to turn off after the tunnel. Verna also has the follow-me-home feature:

MID displays the exact door (or boot) that's open:

Press the clutch pedal and hit the engine start / stop button to fire up the motor. Press it without the clutch to enter audio / 'ignition on' modes:

1 GB internal memory to store music (863 MB usable). What started off as a feature-loaded car doesn't get a touchscreen...something that the Maruti Ciaz offers. The head-unit has been upgraded to feature phone book and call log access (thanks to BHPian RSR for pointing this out):

Display for the audio system and climate control has been changed. The older Verna had a gaudy bright blue display; this one is far more pleasing to the eyes:

Smartkey is now a similar unit to the Grand i10 & Elite i20:

Reverse parking display was always present on the Verna's inside mirror. Unlike the Elite i20 however, this one doesn't have adapted guidelines which turn with steering input. The red, yellow and green lines indicate a distance of 50 cm, 100 cm and 300 cm respectively:

A new 'Ergo' lever has been introduced on the facelift. Using this lever, back seat passengers can now push the front passenger seat all the way forward to enhance legroom:

The li'l Grand i10 has rear air-con vents, but the Verna still doesn't!!! Hyundai claims that the entire console would have to be redesigned...I say, big deal! A missed opportunity here:

Adjustable rear neck restraints removed. The 2015 Verna gets the fixed type instead:

I like the fact that the inner area of the boot has cladding, unlike the ugly, naked ones of the City & Ciaz (image link):

The 2011 Fluidic Verna had an alloy wheel spare. Unfortunately, the bean counters had their way here. Regular steel spare wheel for the facelifted Verna:

In case you don't know what to do when the 'diesel contamination symbol' crops up on the instrument console, here are the instructions. Also, 33 PSI in all 4 tyres is what Hyundai recommends:

Last edited by GTO : 20th February 2015 at 11:55. Reason: Only Ciaz has a touchscreen. Thanks Gannu!
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Old 18th February 2015, 11:28   #5
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

Same ol' 1.6L diesel engine. While power & torque figures remain the same, its fuel efficiency has gone up due to the low-friction pistons:

On-road behaviour is more sorted than the 2011 Verna, but still far from segment benchmarks like the Linea & Fiesta:

The engine & gearbox combos of the facelifted Verna remain the same as the outgoing car. So, there are still 2 petrol and 2 diesel engines to choose from. The petrol motors include a 1.4L Gamma that produces 106 BHP & 135 Nm of torque, and a 1.6L with 121 BHP & 155 Nm of torque (1.6L has an optional 4-speed automatic). ARAI fuel efficiency figures for the 1.4L and 1.6L motors are 17.43 kmpl and 17.01 kmpl respectively (15.74 kmpl for the 1.6L AT).

The diesel range has the 1.4L U2 engine that produces 89 BHP & 220 Nm of torque, and the 1.6L U2 VGT with 126 BHP & 260 Nm torque. Both have a 6-speed manual gearbox, while the 1.6L diesel gets an optional 4-speed automatic. There were rumours of the Elantra's 6-speed AT making it to the Verna, but sadly, that's not the case. What is worth a mention is that the ARAI fuel efficiency stats have been noticeably bumped up for the oil-burners. It's 24.8 kmpl (vs 23.5 kmpl) for the 1.4L and 23.9 kmpl (vs 21.9 kmpl) for the 1.6L (19.08 kmpl for the 1.6L AT). This is a result of the engine's new nano coated low-friction pistons which improve efficiency.

The 1.6 diesel is the star of the lot. This is a VGT engine (variable geometry turbo). Depress the clutch and fire up the motor with a touch of the engine start button. After a mild shake, vibrations settle down real quick. This is when you'll appreciate the sound damping & insulation levels. While diesel clatter is audible on the outside, it is pleasantly silent inside the cabin - a characteristic that the VW and Honda diesels seem to miss. At times, it's difficult to tell that the Verna has an oil burner sitting under the hood. The clutch pedal is light and the gearbox is one of the slicker units around. That said, I did take some time to get used to toggling between reverse and 1st gears. It wasn't a smooth or sure-slotting transition like in the Vento. Apart from this, the other gates are well defined, the throws are on the shorter side and it's a gearbox that encourages quick shifting.

