Hyundai Aura facelift review: More style, more safety

    Maruti Dzire-rivalling compact sedan gets a facelift, with RDE and E20 compliance.

    Published on Feb 24, 2023 03:40:00 PM


    Make : Hyundai
    Model : Aura
    We Like
    • Smooth and refined engine
    • Light controls
    • Cabin quality, fit-finish
    We Don't Like
    • Not as spacious as rivals

    Hyundai continues to bet on the Aura compact sedan, which it recently upgraded to meet upcoming emission and safety regulations. In addition, the Aura also gets some cosmetic tweaks and a lengthier feature list. Priced between Rs 6.29-8.87 lakh, it rivals the Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Honda Amaze and Tata Tigor.

    2023 Hyundai Aura: exteriors

    The earlier iteration looked identical to the Grand i10 Nios (its hatchback version) from the front. However, the facelift looks a lot more distinctive and won’t leave you second guessing thanks to its new slim front grille and inverted trapezoidal air dam design. Flanking the air dam are inverted L-shaped LED Daytime Running Lamps and functional vertical air vents, which add a touch of sportiness to its styling.

    As part of the facelift, the Aura now gets a new slim front grille and inverted L-shaped LED DRLs.

    Keen observers will notice that the company has moved on from its 3D chrome logos to all-new satin-finished 2D units. Our test car sported the ‘Starry Night’ paint, which is a new addition to the palette; it appears dark blue under sunlight and black otherwise. The only other cosmetic change is the addition of a rear spoiler for a sportier appearance. Apart from other things, its oversized LED tail-lamps haven’t changed, and hence, its rear styling will continue to polarise opinions.

    2023 Hyundai Aura: interiors

    The front seats lack adjustable head restraints and the cushioning is on the firm side.

    The Aura’s cabin impresses with its bright ambience and top-notch fit-finish and quality. Copper-coloured inserts on the dashboard fascia and around the gear console add flavour to the interior, although these aren’t likely to have a universal appeal.

    Part-digital instrument cluster from the pre-facelift Aura has been replaced by new analogue dials.

    Analogue dials replace the part-digital instrument cluster, which is contrary to the norm, however, they are easy to read. There’s also a monochrome MID that includes a digital speedo and a new tyre pressure monitoring system, among other information.

    Ample support and room on offer at the rear. However, seating space is best reserved for two adults.

    Its front seats aren’t the best out there because the cushioning is a touch too firm; adults with broader body frames will find them to be narrow; and taller folk will feel the absence of adjustable head restraints. It gets better at the rear with ample support and space on offer, and a comfy backrest recline angle. However, due to the car’s narrow width, this bench is best for two adults, rather than three. At 402 litres, its boot remains large and practical.

    2023 Hyundai Aura: features

    Auto headlamps are now part of the Aura's equipment list.

    Hyundai has made the Aura future ready by equipping it with dual front and side airbags as standard, with curtain airbags available in the higher variants. Also, safety features like ESP, hill-start assist and automatic headlamps have been added.

    The Aura facelift also gets traction control.

    Convenience features like cruise control and a tyre pressure monitoring system too are part of the package in addition to an 8-inch touchscreen with wired smartphone connectivity, wireless charging, footwell lighting, push-button start, keyless entry, reversing camera, automatic climate control and rear air-con vents, to name a few.

    2023 Hyundai Aura: performance

    The Aura’s 83hp. 1.2-litre petrol has been updated to meet the upcoming RDE (real-world driving emission) norms, and Hyundai has also made it compatible with E20 fuel (petrol with 20 percent Ethanol blend). It comes mated to either a 5-speed manual or automated manual transmission (AMT), and there’s also a petrol-CNG iteration with a manual gearbox on offer. The diesel and turbo-petrol engines have been dropped from the range.

    The Aura sees no mechanical changes and continues with the 83hp, 1.2-litre petrol engine that's RDE-compliant.

    We sampled the petrol-manual iteration, and are happy to report that it feels just as smooth and refined as before. It responds well to part-throttle inputs and it’ll effortlessly keep up with the flow of traffic without having to wring the engine.

    The Aura offers a stress-free driving experience thanks to its smooth and light steering.

    For enthusiastic drivers, while it revs to 6,600rpm, performance isn’t brisk nor does it feel exciting. And since the Aura isn’t dynamically sporty per se, it is best to adopt an easy-going driving style and enjoy it as a point A to B commuter. What also makes driving a stress-free affair are its buttery smooth and light steering, an absorbent ride quality, and a slick-shifting manual transmission paired with a light clutch.

    2023 Hyundai Aura: should I buy one?

    The Hyundai Aura is neither the most affordable nor the most spacious car in its segment, but it does everything expected from it with great finesse. It is extremely user-friendly with light controls and a smooth engine, and the newly added safety features further strengthen its case. And, in typical Hyundai fashion, it is very well equipped. As a convenient commuter, the Hyundai Aura is as good a compact sedan as it gets.

    Also see:

    Hyundai Aura facelift video review

    Hyundai refreshes almost entire SUV, car line-up ahead of RDE norms

    New Hyundai Verna exterior design revealed; launch on March 21

    Tech Specs

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    The Mahindra XUV 300 facelift will be called the XUV 3XO. Should more brands rename models for facelifts?

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