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Can the new Hyundai Verna 4S take on Honda City?

Last updated on: March 19, 2015 12:48 IST

The Hyundai Verna 4S gets a design makeover for a better ride, writes MotorBeam. 

Having reigned the C-segment space by offering more bang for the buck, the Hyundai Verna Fluidic's leadership was brought to an abrupt end when the fourth generation Honda City with a diesel heart was launched early last year.

Sure, Hyundai did launch an updated Verna to counter the City's impressive numbers, but it did little damage to the Japanese giant's growth.

Nevertheless, the South Koreans aren't giving up so easily and have introduced the comprehensively revised 'New 4S Fluidic Verna' in the country.

Are the upgrades enough to make a dent in the City's sales? We found out as we drove the sedan in the lake city of Udaipur.  

First things first, the '4S' added to the Verna moniker stands for Safety, Style, Sophistication and Speed (Performance) and Hyundai says that the sedan delivers on each of these fronts.

Starting with the new styling, the 2015 Hyundai Verna has been updated with a comprehensively revised front fascia featuring new wing-shaped twin-slat chrome grille, tweaked headlight cluster with projector headlamps and revised bumper with redesigned fog lights and wider air intake.

Surprisingly, the LED DRLs added in the 2014 edition have been omitted from the 4S.  

The side profile is the same but gets new 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheels while updates to the rear are limited to the new tail light cluster with LED effect and the two-tone bumper that conceals the exhaust pipe and gets revised reflectors.

Compared to the front, the minimal changes to the rear do emerge as a disappointment. On the inside, Hyundai has retained the same layout from the existing Verna but has improved the seats with better cushioning and thigh support for both rows. 

You also get a tilt and telescopic steering wheel (previously only tilt), automatic headlamps with follow-me-home function, rain-sensing wipers and an updated 2-DIN audio system with 1 GB internal memory that emits sound from six speakers.

Safety being of paramount importance with the Verna 4S, the sedan has been updated with six airbags, ABS (standard on all variants), speed-sensing auto door lock and unlock as part of the safety list.

There is also the new Ergo lever that allows rear passengers to adjust the front passenger seat (ala the Volkswagen Vento), but you do miss the absence of rear air-con vents, otherwise seen on the smaller Xcent and Grand i10 in Hyundai's lineup. 

The 2015 Hyundai Verna 4S continues to come with the option of four engines under its hood.

The petrol motors don't sport any changes and continue to produce 107 PS of power and 135 Nm of torque on the 1.4-litre mill, paired to a 5-speed manual; whereas the 1.6-litre unit produces 123 PS and 155 Nm of torque, paired to a 6-speed manual and 4-speed automatic. Fuel efficiency is also the same at 17.01 km/l and 15.74 km/l respectively. 

Coming to the diesel engines, the 1.4-litre unit churns out 90 PS and 220 Nm of torque and is paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox, whereas the 1.6-litre unit belts out 128 PS and 260 Nm of torque and comes paired to a 6-speed manual and a 4-speed auto box.

The diesel motors have received mild revisions including friction coating for improved fuel efficiency and return 24.8 km/l on the 1.4 and 23.9 km/l on the 1.6 engines respectively. Fuel efficiency on the 1.6 AT is rated at 19.08 km/l.  

Hyundai has updated the suspension on the Verna 4S in a bid to improve the ride and handling characteristics.

The suspension is now slightly stiffer set-up but limited to the diesel versions and the steering also weighs up much better than before at high speeds, but still isn't as precise as one would hope.

High speed stability has improved with the ride being flat and settled, unlike the outgoing version. Even though the manual variants miss out on rear disc brakes, stopping power is good but the ABS does kick in quite early being over sensitive. 

The Hyundai Verna was always a charmer in the C-segment sedan space with its never ending list of features, comfortable cabin, svelte design and most powerful diesel engines.

With the 4S, the automaker has worked upon those dark areas of the sedan by offering better ride and handling while also adding a few new and useful features.

The diesel engines continue to be refined with minimal NVH levels and strike the perfect balance between performance and fuel efficiency.

With the extensive list of updates, the Verna does make a compelling buy in the segment.

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