Hyundai has teased the all-new Hyundai Verna on its social media channels ahead of the car’s India launch in the coming months. The carmaker originally revealed the 2018 Verna as a concept in the 2016 Beijing auto show last August. In early February 2017, the Russian-spec production car was revealed under its local name the Solaris. Shortly after, Hyundai took the wraps off the Canada-spec Verna at the 2017 Toronto motor show, although it will be called the Accent in that region. In India, Hyundai will continue with the Verna nameplate and it will be very similar to the car you see here, perhaps with a few minor tweaks. The new Verna should be launched in the coming months at a price that will put it squarely against the Honda City and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. Let’s take a look at the five points that stand out with the upcoming 2018 Hyundai Verna.
1. It’s larger, more spacious
The 2018 Verna will get a 10mm increase in wheelbase resulting in an overall 15mm increase in length. A bigger addition comes in width, which grows by 29mm. Despite the increased dimensions, weight has gone up by just 10 kilos. With the liberated wheelbase and width, we expect more space at the rear, both in terms of knee and shoulder room. The current Verna felt a little cramped at the back compared to the more spacious Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Honda City, so these changes are welcome. The additional space will hopefully lead to the use of a more comfortable rear bench. Boot space too is up by 16 litres, thanks to the added width.
2. Cabin sees big improvement
The cabin gets a new dashboard layout that is mildly canted towards the driver. The layout has evolved into a cleaner, more sophisticated design and it should feel considerably more premium than the existing car. Hyundai will use soft materials at certain touch points and special focus has been paid to boosting ergonomics and ease of use. The top variants will get a new 7.0-inch touchscreen display and we expect support for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The steering wheel design has been refreshed as well. Expect ABS and dual airbags as standard with six airbags on offer on the top models. The automatic variants should offer ESP as well.
3. Could be better to drive
The new Verna will get an updated chassis rather than an all-new setup. Hyundai claims higher use of advanced high-strength steel, 54.5 percent compared with 41.5 percent in the outgoing model. Torsional rigidity has risen by a significant 32 percent, thanks to the additional use of structural adhesives. Couple this with the wider body and longer wheelbase and it’s fair to expect improved dynamics. Hyundai says the updated chassis also results in better noise isolation. Suspension developments have been made with the focus on better ride comfort as well as improved handling and stability. Finally, Hyundai also claims efforts have been made to improve the steering feel. If the improvement the current Elantra has shown over its predecessor is anything to go by, we expect very positive things for the new Verna.
4. Get better gearboxes
One area where the current Verna lacks against competition like the Honda City and Volkswagen Vento is in its automatic gearboxes. The current Verna AT models make do with an outdated four-speed automatic but we expect the new car to feature the six-speed torque converter automatic from the Elantra. This gearbox isn’t quite at dual clutch levels of performance but is considerably smoother and quicker than the old four-speeder. The Canada-spec model will debut with a 1.6-litre direct injection petrol. However, we expect the current Verna’s powertrain offering to continue. That means a choice of 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines.
5. Looks like a scaled-down Elantra
When the new Elantra broke cover last year, it was universally acclaimed for its sleek, new design that was familiar, but a clear step ahead. The new Verna’s design heads in the same direction, gaining a set of clean, swooping lines inspired by its bigger brother. The Verna is the latest Hyundai to feature the company’s cascading grille design and it pulls it off well with its long bonnet and pulled back headlamps. The roofline drops in a clean line similar to the outgoing car but the tail section gets new lamps that look like sleeker versions of the new Xcent’s lamps. Ground clearance has been reduced by 10mm on the Canada-spec car but it remains to be seen if this applies to the Verna that will be sold in India. Seventeen-inch wheels are on offer on the international car.