When a rivalry spans over decades and involves three to four generations, it becomes a legend that is prominent all over the kingdom. As for the entities involved in this long-fought battle for supremacy, the rivalry becomes a part of their life.

In the Indian automotive industry, the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna have a similar relation. Their battle to become the best sedan in India has got them to indulge with each other at every corner. So much so that now it almost seems like one would feel uninspired without the existence of the other.

Also Read: 2020 Honda City vs 2020 Hyundai Verna | An Epic Rivalry

Ever since the launch of the Hyundai Verna in 2006, there has been a new City for every new Verna or vice versa. So today we decided to throw some light on exactly that. Here’s the Honda City vs Hyundai Verna battle through every generation in India.

Before the Launch of the Hyundai Verna

Before the Hyundai Verna came into the picture, one hardly ever considered any option other than the Honda City while looking for a car in the C-segment. Back then if you owned a Honda City than it was certain that you mean business. So due to this very reason and numerous others, ever since its launch in 1998, the Honda City was selling like Hotcakes in India. However, the launch of the Hyundai Verna in 2006 changed the landscape a bit.

2006 – Hyundai Verna Launches

The Hyundai Verna launch’s coincided with the ‘Honda City ZX’ era, the second of the Honda City in India to be exact. Before the Verna, the Honda City had no strong contest from any other car. It was the reigning champion of the C-segment and technically Honda’s sole breadwinner. Sales of the Honda City ZX were north of the 5K mark every month with ease.

The Hyundai Verna Prodigal Sedan
The Hyundai Verna Prodigal Sedan

Suggested: 10 Reasons Why Hyundai Verna Should Be Your First Premium Sedan

However, this spectacle changed a bit as some of the sedan car buyers started to gravitate towards the New Verna. The Verna had the looks like no other sedan on sale. Its silhouette defied the rather usual boxy design language of sedans. The ‘egg’ design of the new Verna, if not admired by everyone, was still a relief from the sedans we were used to seeing on the roads. It had modern interiors and a promising powertrain as well to take the fight to the Honda City.

First-gen Hyundai Verna Interior
First-gen Hyundai Verna Interior

Honda City ZX Vs 2006 Hyundai Verna | The Battle Begins

The 2006 Hyundai Verna was able to achieve a 5000 sales mark in just 15 days post its launch. This was a big deal especially because it was able to crack this number while the City was riding higher than ever as far as the sales were concerned. Honda City ZX was a top-selling iteration of the City in India. The City ZX’s classic sedan proportions, spacious cabin and the unmatched petrol engine all worked in the Honda’s favour tremendously. The Verna needed to the have just the right tricks up its sleeves to get Honda to worry about the new Hyundai sedan.

Honda City ZX Vs 2006 Hyundai Verna | Performance specs

Engine Specification Comparison

Specifications Honda City ZX  Hyundai Verna 
Engine 1.5-Litre, i-DSI, petrol engine 1.6-Litre, VTVT, petrol engine  1.5-Litre, CRDi, diesel engine
Transmission 5-S MT / CVT  5-Speed MT 5-speed Manual / AT
Power  78 bhp  101 bhp  108 bhp 
Torque  125Nm  146Nm  235Nm 

Keeping all the other aspects aside, the thing that gave the 2006 Verna an upper hand over the Honda City was the powertrains it had on offer. Honda City petrol motor sure did make less power on paper compared to the Verna, but out on the road, the power was never a complaint. Verna’s petrol motor was not its strongest suit. However, what actually helped tips the scales in Verna’s favour was having a diesel engine on offer.

Honda City vs Hyundai Verna Historic Comparison
2006 Honda City

For people looking for a more fuel-efficient powertrain which had great mileage on offer without compromising on performance, a diesel sedan was a breakthrough. That why till the launch of 2010 Hyundai Verna Facelift, Hyundai had already sold 82,076 units.

Must Read: 10 Most Common Honda City Problems Reported by Owners

2009 Honda City vs Fluidic Hyundai Verna | Round 2 of the Battle

While the first-generation Hyundai Verna was catching on, Honda launched the Third generation of the City in India in 2009. Even though the facelift first-generation Verna was on sale alongside the third-generation City till 2011. Still, the 2011 second-generation Hyundai Verna goes down in history as its direct rival.

Honda City vs Hyundai Verna Historic Comparison
Honda City 2009

It was the year 2011, both the City and Verna were in a completely new iteration. Both of them looked nothing like their previous generations and overall had new orientations.

Honda City vs Hyundai Verna Historic Comparison
Hyundai Verna Fluidic

On the launch of the new Verna in 2011, the third generation Honda City was already more than 2 years old. This gave Hyundai a significant time to work on their new car before they launch it. As a result, Hyundai was able to create such a strong package in the form of the new Verna. This time it wasn’t just capable enough to stand toe-to-toe with the City, this time it actually had a shot at the City’s throne.

