In lieu of the upcoming festive season, anticipation and hope are indeed quite high in the automotive industry and within the car-buying public, alike. Given the slump in sales these past many months due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, almost every automaker in the country (and the world over) was effected. However, with things now looking up, the industry is once again gearing up for some expectedly good times ahead. In fact, Hyundai Motor India has just announced the arrival of an all-new variant in its best-selling Verna line-up – the Hyundai Verna E has just gone on sale, starting at Rs 9.03 lakh (ex-showroom). This means that the E trim is now the most affordable Verna currently on sale, undercutting the price of the S trim by Rs 35,000 or so.
Moreover, while all the variants of the Hyundai Verna have had their prices hiked by Rs 8,000, customers of the newly-introduced Verna E trim don’t have to shell out that extra dough. As you can imagine, to make this aggressive pricing possible, Hyundai has had to take out even more standard equipment that was available on the former base variant, the Verna S. So what all do you lose when you go for the Verna E instead of the S? Suffice to say, if you can make do without a sunglass holder, USB charging port, and the really good-to-have and factory-installed 8.0-inch infotainment screen, you will be fine. However, if it is any consolation, you can always pimp your ride later with the help of an aftermarket accessory outlet and at much lower costs.
While not exactly feature-rich, the Hyundai Verna E’s equipment list, no matter how sparse, won’t leave you completely dejected. For example, it does get automatic headlamps, a manually-operated anti-glare rearview mirror, electrically-operated door mirrors with integrated turn indicators, tilt-adjustable steering wheel, a cooled glovebox, rear armrest with an integrated cupholder, and rear aircon vents. Similarly, the Hyundai Verna E doesn’t miss out on any of the standard safety features found on the higher S variant – so you still get dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, rear parking sensors, and ISOFIX child-seat anchors.
The interior of the Verna (the latest iteration) has always been a pretty decent place to spend time in, and that still holds true. It continues to offer enough room to carry five people quite comfortably, and while there are enough tacky plastics in this cabin, fit & finish, and overall reliability aren’t really a huge concern. The large greenhouse area also means that there’s plenty of natural light entering the cabin, while the seats fair very well in terms of comfort and support. All that said, the Verna’s 480-litre boot isn’t class-leading, no matter how you cut it.
Externally, the new Hyundai Verna E sports an almost identical appearance to the more expensive S variant. The headlamps are still standard halogen bulbs and they don’t get any LED daytime running lights, either. The rear lights are also non-LED units, whereas the fancier dual-tone steel rims of the higher variants have now been replaced with more mundane-looking 15-inch steelies. Once again, nothing an aftermarket acquisition cannot fix. Under the hood, the Hyundai Verna E soldiers on with a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 113hp and 144Nm of torque. It can only be had with a regular 6-speed manual transmission, with possibly no option to upgrade to an automatic or even Hyundai’s very own Intelligent Manual Transmission (IMT).
While the new Hyundai Verna E might miss out on some standard features found in the S trim, most of those omissions can be taken care of. Meanwhile, some of the strong suits of the model such as its supple ride quality, urbane design, smooth powertrain, good interior space, and the attractive new price, all make this sedan a viable proposition if you are on the hunt for a good family car. Hyundai’s 3-year/unlimited kilometers warranty and 3-year roadside assistance package only helps build a more solid case for the new Verna. Of course, you could always haggle once at the dealership and get a little more.
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