When I say compact sedan from Hyundai, well, you might be thinking of the Hyundai Xcent. Well, that car has a successor now, in the form of the Hyundai Aura which, if you haven’t made out already, is based on the Grand i10 Nios. But there are new things that are being offered with this car to make it lucrative to the compact sedan buyer in India. So we took it out for a drive to find out what are these new features, how is it to drive and to find out the answer to the big question – whether this is going to be worth your money?
Let’s start with the design of the Hyundai Aura. While from the front it looks similar to the Grand i10 Nios, it does get a redesigned bumper and different detailing to the grille, which has been given a silver bezel. You also get the same swept-back projector headlamps along with projector fog lamps but perhaps the biggest differentiator from the front is the fact that the Aura gets twin Boomerang-shaped LED DRLs instead of one that you get on the Grand i10 Nios.
Coming to the sides, the Aura gets newly designed alloy wheels which look fantastic and the car sports a coupe-like roofline that tapers towards the boot, which itself has a pinched-up look making it look properly sporty. The C-Pillar has been given a gloss-black finish to give the Aura a floating roof design.
Coming to the back, it gets Z-shaped LED tail lamps which get a chrome garnish in between to make them look connected.
While from the front, the Aura looks good, it is from the sides and the rear where the design can come across as a bit polarizing. However, we can say that the Aura does look better in the flesh than in the pictures.
Coming to the inside of the Aura, the moment you step in, the first thing that will come to your mind is the Grand i10 Nios as the cabin is almost identical in terms of design. However, Hyundai has taken the effort to give it its own treatment. Like the seats now get a different texture and also, the dash uses bronze inserts which look a lot better. You still get the good bits like the honeycomb pattern on the dash, doors and around the gear lever.
The use of lighter shades inside the cabin make it look upmarket and premium, however, the cabin and the seat upholstery will require special care as time goes to maintain a clean look. You still have an ample amount of storage compartments all across the cabin. In terms of features, the Aura gets things like wireless charging for the top-spec variant, automatic climate control, a semi-digital instrument cluster that shows pretty much everything you need to know and there is also an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that has a good touch response and is intuitive to use. It also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. What’s new with the Aura is that the top-end petrol variants also come with Cruise control.
So for those seated at the front, it’s a nice cabin space to be in. And the same goes for those seated at the back as well.
Adjusting the driver seat to my height of 5’10, I still had a good amount of legroom, knee room, shoulder room and a decent amount of headroom. This is one of the most spacious cabins in its segment in terms of width and you won’t have any problems having three people sit at the back. Also, the under-thigh support is nice too. But, what’s new in the Aura is that now you get an armrest as well.
But coming to the all-important part, which is the driving experience.
Hyundai is offering the Aura with three engine options. There is a 1.2-litre petrol engine that is offered with a choice of 5-speed manual or a 5-speed AMT gearbox. Then there is the 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine which is the most powerful of the lot that comes with only a 5-speed manual gearbox option and finally, there’s the drivetrain that we drove – 1.2-litre diesel engine with a 5-speed manual gearbox. And yes, this gets an AMT gearbox option too.
The diesel engine makes 75 PS of power and 190 Nm of torque. But what’s special about this engine is the fact that this is a BS-VI emission-norm compliant motor. This means that come April 1, 2020, the Hyundai Aura will be one of the few diesel-engine powered compact sedans that will be on sale in India. As for the driving bit, the engine is refined and has a healthy spread of power and torque across the RPM band.
In case of the quick overtakes, you won’t feel the need to downshift every time. We also found the suspension setup coped well with low-speed bumps and had a stable ride at highways speeds as well. The Aura feels even better at city speeds thanks to the light clutch and steering that makes it easy to tackle city traffic. All in all, the Aura leaves a positive first impression at almost all fronts.
So to wrap it up, having spent the day driving around in this car, it offers a familiar driving experience, which is to say that this is a good car to drive around in. It will do the job in the city and you can take it out on the highways too. As for the features, it gets everything that other cars in this segment offer. As for the looks, that is a subjective matter. You have to decide whether this works for you or not. At the end of the day, this is a good value for money car and we recommend going for the diesel variant or the 1.0-litre petrol engine variant.