New Aura: Hyundai's big bet on compact sedan market

by Akbar Merchant, Autocar India 19 Dec 2019

Hyundai Motor India today took the covers off the Aura, a compact sedan which has made its world premiere in India ahead of its launch slated to take place sometime early next year. The sub-four-metre Aura is technically the next-generation model of the Hyundai Xcent in the Indian market; the latter will be a fleet-only model when the Aura arrives.

Hyundai's new compact sedan is based on the recently launched Grand i10 Nios and shares a lot of its underpinnings, exterior and interior bits with the hatchback.

For the most part, the Hyundai Aura sedan features exterior styling that is similar to the Grand i10 Nios, though, from its C-pillar onwards, it differentiates itself from the hatchback as it gets a neatly integrated boot with a stylish rear design.

At the rear, Hyundai’s sub-four-metre sedan gets a sleek wraparound taillight design with LED inserts, along with a sculpted boot-lid. The license plate is located on the rear bumper, a styling trait seen on most newer Hyundai sedans such as the recently launched Elantra facelift. This design element will also be seen on the mid-cycle update for the Verna which is scheduled to arrive in India next year. 

The front of the Aura and Nios are also marginally different – the compact sedan gets dual boomerang-shaped LED DRLs, while the hatchback has single units on either side of the 'cascading grille'. 15-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels will be standard on top-spec variants.

While the Aura has the same length (3,995mm) and height (1,520mm) as the Xcent, it is 20mm wider (at 1,680mm) and has a 25mm longer wheelbase (at 2,450mm).

While Hyundai Motor India has not revealed the Aura sedan's interior, we can confirm that the model will share its dashboard, controls and seats with the Grand i10 Nios. It will get an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system replete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a 5.3-inch digital speedometer and MID, wireless charging, an Arkamys sound system, a rear centre armrest and a driver rearview monitor that projects from the inside rearview mirror. Unlike the Venue, Hyundai's BlueLink connectivity suite won’t be on offer with the Aura, which instead gets the iBlue Audio remote smartphone application, which is available on the Grand i10 Nios.

Three BS VI engines on offer
The Aura sedan will be offered with three BS VI-compliant engines at launch. First up is the 1.2-litre Kappa petrol engine good for 83hp and 113Nm, which sits at the bottom of the range, while the next unit is a 1.2-litre diesel that delivers 75hp and 190Nm. The diesel engine, which will become Hyundai's first BS6-compliant oil-burner unit, and comes with a Lean NOx Trap (LNT) to help it meet the more stringent emission norms, instead of a more complex (and more costly) selective catalytic reduction system. Both these engines are available with either a 5-speed manual or an AMT gearbox.

The third engine which will power the Aura sedan is a 1.0-litre, turbo-petrol unit that is already available in the Venue compact SUV. This engine, however, has been tuned to produce 100hp and 172Nm of torque in the Aura sedan, which is lower than the 120hp/172Nm the unit produces in the Venue. This engine on the Aura will come only with a 5-speed manual gearbox and will also make its way to the Grand i10 Nios in future. Hyundai will also offer a factory-fit CNG option on the 1.2-litre petrol engine. 

Key rivals to the Hyundai Aura include the popular Maruti Suzuki Dzire, the Honda Amaze, Ford Aspire, Tata Tigor and the all-new Renault LBA compact sedan that will arrive in the French carmaker’s showrooms sometime in late 2020.