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Action was missing in the compact sedan segment for quite some time, but now with the launch of the Hyundai Aura, it’s time to see which one fares the best, at least on paper.
Compact sedan sales skyrocketed in the previous decade and multiple carmakers wanted a piece of this hot-selling pie. As a result we saw a slew of cars like the Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Volkswagen Ameo, Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent being launched and the Dzire and the Xcent especially are extremely popular amongst fleet owners. However, SUVs have been running the show recently and we haven’t seen much action in this segment. This is set to change with the Hyundai Aura, which was launched today at Rs 5.79 lakh. This car takes a whole new approach towards compact sedans with a turbo-petrol engine and as many as 12 segment first features. So, let’s take a quick look at how it stacks up against the most popular compact sedans in the country.
The Hyundai Aura is offered with as many as three engine options – a 1.2-litre petrol engine, 1.0-litre turbo GDI engine and a 1.2-litre diesel engine. All of these are BS6 compliant and that’s a major win for Hyundai since none of its competitors yet updated with BS6 engines as of today. The most popular car in the segment, the Maruti Suzuki Dzire is offered with a 1.2-litre petrol engine and 1.3-litre diesel mill. Both these engines match the Aura on power and torque, however, it’s the claimed fuel economy where the Maruti takes lead. The diesel Dzire returns over 28kmpl according to ARAI tests while the claimed figure for Aura is a little over 24kmpl. Both can be had with automatic transmissions as well as manual ones. The 1.0-litre turbo GDI engine on the Aura can only be mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and doesn’t get a dual clutch option like on its sibling, the Venue.
The Honda Amaze and the Ford Aspire get punchier petrol and diesel engines. The Aspire especially is an enthusiast favourite with its best-in-class power and torque figures for both petrol and diesel engines. The 1.2-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines on offer in the Aspire churn 95bhp and 120Nm and 121bhp and 150Nm, while the diesel mill pumps 99bhp and 215Nm, respectively. If you’re an enthusiast you now have an additional option with the launch of the Aura with its 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine. The Dzire and the Aura, in their diesel trims remain the most sensible and economical options. In terms of transmission, the Amaze gets manual and CVT as options on both, petrol and diesel variant while a 6-speed automatic is the only transmission option on the 1.5-litre petrol Aspire.
All these compact sedans are well equipped when it comes to features. However, the Aura takes it to another level with its first-in-segment features like emergency stop signal, wireless charger, fast charging port upfront, a premium Arkamys sound system and the Bluelink connected car system which lets you remotely control a host of vehicle settings via the iBLUE smartphone app. All other cars get features like central touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, automatic climate control, rear parking camera with sensors and standard safety kit of dual front airbags, ABS and EBD. The Amaze automatic gets paddle shifters on the top of the line V and VX trims while the Aspire scores better on safety as its top end Titanium+ variant gets additional side and curtain airbags. The automatic transmission variants of the Aspire also get hill hold assist, ESP and TCS. In terms of safety, the Aspire is certainly the most well equipped, however, the Aura is the best overall package followed by the Dzire, Aspire and the Amaze.
At Rs 5.79 lakh, the base petrol manual variant of the Hyundai Aura undercuts the Dzire by about Rs 3000. Meanwhile the similarly specced Amaze and Aspire are priced Rs 5.93 lakh and Rs 5.98 lakh respectively. At Rs 6.66 lakh, the base diesel variant of the Dzire is the most affordable of the lot followed by the Amaze, Aspire and the Aura which are priced Rs 7.05 lakh, Rs 7.37 lakh and Rs 7.73 lakh respectively. The Dzire undercuts the Aura here by over a lakh rupees, but remember, the Aura is BS6 compliant and these diesels are inherently more expensive.
The Dzire’s top end petrol auto variant is Rs 64,000 more expensive (Rs 8.68 lakh) than that of the Aura (Rs 8.04 lakh). However, its the Amaze CVT petrol which is the most expensive of the lot at Rs 8.77 lakh while the most affordable petrol automatic is the Aura, priced at Rs 7.05 lakh, respectively. The enthusiast preference would be the Aura with its turbo GDI engine, which comes at a sticker of Rs 8.54 lakh while the Figo diesel range starts at Rs 7.37 lakh.
The Hyundai Aura is certainly a unique offering thanks to its extensive list of segment first features and a new turbo petrol engine. But its competitors too have their strengths, so which one should you go for? We can only tell you after a detailed road test of these compact sedans back to back, which will follow soon. Stay tuned.