Upgraded from a Tata Manza to a 2023 Hyundai Verna turbo petrol MT

Starting from my early days, I’ve always perceived Hyundai as a premium brand when compared with others in the market.

BHPian Maxton07 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello everyone,

First of all I would like to thank all TBHPians for pouring out their knowledge and views on this forum. Its very hard to get access to a worthy yet free websites like this. Initially thought this site is based only on cars but was I proved wrong.


The new car bug brewed up when we had a distressed experience on our Tata Manza while we were on our way to Kolkata. This happened in July’21. Though it's not like something we need to replace the car immediately, but my dad asked me to look for new cars in the market. His statement got me excited like hell When everyone was cursing the lockdown, I was thanking it as I had all day long to browse & research about cars. My everyday routine during the lockdown transitioned from the boring- wakeup, eat, online classes, eat, sleep to wake up, eat, youtube, car websites, tbhp reviews & discussions happening on the forum, scanning the car brochures, eat, then sleep. The excitement got up to another notch when my dad announced the timeline (i.e) March’22. Then the process went on rigorously with me being glued onto my laptop every day just to pick the perfect car that suits our needs. Below are the list of cars we test drove/ window shopped in order.

Honda City ivtec-Tata Altroz(Window shopped)-Hyundai Creta-Kia Seltos-Skoda Kushaq(Window shopped)-VW Taigun-MG Astor(Window shopped)-Skoda Slavia-Tata Altroz-Hyundai Verna’23.

Car Hunt:

Will brief out the experiences I had with the cars I TD. Since we have been on the hunt after 9 long years, was amazed by the features & performance the cars are offering today.

Honda City:

There was a firm order from my dad to check out the City first as he had it on his wishlist “the dream car” where he missed it previously due to budget constraints. So drove straightaway to Capital Honda, Meenambakkam.

Initial Impressions:

Great looking car & looked sporty in the red shade. Though it felt considerably larger on papers w.r.t Manza, the interior felt too cramped. The reason is our Manza’s massive interior space. Though the legroom was nice, the cabin height was too low and my mom felt claustrophobic when judged with our Manza. Three people can comfortably sit on the rear seats(Manza) which wasn’t possible in the City. Then got the vehicle for TD and the engine was completely refined coming from the noisy Multijet motor. The gearbox felt slick & smooth to operate. Though the pickup was good, I sorely missed the turbo grunt from the diesel engines. Overall a well-refined powertrain I would say. I’m not accustomed to the build quality factor at that time, so didn’t bother about it. Since we went on a Sunday, the dealer didn’t allow us to have a long test drive. But from a driver’s POV, it was quite a good experience after meddling through the noisy diesel engine.

Hyundai Creta:

Checked in at FPL Hyundai, Chrompet. Felt a stark difference in the way the Hyundai people handled us. They greeted & offered us coffee in the first place when we had our visit. We never got this treatment anywhere, anyday during our car hunt. Just the way they behaved, made us about getting a Hyundai car for sure. SA neatly explained the variants & the situation of the supply chain issues they were facing at that time. They offered us the test drive well before we made a request. Though we looked for the diesel, they gave us the NA petrol for TD. Felt a bit quirky while having a look at it but my mom loved it anyway. Again a typical Hyundai’s smooth engine & gearbox which we had gone through while TD Verna(2013) during our previous car hunt. Mom loved the panoramic sunroof and the rear space which it offered. Three people can sit comfortably in the back that got my mom’s attention. Got the price quote and checked out the showroom.

Kia Seltos:

Checked in SVM Kia, Guindy, the very next day with my uncle. The showroom looked premium and the advisor was again cordial like Hyundai folks. Got a chance to TD the iMT petrol variant. Initial impressions were very similar to Hyundai but cramped interiors for sure when compared to Creta. The ride felt stiff & planted. It’ll take some time to get used to the clutchless manual but would help in my dad’s case(he abuses the clutch a lot). The car was meh to me as it’s a random sight on Chennai roads. Received the brochures & checked out.

