Hyundai Verna (1.5 MPi + IVT) review

Sharp suited succession

₹ 18,86,000

(As tested)

It’s always exciting when a carmaker takes radical steps to update an iconic model. Within the sedan space, the Hyundai Verna has been battling it out with (limited) competition forever now. But this all-new 6th gen model seems like it was designed by Hyundai in 2035 and sent back in time for us to marvel at.

Amping up the brand’s parametric design philosophy, the sharp sides have a Katana-created crease that bulks up over the rear wheel arches to emphasize the wider track of the new model. In fact, the Verna has now grown in every dimension; length, width and most notably, in the wheelbase. The growth spurt has resulted in a totally new design language front and rear too. A DRL light bar on the svelte hood spans across the width, with the actual LED headlamps situated lower on the bumper. Similarly, the tail end gets a light bar too and ties up well with the fastback roofline. Satin chrome has been used to good effect around the beltline and door handles. Overall, the Verna is a looker, no two ways about it and if you pony up for the 1.5 Turbo GDi variant, you also get blacked out wheels in contrast with red brake calipers and even a dual-tone colour option.


Inside, the fresh new cabin is more minimalist in comparison to the bold exterior. An all-new digital instrument cluster merges into the 10.25in infotainment screen to make a dual display system similar to luxury cars several segments higher. The dashboard is split into two halves by width-spanning slim AC vents, with subtle ambient lighting. The AC controls have a couple of knobs but interestingly, you can toggle the virtual buttons between infotainment and HVAC controls. Contextually, the temperature knob switches to volume control and is a smart option indeed for those who like turning knobs instead of prodding virtual buttons. It’s also potentially safer than using a touchscreen at high speeds.

Creature comforts include a laundry list of must-have features like seat ventilation (heating and cooling), 64-colour ambient lighting, wireless charging, USB-C and USB-A ports, , 8-speaker Bose hifi system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, though only wired. Hyundai was one of the first brands to introduce connected car tech and their BlueLink ecosystem continues to grow with Home-to-Car control using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. You can check tire pressure, fuel levels and even switch on the AC before heading out, amongst other things. In-car voice control has expanded too, with support for both English and Hinglish and even a host of commands that work without internet connectivity.

Seating comfort on the rear seat has clearly gone up, thanks to increased legroom and better thigh support, but even the seat cushioning has been improved. Couple that with a suspension that keeps this sedan planted without being stiff and it makes for a brilliant long-distance cruiser. The front seats don’t have the same level of under thigh support but remain habitable and the driver even gets the convenience of 4-way power seats along with manual height adjustment.

ADAS Safety

But speaking of safety, the biggest new update the Verna gets is the inclusion of ADAS level-2 functionality. Radars and cameras front and back work in tandem to unlock 17 safety features that could make the difference in this segment. Common to ADAS, Forward Collision Warning/Avoidance, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Avoidance, Rear Parking and Cross Traffic Alert and such are included and work well. Driving on the brand new Delhi-Mumbai Expressway made for the perfect proving ground for these systems and they aren’t overly intrusive and buzz mildly instead of a loud panic beep every time you get too close to another vehicle. Hyundai claims the system is similar to that on the Tucson and will work just as unobtrusively for Indian traffic conditions.


Driving the 1.5 MPI variant, which is the naturally aspirated engine making 115bhp, the Verna instantly felt like a different car compared to its predecessor. Even opening its solid-feeling door is more confidence inspiring and on the move, the Verna proves to be a refined, smooth and hassle free driving machine. Progress is smooth and the IVT 8-speed transmission is even smoother. Paddle shifters are a big aid in keeping this engine in its power band and unless you’re 30 mins late for your flight, you’ll never find the power to be inadequate. Steering is quick and direct, though lacking any kind of “feel”, but something which won’t be noticeable in daily driving. NVH levels are kept beautifully in check and the brilliant sounding 8-speaker Bose audio system shines brighter as a result, giving you no reason to upgrade in the aftermarket pawn shops.

Dynamically, the 16in 205 section tires do well to keep the Verna from leaving the tarmac or leaving any ungainly gaps in the wheel arches. The suspension is well judged and while comfortable, doesn’t allow for too much body roll into corners, giving you confidence to push with higher speeds around bends. The 1.5 Turbo also gets most of the typical N-Line traits like all-black interiors with red accents, blacked out wheels, electronic parking brake and red brake calipers.


Sedans won’t be hard sells anymore if they keep getting this good and Hyundai has pushed the game forward with the new Verna. Polarising but radical looks, feature packed and a great blend of comfort and driving dynamics, it has something for everyone. It’s going to be a while until the sedan graph overtakes SUV sales in India, but the Verna will be responsible for inching it higher for sure.

Stuff Says

If you want to make a strong style statement on the outside and want to feel good on the inside, the Verna ticks all the boxes.
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Design unlike anything else out there

  1. ADAS features well judged for Indian conditions

  1. Superb set of features and essentials

  1. Cabin ambience

  1. No wireless CarPlay or Android Auto

  1. Front seats could use better underthigh support

  1. Side profile might not work for everyone

Engine: 1.5L MPi 4-cyl naturally aspirated
Power: 115bhp/143.8Nm
Transmission: IVT
Wheels: R16 205/55