By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/24/2012
Inside and out, the all-new-last-year Hyundai Azera is, in 2013, arguably the best-looking car in the large-sedan class. It's also among the most powerful and most fuel-efficient. It offers the best features (many of them standard) and still qualifies as a terrific value. If only it drove better. The Azera's appearance moves it toward the sportier side of the category but makes promises its chassis can't keep, with ride and handling that are average at best. That may or may not be a problem for any given shopper, and it just makes a good case for taking a long and critical test drive before buying. It if feels okay to you, great, because from a bang-for-the-buck perspective, the 2013 Azera is untouchable.
It's stylish, powerful and fuel-efficient, yet the 2013 Hyundai Azera's strongest competitive advantage is its unique combination of features and value. If you like modern goodies and saving a buck, start your large-sedan search here.You May Not Like This Car If...
The new Azera doesn't have the floaty, uncontrolled ride that afflicted its predecessor, but the suspension remains a weak point. If you demand a highway ride that is controlled and well-damped, you'll probably want to look elsewhere.What's New for 2013
The Azera was completely reinvented just last year, and for 2013, there are no changes except for a 1-mpg improvement in the car's EPA highway rating, to 29 mpg.Driving It Driving Impressions
There's no question the big Hyundai Azera is comfortable and its 293-horsepower V6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission are smooth and responsive. But depending on your expectations, overall ride and handling may be an issue. The electric power steering lacks feel and the suspension is not completely poised over rough surfaces. The 19-inch wheels and tires that come in the otherwise desirable Technology Package add some harshness without a big payback in grip. Do these shortcomings amount to deal breakers? Not for most buyers, but be sure to take a good long test drive.Favorite Features
One of our favorite features is actually a collection of many: The Azera's roster of standard features is really quite striking.
Heated front seats are increasingly common across all segments, but the 2013 Hyundai Azera's ventilated, cooled front seats and its even rarer heated rear seats are nice touches.
Especially when upgraded with the Technology Package, the 2013 Hyundai Azera's passenger cabin pretty much tops its class and even puts pressure on some well-established luxury cars. It offers more convenience and infotainment technologies than any of its competitors, good front seats (not a Hyundai trademark) and nine airbags including a driver's knee airbag that helps keep the driver seated upright and properly positioned in case of impact. The Technology package adds a moonroof, memory for the driver's seat (plus outside mirrors and steering column), a 14-speaker Infinity audio system and rear sunshades.
Hyundai calls its current styling theme "Fluidic Sculpture," and the rakish 2013 Azera is a fine example. Aggressive sheetmetal with bold character lines in the flanks, integrated exhaust outlets and crisp LED lighting all around – daytime running lights, taillights and side-mirror-integrated turn indicators – contribute to the Azera's sporty, class-above charisma.Notable Standard Equipment
The 2013 Hyundai Azera has one of the category's higher starting sticker prices – $33,125 with destination – but also boasts the most impressive list of standard equipment. Highlights include a navigation system with 7-inch screen and rearview camera, keyless entry and push-button start, front and rear heated leather seats, BlueLink telematics with OnStar-like safety and convenience services, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, plus iPod/USB and auxiliary audio ports.Notable Optional Equipment
We're big fans of simplified pricing structures, and the 2013 Hyundai Azera's is about as simple as they come. Do you want the Technology Package? That's the only question, as all the available options are bundled into that one group. For another $4,000 – a grand total of $37,125 – you add a panoramic moonroof, ventilated (cooling) front seats, Infinity premium sound system, xenon headlights, sunshades for all three rear windows, power driver's-seat cushion extension (added thigh support for longer legs), seat-position memory with power-adjustable steering wheel, rear parking sensors, and 19-inch wheels.Under the Hood
The 2013 Hyundai Azera features a strong and efficient 3.3-liter V6 engine that sends power to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode. It's among the category's more impressive powertrains, and one of the most efficient; that EPA highway estimate of 29 mpg, in particular, is notable considering the power of the engine and the size of the car it has to move.
293 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
255 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2013 Hyundai Azera starts at $33,125. The $4,000 Technology Package (sunroof, 19-inch wheels, audio upgrade and more) is the sole option. Check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what Hyundai Azera buyers are paying in your area. For a while, even well after the vehicles became good, Hyundais suffered from poor residual values but those days are largely gone. The 2013 Hyundai Azera is projected to hold its resale value well, about even with Nissan's Maxima, slightly behind Ford's Taurus but a little ahead of Toyota's Avalon.