New Honda City Diesel: how does it compare with the Hyundai Verna

The bigger, plusher, better and for the first time, diesel Honda City is around the corner. Can the new City beat the Verna at its game?



New 2014 Honda City vs Hyundai Verna




Now that we have highlighted the most sought after detail about the new Honda City Diesel and the Hyundai Verna Diesel – the diesel engines – let’s look at how these compare on other parameters.




Both cars look modern, no question, but the Verna with its bolder lines and more in-your-face design clearly has better road presence. The City is more subtle.




Just like the exterior, the Verna has a more dynamic interior too. The play of shapes and lines and colours is more pleasing and better executed. The Verna also looks and feels plusher on the inside. The new Honda City Diesel comes very close, nonetheless. The new plastic, especially the high gloss black, used on the centre console gives the City’s insides an upmarket feel; the build quality and finish is better than the older car; and the functionality and ergonomics have improved as well.




The Verna championed the value for money cause offering equipment which was unheard of even in higher priced segments. The long feature list is also one of the reasons that the Verna does so well. It’s something the competition has realised and the City is no different. In the top of the line VX trim, the new Honda City Diesel will get a sunroof, touchscreen audio and climate control interface, steering mounted controls, rear AC vents and of course, airbags and ABS. so, in a sense the new City will try and match the Verna feature for feature, even though the City will cost a bit more.




The new Honda City Diesel is easily the more spacious of the two cars, especially when it comes to rear knee and shoulder room. Looking at a chauffeur driven car? Wait for the new Honda City Diesel.


Driving experience


The new Honda City Diesel will be a more involving drive. The Hyundai Verna suffers from a mute and a tad vague steering. It’s also not the most alert car when it comes to direction changes and it tends to wallow more than we like. Drive it in a straight line – say from Delhi to Mumbai – and the Verna feels very much at home. But, take it up the hills on some undulating roads, and it isn’t as much fun.


The new Honda City Diesel fares better, particularly when going around corners. It does roll and there’s a bit of pitching as well, but the City feels less nervous than the Verna. It handles quick direction changes and undulating roads with more poise. The Honda’s steering doesn’t offer a lot of feel either, but it feels less artificial and vague compared to the Verna’s.




Finally, the pricing. We expect the new Honda City Diesel to come at a slight premium over the Hyundai Verna. But, given how much Honda needs this car to succeed, the difference won’t be too telling; or at least we hope it won’t be. The last thing Honda needs is to price itself out of the game.


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