Back in the day, mid-size sedans used to be the most popular choice for consumers upgrading from hatchbacks or smaller sedans. However, in recent years, the mid-size sedan segment may have had its market share eaten into by compact SUVs and mid-size SUVs. After all, these high riding vehicles are all the rage in the country, and the manufacturers seem to be aware of the fact.
Regardless of that, there’s still a very good demand for mid-size sedans in our country, at least as of late-2020. After all, this year alone, all the mid-sized sedans – barring the Toyota Yaris – went through some big changes.
But for today, we’re going to talk about the most desirable ones in this lot, the recently updated Hyundai Verna and the all-new Honda City and see which one of these mid-sized sedans takes the crown. Moreover, as a bonus, we’re also going to take a look at the overall reliability amongst these two sedans. Read on.
First things first, which one of these sedans looks the best? The Hyundai Verna looks the sportier of the two, while the Honda City is the elegant one. Both have received new styling personas for 2020, but it’s the Honda City that’s an all-new model. The Verna, overall, is the looker of this lot, as it looks a bit more proportioned, more aggressive, less bulky, and, as a result, more appealing, especially the Turbo version, which gets black detailing.
The Honda cars, in its fifth-generation guise, is a complete departure from its predecessor. While the fourth-generation City was an aggressive looker, the fifth-generation model takes the elegant route. It is now the largest and widest car in the segment, but the dimensions look a bit unproportioned, courtesy of the improved length but the untouched wheelbase. It also gets skinnier tyres, which simply look too thin considering the size of the car.
On the inside, the City gets plush materials on the dashboard and for the leatherette upholstery. The seats look phenomenal and are very comfortable as well. The equipment is now also on par with the segment, as it gets a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, aforementioned leatherette upholstery, connected car tech, an electric sunroof, and a first-in-segment Lanewatch camera. Space inside is ample, and seating five inside the City’s cabin shouldn’t pose as an issue.
The Verna looks and feels almost the same as the pre-facelift model. This is because Hyundai cars has only updated a few bits inside Verna’s cabin. However, it still feels modern and contemporary. The newer additions are a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, a fully-digital instrument cluster, and front parking sensors on the Turbo variant. Where the Verna lacks is in the space department, which, at the rear, is even dwarfed by some of the smaller sub-4m sedans in the country.
These are also the only cars in the segment to get a diesel engine, apart from the usual gasoline affair. Honda’s 1.5-litre i-VTEC unit is an all-new engine, which now uses DOHC and makes 119bhp and 145Nm of torque. The 1.5-litre diesel engine is the same (98bhp and 200Nm) and has been updated to meet the new emission standards. Where the diesel only gets a 6-speed manual gearbox, the petrol model also comes with the option of a CVT automatic.
The Hyundai Verna, on the other hand, gets two 1.5-litre units (petrol and diesel) and a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol (118bhp and 172Nm) paired to a sole DCT gearbox. The 1.5-litre petrol makes 113bhp and 144Nm, while the 1.5-litre diesel engine produces 113bhp and 250Nm of torque. Both are available with a 6-speed manual as standard. Where the 1.5-litre petrol gets the convenience of a CVT automatic, the diesel engine gets an AT gearbox as an option.
On the reliability side of things, it’s the Honda City that has proven to be the undisputed king of the segment, as we’ve witnessed over different generations of the sedan. The Hyundai Verna, too, won’t disappoint on reliability factor. But if all boils down to reliability, it’s the City that takes the crown.
Regardless, if you’re looking for a petrol-powered mid-size sedan, pick the City with your eyes closed. You can consider the Verna with the diesel engine over the City if rear-seat space is not your biggest draw.