Hyundai Aura Turbo: First Drive Review
A 1-litre turbo petrol engine in a sub four-metre compact sedan – seems a bit much? Say hello to the Hyundai Aura Turbo. Now this isn’t the first time that Hyundai’ s 1-litre turbo petrol engine has made it to a car on our shores. The Venue received the same engine, albeit in a different state of tune. Here in the Aura, it makes a shade under 100 horses, instead of the 118bhp in the Venue. Straight off the bat, it is hard to think of an enthusiast getting a compact sedan to have some fun behind the wheel. But there definitely is a case for having a practical sedan for the everyday commute while still retaining an element of fun.
The Hyundai Aura Turbo, distinguishes itself from the regular Aura with a few minor cosmetic additions on the outside as well as the inside. It gets a red ‘Turbo’ badge on the grille that is finished a little differently(black) than the regular variant. On the inside, the seats are finished in black with red contrast stitching and that is it. These changes aside it is hard to differentiate it from the regular variant.
Once you get behind the wheel though, things start looking up. The turbo petrol engine is quiet at idle, and doesn’t have much in the way of vibrations. Even while pottering around in the city, the Aura turbo is fairly comfortable to drive. Off the line, one thing is evident. It is quick. In second gear as you pull to the 6500rpm redline, you are almost doing triple-digit speeds. The slick gearbox and the light clutch, make it easy to drive too. That aside, the engine is comfortable over a wide range of speeds, right from around the 1500rpm mark to the redline. It does have a sporty growl, but over 5000rpm it becomes hoarse. There is not much in the form of turbo lag and you can barely perceive it around the 1800rpm mark when it kicks in. The engine is rev happy and builds up speeds in a progressive, linear manner.
Aided by the strong, progressive brakes, you can easily carry good speeds. The steering, as on the other variants of the Aura, is very light and lacks feedback. It does weigh up a fair bit at speeds though. The rear-end on the Aura is lighter for a better ride and as a result you do feel some movement once at triple digit speeds. The light steering doesn’t help things either.
That being said, the Aura is primarily meant as a city runabout, and at city speeds it does handle well. If I were to nitpick, the 175 section tyres aren’t the best for some enthusiastic driving. There is in fact some mild torque steer when driving enthusiastically, even at low speeds. Wider, grippier tyres will certainly make the Aura handle better and could help with the light steering too. But then again, you could always swap the OEM tyres in the aftermarket.
All in all, the Hyundai Aura, is definitively quicker than any other sub-four metre compact sedan in the market. It is a lot more fun than most other hatchbacks too. The linearity of the engine’s power delivery is a key selling point and will be valued by most consumers with an enthusiastic bent of mind. It brightens up your daily commute and should definitely be an option if you are looking for a fun car that is also practical and affordable.