Honda Cars India wants to move away from offering mass-market cars and is looking to cater to the premium segment in the country. Looking to change its brand image, the Japanese carmaker launched the facelifted Honda City in February 2017 boasting of several premium features.
Maruti Suzuki rules the top-selling cars' list in India, but it has been a challenge for the carmaker to break the popularity of the Honda City. Maruti currently sells the Ciaz in this segment and witnessed a brief increase in sales till Honda launched the facelifted City in India.
While the City and the Ciaz continued to compete with each other, the Hyundai Verna lost steam in the market. However, the tide seems to have turned with the newly launched Verna outselling the Honda City and the Maruti Ciaz in September 2017 four-wheeler sales in India.
Hyundai launched the facelifted Verna in August 2017, and the Verna has immediately gained popularity in the market with sales of 6054 units in September 2017. The new Verna's sales grew by 27 percent compared to sales in August 2017.
Honda sold 6010 units of the City sedan in September 2017, despite witnessing a positive growth of 9 percent, it could not match Verna's sales. Maruti Suzuki was able to sell 5603 units of the Ciaz compared to 6457 units in August 2017 declining by 13 percent.
While the difference of just 44 units might have led the Hyundai Verna to the top spot, Honda City seems to be losing ground with the new Verna being accepted well by buyers.
Among the three cars, the Hyundai Verna is the only powerful sedan in the segment. The new Verna is offered in both petrol and diesel engines with 1.6-litre displacement and come paired either to a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox.
The 1.6-litre petrol engine produces 121bhp and 151Nm of torque, while the 1.6-litre diesel unit develops 126bhp and 260Nm of torque. Hyundai says the petrol Verna offers a mileage of 17.7kmpl and the diesel Verna returns a mileage of 24.76kmpl.
The new Hyundai Verna seems to have found its popularity with the Indian buyers, but we need to see if this will continue. With the festive season picking up, we can expect the Verna to perform even better; however, the real test for Hyundai is to see how the Verna will perform post the festive season.