Next generation Hyundai Verna pestered ahead of launch

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Hyundai has pestered the all-new Hyundai Verna on its social-media channels ahead of the car’s India launch in the upcoming months. The automaker initially revealed the 2018 Verna as a concept in the 2016 Beijing auto show last August 2016. In February 2017, the Russian-spec production car was shown under its local name the Solaris. Soon 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 comparable to the car you see here, maybe with a few slight 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 coming 2018 Hyundai Verna.

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Cabin sees big improvement

The cabin gets a new dashboard layout that is mildly canted towards the driver. The layout has changed into a cleaner, classier design and it should feel significantly 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-inch touch-screen display and we assume 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.

Could be better to drive

The new Verna will get an updated chassis rather than an all-new setup. Hyundai rights higher use of advanced high-strength steel, 54.5 % compared with 41.5 % 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. Lastly, Hyundai also rights efforts have been made to progress 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.

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It’s larger, more spacious

The 2018 Verna will get a 10-mm rise in wheel-base resulting in an overall 15-mm rise 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 assume more space at the back, 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 extra space will positively lead to the use of a more relaxed back bench. Boot space too is up by 16 litres, thanks to the added width.

 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 present 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 is not 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 assume the present Verna’s powertrain offering to continue. That means a choice of 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines.

Looks like a scaled-down Elantra

When the new Elantra broke cover last year, it was entirely celebrated 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 business’s flowing 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 10-mm on the Canada-spec car but it leftovers 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.