While large sedans are not garnering the most sales in automobile showrooms these days they are a segment sought after by a very loyal and respected buying demographic. And automakers are working harder than ever to not only address the needs of repeat customers but attract new wallets and pocketbooks into their showrooms by freshening these model lines.
Case in point is the new Azera from Hyundai. Azera has been around for a few years, but the automaker gave it a complete makeover last year and now boasts it has the shortest lifespan on dealer’s lots of all its competitors that include Maxima, Avalon, LaCrosse and Taurus.
My first impression of the new Azera was simply this – this thing is just so “Buicky.” And that’s a good thing given how things are going over at that division of GM.
Azera is roomy, stable, boasts a showroom of craftsmanship inside as well as technology, floats like a land yacht going down the road – you know, “Buicky.”
This second-generation Azera is powered by the new Lamda II 3.3-liter GDI (gasoline direct injection) V-6 engine from Hyundai and boasts outputs of 293hp and 255 lb. ft. of torque. It is backed by a smooth six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode and achieves 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway while offering Active ECO mode.
Sized between the Sonata and Genesis stablemates and parked in the EPA large sedan class, Azera beats its competitors in front seat head- and legroom, further enhancing the driving experience.
Nine standard airbags keep occupants safe in the event of a collision and the new front seat system is designed to absorb some of the impact as well, keeping it away from driver and front passenger. Azera rides on 18-inch wheels and tires standard while our tester arrived with 19s that were part of the added technology package that also gave us ventilated front seats, power rear sunshade and manual rear side sunshades, panoramic sunroof, rear parking assist sensors and Infinity premium audio system.
Azera is a top safety pick from IIHS and was awarded a 10 Best Interior honor from Wards and being a Hyundai is covered by one of the best warranties in the industry at 5-year/60,000-mile coverage for the vehicle and 10-year/100,000-mile for the powertrain. Standard safety technologies include vehicle stability management, electronic stability control, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist and tire pressure monitoring system.
Pricing for the 2013 Hyundai Azera begins at $32,250 with our loaded tester arriving at $37,225.
Azera is the latest interpretation of Hyundai’s signature fluidic sculpture design language that features some serious flowing body lines throughout the product showcase. Designers and engineers for the Azera set out to make a car that represents an advanced approach to the traditional large sedan without losing the automaker’s strong value proposition. They’ve done that, just as their colleagues at Buick have in recent years, and offering a car that is so “Buicky” is proving to be a very good thing.