VW Taigun:

Checked in Kun VW, Nandanam. The showroom was almost empty(Monday effect) but quickly got assigned to the SA. He explained the product very well and offered us the 1L TSi Manual for TD. Felt some noticeable vibes on the doors as well as on the steering. He offered an extensive drive on the city roads and directed us to an empty ground asking me to do crazy stuff with the car. Heck! then comprehended he was a VW enthusiast & asked me to drive recklessly to check the dynamics of the car. Oh boy! this car is undoubtedly a driver’s delight as it felt very solid & handled like a maniac. Having much impressed with it but again a car worth 18lacs lacked the space & the size we expected. I prefer Kushaq’s styling over Taigun. And followed by the niggles reported on this forum swayed away my interest on this vehicle.

Skoda Slavia:

In a sea of SUVs, there comes the announcement from Skoda, teasing the silhouette of the Slavia. Those design sketches just skyrocketed my expectations over the roof. It impacted me with a lot of sleepless nights as I began dreaming about it from the time it got unveiled. Would sit in front of the TV watching youtube videos every day as it strung my heart firmly. The initial camouflage reviews were very positive which helped me in convincing my dad to switch over to Slavia. And especially the crystal blue shade which uplifts the exterior body style to another notch. Thought of pre-booking it, but my inner self cautioned me about the hassles with which the Kushaq went through. Reached the showroom as the first customer and got the chance to unveil it, even though I didn’t pre-book it. Enquired & waited for the prices to be announced.

In the meanwhile, told my dad about the 1.5TSi which comes with a manual gearbox, explaining the benefits of cylinder deactivation tech, blah blah just to convince him to book the 1.5TSi engine. Since I had set my dad’s expectations about the pricing of the vehicle well before the launch, it wasn’t a big deal. We almost finalized the decision and there comes my elder bro like a black cat(which is deemed to be bad luck), shattering my dreams. He decided to do his masters abroad, which obviously would damage our financials so the entire car hunt was put on hold indefinitely. Frustrated initially, but after the initial ownership reviews which had a lot of niggles being reported, removal of features, and price hikes in just 3 months of launch, made peace with myself.

And that’s the end. Things came back to normal. The college reopened with regular classes and the time moved on like pre-covid days. Thinking about those 6-8 months of me, being a happy car enthusiast felt like a nice dream thereafter. The only thing which provoked my curiosity over Slavia was its sibling, VW Virtus. It was another stunner & looker from the VW-Skoda group. Though the car hunt was on hold, I would look & skim through the reviews of new launches.

Let’s fast forward to Jan’23.

Tata Altroz:

Now my brother went abroad & dad got his job transferred to Pune which meant the car is going to be used solely by me. There wasn’t a car in the market that satisfied me completely, neither my head nor heart. This scenario made me opt for a financially sensible choice which was the Altroz. It ticked almost every box as per our requirements but my dad wasn’t okay with the idea of downgrading from a sedan to a compact hatch. Having said that, he was reluctant initially but got him convinced later.

We checked in PPS Tata, Pallikarnai, sometime during Jan’23. The new features which were previewed at the auto expo’23 made me to have a certain buzz around the Altroz. When asked about the new features rollout timeline, those people didn't seem to be aware of any update to the Altroz. Then asked about the racer spec, to which they said it will have its launch by 2024. I thought it’s a tactic used by the dealers to push the disposable stocks. So I booked it anyway with the condition of allotting the car once Tata launch it with relevant features. They were okay about it, hence booked the Altroz diesel with Opera blue. Got a chance to test drive the car extensively for around 40kms.

