Want to buy a cheap, value-for-money, used sedan? Read along to find helpful tips to buy a second-hand Hyundai Verna.
In a segment led by Honda City, and more recently, the Maruti Ciaz, there is one contender that has been in the market for quite some time, and continues to be popular even today. It is, of course, the Hyundai Verna. It has been one of the most important products by the South Korean company. It was launched at a time when owning a sedan was considered a luxury, and entry-level sedans had become aspirational.
The Verna has been though multiple iterations throughout the year, including facelifts and generation changes. Let’s go over these in brief.
In 2006, the first-generation Hyundai Verna was officially launched in India. Internationally, it was the third-generation Hyundai Accent, but was marketed in the country under a different name. Surprisingly, the Hyundai Accent was already on sale in India, and kept selling alongside the Verna till 2013, providing a more basic but cheaper alternative to the latter. The Verna was a substantial improvement over the Accent; it was larger, and consequently more spacious.
In 2009, it received a minor facelift, which was mainly noticeable in the front fascia. The headlights were now an inward-teardrop design, and the front grill has huge curved slat running horizontally. It wasn’t the prettiest design, but it sure was eye catchy.
In 2011, Hyundai introduced the second-generation Verna to India. It looked cleaner and sleeker than the previous model. It offered multiple engine and transmission options. It became an extremely popular car, and the company added more trims in 2014, along with revised pricing.
The Verna received a facelift in 2015, dubbed the ‘fluidic Verna’. The design philosophy was radically different from the previous one, with large dagger style headlamps. In spirit, this design resembled the 2009 redesign more than the 2015 model.
Lastly, we have the current model which was introduced in 2018. This third-generation model is sleeker and sharper looking than all the previous models, and is quite a handsome design overall.
Reasons why you should consider buying a Hyundai Verna
Generally, Hyundai cars have been extremely popular due to their value for money proposition. While there are plenty of other cheap, used sedans in the market, a Hyundai car would be much easier to maintain than an equivalent Ford or Honda. It is also cheaper, but not as much as a Maruti hatchback though. Still, due to high availability of parts, it is fairly easy. The comfort factor is also very high on Hyundai cars, with good focus on ride quality.
Other than the practical aspect, there is another benefit of buying of buying a Hyundai, and that is the brand image. While it isn’t considered as premium as Skoda, it is considered more so than Maruti. So, while showing off a used Maruti Esteem or Baleno sedan won’t earn you many respect points, a used Hyundai Verna would fare better in this regard.
Hyundai engines are also usually quite powerful yet refined, even the diesel ones. You also have the option of an automatic transmission with a lot of the older models, which is not the case with many other passenger cars back in the day. Auto-enthusiasts might love the 1.6-litre petrol motor with manual transmission, which had a lovely 123 bhp max power figure! The 1.6-litre diesel is also great, and will be cheaper to run, but is more expensive to maintain and offers less performance.
What could have been improved on the Hyundai Verna
As with many older cars, the rear seat space isn’t too great. The seats themselves are comfy, but taller people have compromised knee room. Also, due to Hyundai’s focus on comfort, driving excitement and enthusiasm was lost. The steering is lifeless and suspension soft, which makes high-speed driving both unsavoury and nervously tense.
Should you choose a new Hyundai Verna instead of an Old one?
The current-gen Hyundai Verna looks much better than the previous models, some of which haven’t aged well. Most of the older designs are plain and boring. Also, safety wasn’t a burning issue back then, so a lot of the cars didn’t even feature airbags as standard. If you aren’t very experienced behind the wheel, then the lack of modern safety equipment could be a huge problem.
Overlooking that, the older models are a great bargain. As the demand for them isn’t very high, prices are usually low. You can choose between petrol and diesel engines, and even between automatic and manual transmissions.
How to buy a Used Hyundai Verna
What to check
Used Hyundai Vernas are known for developing the following problems. Please check for these before you buy.
The suspension on the Verna has a soft set-up, as mentioned earlier. Sometimes, the shockers will make a “thud” sound when driving over even-slightly broken roads. That might be due to a lose control arm. Also, with four or five people seated, the rear tends to bottom out on speed breakers. Check for any damage to the undercarriage as well.
While clutch plates usually last for up to 50,000 Km, the hydraulic clutch on the Verna is very sensitive to input, which means careless driving can reduce their life. If the driver has a habit of slipping the clutch every so often, it might a replacement within 10,000 Km! Sometimes, the clutch master cylinder might trap some air bubbles, which can lead to excessive clutch wear and rigid gear changes.
While the engines are quite reliable themselves, they are not prone to problems. Faulty engine sensors might cause the car to lose power after a few minutes of driving. This happens when the ECU thinks the engine might get damaged if it keeps running, and thus limits engine rpm to prevent it. The other common problem is violent engine vibrations. While vibes usually aren’t much of a problem, the bushings holding the engine need replacement from time to time, failing which the engine vibes become excessively violent. Sadly, the rubber parts are not covered in warranty, so many people tend to not change them.
Apart from the above-mentioned problems, remember to check for the usual signs of rusting and damage. There has never been any major recall for the Hyundai Verna.
Cost of service and spares
Regular maintenance of a used Hyundai Verna is quite affordable. Even for the current model, qt 50,000 Km, the service cost for the 1.6-litre diesel variant is just ₹4,100. For the petrol Verna it is even less, just ₹3400. For a used model, you can expect the cost to go up a little more. Even spare parts aren’t too expensive. In fact, out of all the problems mentioned above, only the clutch assembly will cause a serious dent in your pocket. The clutch plate itself costs ₹5800 for diesel and ₹1850 for the petrol, while replacing the entire assembly might cost up to ₹20,000 for diesel and ₹12,000 for the petrol.
Real-world fuel economy
Claimed mileage figures are very optimistic for this car. Such figures, however, are very hard to emulate in real life. The 1.6-litre diesel motor can manage around 15 Km/l if driven carefully in the city, and 24 Km/l on the highway. The 1.6-litre petrol engine can give around 11 Km/l in the city and around 17 Km/l on the highway. The 1.4-litre petrol and diesel motors can manage to squeeze a few more kilometres.
What should be avoided
The first generation was introduced nearly 13 years ago, which is just 2 years shy of the 15-year term for a vehicle. You will have to re-register the car for another 5 year after the completion of its term. If you live in Delhi-NCR, well things are a little more complicated. Petrol cars older than 15-years are banned, and so are diesel cars older than 10-years. So, any car close to that age is a bad deal.
What should be bought then
Ideally, post-2015 models should be on the top of your list. For more affordable options, check for a model around 2011, preferably after 2011.
Alternatives you can consider instead of the Hyundai Verna
The most popular used sedan in this space is the Honda City. If you’re looking for better brand image and better driving dynamics, you’d be happier with this choice. The biggest drawback here is the higher cost of spares and maintenance. A used Honda is heavier on the pocket than a Hyundai.
Another popular option is the Maruti Ciaz. The only problem is that production only started in 2014, so there won’t be older bargain models for you to pick out. Also, buying a second-hand Maruti wouldn’t get you much street cred. The performance of the car is quite muted, favouring fuel efficiency more. In terms of handling, neither the Ciaz nor the Verna will impress anyone. You should definitely consider the Ciaz as an option.
If you like the Hyundai brand and don’t care much for a sedan, then the Hyundai i20 is a wonderful option. It has the same amount of interior space (except boot, obviously), offers good comfort, feels premium, and will cost less to buy. Best of all, it gets both diesel and petrol options, along with manual and automatic options as well.