Hyundai Verna Review
Car tested: 2012 Hyundai Verna 1.6 CRDI Automatic
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs 13,67,940/-
Despite of being the only automatic in its segment, the Verna also happens to be the cheapest diesel automatic you can buy.
Long gone are the days when Hyundai cars would look typically Korean. Evolution and incorporation of Hyundai’s latest Fluidic design philosophy has completely changed the game for the Korean manufacturer with their cars sporting a more European form. The Fluidic Verna is clearly generations apart from its predecessor, the design is eye catching, forcing you to steal a second glance once in a while. The Hyundai Verna clearly spells success, this model commands a large waiting period inspite of Hyundai ramping up the production capacity. To have your own set of keys, you have have to hold your horses for a good six months or more for delivery. Looks aside, it is the only car in the segment to offer a diesel automatic variant. We take it for a spin and find out how good it gets.
The gearbox is the only differentiating factor between the manual and automatic variants. Everything else remains absolutely the same. Externally, you can look for the ‘Auto’ badge behind the front right wheel. Hyundai is said to be working towards offering automatic transmission in the lower variants in the coming months, this move will make the automatic variant more affordable and will also help the sale figures point north. These days customers prefer diesel cars, especially since the distance between the two fuels is increasing by the day with respect to cost. Bad road conditions, city traffic jams and the convenience of single foot driving work in favour of automatic cars and the Hyundai Verna comes across as a strong sole contender.
Verna’s automatic avatar hosts a four speed, single clutch automatic transmission, which has been lying in Hyundai’s backyard for a while. This 4 speed unit incorporates a slot shift mechanism and even though it may not seem lucrative on paper, its does a commendable job on the road. Since there are only 4 gears on hand, ratio’s are taller and widely spaced and thus the automatic variant does not accelerate as fast as its manual sibling or so does it feel. Having said this, the Hyundai Verna Automatic is less than a second slower than the manual to 100 kmph. The single clutch mechanism has an inherent lag between shifts but this is in acceptable limits. You may prefer to shift manually through the tiptronic function while overtaking on the highways. The 1.6 litre CRDI engine produces adequate power to get the job done satisfactorily with enough power on hand even in low speeds.
Manual mode reaps faster shifts and is more fun to drive but even in this mode the gearbox will upshift once you hit the rev limiter at a little over 4000 rpm. The automatic variant does not rev as freely as its manual counterpart which goes all the way to 5000 rpm. Engine refinement is brilliant and deserves a mention. The auto mode is best used in city or when you are out for a relaxing drive. Expect the fuel efficiency to drop by almost 2 kmpl in the city, on the highways, there is marginal difference between the mileage of the automatic and manual variants, thanks to the tall 4th gear. Expect around 12.5 kmpl in the city and around 16 kmpl on the highways.
The Verna automatic is far better than its predecessor and despite of being the only automatic in its segment, it also happens to be the cheapest diesel automatic you can buy. It may not score well on the highways but if you are looking for a city car, there is simply and quite literally, no competition at all. The good thing is, Hyundai is planing to offer the automatic gearbox in lower variants of the Verna, which will appeal to a large section of buyers.