Hyundai Aura First-Drive Review: Eyeing The Maruti Dzire’s Pie

With three engine options to pick from and plenty of features, the Hyundai Aura hopes to make an impression.

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The Hyundai Aura is looking to take a big chunk out of the Maruti Suzuki Dzire’s market share in the compact sedan segment. This sedan version of the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios has loaded itself up with features that it hopes can lure buyers. Of course, the prices are competitive too.

What sets the Hyundai Aura apart from the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios on which it’s based are subtle styling elements in front like the double boomerang-shaped DRLs, a completely new lower bumper and more premium looking grille. But what’s really different is the rear.

The rear of the Hyundai Aura has been stylishly turned out. But it seems a bit overdone and draws mixed reactions. The boot can swallow 402 litres of luggage. That’s about two litres more than a Honda Amaze, which is enough for four suitcases.

The Hyundai Aura’s double-boomerang DRL’s help distinguish the front from that of the Grand i10 Nios.
Photo: The Quint

Being a compact sedan, the rear seat has been given special attention. It gets a drop-down armrest with two cupholders and rear AC vents. The seat itself is raised a bit for better under-thigh support, a decent amount of legroom and adequate headroom for average-sized adults.

Hyundai has loaded the Aura with features. You get a rear-view monitor & reverse camera, an 8-inch infotainment system with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, wireless phone charging and keyless start. The top petrol variant also gets cruise control.

The LED tail-lamps and Z-shaped styling of the Hyundai Aura’s rear.
Photo: The Quint

For the most part we were driving the diesel variant of the Hyundai Aura. This comes with a 1.2 litre, 3-cylinder ‘Ecotorq’ diesel engine which is BS-6 compliant. It puts out 190 Nm of torque and 75 PS of power which is par for the course. It’s similar to the Maruti Dzire diesel.

From April 2020, this car is going to be one of the few diesels in this segment because Maruti is discontinuing their diesel and it’s not going to have much competition. The only others to contend with are the Ford Aspire and Honda Amaze.
The Hyundai Aura’s dashboard has a bronze finish.
Photo: The Quint

The price increase on the 1.2-litre diesel variant of the Hyundai Aura is only about Rs 1.17 lakh compared to the petrol variant. That’s because Hyundai has managed to keep the cost down despite having added a diesel particulate filter, a lean nitrous trap and all the other paraphernalia needed for a BS-6 compliant diesel engine. This additional cost is what has forced Maruti to exit the diesel market.

Fuel efficiency is a claimed 25.3 Kmpl for the diesel. Even though it’s a diesel, NVH levels are well contained in this. You don’t feel the engine noise intrude into the cabin much, except when accelerating hard, that three-cylinder thrum is there.

The clutch is light. Gearshifts are nice and easy. And the steering of course is typically Hyundai. Light. If you’ve driven any of the other Hyundai cars you know what I’m talking about.

In all, the Hyundai Aura comes in 10 variants with a 1.2-litre diesel engine, a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1-litre turbo-petrol. You get an option of an AMT as well as 5-speed manual. Prices range between Rs 5.8 lakh ex-showroom for the base petrol going up to Rs 9.04 lakh for the top-spec diesel variant. The design may get mixed emotions, but then that’s going to be the single deciding factor for this car.

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