2020 Honda City vs Hyundai Verna – Shootout
We pit the all new 2020 Honda City against the Hyundai Verna facelift.
Shootout No. 234
Price OTR Mumbai: 12 – 19 lakhs (est.) (Honda City), Rs. 10.90 – 18.18 lakhs (Hyundai Verna)
The C-Segment sedan war has just gotten all the more interesting with both the highest selling sedans getting major updates
The C-Segment has a lot of good sedans but the rivalry between the Hyundai Verna and Honda City has always been interesting. The Verna is a Korean car while the City is a Japanese vehicle, yet what it is common between them is that they are hugely appealing to customers across different age groups. Now, the Verna recently got an important facelift with new mechanicals while the City that we have here is the all-new 5th generation model.
Exteriors – The new Honda City comes across as a well-rounded sedan in terms of styling. Meanwhile, this generation of the Verna came out in 2017 and got a facelift just a few weeks back. With this update, the Verna looks more sophisticated and stylish. The City is longer by 109 mm, wider by 19 mm and taller by 14 mm but the wheelbase of both the cars is identical at 2600 mm, which is also the same as the 4th gen City’s wheelbase. Both the sedans now come with LED headlights and tail lamps. The Verna Turbo gets a blacked-out grille and tweaked bumpers and this is the sportiest looking variant out of the lot.
Interiors – Both the vehicles come with well-appointed interiors. The fit and finish feels slightly better on the Verna but most of the components have similar quality levels. These sedans do come with hard plastics on the inside and both the cars have a dual-tone black/beige colour theme for the cabin but the Verna Turbo gets an all-black cabin with red accents, which looks very sporty. The City’s dashboard gets a soft touch panel on the passenger side of the dashboard along with a faux wood inlay. Thankfully, both cars offer very good seats which are well cushioned and comfortable. The rear seats are also supportive on both the cars. However, the Verna gets only 2 headrests at the rear while the City gets 3. Both the rear headrests on the Verna are adjustable but the City gets fixed headrests.
The City is the clear winner in terms of rear-seat space, headroom, legroom, overall comfort and boot space
Even though both the cars have an identical wheelbase, it is the City which is more spacious. Honda always follows the Man Maximum Machine Minimum philosophy and it has worked well here. The City has significantly better legroom and the width of the car also makes the cabin feel roomier. The headroom for rear passengers feels very tight in the Verna because of the sloping roofline, meanwhile, there are no such issues on the City. The City’s boot capacity is 506-litres which is much more than Verna’s 480-litres. These sedans come equipped with enough storage spaces and bottle-holders.
Both Hyundai and Honda have loaded their cars with features. Some of the common features are an 8-inch infotainment system, keyless go with push-button start, sunroof, automatic climate control, automatic headlamps, etc. The Verna comes with a digital instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch MID while the City gets a semi-digital instrument cluster with a 7-inch MID. The City’s instrument cluster looks basic but is easy to read. The Verna also gets front parking sensors on the Turbo variant.
Both vehicles get connected car features. The City gets Honda Connect and Alexa connectivity while the Verna gets BlueLink connectivity. The Verna also gets wireless charging which the City misses out on. The City gets a LaneWatch camera while the Verna gets a driver rearview monitor. The Verna gets ventilated car seats which are missing on the City. The Verna also gets height adjustable front seat-belts which aren’t present on the City.
Performance – The Honda City is offered with two engine options – 1.5-litre petrol and diesel. Both the engines get a 6-speed MT while the petrol engine also gets a CVT. Meanwhile, the Verna gets 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines and a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine. The petrol engine gets a CVT, while the diesel gets a torque convertor. Both these engines also get a 6-speed MT. The turbo petrol engine gets a 7-speed DCT only. The City’s petrol engine is more powerful at 121 PS while the torque output is just marginally higher at 145 Nm compared to the Verna’s 115 PS and 144 Nm. The Verna’s turbo petrol engine delivers a healthy 120 PS and 172 Nm.
