IAB was busy checking out the car market for the last two days and we got to drive the new Hyundai Verna Transform. The Hyundai Verna Transform was launched on the July 23rd 2010 and has been criticized for the bad makeover Hyundai has given the Verna.
How wrong were we. The Verna Transform's new looks does work and it works well. Pictures of the Verna Transform don't do justice to the car, in the flesh the new Verna Transform really looks 'transformed'.
> The new facelift is all concentrated at the front. The headlamp now looks sporty and is shaped like an eagle's head. The headlamp has been detailed well and in contrast to the old Verna, the new headlamps looks better.
> The grille is the most controversial part. We hated it when we got to see it first but in the skin the grille doesn't really look that awkward and it kind of gives the Verna Transform the slight aggression.
> Side indicators have been moved to the rear view mirrors and look classy.
> The air damn has been nicely done and the symmetrical grille pattern on the air damn looks really good.
> The rear tail lamps are actually changed. The tail lamp now protrudes out and feels chunky and this departs from the old Verna's dull smooth styling.
> The faux-diffuser at the lower end of the rear bumper looks good and the exhaust pipe is neatly integrated into the bumper.
> At first glance nothing but the music system looks to have changed but there are a few minor changes. Though these don't drastically increase the appeal of the Verna's dull interiors, it helps in slightly refreshing the interiors.
> The blue backlit instrument panels, clock and climate control display looks upmarket and looks pleasant.
> The music system looks much better than the older which which looked like a cheap plasticky aftermarket equipment.
> The faux-wood panels still remain and spoils the otherwise average interiors.
> Space has been Verna's strength always. No change to the cabin means the Verna Transform retains the spacious airy cabi as the old one.
> The Verna's sporty looks don't really translate to a sporty drive.The steering does feel light and disconnected. The benchmark is still the Ford Fiesta.
> The Verna Transform thankfully retains the 1.5 liter CRDi diesel with a Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT). The engine produces 109 hp and 235 Nm of torque and the Verna is absolutely brilliant in the straight line but show it some corners it refuses to turn and the driver's skill should take over.
> The Verna's ride is very plush and it is one of the best. All that good feeling however is dampened by the noisy diesel at times.
> The manual gearbox is so bad that you would wish you could have opted for the 4-speed automatic transmission on offer and which happens to be the only car in its segment to come with an automatic on offer. The gear shift could have been better.
Summing it up
The Verna Transform does live up to its name and the car is actually noticeably refreshing. But we are actually disappointed with Hyundai missing out on a few very important additions on a car in this segment, there are no airbags on offer. Not even as a option. Hyundai offers airbags on its i10 and the i20 and why can't they offer it on the Verna?
When compared to the competition, the Verna is overpriced (in comparison to the Ford Fiesta SXI TDCi) for the equipment it offers but what the Verna offers is a big car feel that is easy to drive in the city (unlike the Fiat Linea).
The Verna Transform diesel however is not a bad buy and with the new refreshed looks it deserves a consideration if you are going to buy a diesel sedan.
We compared the new Hyundai Verna Transform CRDi with the Ford Fiesta SXI TDCi and the Fiat Linea Emotion Multijet and here are the standings.
Looks: Ford Fiesta << Hyundai Verna Transform << Fiat Linea
Interiors: Ford Fiesta << Hyundai Verna Transform << Fiat Linea
Space: Ford Fiesta << Hyundai Verna Transform << Fiat Linea
Equipment: Hyundai Verna Transform << Ford Fiesta << Fiat Linea
Handling: Hyundai Verna Transform << Fiat Linea << Ford Fiesta
Ride: Ford Fiesta << Hyundai Verna Transform << Fiat Linea
Urban driving: Fiat Linea << Hyundai Verna Transform << Ford Fiesta
Fuel Efficiency: Hyundai Verna Transform << Fiat Linea << Ford Fiesta
Build Quality: Fiat Linea << Hyundai Verna Transform << Ford Fiesta
Value for Money: Hyundai Verna Transform << Fiat Linea << Ford Fiesta
All these standings are for now only and when the Volkswagen Vento hits the market these rankings could be shaken up drastically. Keep watching this space.
Click here for Hyundai Verna Tranform's detailed image gallery