Inside the New Hyundai Azera

For two decades, Hyundai sold what would later be rechristened as the Azera with a variety of nameplates: from Grandeur to names clearly inspired by the car’s engine displacement (e.g., XG300, XG350, etc.) By 2006, however, the South Korean automaker had already decided to make the Azera its flagship model. A decade later, the Hyundai Azera is firmly established as a large premium sedan that artfully blends comfort, quality, value, and safety.

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Performance

Powering the new Hyundai Azera is the Lambda II, which is a 3.3-liter 24-valve V6 engine that has an output of 293 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. The Lambda II is hitched to a 6-speed automatic transmission, which is accompanied by a SHIFTRONIC® gear for allowing you to manually upshift or downshift when driving. There’s also an Active ECO System, which is included with the V6 engine to conserve energy—and consequently increase fuel efficiency. Using a front-engine front-wheel-drive layout, the Azera provides 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

Seating and Space

The new Hyundai Azera has a passenger volume of 107 cubic feet, which is more than enough to accommodate up to five adult occupants. Additionally, trunk space is measured at 16.3 cubic feet, and it can be expanded further—thanks to the 60/40 split-folding nature of the rear seats. For utmost comfortability, all seats have heating capability and leather surfaces, with cooling capability added on the front seats. As the driver, you’d enjoy the 12-way power adjustability, plus a memory system to store your preferred seating positions. Not to be left out, the front passenger seat has 8-way power adjustability.

Infotainment

On the Hyundai Azera, music is provided by a 14-speaker 550-watt Infinity® Logic 7® surround sound system with a CD/MP3 player and SiriusXM satellite radio. Accompanying the system is HD Radio for high-quality digital radio service, Bluetooth for streaming audio and hands-free phone operation, controls mounted on the steering wheel for maximizing a user-friendly experience, and a USB port and an auxiliary jack for hooking up mobile devices. Also on the Azera is a navigation system that comes with an 8-inch touchscreen display and a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM Travel Link®.

Comfort and Convenience

Inside the new Azera are a lot of goodies. Blue Link is among its unique features. Developed by Hyundai, this telematics system comes with a one-year complimentary trial subscription that provides services like automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, and service appointment scheduling.

Also standard on the vehicle are a remote keyless entry system, push-button engine start, proximity key entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with the HomeLink® universal transceiver for automatically opening and closing garage doors. The upper-level Limited trim adds a few more touches, such as an electronic parking brake, smart cruise control with start/stop capability, and a panoramic tilt-and-slide sunroof.

Safety Features

For collision protection, the Hyundai Azera has an elaborate nine-airbag system. It comprises front impact airbags that face the driver and front passenger, an airbag for the driver’s knee, side curtain airbags that are mounted on the front and rear seats, and side curtain airbags that flank both rows. There’s a rearview camera for monitoring the vehicle when in reverse. And the Vehicle Stability Management system includes electronic vehicle stability and traction control for maintaining command of the car in times of bad weather or unfavorable driving conditions.

Advanced standard safety features like blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change assist systems heighten your alertness on the road. And if you upgrade to the Limited, Hyundai adds lane departure warning and forward collision warning.

Competition

The Hyundai Azera’s main competition includes the Chevrolet Impala and the Chrysler 300. These vehicles provide luxurious cabins, user-friendly infotainment features, and a good balance of ride comfort and handling. Other noteworthy competitors include the Buick LaCrosse, the Nissan Maxima, and the Toyota Avalon.

Pros and Cons

The main strength of the new Hyundai Azera lies in its safety rating and a generous list of tech features. With safety in particular, the Azera had outstanding ratings in the crashworthiness tests administered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). On the other hand, the sedan does not have the same high level of ride quality and cornering as many of its chief rivals.

Size Classification and MSRP

The Hyundai Azera is classified as a full-size car, placed ahead of the compact Elantra and mid-sized Sonata. It functions as an entry-level luxury sedan, especially when placed between the Sonata and Hyundai’s current flagship vehicle: the Genesis, which is bigger than the Azera. The starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $34,100, with the Limited trim starting at $39,300.

Ed Aldridge / Shutterstock.com

Ed Aldridge / Shutterstock.com

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