The Verna edges ahead of the City with its diesel engine while the City gets more points for its lovely petrol powerplant
The turbo petrol engine offers very good driveability, even though it is a 1.0-litre unit, it is powerful and the performance is fun. Outright acceleration from 0-100 km/hr gets affected because the DCT doesn’t allow a high RPM launch. The DCT is quick-shifting though and gets paddle-shifters. If we compare the 1.5 petrol engines of these cars, the City shines. The i-VTEC engine is very punchy, loves to be revved and is also slightly more powerful than the Verna. Verna’s new petrol engine is also quite refined and offers good punch but lacks top-end performance.
If we talk about the diesel engines, the Verna is way better here because its engine is more refined and has more power and torque at 115 PS and 250 Nm compared to the City’s 100 PS and 200 Nm. It also has a very good mid-range. Meanwhile, the City’s diesel engine feels a little less refined in comparison and the lesser power and torque are felt if you tend to push the car hard. The City doesn’t have too much turbo lag and offers great low-end punch but the Verna diesel has an edge overall. The City’s i-DTEC unit has been tuned to deliver linear power delivery though it lacks top-end grunt. The Verna diesel also gets the option of a 6-speed automatic which the City doesn’t get.
The CVTs on both the cars have the rubber-band effect but Honda’s CVT feels a tad better. Thankfully, these cars have light clutches and smooth gearboxes. Expect the City to be more fuel-efficient than the Verna in day to day conditions, for both petrol and diesel. The City’s petrol engine will deliver about 10-13 km/l while the Verna’s MPI engine will give 9-12 km/l. The Verna Turbo can be expected to churn out about 10 km/l in city traffic conditions though it can go up significantly on long highway drives. The City’s diesel engine is more fuel efficient delivering anywhere between 15-21 km/l while the Verna’s CRDI engine will deliver somewhere between 14-18 km/l.
Driving Dynamics – These cars come with very sorted suspension setups. The Verna’s ride quality now feels better than the pre-facelift model and it feels more mature now. Meanwhile, the City’s ride is softer and plusher than the outgoing model. The suspension has also become silent now. Both these sedans boast of good high-speed manners and they remain planted on the highways but none of them are corner carvers.
Both cars feel stable at high speeds & have good braking performance, however, the City feels a wee bit more agile around the corners
The Verna’s steering is super light at low speeds and while it does weigh up a bit as the speeds increase, it still feels vague and lacks feedback. The City’s steering offers a much better feel compared to the Verna. However, due to the softer suspension, there is a bit of body roll that can be felt with these cars. The new City has a bit more body roll than the older car. None of these sedans give any reason to complain on the braking front. The City gets discs up front and drums at the rear while the Verna gets discs at the rear too, albeit only in the Turbo variant.
Safety and After Sales Service – The Honda City and Hyundai Verna get 6 airbags on the top variants. These cars also get ABS, ISOFIX mounts, Hill Start Assist and TPMS. The Verna gets traction control while the City also gets Vehicle Stability Assist and Agile Handling Assist. Hyundai and Honda have a lot of service centres in India and these cars also score high on reliability. Maintenance shouldn’t be an issue with any of these cars and previous models of these cars have been known to offer hassle-free ownership.
Verdict – The Hyundai Verna and Honda City are so impressive that it is hard to pick one. These cars look gorgeous, offer a lot of equipment and have multiple engine options. If you’re looking for a petrol-manual car, it is the Honda City that you should go for. Meanwhile, if you want a petrol-automatic sedan, get the Verna Turbo which is a great performing car and the DCT is any day better than a CVT. However, if you’re confused between the 1.5 petrol CVT options, we’ll again recommend the City because it has an advantage of space and power. The Verna CVT isn’t bad at all but offers lesser space at the rear. If you want a diesel car, it has to be the Verna which is not only punchier and more refined but also offers an automatic gearbox.
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