TD impressions:

The diesel motor was extremely refined at idle. Couldn’t feel a thing from the motor until 2.5k to 3k rpm, except a mild hum. This showed how far Tata has come over the years with their products & offerings. The ride felt comfortable on city roads & broken patches but where it really shined was on highways. It was planted & felt glued to the road even at illicit speeds. This was the first time I’d felt the functioning of proper power steering. It weighed up quickly while building up speeds and felt kinda artificial while holding it when compared with our inconsistent Manza. The rear seats were fine but lacks the legroom our Manza offered. Was completely satisfied with the vehicle & hence the wait started.

Hyundai Verna:

Just a day after booking the Altroz, Hyundai previewed the side profile silhouette of the Verna & thereby starting the pre-bookings. It was like well…okay… impressed with the teaser, let's wait till the launch. Within five days, they released the design sketches. This was the turning point in our purchasing process as those sketches thrilled my dad too. And heard rumors about it being launched with 160hp TGDi engine which added fuel to the already flaming heart inside me. So thought like, why not? let's have a booking just to be on safer side if Tata decides to prolong the relevant updates to Altroz. Done with the prebooking of 1.5TGDi SX(O)MT, as some media speculated the launch by mid-march. Although people had polarizing comments on the design leaks & undisguised pics, I reserved my opinion until I see in metal.

Time passed by & loved every teaser released by them in the meanwhile. Though I had discussions inside my mind over the safety factor, once thoroughly assessing the car inside & out, made peace with it. The prices were attractive & astonished by those performance figures claimed by Hyundai. I decided that's it, this is the car we look forward to finally. Loved the Tellurian Brown shade, which was unique & sporty with those black alloys & red calipers. After the variant split up, leatherette seats & Bose systems were the missing ones that bothered me while opting the SX variant. I’m not a fan of ADAS & other gizmos on the SX(O) as it would burn a big hole on our pocket if anything awful happens to the bumper of the car. Thought of letting go of the SX(O), but leatherette seats & good sounding systems are a must for a car costing above 18lacs. Hence confirmed my booking once again to my dealer with SX(O) MT & changed the colour from Fiery Red to Tellurian Brown. The wait starts again.

Initial Impressions here:

Special mention to VW as we would have certainly gone for the Virtus GT which was surely a head turner than Slavia, particularly in Cucumba Yellow shade & was even ready to face the niggles if they had offered the Manual gearbox for the 1.5 TSi(which was unveiled right after my dealer punched the invoice for the Verna). Since most of our(probably every car owner’s) usage comes from straight highways & slow crawling traffic, we tossed the VW twin’s ride & dynamics for the Verna. But it(Verna) definitely felt leaps ahead in dynamics when set side by side with our Manza. Since its going to be the ultimate car snapped with my dad’s funds, so thought of investing in a niggle free & reliable ones.

Adieu Manza:

Buying our Manza was personally my close to heart episode that happened in my life. I learnt driving this car with no lecturer aside me, as its just my sheer observation I’d do when others drove it. Though I initially eluded while buying this one(coz my uncle had already owned it), I shared some fond memories with it. Always left the vehicle at TASS irrespective of the FNGs available in our area.

It journeyed down south till north-east(Kolkata). Putting this on sale, was as hard as a heartbreak since it was maintained with utmost care and pampered like a baby. If it had been bothering us periodically with consistent issues & dents in our pockets, I would have atleast made up my mind & moved on. It never disappoints and if you spend a little more on its maintenance, it runs without breaking a sweat. “You may lose something good, but you may gain something even better”. I'm a firm believer in these quotes, and I hope Verna serves us on par or even better than our Manza. Will try to post our ten-year ownership experience soon.

Night drive, the day before parting ways:

Got adopted by another owner, spotted after 2 weeks:

My thoughts on the design of Verna:

Nowadays people look to buy something which is distinct & unique that stands out from other products. Virtus & Slavia’s design is a proper three box sedan made with an unique German touch, whereas Verna’s design is surely a head turner where people look towards it atleast to pass trash/valuable comments. They had done something which created talks & buzz around the product which was a complimentary marketing for them at the end. So in that space, Hyundai had nailed it I’d say. The rear end to quarter back is my favorite profile on its exterior design. The interior does look nice & fresh with ambient lights turned ON. Don’t know about premature ageing of this design, if yes, then there is no way Hyundai would be selling 15k units of Creta today.