Third-gen Honda City vs Second-gen Hyundai Verna | which one was better?

Third-gen City was the sportiest iteration of the City post the first-gen VTEC. With the new i-VTEC engine with more power than ever, lower-slung body and the aerodynamic design, the new City was still a people’s favourite.

However, this time around the Hyundai Verna came with all guns blazing. It was based on Hyundai’s new fluidic design platform which made the car look sharper, sleeker and more appealing than ever before. It also had a new range of engines, petrol and diesel, of different displacements to suit every need. The features list on the new Verna completely stole the show compared to the City. Here’s the list of features that the Hyundai Verna had but the City didn’t:

  • Smart keyless entry
  • Push start/stop button
  • Climate Control
  • 6 airbags
  • ABS, EBD with ESP
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Parking sensors with reverse camera

Related Read: 2020 Hyundai Verna Turbo Variant & Why it makes sense!

Third-gen Honda City vs Second-gen Hyundai Verna | Performance Specs

Engine Specification Comparison

Specifications Honda City

(third-gen) 

Hyundai Verna 

(second-gen)

Engine 1.5-Litre, 4-cylinder, i-VTEC, petrol engine  1.4-Litre, 4-cylinder, VTVT petrol engine 1.6-Litre, 4-cylinder, VTVT, petrol engine 1.4-Litre, 4-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine  1.6-Litre, 4-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine
Transmission 5S MT/ CVT  5-S MT 5-speed Manual / 4-speed AT 6-speed MT 6-speed MT/ 4-speed AT
Power  116 bhp  105 bhp 121 bhp  88 bhp 126 bhp 
Torque  145Nm  135Nm 154Nm  219Nm 259Nm

 

Hyundai packed the Verna so comprehensively that there was no way that could’ve missed out on the needs of any sedan buyer at the time. They had a trim for every type of customer, it’s like they were that desperate to beat the Honda City.

Honda City vs Hyundai Verna Historic Comparison
Hyundai Verna Interior | Credits

On top of it, the City still didn’t have a diesel engine option, that was a big advantage for the Verna. In June 2011 for instance, the Verna outsold the City by a margin of 1300 units. However, the cumulative sales for the year of the Honda City were still more than the Verna.

Honda City(third-gen) also received a mid-life update as to keep up the rising popularity of the Fluidic Verna.

2014 Honda City vs Second-gen Hyundai Verna Facelift | Here comes the City Diesel

This time around, Honda was done losing to the Verna due to the lack of a diesel engine. Hence for the Fourth-gen of the City, Honda decided to in-house development an all-new diesel engine from scratch. They named it ‘i-DTEC’ as it is the diesel version of their ‘i-VTEC’. The new Honda City was a major overhaul from the previous-gen. It came with all the bells and whistles, a new generation car should be equipped with. Honda even made sure to equip the new City with the best of features which made the second-gen Verna seem dated.

2014 Honda City
2014 Honda City

Like before, There was still some time before Hyundai brought in a new generation of the Verna in response. Hence to keep the competition steaming, Hyundai rolled out a facelift of the second-generation Hyundai Verna in 2015. It came with updated exteriors and extra new features while under the skin it remained the same.

Hyundai Verna 2015
Hyundai Verna 2015

Comparison: 2020 Hyundai Verna vs 2020 Honda City | Head2Head

2014 Honda City vs 2015 Hyundai Verna | Performance specs

Engine Specification Comparison

Specifications Honda City

(Fourth-gen) 

Hyundai Verna 

(second-gen, facelift)

Engine 1.5-Litre, 4-cylinder, i-VTEC, petrol engine  1.5-Litre, 4-cylinder, i-DTEC, diesel engine 1.4-Litre, 4-cylinder, VTVT petrol engine 1.6-Litre, 4-cylinder, VTVT, petrol engine 1.4-Litre, 4-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine  1.6-Litre, 4-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine
Transmission 5S MT/ CVT  6-S MT  5 Speed MT 5S Manual / 4-speed AT 6-speed MT 6-speed MT/ 4-speed AT
Power  116 bhp  99 bhp 105 bhp 121 bhp  88 bhp 126 bhp 
Torque  145Nm  200Nm  135Nm 154Nm  219Nm 259Nm

Honda put in all the efforts to make the City a diesel-powered sedan but unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be as fruitful as Honda might’ve anticipated. Honda’s i-DTEC in the City had all kinds of refinement issues, lethargic power delivery didn’t last too much confidence in the customers. Having no diesel automatic variant further close the deal for Honda City i-DTEC.

The Petrol variant of the New City was selling like hotcakes and people also did prefer the diesel City as the Verna started to show its age. Still, diesel powertrains were Verna’s territory due to its strong credentials.

