‘Great lockdown car’ sounds like a paradox, but if you like to drive, then there really is such a thing. With driving so severely limited, even small grocery runs are to be cherished and treated like fun weekend drives.
Keyless entry: One less item to touch, with the key safe in my pocket.
Luckily for me, I have the Aura 1.0-litre turbo, and it’s real fun on short excursions around my place, like a little pet dog, I guess. No, I’ve never had one, but from what I see with my neighbour’s dog, you take it out for a walk and at times it won’t move, you’ll be desperately pulling it along and then at other times it will suddenly bolt, straining at the leash, with you hurrying along. Through all this, owners aren’t perturbed; instead, some even find delight in it.
That’s pretty much what the Aura 1.0 is like, there’s some amount of turbo lag and, in the city, you’ll encounter a lot of gear changes, goading it to stay above 1,800rpm or in the fun zone. But once there, it will bolt forward, even squealing its wheels on loose surfaces. So yes, it’s a lot of fun powering out of every turn or after every speed breaker. A word of caution here, don’t let the light lockdown traffic push you into irresponsible road behaviour; drive carefully, look all around and anticipate things you can’t see. But yeah, short grocery runs are now drives to be enjoyed and, thankfully, the peppy nature of this Aura does entertain. What’s more, the light steering – which is something you wouldn’t like at speeds out on the highway – is just fine in the city.
Small-ish phone tray: Wireless charging is great but plugged-in phones don’t fit in the tray.
Interestingly, with all this point-and-squirt driving, fuel efficiency doesn’t seem to have taken a hit; the display still shows 11.9kpl but I’ll wait until I fill up to know the exact number. So far, I’ve only covered 150km and the fuel level is still near the top mark, so filling up will still be some time away.
Large cup holder: One of them is large enough to hold a big sanitiser bottle.
Another aspect where the Aura has helped with the lockdown is by providing a nice quarantine space. Yes, our veggies and consumables are all washed as soon as they are brought home, but packages that don’t mind the heat, like books or the furniture we ordered from Ikea, are all quarantined for four to five days before we open them. The boot of the Aura easily held all the online shopping we’ve indulged in, swallowing a flat-packed Ikea computer chair, a table lamp, and some other bits too. If you’re thinking this is a good idea, make sure you have covered parking, as a car left out in the sun can get super-hot, even for nonperishable stuff.
Aura boot makes for a nice quarantine storage.
So yes, all in all, I haven’t driven as much, which I am sure is the case with the rest of you as well. In the few trips I’ve gone on, the Aura has indeed proved to be a good lockdown car, entertaining me on 5-50km drives. I only hope things change soon and I can get to see how it fares as a regular daily driver. Daily driving. Sigh, here’s to normal times soon.