Why I chose Verna?

  • The design that stands out from the competition( May take it in a good/bad way as design is subjective).
  • 1.5TGDi Engine, which was a major upgrade from Multijet.
  • Slick powertrain & refinement.
  • Peace of mind for atleast 7 years(EW).
  • Significant jump on feature & safety kit.

My perception on Hyundai as a brand:

Starting from my early days, I’ve always perceived Hyundai as a premium brand when compared with others in the market. The cause for this perception might be the distinct design, exclusive features on offer, the way the showroom folks treat people, etc., Their cars are mostly tuned towards comfort-oriented space, though they have explosive powertrains on pipeline. While overseeing the abroad markets, I definitely feel that they have cheapened out the products for India despite us being their 3rd largest market. I had some prior experience with their ASS while helping my buddy’s Verna. They were cordial & warm, and they actually write down the issues on the job sheet reported by the customers where other ASS(looking at you TATA) would simply avoid it or just nod their heads just for our sake. Though they are segment disruptors & front runners in the features arm, safety is definitely a thing which they aren’t looking forward to and overshadowing it by offering unique features to lure the customers. Compared with other Hyundai cars, I felt Verna is certainly a step up in build quality & safety and I hope it proves it mettle by scoring well in Gncap or at other crash testing agencies.

Booking & showroom experience:

Booked online on 20th Feb, exactly after 7 days of announcement. It was a pretty good experience with their website & chose the 1.5TGDi SX(O) FIERY RED+BLACK DT with a booking amount of 25K at FPL Hyundai Chrompet, Chennai. Immediately received an email confirming my booking & SA details. Was supposed to get a call on the day of booking from the dealer side to update my order on their system, but nope. After enquiring about the display vehicle post launch, they came to know of my online booking. My SA was very responsive & attentive but had a very little awareness over their own products & offerings as he asked me whether I’m taking a diesel or petrol variant while confirming my order details. It seemed Iike I was the 1st customer to prebook the car on their showroom, so I was on top of their queue list. He proactively communicated & created a whatsapp group comprising people from each department(loan, accessories, etc). Two days later, saw a video featuring the tellurian brown with the exact variant we were looking for. So changed the color from RED to BROWN but SA warned changing the color would make me stand at the back of the queue & the waiting period would be of 1.5 months, to which I obliged later. Received a call during the weekend regarding the availability of Titan Grey which can be taken for delivery within a week or two utmost. Was initially hesitant, but after discussing with my family, sent a thumbs up emoji to SA after 2 days. Then he went unresponsive and later came to know that it was locked by another customer. Now the patience game starts, which was frustrating & can’t able to move on, as I couldn’t think about waiting 2 months after losing my opportunity over the Titan grey. SA on 2nd April, texted me that the new car update will intimated by 7th April as that’s when they expect to receive allocation from Hyundai. The 7th Apr became 8th Apr, and SA informed me the allocation & mine might get allotted within 2-3 days.

On 11th April,

SA: Sir, your car got allotted. Keep the payment ready.

ME: Oh nice, share the VIN number if possible.

SA: Sir, VIN number will be shared once the invoice has been billed.

ME: But I need to do PDI before invoicing right?

SA: No need to worry sir, we will do the PDI from our side. We assure that you will receive 200% perfect car.

ME: No, I won’t transfer the money before inspecting the car by myself. (I became suspicious by now)

SA: Sorry sir, this is the procedure we are following for the time being & if u want any clarifications, you may ask other dealers & let me know.

ME: Okay fine.

Next day, connected to the Customer Relation Manager, FPL via Hyundai help centre.

