Hyundai Verna BEATS Honda City & Maruti Ciaz but only just!

The Hyundai Verna has beaten both the Honda City and Maruti Ciaz C-Segment sedans in February 2019 sales, but only just. The Verna managed to clock 3,299 units in February with the City managing 3,273 units while the Ciaz was a couple of hundred cars behind with 3,084 units. All three cars seem to be in a dead heat, and the coming months could see competition intensifying as sales numbers stabilize. For the rest of 2019, the Maruti Ciaz, Honda City and Hyundai Verna will not get any major update, and it will only be from the middle of 2020 when major changes come through.

Talking of the rest of the C-Segment sedan space, the Skoda Rapid was the fourth largest selling car with sales of 898 units. The Volkswagen Vento and Toyota Yaris managed 351 and 350 units while the Nissan Sunny and Fiat Linea have numbers that aren’t really significant – 14 units and 8 units. As far as the real rivalry in the C-Segment sedan goes, it’s limited to the Ciaz-City-Verna. Other cars are just bit players in this segment, which is now getting overshadowed by compact SUVs.

The Hyundai Verna’s base variant is very attractively priced, and it undercuts both the facelifted Maruti Ciaz and the Honda City, with an average ex-showroom price tag of Rs. 8.08 lakhs. Moving up the variants though, it’s the Maruti Ciaz Facelift that is priced more attractively, variant to variant. While this price advantage and the facelift gave the Ciaz some sales momentum over the last 3 months, sales seem to be slowing down.

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The Verna sold in India is now available with four engine options: a 1.4 liter petrol with 99 Bhp-132 Nm outputs and a 6 speed manual gearbox, a 1.6 liter petrol engine with 121 Bhp-151 Nm outputs, and 6 speed manual and automatic gearbox options, a 1.4 liter turbocharged diesel with 89 Bhp-220 Nm and a 6 speed manual gearbox, and a 1.6 liter turbocharged diesel engine with 126 Bhp-260 Nm, and 6 speed manual and automatic gearboxes.

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The engine-gearbox combinations offered on the Verna are the highest in segment, and this gives the buyer a lot of choice. In contrast, the Maruti Ciaz is offered in a petrol-manual, petrol-automatic and diesel-manual combination. Similarly, the Honda City is also available in the same engine-gearbox combination as the Ciaz. The Verna got a full model change last year, and ever since, sales of the car have perked up quite significantly, and the car has been matching the Ciaz and City.

The next facelift of the Verna is likely to come by the end of 2020. The Honda City is at the end of its life cycle, and the sales numbers it’s pulling is quite creditable. The car will be replaced by an all-new model sometime next year. The Ciaz has another couple of years to go before a full model change happens.

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