Midsize sedan buyers want the best of everything. A practical car that’s good on fuel economy, decent on space and ideal for the family of four plus their luggage. The Honda City and Hyundai Verna have been default choices in this segment dominating sales charts for a while. Now, Toyota much belatedly wants a piece of this pie and the new Yaris is their contender for the segment.
Which is the best though? The Yaris is available only in petrol to avoid any clash with the bigger Altis and we’ve compared it here with the petrol versions of the City and Verna.
The Yaris looks like a miniature version of the Altis and that’s a good thing. It has the same flowing lines all across and manages to look more expensive than its price. That said, the Verna too follows a similar script and looks like a miniature version of the Elantra. The Fluidic 2.0 design language looks just as striking as the earlier designs were and needless to say that the Verna is a head turner.
The Honda City is the oldest car of the bunch here and it’s starting to show. Originally launched in 2013, the City got a facelift in 2017 to liven things up but it’s starting to look a bit plane compared to the bunch here. Still, in isolation all three cars look good and it’s hard to find a fault with their designs.
The Yaris is the boring one over here. The quality of materials is as good as the Verna’s but the design itself isn’t very exciting but still you will appreciate things like the roof mounted AC vents at the back and the electrically adjustable driver’s seat. The Yaris is also the only car that offers 7 airbags as standard across the range.
The Verna too offers unique features like cooled front seats and cooled glovebox, but it simply can’t match the other two for sheer legroom at the back. The seats are low set and not as comfortable as either the City or the Yaris.
Move inside the City and you will be forgiven for thinking it’s from a segment above. The cabin feels more airy and brighter than the other two and the space in the backseat is brilliant as well. Knee and headroom is terrific in the back seat. The boot also is the largest of the bunch. The City though well-equipped misses on Apple Carplay and Android auto.
Engine, performance and gearbox
The Yaris and City come with 1.5-litre engines while the Verna has a bigger 1.6-litre unit. The City feels the more free-revving out of the lot and simply loves to rev all the way to it’s redline. The Yaris isn’t far behind either but needs some revs before it gets going. The Verna is a nice mix of power in both the low and top end of its rev band but doesn’t feel as flexible as the City’s sweet i-Vtec motor.
Buyers will also appreciate the gearboxes on the cars. All manuals shift with precision and a light clutch bodes well for city drivers too. The City and Yaris get a CVT auto as well while the Verna traditional 6-speed auto feels best in the automatic version.
Ride and handling
The Verna is the best car for keen drivers. The stiffened up suspension means there’s hardly any body roll, while the tyres have generous grip on offer. The high speed ride is good but some potholes make their way into the cabin thanks to the stiff suspension. The steering also feels the most communicative here but has a certain artificiality about itself.
The Yaris is best for comfort and relaxation offering a suspension that soaks up the bumps no matter what speeds you are doing. The steering is well weighed but doesn’t feel as keen as the other two here.
The City is the best mix of a comfortable ride and reasonable sporty handling. The steering offers good communication and feels agile enough. The suspension is suited both for slow speeds as well as highway speeds and its only the sharpest of sharp crevices that trouble the City.
If you want the best all-rounder, simply go for the City. It offers a roomy cabin, a big boot and a refined yet fuel efficient petrol engine. Being a Honda means that desirability levels will be high when it’s time to resell, which means that resale values will be good too.