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Car review: How do the Toyota Yaris, Honda City, and Hyundai Verna stack up?

Are you looking to buy a sedan that would make life easier in heavy traffic? Well, it’s time to consider cars with automatic transmission, as they make gear change a breeze. We give you a heads up on three automatic sedans.

more lifestyle Updated: Jul 18, 2018 17:02 IST
Arun Changrani
Arun Changrani
Hindustan Times
Car review,Toyota Yaris,Honda City
L-R: Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Verna, and Honda City are among the top automatic sedans in the market.(Photos: Toyotabharat.com; Hyundai.com; Hondacarindia.com)

THE GOOD

Newest to the sedan segment, Toyota Yaris has quite an attractive front end, thanks to slim and long headlamps that merge seamlessly in the front grille. Along with this, the big black air dam incorporated in the bumper, along with LED DRLs, gives this sedan a stunning look. Complementing the front end, the rear portion of this car appears elegant due to its nicely shaped tail lamps.

On the other hand, Honda City, which is the benchmark and segment leader, features a sharply designed bumper. This, when combined with a honeycomb grille alongside a chrome bar sitting right on top of it, gives the sedan a sleek and a premium look. The addition of LED headlamps (top-end variant) denotes that the City has a modern approach when it comes to overall design. This is reiterated by the presence of uniquely designed LED tail-lamp clusters and a trunk lid-spoiler.

If we talk about Hyundai Verna, its cascading grille up front is a pure head-turner. The projector headlamps with DRL provided in the Verna, along with a sharply shaped bumper comprising of lamps with chrome surrounds, makes the car’s front end all the more attractive. The rear blends in perfectly, owing to its LED tail lights that give this sedan an appealing appearance.

Car interiors

On the inside, Toyota Yaris features a black and beige combination. The waterfall effect given to the centre console seems to be nothing special. However, the inside comes loaded with goodies such as gesture control touch-screen music system, power adjustable driver seats, a cooled glove box and a rear sunblind. The seats, both up front and rear, are comfortable for occupants. In a unique move that is probably the first of its kind, the rear passengers in Toyota Yaris get a roof-mounted air-conditioning unit whose blade-like airflow adjuster works well to keep you cool at all times. One can also adjust the blower speed from the rear itself.

The power-adjustable driver seat in Toyota Yaris.

***

Since its initial launch, Honda City has provided premium interiors, and the same is repeated in the latest version, too. The vehicle’s ‘Digipad’ infotainment system, with a 7-inch touch-screen, is quite attractive and also easy to use. The cushioning of front and rear seats is one of the biggest positive points for the City. The interior comes loaded with features such as touch-screen climate control, sunroof and mirror-link smart phone, among others.

The 7-inch touch-screen of Honda City has entertainment controls.

***

One look inside the cabin of Hyundai Verna, and you would immediately notice its premium factor. Its supreme build quality is demonstrated the moment one shuts the front door, as you can hear the sound of ‘thunk’, which is an assurance of quality. The dash is nicely laid out and everything is user-friendly. The quality of the plastic also feels good. And not to forget, the front seat has the ventilation function, which is missing in Toyota Yaris and Honda City. Additionally, the 7-inch touch-screen in the centre of the dash is loaded with some interactive features.

The front seats of Hyundai Verna have ventilation function.

Under the hood

Toyota Yaris comes with a 1.5-litre petrol engine. The CVT automatic is a breeze to drive, and for those who wish to take control on those long stretches, you also have the option of using paddle shifters. The sedan’s ride is comfortable, and the overall drive experience is refined and smooth. Going over small bumps and potholes is no big deal for these set of wheels, be it at any speed.

Honda City comes with a 1.5-litre i-vtech engine. City’s CVT automatic, which is a perfect blend when it comes to performance. However, the availability of the paddle shift is another icing on the cake in this car. Its ride quality is pretty decent as it pulls strongly when you need power, especially in a straight line.

Hyundai Verna comes fitted with a 1.6L petrol motor, which is mated to a 6-speed (torque converter) automatic transmission. The Verna performs well and feels peppy at all speed levels. You would not complain of any noise vibrations from the transmission, with the gear box working fairly well to provide ideal shifts. The vehicle does absorb all the small potholes and broken surfaces with utter ease.

THE BAD

Overall, Toyota Yaris looks somewhat smaller in size than its rivals – Honda City and Hyundai Verna. On the inside, the overall cabin does not look spacious, whereas the cabins of the City and the Verna are eye-catching. The fit and finish of plastics inside the cabin do not feel class-leading in the Yaris, and the inclusion of the roof mounted A/C vents appear to be an after-market fitment.

Honda City’s touch screen for climate control might look pleasing to the eye, but at the same time, it can be quite distracting while driving. The ride quality is a bit rigid and certainly hard on those potholes.

Hyundai Verna is really low on mileage, which might not be liked by many as the Indian consumer is cost conscious in this segment. The paddle shift is a big miss in this vehicle.

THE UGLY

The downside of Toyota Yaris is that the harder you rev its engine, the louder it sounds. Another flaw would be that there are no dedicated USB slots. However, the biggest miss is that there is no sunroof in this sedan.

On the go, Honda City’s cabin feels a bit noisy. Its engine, when stretched really hard, seems to generate vibrations on the steering wheel, as well as on its paddle shifts.

In Hyundai Verna, a matter of concern that was there earlier, and still exists, is the lack of leg and headroom for rear occupants. Therefore, it would be safe to say that only four individuals can be comfortably seated in this sedan.

We did not include the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz because its updated version is about to launch.

First Published: Jul 18, 2018 16:49 IST