ME: My SA is not allowing me to do PDI, saying this is not under the guidelines.

CRM: Yes sir, this is the procedure we follow & don’t worry, we will deliver your car w/o any uncertainties.

ME: What would you do before picking up grocery from a store? You would look for the expiry date, mfd date before billing right? And are you asking me to buy a commodity which costs around two million bucks without looking over these parameters?

CRM: (After a long pause) Okay sir, I totally understand your concern & definitely get back to you after discussing with my team.

After 5 minutes,

SA: Sir, what happened? I heard you have concerns with me. Did you contact Hyundai customer care?

ME: Yes, you said to enquire about the PDI process outside. That’s why I spoke directly to CRM.

SA: Sir, no worries, our manager granted your request. You can very well see your car before making the payment.

ME: Okay, then share the VIN number & when can I expect the car to reach the yard?

SA: Sir, VIN number will be shared during the PDI & the car will arrive by Monday at the stockyard. Post PDI, vehicle will be delivered within a week of full payment.

Those italic words twisted my PDI plans as my family strongly suggested to take the car on Sunday(23rd Apr) which was an auspicious day. Called the SA to check whether he can arrange the delivery by 23rd post settling the final payment. He conveyed that’s not possible as transferring the money post PDI(i.e: on 17th Apr, Monday) would reflect on their account the next day(Tuesday). After confirming the transaction from their side, they would invoice the vehicle on Wednesday, followed by applying insurance, fastag and form20 on Thursday. Since they already have cars lined up for registration, mine will get registered by Monday. The SA seemed genuine & haven’t heard much about the PDI issues for Hyundai cars on TBhp forum, so I let it go & done with the payment by 15th Apr(i.e) Saturday. Anyways, told him that I would see the car before sending off to registration so that if I find any hiccups on the vehicle, they could rectify it before registration. Done with the PDI, looked fresh from the factory with just 9km on odometer.


Those five days post transferring the money was the snail-paced period of my life. I would look over the clock every hour, impatiently waiting for it to move fast. My SA called me the day before to confirm the delivery time as they had a handful of ceremonies scheduled on that day. Reached the showroom by 11.15am, quickly signed all the documents, gave some goodies to SA & went over the delivery bay. Saw the vehicle behind the showroom tying the ribbons, waiting to crush those lemons & getting ready to meet its new family to be savored. Its been a long time since I respirated the new car smell but the show got spoiled when I read a post regarding the risk of cancer while inhaling it. Instant hatred brewed upon it so that I opened the windows immediately to vent out the scent as much as possible.

I guess Hyundai dealers are instructed to adhere by the rules laid by Hyundai. They were very accommodating and humble to every request I kept. During a feedback call regarding the showroom experience, they were asking a list of 20 questions to rate each service they provided. Everytime I visit the showroom, my SA would wish me and never forget to provide me a water bottle or coffee. Never had this kind of treatment in any of the showroom I made a visit. They look for the customer's satisfaction first so that even if I rate them 8/10, they would apologize, then ask for any scope of improvements to be done in future.

Invoice breakup:

  • Base price : 11,02,689 ( Actual price of the car)
  • CGST(14%) : 1,54,376
  • SGST(14%) : 1,54,376
  • Cess (17%) : 1,87,457
  • TCS(1%) : 15,989
  • RTO Charges : 2,42,335
  • Insurance(B2B) : 81,377
  • Accessories : 9999
  • Fastag : 400
  • E.W(7years) : 38463
  • Onroad price : 19,87,461
  • OD Discount(-) : (-)24,000
  • Final Onroad : 19,63,461


Was surprised to see every accessories with the Hyundai moniker as I thought those would be sourced from outside:

  • Tyre Inflator : 3258
  • Tyre puncture kit : 344
  • Vaccum cleaner : 1999
  • Microfiber cloth(body & glass) : 211
  • Premium neck rest : 919
  • Tyre valve caps : 137
  • Floormats : 3499

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