The engine has noticeable turbo lag up to 1,800 rpm, after which you see progress. But it's over 2,000 rpm that the motor really comes onto its own. Acceleration is fast thereafter, thanks to the 260 Nm of peak torque. The lag is more obvious in the city and takes getting used to. Like many other diesels, the action is between 2,000 – 4,000 rpm. In bumper to bumper traffic, you will need to work the gearbox. Within urban conditions, the Vento & City diesels hold a distinct advantage in terms of driveability.

Once past 2000 rpm, power delivery is linear in nature, and there's little of that 'sudden whoosh' that the Vento 1.6 offered in turbo mode. On the open road, the engine effortlessly picks up speed and you can reach the triple digits very quickly. The Verna diesel is eager to rev and doesn't sound strained even at higher RPMs. If you will, it can pull up to ~5,100 rpm. At the redline, the engine note is likeable, and not crude or unrefined.

The mid-range is punchy, and overtaking isn't a problem at all. It'll sail through most maneuvers easily. However, the lag can catch you out. Thus, expect to downshift if you are at an rpm too low for the turbo to be spooling enough. On the highway, you can work your way around the lag. And even on a fast expressway, you'll never find the diesel running out of breath. The additional gear ratio greatly helps for comfortable cruising. In 6th gear, the Verna sees 100 kph at just about 2,000 rpm. The engine feels relaxed and is in complete "cruise mode". Expect highway fuel efficiency to be tall.

Hyundai claims to have tweaked the power steering. To be honest, I'd say the diesel's steering does feel artificially heavy at times. It's not disconnected like a video game's unit, but don't expect any feel or feedback from this EPS either. Let's just call it 'neutral' for better understanding. I liked the fact that I didn't need to intentionally hold the steering wheel firmly at high speeds. In case you were wondering, no, the steering doesn't feel scary or nervous.

I attempted panic braking from 100 kph. Even though the rear disc brakes have been eliminated, the Verna stopped without a fuss, and in a straight line. The brakes do the job expected of them. I did find the brake pedal to be slightly spongy though & would've liked some more bite from the pedal.

The Fluidic Verna developed a notorious reputation for its soft, bouncy & generally unsorted rear suspension. Hyundai eventually tweaked the suspension hardware to make it ride & handle better, especially on the highway.

These tweaks are in the form of wider coil springs, stiffer dampers (with a low velocity control valve) as well as a 'bump stopper' to counter the thud noise. Have these worked? To sum it up - Yes, but only to a certain extent. Mild undulations at 100 kph are taken well and there is none of that excessive vertical movement. Although, beyond 120 kph on uneven roads, the rear end isn't flat and there is a certain amount of bounciness. At legal cruising speeds, the Verna can take curves without making the driver feel nervous. At city speeds, ride quality is rather good and the suspension soaks bumps competently. Larger potholes can be felt inside the cabin, but the suspension does a nice job in absorbing most of them. Mid-corner bumps will unsettle the car though and, if you are an aggressive driver, there are times when the tail feels like it is ready to step out. The Verna is best suited to a sedate driving style & comfortable cruising. Don't drive it hard around corners like you would a Fiesta.

In summary, these suspension updates have definitely made the Verna's on-road behaviour more neutral. The rear end isn't as scary or nervous as before. Of course, the ride & handling package is far from segment benchmarks. This still isn't the car if you are looking at a mature ride & handling balance (say, like the Skoda Rapid). Equally, it's not an area Verna owners will whine about either. This is the suspension that the Verna should have had from day one.

Disclaimer: Hyundai invited Team-BHP for the Verna test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 20th February 2015 at 16:55.
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Old 18th February 2015, 13:28   #6
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 18th February 2015, 13:51   #7
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

Good review S2. Thank you. This facelift missed two crucial updates according to me - rear AC vent and a six speed AT (at least a five speed one). Not as much worried about a touch screen given the rapid pace at which your current touch screen technology becomes obsolete in just 18 months. Rated five stars.
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Old 18th February 2015, 13:58   #8
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

Great review but I have my reservations if this can really challenge the 2 segment leaders. That battle will still be fought between the City and the Ciaz. I am slightly disappointed with the car on 2 fronts:

1. Rear disc brakes: Instead of providing bling features rain sensing wipers and auto headlamps, it will be much more useful to rather have rear disc brakes.

