Hyundai has launched the 5th generation Verna in India. The Verna will be competing against the two most popular cars in the segment, namely the Honda City and the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. Here is a spec comparison to put things in perspective.
The body structure of the Hyundai Verna is made of 50 per cent high strength steel making it safer than before. The larger hexagonal grille sits proudly at the front, which is partnered by projector headlamps and fog lamps on either side. The Verna also sports a coupe-like silhouette with the roof merging into a smaller boot lid. The wrap-around tail-lamp now incorporate the 3-LED design for the stop-lamps and are a prominent part of the rear end. The rear bumper gets the two-tone treatment.
The City takes the "ain't broken-don't fix it". The Honda City is one handsome car. Proper three-box proportion with the right amount of modernisation thrown into the mix gives the City a classy appeal which is on point with its position as the segment-leader. The recent update including the addition of all LED lamps - front and rear, along with bigger diamond-cut smoked alloys have given it a sharper and sportier persona, which it seemed to lack.
Compared to the other two, the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz looks a bit dated. It is not something that would turn heads, but it definitely won't go unnoticed. It appears long and wide and has quite a presence. If it were up to us, we'd say it is very much 'inspired' by the City, especially the rear end. The projector headlamps, wide tail lamps and generous yet apt use of chrome do impart to it an air of quality. An updated Ciaz is on its way soon though.
A well-balanced two-toned theme dominates the Hyundai Verna's cabin. The dash is functional and tidy with everything ever so slightly inclined toward the driver. The instrument cluster is as good as it gets with a colour MID housed between the dials. The leather-wrapped steering has an array of controls which are easy to distinguish and operate, including cruise control. Storage spaces are ample throughout the cabin, including a cooled glove box. Boot space is a substantial 480 litres, which is 30 litres less than that of both the City and the Ciaz. However, it can be opened by waving your foot underneath the bumper. Latest to the cabin is an all new electric sunroof and cooled front seats. On the safety front, the top spec model gets six airbags, along with the usual ABS and EBD systems.
Honda has taken a bold step and gotten rid of as many switches and knobs as it can from the City's cabin. The dash is all touch-controls based. Be it the AC or media functions, everything has a touch operated interface. Of course, there is a touchscreen as well. The dash is all black with generous use of piano black inserts. The boot is an impressive 510 litres. The City offers an electric sunroof for the top trim as well, along with six airbags.
Maruti-Suzuki, on the other hand, employed the pure-business-no-nonsense approach to the Ciaz. The interior is nicely laid out, with the touchscreen Smartplay system sitting at the centre. The cabin is themed two-tone, as is with the City and Verna, except for the top trim which comes with an all-black upholstery. The instrument cluster has clear and easy-to-read dials, with a monochromatic MID between them. The Ciaz has the same sized boot as the City at 510 litres. Where the Ciaz fall behind is at offering just two airbags, even in the top trim.
The Verna has the 1.6-litre Gamma VTVT petrol and 1.6-litre U2 CRDi diesel engine carried over from the outgoing cark. The figures are 123PS@6,400rpm and 154Nm@4,850rpm for petrol and 128PS@4,000rpm and 265Nm@1,500rpm for the diesel. Hyundai has tuned both the engines to produce higher torque at much lower revs than before. Both the engines come mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed auto gearbox.
The City comes with the 1.5 litre i-VTEC or Honda's first ever diesel 1.5 litre i-DTEC motor. The petrol outputs 119PS@6,600rpm and 145Nm@4,600rpm while the diesel churns out 100PS@3,600 and 200Nm@1,750rpm. The petrol is coupled with either the 5-speed manual or a CVT while the diesel gets a 6-speed manual.
The Fiat-sourced 1.3 litre DDiS diesel with Smart Hybrid technology does duty in Ciaz's diesel variants. The motor churns out 90PS@4,000rpm and 200Nm@1,750rpm. It is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The petrol variants get the 1.4 litre VVT petrol engine which delivers 93PS@6,000rpm and 130Nm@4,000rpm. However the petrol is offered with a choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.
The Hyundai Verna petrol ranges from Rs. 7.99-12.24 lakh and the diesel costs between Rs. 9.20-12.62 lakh.
The Honda City petrol ranges from Rs.8.46-13.38 lakh and the diesel from Rs.10.69-13.43 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi.
The Ciaz can be had for Rs.7.66-9.40 lakh for the petrol variant with the diesel ranging between Rs.9.43-11.55 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi.