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Wheels on fire: Verna vs Rapid vs Vento, which car should you buy

By Kunal Kelkar
Last updated on: December 24, 2014 16:13 IST
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The Verna at Rs.11,7200 is the most expensive of the lot. The Vento is priced at Rs.11,16,000 and the Rapid is the cheapest at Rs.10,97,000.

 

With the growing lines of traffic and the erratic fuel prices, driving in the Indian metropolitans seems to have become quite the task.

The constant back and forth of the clutch and brake with the minimal use of the accelerator is no joy for anyone driving, be it an octane addict or a chauffeur.

With the increase in expendable income the younger generation is now looking to get cars for their commute too.

A diesel automatic seems to be perfect fit. Easy to drive and good fuel mileage.

Lets see what he Indian market has for this kind of customer.

Image: Hyundai Verna.

The Hyundai Verna was the only car in the executive car segment to provide a diesel automatic.

It had a great response in the market without any competition.

Well, the Germans have stepped up their game and launched new DSG transmissions in the Rapid and the Vento. I guess its time for a comparo.

Image: On the interior, the Verna comes fully loaded with many driver/passenger friendly features.

Lets start with the Korean manufacturer, Hyundai. With the Verna being launched early into this segment of the Indian market, the car was received well and people warmed up to the ease of driving this car in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

On the exterior, the Verna follows Hyundai’s well-acclaimed Fluidic design and the updated version gets LEDs and projector lamps.

Not too much to talk about the exterior as there haven’t been any changes apart from the headlamps.

On the interior the Verna comes fully loaded with many driver/passenger friendly features.

Image: Though Verna is great to drive around the city due to its added comfort, the low fuel mileage does weigh its odds down a bit.

The keyless entry and push start/stop button along with the rear view camera add a lot more ease to the already easy to drive automatic.

Power wise the Verna gets a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel producing 126hp of power.

This car is the most powerful amongst the three.

Unfortunately this power gets transferred to the wheels by a four-speed automatic.

The acceleration is linear and there isn't a surge from the transmission when you plant your right foot.

Image:  Volkwagen Vento is the latest entrant in the diesel auto space.

Though the Verna is great to drive around the city due to its added comfort, the low fuel mileage does weigh its odds down a bit.

It returns about 12-13km/l in city driving.

The Verna doesn't show alacrity in handling like its European competition as it isn't that confident at high speeds like the Vento and the Rapid.

The most popular German manufacturer, Volkswagen decided to bring its already famous seven-speed DSG transmission to the Vento.

Now this seems to be a great addition if you ask me.

A car that people liked a lot now gets even better without having to shuffle through the H-transmission.

Dimensionally the Vento is the same as the old car apart from some minor cosmetic tweaks.

The interior has some big changes, the steering wheel with its control buttons and the dashboard are the biggest changes.

The finish on the inside is very plush and premium.

It feels clean and simple.

The Vento gets a rear A/C vent for the passengers in the back, a much-needed touch in the heat of the city.

It also the option to adjust the front seat from the rear and it gets leather seats too.

Image: With its red fascia, blacked out lights and black rims, Skoda Rapid has a very slight racer boy feel.

The Skoda Rapid, or Rapid Black is a much younger/sportier looking car.

With its red fascia, blacked out lights and black rims, the Rapid has a very slight racer boy feel.

I will also say that it is the most fun to drive.

On the inside, the Rapid feels on the mediocre side as compared to its sibling and the Verna.

Though it may have projector headlamps and cruise control, the interior feels aged, old Vento style, but that’s something I can live with.

The Vento does get leather seats as compared to the fabric ones in the Rapid.

Image: Skoda Rapid feels lighter and races off its feet when the accelerator is pressed.

Both the Vento and the Rapid are powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel that produces 103bhp and dimensionally the Rapid is just marginally bigger than the Vento, not that that makes a big difference.

The driving dynamics of the all three cars are very different.

The Rapid makes you want to drive fast and sporty whereas the Vento is more relaxed and plush.

The Verna is in no way sluggish at all and I will say that it has to be the most comfortable.

The seven-speed DSG transmissions in the Vento and Rapid are flawless with shifts and deliver a great mileage too.

Image: Volkwagen Vento returns a fuel efficiency of 15km/ltr.

The Vento and the Rapid return a fuel efficiency of 15km/l, which is a bit more than the Verna.

The Rapid feels lighter and races off its feet when the accelerator is pressed.

The shifts on the Rapid feel more smooth than the Vento.

The low central tunnel in the Verna is an added bonus for buyers as a fifth person can sit more comfortably in the Hyundai than in the VW or the Skoda.

The Rapid seems to seat the driver and the passengers slightly higher making it very comfortable for nearly everyone to get in and out of where as the Verna is quite low, making it difficult for some.

Image: Volkwagen's Vento and Rapid compete with Hyundai Verna.

On the highway the German cars feel much more sorted over the Hyundai. They handle better and are more comfortable.

The Verna feels at home in the city. When it comes to actually buying any one of these cars, what matters the most is the price.

The Verna at Rs.11,7200 is the most expensive of the lot. Yes it may get a lot of added features but it does feel old as compared to its rivals.

The Vento is priced at Rs.11,16,000 and the Rapid is the cheapest at Rs.10,97,000.

Since this segment is all about the driver and his/her car, the owner would prefer a vehicle that is more enjoyable to drive and delivers better fuel mileage than something that just does the job half- heartedly.

That’s where the Vento and Rapid have an edge over the Hyundai, but when it comes to sales and service, reliability and resale the Hyundai has an advantage over the two.

The Vento and the Rapid are pretty much identical, except for some slight differences on the interior and with the features.

The Verna does feel la little outdated and doesn’t really give that thrill when it comes to driving.

In our opinion, if you can live with fabric seats and a slightly out-dated interior and paying near about Rs 2,00,000 less than the segment leader, the Skoda Rapid is the winner of this comparison.

The Vento comes the closest and for all those who need a bit more of a premium feel then it is the Vento DSG.

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