Here comes the sun!

Hyundai Aura (Image: BBC TopGear India)

In the beginning, we chase our dreams in the hopes of reaching that point we’ve always strived to achieve. Then, we chase our goals. Goals we set for ourself once we have achieved our initial dream. Turning those dreams into an acceptable reality is the hard part, but going beyond that takes true determination. A will to try and achieve the impossible, a will to exceed far beyond the expectations of others, a will to chase the sun, no matter how far away it may seem to be. It’s this chase for the sun that keeps us aiming for the best, to keep us pushing forward in any situation. Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown in the country, we decided to celebrate this spirit of always thriving for perfection and pushing forward by trying to chase the sun with Hyundai’s newest sub-four-metre compact sedan – Aura.

Hyundai Aura (Image: BBC TopGear India)

The importance of a Sunday morning drive is often ignored, which in all honesty, is quite a shame. It not only gives you time to yourself but it gives you time to understand your machine at a more subliminal level. That’s because you drive your car on a Sunday not because you have to but because you want to. That’s what we wanted to find out with the Aura. So, we got up early on a Sunday morning, away from the rituals of daily life to try and understand what helps us push beyond perfection.

Hyundai Aura (Image: BBC TopGear India)

After the unmistakable sound of the ringing alarm clock, the first item our eyes focussed upon was the Aura’s smart key. With a grin from one ear to another, we took off with the Aura in the wee hours of the morning, hoping to catch a better glimpse of the sun at our favourite driving spot. As soon as you get into the Aura, the neatly designed durable dashboard design and well-laid out buttons meet the eye. It does create that sense of occasion you crave from your car, especially on these early morning drives. We headed off towards my destination, with a race against the might star, that is the sun.

Hyundai Aura (Image: BBC TopGear India)

We had the 1.2-litre, Eco TORQ diesel engine, mated to a 5-speed AMT gearbox, making the whole experience silky smooth. Even though it is a diesel motor, the NVH levels were very impressive. Furthermore, Hyundai claims that the BS6-compliant engine consists of 2000 bar Fuel Injection System that allows better combustion and fuel efficiency. Power delivery is punchy and The Aura kept us more than engaged on the 240km drive.

Hyundai Aura (Image: BBC TopGear India)

The steering feels light and easy to use and never gave us any reason to complain. The AMT does an excellent job at smoothening out the gearshifts and is by far one of the best AMTs on offer in the country. In fact, folks at Hyundai say that the transmission has been subjected to rigorous durability tests for ensuring higher gear strength with better clutch friction materials to offer the best performance at high speeds, off-road, hillsides and harsh climatic conditions.

Hyundai Aura (Image: BBC TopGear India)

Step inside and you are greeted with a beautifully laid out dashboard, thoughtful and neat in its approach to the design. The Aura itself is a very welcoming place to be, even for a six-footer. Ingress and egress is a breeze, and finding the right driving position is a matter of seconds. Seats are well-padded and provide ample support for city commutes and long-distance getaways. Getting accustomed to the Aura takes only but a moment, and the driving position of the car is easy and inviting. The classy interiors, which have a mix of different colours thrown together, feel well-put-together and have contrasting elements all around. For example, the side unique yet snazzy side AC vents add a bit of drama while the simple yet functional add a touch of sensibility.

Hyundai Aura (Image: BBC TopGear India)

That’s not all, the part-analogue, part-digital instrument cluster is refreshing to read and the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment takes care of all your musical needs. If that wasn’t enough, the Aura also gets a rear armrest, rear AC vents, and adjustable rear headrests! Needless to say, the back seat is an exceedingly comfortable place to be. Another design element which we like is the blacked-out C-pillar. Apart from that, the front grill finished in satin looks upmarket and nothing of that sort has been seen on cars of this segment. To add to that, the cooled glovebox, USB and wireless chargers were a big boon!

Hyundai Aura (Image: BBC TopGear India)

Escaping city limits, which usually takes two hours, took us just 40 minutes early in the morning. Out on the highway, the Aura felt relaxed and never really felt too stressed in any given situation. Thanks to the all-new Eco TORQ engine, it was a frugal affair as well. As the sun was coming up, we got the twisties, which only meant that the Aura had more to boast about. The steering felt predictable yet fun in the corners and never really disappointed us in any way. However, the most important thing about the Aura is that it lets you feel one with the road, it puts a smile on your face on those sweeping mountain roads.

Hyundai Aura (Image: BBC TopGear India)

After going through the mesmerizing array of features on the Aura, and completing that much-needed drive, one thing was immediately clear. Hyundai has applied the same thought to the Aura as most of us have to our lives. We have to push beyond our comfort zone to strive for a level above perfection as the Aura has in almost every department. Whether its comfort, driveability or design; the Aura pushes beyond its perceived boundaries, just as we should in our daily lives. The Aura then successfully lives up to its name. It has a presence that’s hard to ignore and list of credentials that are hard to doubt. The best part? The Aura lets you have fun on the weekends, take the family out on road trips and do the office commute like it’s second nature. Chasing the sun just got a whole lot easier!