Between releases of this sporty series hybrid and the performance Patrol (very much an oxymoron) the carmaker is just having fun with it. I’m having fun, too, because this is a good hatchback:
Nissan says this model starts with better aerodynamics and more downforce, courtesy of the body kit. Then, Nissan messed with the suspension and “optimized [the] body rigidity distribution.” I’m pretty sure we know what they mean.
More important than that, though, is the new Nismo driving mode on top of the two standard Normal and Eco modes. Nissan doesn’t specify performance gains from the Nismo driving mode, but the company says it gives the Aura Note Nismo better throttle response and faster acceleration.
The changes continue inside, where drivers get red accents and combination fabric and leather seats. Recaros, in case you thought Nissan cheaped out!
On the outside, the car gets the same size wheels (17") but these are sportier looking. The Nismo body kit makes the hatch look wider to me, and maybe even a little menacing. Ok, nothing about this commuter car is actually menacing, but its looks do benefit from the makeover. If I squint real hard, the Aura Nismo looks like a sharper third-generation Honda Fit wearing NSX headlights.
I’m just happy that the idea of a sporty hybrid is slowly coming back in segments other than the supercar.