By KBB.com Editors
Who would have thought the company that brought us the disposable Excel subcompact 25 years ago would now be building a car to rival some of the best near-luxury sedans in America? Hyundai's evolution from an entry-level upstart to a full-line manufacturer of quality automobiles is nothing short of amazing and culminates with its latest achievement, the Azera. Designed to compete with the Buick Lucerne and Toyota Avalon, the Azera offers an impressive array of features (not to mention a huge rear seat) and an unbeatable price. One of the most powerful Hyundais ever built, the company takes pride in pointing out the Azera can dash to 60 miles per hour faster than a BMW 530i or Mercedes Benz S430.
The Azera offers a spacious ride with high-end amenities at a fair price. It is a family-friendly sedan with performance and style.
If you are going to be driving long distances a lot of the time, you may want to shop around. We found the ride quality and cabin noise to be among the lesser of the Azera's many qualities.
Steering wheel-mounted audio controls are made standard on all models.
Driving Impressions The Hyundai Azera has the kind of remarkable acceleration that can get you going quickly and easily. When we found ourselves in a sudden traffic jam on...a bridge, the brakes were strong, sure and precise. The Azera also handled well in parking situations and was agile to maneuver. We thought the suspension, however, was a little bouncy and a little harsh, and the cabin had a bit too much noise. On the other hand, the visibility was excellent, the engine response terrific and we like the manual shift mode of the automatic.
The Hyundai Azera has lovely lines and a classy look. We like the performance of this vehicle. We know it's not a sports car, but the engine has a sweet sound that perfectly matches its response.
Power Rear Sunshade
One very interesting and thoughtful feature on the Limited Edition is the rear sunshade that automatically rolls up when the car is in reverse gear, so you can see what's behind you.
The SE model uses a suede-like seat surface that could pass for the real deal and is just as soft to the touch. The Limited Edition adds in plush leather seating surfaces and just the right aesthetic touches of wood trim. The cabin is comfortably cozy but has a big, open feeling. The beige SE interiorbeige-on-beige with unexciting vinylis not exactly stimulating, but the soft curved shapes of the dash are easy on the eyes and the controls are simple to understand and operate. The rear seat is roomy enough for three with a 40/60 split that pulls down easily. The trunk is huge, with enough room to accommodate a family's worth of summer vacation luggage or a couple of sets of golf clubs.Exterior
Drawing on the increasingly sophisticated Hyundai design lines, the Azera's profile wouldn't look out of place in a line-up of more expensive Lexus or Mercedes models. The Azera has look-at-me appeal with a squared-off rear end and wraparound bank of LED taillights that spell drama, and a front that forms into a stylish V with all lines flowing smoothly. The form is classic and looks expensive.
The Azera SE's impressive list of standard features includes a 3.8-liter DOHC V6 engine with 263 horsepower, five-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC manual control, electronic stability control and traction control system. Eight airbags, active front head restraints, LED tail and brake lamps and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3 capability add to the mix. The Azera Limited includes 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, leather-trimmed seating with heated front seats, wood trim on the steering wheel and a power rear sunshade.
High-end options such as a power sunroof and 10-speaker Infinity audio system are available on the SE. The Limited Ultimate Package adds in a 10-speaker audio system with subwoofer and six-disc CD changer, a power adjustable tilt/telescoping steering column, rain-sensing wipers, side mirror indicator lights, power adjustable foot pedals and power folding side mirrors.
The all-new, all-aluminum 3.8-liter DOHC V6 engine delivers 263 horsepower and 255 pounds-feet of torque. The engine uses continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) and a variable intake system, which helps the cylinders breathe efficiently at low and high rpm. It has an alloy block and cylinder heads for light weight and overall efficiency, and is coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission, with SHIFTRONIC manual control, that includes a fifth gear for highway cruising.
263 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
257 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28
By RPM on Wednesday, January 14, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Dependable, comfortable, handles great"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Absolutely no problems with this car - religiously serviced it. Biggest fixes - brake jobs but to be expected."
4 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Rocket Ron on Tuesday, December 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great ride, very smooth and strong"
Cons: "remote stopped working and speedometer iffy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Love the car, the V6 is super strong and very smooth and quiet. The interior is plush with surprising extra such as the sun screen for the back window and auto turning mirrors when you are backing up."
2 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Billlybea on Saturday, December 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Can't read some dash displays. Needs better background color. Driver seat adjustments re steering wheel placement needs improvement. Needs increased headroom for door opening."
6 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By DH on Saturday, November 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Features and value"
Cons: "Tire wear"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This is an awesome car for the price. You get a ton of features usually only available in higher end cars. It has a great ride and is comfortable to drive. The one design flaw has to do with the tires. You need to absolutely rotate them EVERY oil change to keep them even. Otherwise, the inside quarter of the tire wears out well ahead of when it should. It cost me a set of tires to learn this. Per the dealer, it is aligned, balanced,etc and that's just the way the car is designed. If you rotate them, you're fine."
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By naz on Saturday, October 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great car for a great price, very reliable"
Cons: "small cup holders; original wheels poor"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My first Hyundai purchase and I haven't been disappointed. This car is comfortable, has all the bells and whistles I need and then some. I just wish Hyundai would offer it with AWD. Love having separate front seat heater controls and A/C controls. Hyundai needs to figure out a way to reduce road noise, tho."
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By knightwing on Monday, October 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Cons: "auto windows stopped working, rear curtain stopped"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I purchased this car used, from the get go I brought it back to the dealer for many issues all of which NEVER got fixed. Car has sever electrical issues, I can not roll the windows down without loosing power, the rear curtain stopped working as it was going up, getting stuck half way. This is a common occurrence. Car is suppose to be a high end car but the interior feels as if it was a cheap toy bought at the dollar store. Handing reminds me of a car out of the 70's, mpg is only 12 -15, I expected more from a 2007. The car's ride is awful, you feel every dip and bump in the road, I have hit my head more times in this car than all my years of driving. This is by far the worst car I ever owned."
5 people out of 12 found this review helpful