2023 Hyundai Verna: Which is the best engine-transmission combination?

The new Verna rivals the likes of the VW Virtus, Skoda Slavia, Honda City and the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz.

BHPian Omkar recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

If you’ve been following the News regularly, you know that the BS6 phase 2 RDE (Real Driving Emission) norms have come into effect and manufacturers have said their last goodbyes to diesel engines. At least in the C2 sedan segment where all the cars are now powered by petrol engines. The new Hyundai Verna (read the full review here), is offered with two petrol engine options – A naturally aspirated and a turbocharged version. You can also choose between a 6-speed manual transmission and a CVT or a DCT. The chart below should give you a better idea.

So if you were in the market for the new Hyundai Verna, which engine and gearbox combination would you pick & why?

The 158 BHP, 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine is the one that has most enthusiasts excited. It’s a punchy motor that delivers fast performance. The comfort-oriented dynamics of the car don’t allow you to extract the maximum performance from the engine. It’s available with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. You can read our drive report of the DCT in detail here.

The 113 BHP, 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine is tuned for comfort. This engine makes a lot of sense for someone who’s going to be driving primarily in the city in a sedate manner. It is available with the option of a 6-speed manual transmission and a CVT automatic.

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

This is a simple poll for me.

  • I always go for the biggest, most powerful engine available. Hence, the Verna 1.5L turbo-petrol for me.
  • Am totally off MTs (with rare exceptions), hence the DCT would be my pick.

Voting for the 1.5L turbo-petrol with dual-clutch AT.

That being said, I am a bit disappointed that Hyundai isn’t offering their workhorse 1.5L diesel in the Verna. It’s a beautiful motor = good driveability & FE. In fact, paired with the torque-converter AT, I would say it’s a better city drive than the 1.5L turbo DCT as the Diesel AT has linear power delivery and smoother behaviour in bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions (or very low revs).

Also, the 1.5L NA engine with a CVT box is a good option for sedate drivers & regular commuters.

Here’s what BHPian wheelnpaddock had to say on the matter:

I believe cars in this category (workhorse + city drives + long distances) need reliability as a primary criterion.

The experiences on this forum do not vouch for the reliability of the DCT. While I would love to drive the DCT, getting stuck on a highway with a failed gearbox is not a good situation to be in.

I would opt for the 1.5 turbos with the manual which would give 98% of the fun with 10X reliability – absolutely no breakdowns on account of the gearbox ever.

If it’s a keeper, a manual is the way to go.

Here’s what BHPian Col Mehta had to say on the matter:

Definitely the 1.5 NA plus IVT. The same combo in Creta is adequately powered, supremely refined, reliable and comes with 100% peace of mind. In fact, this combo with paddle shifters has surprised us in many instances and performed beyond our expectations. I’m sure Verna will be pretty much the same.

The 1.5 turbo with DCT will be less reliable and more expensive to maintain in the long run. Of course, it’s going to be a lot of fun on open roads, but just not for me with all the possible headaches of DCT in the future.

No manuals for us anymore, otherwise 1.5 turbo manual would have been the first choice.

Here’s what BHPian FAIAAA had to say on the matter:

Voted for 1.5 Turbo petrol + DCT combo

My daily drive now is a 1.5 NA IVTEC + CVT BR-V which has done 70k kms. Having driven it across the country, mountains/ steep slopes, 1000 kms in a day trips etc, I can vouch for its reliability and smoothness. It’s good up to speeds of 80-100 km/h.

However, the one thing it’s not is fun to drive esp. when you want to close the gap, and make overtakes at high speeds.

Having owned turbos in the past (320d, E200) and more recently, extensively test-driven turbo petrols ( 1/1.5 TSI from VAG & 1.5 Turbo from Hyundai), I will definitely add the 1.5 turbo with DCT to my garage soon. Yes, I am aware of the DCT issues but 1) it will be my second car 2) used mostly on highways ( BRV will continue to be the beater car) 3) will be careful to follow the usual tips – no aggressive launches, keep in neutral when standstill, the usual manual mode in creeping traffic etc.

As mentioned in the Verna vs Slavia / Virtus et al thread, DCT is a calculated risk I’d rather take with Hyundai than VAG for factors such as ASS, network, general reliability and response etc.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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