New Hyundai Verna First Drive - India launch on 22nd August 2017

New Hyundai Verna First Drive – India launch on 22nd August 2017

Hyundai Motor India today unveiled the new 5th gen Verna to the media today. Bookings are open and the mid size sedan will launch on 22nd August, 2017.

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Hyundai Motor India Ltd today unveiled the 5th gen Hyundai Verna to media. The super body structure midsize sedan will be officially launch on August 22, 2017. The automaker has opened customer bookings across its dealerships from today. Next Gen Verna sports a super body structure frame that is built of 50% Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). This is more than three times what is on offer with other manufacturers. Staying true to its character, new Verna has been built to bring together Futuristic Design, Dynamic Performance, optimised Safety, and new features.

Y.K Koo, Managing Director & CEO, HMIL took pride in unveiling the aspirational Next Gen Verna for the Indian automobile market. Designed for disruption in its segment, Verna is banking on benchmark features. Sales in across 66 Countries sees 8.8 million customers globally. 3.17 lakh units have been sold in India to date. The new Verna has been rigorously tested across terrains in India, and elsewhere. R&D Centres in Namyang (S. Korea), Chennai and Hyderabad have worked to establish a superior sedan meant for customer satisfaction.

Built on Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), its new Hyundai Verna strong body structure comprises of Hot Stamping Applications that augment performance and safety through high vehicle body rigidity, structural changes, and crash performance. A Rigid and Responsive Chassis, and improved impact Harshness optimises driver feedback for an improved driving experience. Ample weight control improves performance and fuel efficiency. Low NVH levels are attributed to the use of improved sound absorption materials, strong body structure (AHSS), and the latest in design engineering. Measures include engine and transmission mount design change, tunnel insulator, foam filler in cavity, and more.

Hyundai India gave us the new Verna for a test drive around their test track at the Chennai Plant earlier today. You might have noticed that there are no detailed images of the new Verna in the post. That is because Hyundai India did not allow media to click pictures of the new Verna today. They will give us the car for a proper photo and video shoot during the official media drive later this month.

But ahead of that, you can read our first impression of the much awaited new gen Verna.

Exteriors & Interiors – First Impressions

Compared to the old Verna, the new one does look sportier and sharper. In the front, you have Hyundai’s family grille adorned by projector headlights and LED DRLs. Highlight of the side profile is the sloping roof, giving the car a coupe-like stance. At the rear are new LED taillights, which are inspired by i20 and Elantra.

On the inside is a dual tone dashboard finished in premium quality plastic. Manual top end variants get leather seats with leather steering wheel. The auto variant we drove had fabric seats. On the dashboard is a new 7 inch AVN system, which will take care of your infotainment and navigations needs. The screen display is sharp, but lacked responsiveness.

China-Spec Verna

Touch and feel of interiors is good. Seats offer good comfort, for all passengers. There is an arm rest for front, as well as, rear passengers. At the rear, you have AC vents, which along with the front vents keep the cabin cool. There is electric sunroof and a good music system to keep you entertained.

Space could be an issue for some passengers. In spite of being wider and longer than the old Verna, the new Verna feels smaller on the inside. Taller passengers might complain about the legroom and headroom at the rear.

Storage spaces inside the cabin are in plenty. There are bottle holders on all doors, cup holders, large glove box, pockets at the rear of front seats, etc. Overall, the new Verna does feel more premium than before from the inside and gets more features as well.

Driving Dynamics – First Impressions

We test drove the 1.6 litre diesel manual and auto variants at the company’s test track inside the Chennai plant. Though this is the same engine and transmission option on offer in the outgoing Verna, the way it handles the new gen Verna is completely different.

The new body consists of 50% high tensile steel, which has not only made the chassis lighter, but also stronger and more rigid than before. What this translates into is a much improved driving performance. Acceleration from stand still is impressive, and probably the best this segment has to offer.

The 1.6 litre diesel engine on board the new Verna delivers 128 PS and 260 Nm (making it the most powerful car in the segment). Power delivery is progressive, making the car fun to drive. Steering feedback is good, allowing you more control when manoeuvring or taking on those fast curves. Steering weighs in well with increase in speed, just like you would want for a driver’s car.

New Verna Petrol Engine Specs

EnginePetrol 1.6
Transmission5 MT / 4 AT
Power123 PS
Torque155 Nm

New Verna Diesel Engine Specs

EngineDiesel 1.6
Transmission6 MT / 6 AT
Power128 PS
Torque260 Nm

Built on the all new K2 platform and at an investment of INR 1,000 crore, the 5th gen Verna is engineered for improved driving and handling for a more confident and peppy driving experience. Suspension tuning is optimised for cornering and high speed stability, superior ride comfort and responsive handling performance. Rear suspension changes cater to comfort and ride stability for rear passengers through a vertical angle for the rear shock absorbers and coil springs on a coupled torsion beam axle.

China-Spec Verna

Front suspension runs on McPherson strut with coil springs and gas shock absorbers. A front stabilizer reduces body roll when cornering. The Motor-Driven Power Steering System (MDPS) is tuned such that when cornering and at high speeds, feedback to the driver ensures better handling response. Front wheel caster angle improves steering feedback when driving at a higher speed on highways.

The test drive cars were fitted with Hankook tyres. These offered exceptional road grip and did not lose traction even when we were pushing the car hard. Braking has a good bite, and the car stops impressively without losing its line. ABS kicks in at about the right time, helping the car slow down smoothly.

Shifting gears in the manual (6 speed) variant is done with ease. Gear ratios are tuned for Indian road conditions, allowing you a hassle free drive without changing gears even at low speeds. Automatic gearbox shifts much earlier than I would prefer, but then there is the Manual Drive mode, in which you can shift the autobox as per your liking. NVH levels are fantastic. There is barely any noise that seeps into the cabin.

Overall, new gen Verna scores well when it comes to driving dynamics. This was the one department where the current Verna failed to deliver, despite being offered with powerful engines. Niggles from the old Verna like no steering feedback, lesser control at high speed, high body roll, uneven braking, etc, have been ironed out by Hyundai in the new gen Verna – making it a worthy competitor in the segment once again.

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