#BellyrinaDrives: The New Gen Hyundai Verna

#BellyrinaDrives: The New Gen Hyundai Verna

As a little girl (and even today), I’ve always been fiercely attached to my dad. So much so, that as a child, I would try to learn about the things my father was interested in so that I could spend time talking to him. That translated to Baby Bellyrina spending several hours in front of the TV set watching Top Gear with Dad, and reading every automobile magazine he brought home. I grew to love cars as much as he does, and learned to drive a little more… ahem, “confidently”… than he probably would have liked. As a content creator, I have longed to use all that knowledge and passion for cars to talk about how women experience driving. And I’m thrilled to finally start by documenting my experience with the latest Hyundai Verna!

Presenting the new gen Hyundai Verna 1.6D SX AT

Now before I start, let me highlight that if you’re looking for tech specs and those details, my blog is probably not what you want to be reading. The mindblowing guys at TeamBHP and Fly-Wheel do a phenomenal job of delving into all these details, as well as carefully reviewing every feature of every car. Here’s the official review of the Hyundai Verna, complete with the tech specs that you may be looking for.

What I intend to discuss in my reviews is more of the experience while driving and handling the car. In particular, I want to try to capture the experience from the perspective of a woman driver. Why? Well, mostly because I feel like there aren’t enough women in India who talk about the driving experience. But more importantly, I worry that most Indian women drivers still don’t get to truly experience the joy of driving. Read on to know what I mean.

I got to spend 4 days with this beauty, and man, she’s a beast! The Hyundai Verna is a sleek and powerful machine, and offers an interesting driving experience. To unleash her, J & I took her on a weekend getaway to Coorg.

Driving the Hyundai Verna 2018 from Bangalore to Coorg

The Verna has great handling, and feels really solid to manoeuvre. Even while hitting expressway speeds of 120 to 140 kmph (definitely not speeds you should be hitting under regular driving conditions, FYI!), the car never felt unstable or shaky. It even hugged curves in the road beautifully at high speeds, while feeling grounded enough that even the passenger didn’t experience any sort of tilt or shift in balance.

Another factor that absolutely delighted us about the new generation Hyundai Verna was the ground clearance (165 mm). Having a Honda Civic at home, we’re used to approaching speed bumps with extreme caution, and often hearing heartbreaking scrapes on rough roads. But the Verna glided over pretty much every speed breaker without a fuss, and even handled rain-battered muddy roads like a trooper. Click on the Play button below to check out this video… you’ll see what I mean!

Now, remember how I talked about how a lot of Indian woman drivers don’t really get to truly enjoy the driving experience? One of the most common points I heard when I surveyed a few women drivers was that they rarely find cars where the seat can be adjusted to accommodate their shorter frames. And it’s true! If you’ve spent a decent amount of time on Indian roads, you’re bound to have noticed how most female drivers are scooted so far ahead that they’re practically hugging the steering wheel. This is often used as fodder for a million “woman driver” jokes, but the truth is, it’s annoying, uncomfortable, and unsafe.

Now unfortunately, I faced the same problem in the Hyundai Verna as well. While it does have a seat height adjustment lever, its range is a tad limited, which would make it difficult for shorter people (men & women alike) to configure optimum seating postures while driving. The lack of telescopic steering wheel adjustment is also a bit of a letdown. On the plus side, the seats are fairly comfortable, and do offer a considerable range of adjustment for taller drivers (I’d say 5 ft 7 inches and above).

Here’s a quick look at the rest of the interiors of the Hyundai Verna cabin.

The Verna also comes with a sunroof with sunshade, for when you want a little more light in the cabin, or simply get into full recline and stare up at the sky. The sunroof also makes for that great wind-in-your-hair feel when driving down a highway.

Hyundai Verna 2018 Sunroof | Woman Car Review | Bombay Bellyrina

An aspect you can’t ignore when talking about woman driver concerns is safety. On that front, the Hyundai Verna has a follow-me-home headlight feature (when the headlights are set to Auto). On this setting, the headlights stay on for 30 sec after you switch off the engine, which allows you some time to get from the car to say, your front door, or some other such safe space in the dark. Definitely a bonus!

Image courtesy: TeamBHP

So would I recommend the Hyundai Verna to a woman driver? Sure. It delivers excellent power, stability, and mileage, with decent storage options as well. Features like the reverse camera make parking a whole lot easier, and a great infotainment system and robust AC make the cabin experience great for everyone. And for those of you who like to plan road trips, the Verna can handle a fair deal of rough roads, and has a sizeable boot to carry your and your friends’ luggage.

Check out my video review of the interiors and woman-driver concerns on my YouTube channel. Got more specific questions or feedback? Drop me a comment! This is to be the first of (hopefully) many more car experience reviews, and every suggestion is welcome.

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Check out more pictures from my road trip on my Instagram. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more updates on fitness, health, cars, and general everyday tomfoolery!

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