2. The 4 speed AT box. I understand that the 6 speed AT box is offered with Elantra. But then even VW is offering the same gear box in 10L and 30L car. Hence Hyundai could have introduced the same here. After all the Verna is their bread and butter car rather than the Elantra.

Last edited by drmohitg : 18th February 2015 at 14:00.
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Old 18th February 2015, 14:03   #9
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

Overall looks a good car. But, does this make the customer walk back into the showrooms again?

Wasn't the low rear seat a real issue in the pre-facelift version? When I was looking for a new car, this was a real deal breaker as my wife felt it too low to get any outside view. I thought this will be addressed in the facelift. Is it that difficult to adjust the height?
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Old 18th February 2015, 14:06   #10
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

An in depth review indeed. The competition is getting hot. Never before has this segment seen such intense competition and such great looking and performing cars. Think the absence of a CVT is still the verna's achilles heel.
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Old 18th February 2015, 14:07   #11
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

Good review, S2. I would like to highlight the irrelevance of this facelift as well.

Though the face is "lifted" heavily, the overall body shape is quite boring compared to the sleek designs of City and Ciaz, and is not at all ever-green as its elder brother Elantra. This patch work is not enough to garner the lost sales from City and Ciaz. And what Hyundai thinks of themselves when they charge such a huge premium over Ciaz and even City?
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Old 18th February 2015, 14:32   #12
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
1. Rear disc brakes: Instead of providing bling features rain sensing wipers and auto headlamps, it will be much more useful to rather have rear disc brakes.
As an enthusiast, I completely agree with your point. I will any day take rear disc brakes over auto wipers and lights. But I think the majority of car buyers out there will look at the new features Hyundai has brought in (bling like you mentioned) and not even notice that the rear discs went missing.

Cannot help but notice how inspired the front grill is from the Altis. MSIL borrowing grill designs from Honda, Hyundai borrowing from Toyota - surely looks like there is a dearth of good grill designers in the industry.
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Old 18th February 2015, 14:33   #13
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

I would call the facelift Verna in my opinion, the best looking entry sedan externally, it now has a perfect blend of sharp, good sized lights, great front grill resembling the current Sonata & is segment leader in terms of safety (6 airbags are instrumental for side-protection). The auto-lights and rain sensing wipers too are part of the safety kit, I'm glad they put them in instead of the DRL which served little to none purpose. The interiors are again best in class in my opinion - Hyundai has got one thing right across the range and that is fit and finish. The console lights are a little less annoying now hopefully as I too found it too bright and blue.

That's for the good points. Minuses - fixed roof handles ala Grand i10/Elite i20, they got to be joking. Fixed rear head restraints as well standard? How much would those 2 have costed if they had to put the real foldable handles and adjustable headrest? Rear a.c may not be necessary if the cooling as a whole is good but Hyundai has really gone and chopped off some practical stuff this time. I used to respect them purely for their generosity in providing more practical features than a house. Rear disc brakes aren't entirely essential but it would have helped to supplement braking in that 1.6 engine atleast.

It would've been better had Hyundai charged an extra 10k to fit in all practical aspects which even their old Santro/i10 used to have. While the boot cladding is appreciated, the only reason Hyundai was able to demolish City & SX4 was its uncompromisingly built Verna, shortcuts however small shall be duly noted by us.

Last edited by GTO : 18th February 2015 at 15:45. Reason: No acronyms when referring to cars please. Thanks
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Old 18th February 2015, 14:46   #14
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

What is with Hyundai these days, they bring out facelifts and skip many equipment from the previous generation edition. First they did it with Elite I20 and now with Verna. I think Hyundai is loosing the plot and becoming very desperate.

Also with regards to variants, they are offering the Automatic version in S(O) for petrol and SX for diesel. The previous generation verna had 2+2(Petrol+Diesel) automatic variants on offer.

A quick price comparison of various variants (Ex-Showroom Delhi prices considered)
Attached Images
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Old 18th February 2015, 14:57   #15
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Default re: Review: The 2015 Hyundai Verna Facelift (2nd-gen)

How many people end up buying the 1.4 engines? Hyundai missed a trick by not offering a better AT gearbox! The refinement & brilliant NVH of the diesel is the biggest plus point in this car i feel.

What does 4S stand for? Style, Speed, Sophisticated interiors and Safety
Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
Rear disc brakes have been deleted from the Verna facelift
What an irony!
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