Few cars attract buyers the way the Hyundai Fluidic Verna has been doing so since it was launched in 2011. Within a few months of its launch, the Fluidic Verna became segment leader and has retained its standing. Despite the slowdown in the mid-size sedan segment, the car continued to post positive growth. In fact, the Fluidic Verna increased its market share in the segment from 31% in 2012 to 37% in 2013. But competition has been heating up. The new, much-improved Honda City is eating into Verna sales.
Now, the Verna has powerful engine options, its build quality is among the best and it is a very well-equipped car, but where it faltered was the way its suspension behaved at high speeds. Although it was fun to drive in the city limits, but on the highway, especially at speeds above 80 kmph, the steering-feel used to be almost unresponsive and the ride was bouncy.
The good news is Hyundai has worked upon these shortcomings and has also introduced a few additional features in the 2014 Verna. First is changes to suspension, which now gets stiffer springs. The result: It doesn’t really ‘crash’ into potholes and tackles bad roads relatively well. The car’s straight-line stability has improved to an extent and the way the car tackles tight corners is also commendable. But make no mistake, the ride quality at high speeds is still not in the league of the Honda City or the Skoda Rapid. However, where the 2014 Verna delights is in equipment. The major changes include projector headlamps with LED positioning lamp, 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, and automatic & follow-me-home headlamps. Then you have keyless entry and drive—simply keep the smart-key in your pocket, unlock the car by pressing a small tab on the door handle, start the car by pressing a button on the dashboard and drive it.
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The Verna has always been a good city car, and with these changes, it can now be a comfortable highway companion too. Hyundai has kept prices unchanged for the 2014 Verna—the petrol version starts from Rs 7.18 lakh and the diesel Rs 8.35 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi.