Why I chose the Verna 1.5L DCT over the Virtus DSG

The cabin of the Verna feels way more premium and superior than the Virtus.

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Finally took delivery of the new Verna DCT SX(O) in Abyss Black colour yesterday. I was about to start the formalities of taking delivery of a white Virtus GT and changed my whole decision process in a matter of minutes. I had not considered or even looked at the Verna and had my eyes set on the Virtus since close to a year. Booked it and decided to take delivery. But then a few articles and of course Dr Naren’s recent purchase prompted me to have a look at the car. The car arrived for a TD to my place just minutes after I filled up all the paperwork for the Virtus GT. And when I looked at the car it was almost an instant love for the looks. One of the reasons I dint consider the verna was I believed the car looked horrible but I had never seen it in person. Boy I was wrong. In person the car looks like it’s from another planet. I believe our minds are programmed to see cars in a certain way and any change is mentally not acceptable to us. But experiencing the car first hand I had to change the whole perception. Moving forward the moment I sat inside the car the cabin felt very premium and a good long test drive was enough to put me straight into a dilemma. I put a hold to the Virtus and then decided to take some time and understand all the aspects, weigh in the pros and cons and finally took an informed decision to proceed with the verna. The whole process from booking to delivery took about 1 and half weeks. Since I moved from Virtus I will pen down the pros and cons comparing the verna with virtus and why I decided to go ahead with verna instead of virtus


The 160 odd Horsepower 1.5 Turbo from Hyundai is definitely a gem. One can definitely feel these horses working under the hood. This is the most powerful engine that this segment gets. The refinement levels of this engine is way superior compared to the 1.5 TSI of the VW. The power delivery is linear. Sports mode does make it a bit sharper. The 10 additional horses of the Verna over the VW does show its character and makes its presence felt.


I will have to handover the DCT performance title to the DSG of the VW but by a very very small margin. While the DCT in the Hyundai is butter smooth and quick, the downshift response times do have a slight delay. The DSG did feel more responsive to inputs. But considering the DSG reliability woes and reports along with VW service and gap in performance being quite small, something that I will not notice in 80% of my runs, the Hyundai definitely was the choice for me.


I will be talking quite a lot about this since the reviews and what I have experienced so far is quite different. Now I don’t know the benchmarks that all the online reviewers have for the handling department, but pushing to every possible limits that I could when I tested the Verna it excelled in the dyanamics and handling department to my satisfaction. While the Verna is definitely setup softer than the VW I could not find a difference significant enough for me to complain in the overall dynamics and stability and I am by no means a sedate driver. I personally felt the Verna had a perfect balance between comfort and sportiness. To begin with in the city the verna rides like a dream. The suspension does its job in silence and there is hardly any noise in the cabin. Coming from a lowered Figo with Eibach the difference I felt was huge. The suspension is smooth in handling bad roads but it is not too soft by any means. There is a hint of stiffness which I personally feel is the right amount to enjoy regular rides. Now coming to high speed and cornering I expected the verna to be bad considering everything I read. But boy I was wrong. The car handles very well. I did some airport runs in Bangalore and pushed the cars to pretty high triple digit speeds and the car felt rock solid throughout. Body roll is well controlled and quick lane changes on the highway is handled quite well by the car. The steering weighs up quite well and at no point was there any feeling of nervousness. And all this was at high speeds that one will probably never reach majority of the times on Indian roads. Now the question lies how does this compare to the virtus. Does the virtus ride and handle better than the verna? The answer to this question is yes. But is it so significant that it makes the verna feel bad. The answer to this is a definite no. I personally believe the margins are too small and virtus outscores the verna by just a few points rather than a mile. I feel the area where the virtus actually gets those points is in the steering feedback and feel. The virtus steering feels more connected and precise while the verna steering does feel slightly disconnected overall (Dr Naren suggests an upgrade of wheels effectively solves this). Coming to the suspension setup I personally hand it over to the Verna even though it has a slightly softer setup reason being I will get almost 95% of what the virtus has in terms of high speed stability and cornering abilities on the highway runs and I get that added comfort for majority of my regular runs. The virtus stiffness is definitely felt on regular Indian roads and the car felt only slightly better than my lowered Figo in terms of overall comfort. So the 5% added high speed stability will not make a significant difference at all for my runs and I rather enjoy the comfortable city runs.


The braking is good. 4 discs do the job well and shed speed with no drama. Never felt the need for better brakes. The Virtus does have more initial bite and that might make you believe that it is better during short TD. But the thing is the verna brakes differently with lesser initial bite. Did not feel any difference in overall performance.


Personally I find the Verna a much cooler and better car in terms of looks. While I loved the Virtus for its classic look put the cars side by side the virtus definitely looks basic and plain for me. The black color definitely suits the car and it looks muscular. Love the fastback rear as well. Again this is a subjective department and I would say both look good its all about personal choices. If you want a head turner definitely go for the verna
Verna feels well built as well. Panel gaps are consistent and the overall car feels heavy. Does not feel any different from the virtus. While the virtus does get 5 stars and the Verna is not yet tested yet I personally do not think the difference will be significant in real world scenarios. But maybe the numbers will be out soon and we will get a clearer picture.


This is where I feel the Verna excels hands down. The cabin of the verna feels way more premium and superior than the virtus. There is soft touch material in the right places and the overall fit and finish feels really good. The virtus in comparison does not feel like a 20Lakh car. The infotainment is good and crisp in both the cars but I think the verna does a slightly better job in overall cabin feel and comfort. The customisable interior accent lights elevate the cabin at night to another level altogether. No matter how much one might claim these as unnecessary additions or gizmos, end of the day it does make a difference to the overall experience. Another highlight is definitely the large boot space coming from a hatchback it felt quite significant for me.


The Verna gets level 2 ADAS. While I don’t have a detailed overview on this I have experienced bits and pieces. I have all the ADAS settings enabled except for Lane Assist. The ADAS is not intrusive and feels like it is calibrated well for Indian conditions. Collision warnings and braking though enabled don’t get triggered in regular driving conditions. I personally like the blind spot warnings indicators in the ORVM. Lane assist also does its job well but felt it was a bit intrusive at times when doing lane changes hence decided to keep it disabled.

Aid in all these factors, and then the overall service network and quality of Hyundai I felt The Verna is definitely a much superior overall package than the Virtus. The compromises in the Verna compared to the Virtus is not that significant. But the compromises in the Virtus compared to the Verna does seem significant at least to me and I have first hand reports of the people around me who experienced both to back me up as well. Hence finally decided to bring the Verna home. Had a good delivery experience as well with precise commitments and no delays from Advaith Hyundai, Bannerghatta Road. Special mention to Syed who ensured everything happened smoothly and never made me run around. I was even chauffeured by him to the stock yard outside the city for PDI before delivery in a manual verna and also got a chance to drive it on the way back home. Overall a good experience from the Hyundai dealership as well. Some photos of the car

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