What is it?
The Aura is nothing but the second-generation version of the Hyundai Xcent, and while it replaces the Xcent to sell to the mass market, the Xcent will continue to sell alongside, to taxi fleet operators. The compact sedan segment is full of participants, and the Aura is the latest to jump on the bandwagon. With Maruti’s Dzire leading in this segment, the Aura has more than just a challenge in front of it. With the new Aura, you have a wide range of engines to choose from – all of which happen to be BS6-compliant. Hyundai hopes to gain momentum in a segment that’s ruled by Maruti Suzuki.
A first look the Aura will leave you perplexed; it just isn’t one of those designs you can digest easily, but then again, looks are subjective. At the front, it features a large cascading grille with boomerang-shaped LED DRLs at either ends, and the grille gets a piano black finish. Flanked by the grille is a pair of familiar, stylish projector headlights. It also gets projector fog lights, which are seen in this segment for the first time. The bonnet gets sharp creases that give it a good definition. The swooping coupe-like roofline looks attractive and we liked the blacked-out C-pillars. Alongside, the wheel arches are mildly flared and there are some subtle character lines along with those dual-tone alloy wheels. The tail lamps at the rear look radical and sport C-shaped LED highlights, while the bumper too, looks sporty with sharp lines and black cladding on the lower half of the bumper.
We must admit that the interior is beautifully designed. Everything seems well put together, and the levels of fit and finish are perhaps the best in this segment. The run-of-the-mill variants get a three-tone, black, grey and brown theme. The turbo variant, on the other hand, features an all-black theme with red highlights on the steering, seats and air-con vents. The front seats are well cushioned and are supportive, and the view from the driver’s seat is good. At the back, the bench offers good support and the angle of the backrest is good. However, three occupants at the rear will be a squeeze. Leg room is more than sufficient, and it also gets rear AC vents. Boot space, at 402 litres, is adequately large.
The Hyundai Aura comes with three engine options: a 1.2-litre petrol engine that makes 82bhp and 113Nm of torque, a 1.2-litre turbo diesel engine that churns out 74bhp and 190Nm of torque, and a 1.0-litre turbo petrol motor that produces 99bhp and 172Nm of torque. We drove the 1.2-litre petrol engine paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox and the 1.2-litre turbo diesel mated to an AMT. The former is refined and very quiet. It has a meaty mid-range and power is delivered in a linear fashion. Even on highways, there is ample power to overtake. The clutch is light and the gearbox is smooth to shift. Even the diesel motor is refined, but becomes audible once the revs rise. Power delivery is linear, and the AMT gearbox to which it is mated works very smoothly. Around corners, the car inspires confidence and changes directions quickly. However, the steering lacks feedback. The ride quality, on the other hand, is pliant as the bumps are soaked in effortlessly.
The Hyundai Aura offers a lot in terms of features and engine/gearbox options. It also comes with a cabin that is well built and offers a premium feel. The design may not be to everyone’s taste, but if it’s something you can overlook, the Aura is perhaps one of the best buys in this segment. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming cars, only at autoX