2017 – Hyundai Verna Launches

It’s almost like the automotive giants follow a fixed pattern as far as the ‘City-Verna’ rivalry. For this time as well, Hyundai didn’t show it’s cards first. Yet again, they waited for the new Honda City iteration to settle in before they launched the next-generation of their Verna.

Honda City vs Hyundai Verna Historic Comparison
Hyundai Verna 2017

Hence, the Third-generation of the Hyundai Verna was launched in India in 2017. This time around, Hyundai scratched the 1.4-Litre diesel and petrol variants and only had the 1.6-Litre petrol and diesel on offer. Despite having hints of the previous generation, the third-generation Verna was a completely new design starting from the front of the car to almost everything else. Features on the new Verna that weren’t on the previous generations included:

  • Electronic Sunroof
  • Ventilated seats
  • Hands-free boot release
  • 7.0-inch Touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
  • Eco Coating
  • Rear AC vents

And many others

Hyundai Verna 2017 Interiors
Hyundai Verna 2017 Interiors

Suggested: 2020 Hyundai Verna vs 2017 Hyundai Verna | A Big Update?

In order to keep up with the new Verna, Honda launched the Facelift version of the Fourth-gen Honda City in 2017. It had redesigned front bumper and some additional features. With the facelift Honda City, the ‘ZX’ moniker also made a comeback to the City as a top-spec trim. This update also made the City BS4 complaint.

2017 Honda City
2017 Honda City

2017 Honda City vs 2017 Hyundai Verna | Performance specs

Engine Specification Comparision

Specifications Honda City

(Fourth-gen) 

Hyundai Verna 

(second-gen, facelift)

Engine 1.5-Litre, 4-cylinder, i-VTEC, petrol engine  1.5-Litre, 4-cylinder, i-DTEC, diesel engine 1.6-Litre, 4-cylinder, Dual VTVT, petrol engine 1.6-Litre, 4-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine
Transmission 5S MT/ CVT  6-S MT  6-speed MT/ AT 6-speed MT/  AT
Power  116 bhp  99 bhp 121 bhp  126 bhp 
Torque  145Nm  200Nm  155Nm  260Nm

At this point, their vendetta was still very prominent, however, neither of the two were best selling sedans anymore as the spot was taken over by the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz.

2020 Honda City vs 2020 Hyundai Verna | So far it all comes down to this

Unlike the previous instances, Hyundai’s 2020 version of the Verna came in before Honda’s 2020 version of the City came. However, just like for everything else this year, the party was spoilt for these two cars by the COVID-19 outbreak. Especially for the fifth-gen 2020 Honda City as its launch got delayed for almost 3-4 months due to the pandemic.

2020 Hyundai Verna Turbo
2020 Hyundai Verna Turbo

However both the cars are out and about now and with the lockdown restrictions gradually fading away, both Hyundai and Honda are affirmative that they will see some spectacular number of takers for their new sedans.

Fifth-generation Honda City
Fifth-generation Honda City

As per the latest report, the July sales figures for C-segment sedan cars in India saw the fifth-gen Honda City to top the charts, surpassing the 2020 Hyundai Verna by a margin of 69 units. Since the City is relatively new this year, it seems like the ‘new car’ charm is working in its favour as opposed to the miserable start to 2020.

2020 Honda City vs 2020 Hyundai Verna | Performance Specs

Engine Specification Comparison

Specifications 2020 Honda City 2020 Hyundai Verna 
Engine 1.5-Litre, 4-cylinder, i-VTEC, petrol engine  1.5-L, 4-cylinder, i-DTEC, diesel engine 1.5-Litre, 4-cylinder, MPI, petrol engine 1.5-Litre, 4-cylinder, U2 CRDi, turbo diesel engine 1.0-Litre T-GDi, Petrol Engine
Transmission 6S Manual/ CVT  6-Speed Manual  6-S Manual / IVT 6S MT/ AT 7-speed DCT 
Power  119 bhp  99 bhp 113 bhp  113 bhp  118 bhp
Torque  145Nm  200Nm  144Nm  250Nm 177Nm 

Please note: All the engines mentioned in the above table are BS6-complaint.

2020 Hyundai Verna wisely enough adopted to the new turbo-petrol era with the 1.0-litre, T-GDi engine on offer alongside the conventional petrol and diesel options.

Honda also has the fourth-generation of the City on sale along with the new fifth-generation.

For a detailed comparison of the 2020 Honda City and 2020 Hyundai Verna, CLICK HERE

For now, we await the COVID-19 scare to settle down and the arrival of the 2020 festive season to see the clash of the 2020 Honda City and 2020 Hyundai Verna take its full course. Let’s see which one comes out on top this time.

Up Next! Honda City: A Lookback into India’s Favourite Sedan

According to you, which is better 2020 Honda City or the 2020 Hyundai Verna, let us know in the comments section below.

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