The 2014 Hyundai Azera blends a seductive outer skin with a lush interior filled with premium amenities usually reserved for cars costing tens of thousands more. The Azera is powerful yet relatively fuel-efficient, and although we wish it exhibited a bit more athleticism in the corners, we can't complain about the smooth and well-regulated ride. Positioned against the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima, the Azera's standard content list is impressive, as are its comfortable seats, intuitive electronics and well-appointed interior. As driving tastes can vary, we advise taking the Azera for a good long test drive to judge for yourself, but those looking for comfort over performance will likely enjoy the experience.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're seeking a roomy, stylish sedan as impressive in features as it is price, the 2014 Hyundai Azera should move to the top of your shopping list. Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty comes at no extra charge.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you think the Azera's sleek and stylish exterior promises equally impressive ability in the corners, be prepared for a letdown. While the ride is smooth and comfortable around town, it's not as much fun to drive as the Nissan Maxima, Chevrolet Impala or Chrysler 300.
For 2014, Hyundai drops the Azera's price by nearly $1,300, reconfigures some of its content, and adds a new base model that includes a 6-inch color LCD audio display, a rearview camera and a driver's blind-spot mirror. The Limited trim gains a new 8-inch navigation system and power-folding side mirrors.
Driving the Azera
You'll get no argument from us that the Azera's 293-horsepower V6 is a formidable engine, or that its 6-speed automatic is one of the most competent transmissions we've tested. However,...
... when it comes to the Azera's overall ride and handling, things are not so rosy. Hyundai's electric power steering lacks feel and the Azera's suspension, while comfortable over smooth surfaces, is easily unsettled over rough or choppy pavement. Toss in the 19-inch wheels that come standard with the Premium Package and the Azera's ride goes from acceptable to harsh, but with no return of improved grip or cornering.
STANDARD EQUIPMENT Even with its reconfigured content this year, for the money, the 2014 Hyundai Azera offers a staggeringly rich standard content bundle.
CLIMATE-CONTROLLED SEATING Heated front seats are still an option on some sedans, but they're standard on the Azera, with the Limited trim adding ventilated cooling front seats and heated rear seats.
2014 Hyundai Azera Details
Especially when upgraded with the Premium Package, the 2014 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, comfortable front seats for both driver and passenger (not a Hyundai trademark) and nine airbags including a driver's knee airbag. The Premium Package adds a panoramic moonroof, a power rear sunshade and manual side-window sunshades.
Hyundai calls its current styling theme "Fluidic Sculpture," and the rakish 2014 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.
The 2014 Hyundai Azera has one of the category's higher starting sticker prices – $31,895 with destination – but also boasts the most impressive list of standard equipment. Highlights include keyless entry and push-button start, automatic climate control, rearview camera, auto headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, leather seating, BlueLink telematics with OnStar-like safety and convenience services, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, plus iPod/USB and auxiliary audio ports. The Limited adds navigation, 14-speaker Infinity audio, heated and cooling front seats, heated rear seats, 10-way power driver's seat, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel and power folding side mirrors.
We're big fans of simplified pricing structures, and the 2014 Hyundai Azera's is about as simple as they come. Do you want the Limited trim's Premium Package? That's the only question, as all the available options are bundled into that one group. For another $2,150 you add a panoramic moonroof, 19-inch wheels, a power rear sunshade, manual side window sunshades, and rear park assistance.
Under the Hood
The 2014 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.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2014 Hyundai Azera starts at $31,895. The Limited trim starts at $35,645 with the $2,150 Premium Package as 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 2014 Hyundai Azera is projected to hold its resale value well, about even with the Nissan Maxima, slightly behind the Ford Taurus, and a little ahead of the Toyota Avalon.
Pros: "A very enjoyable ride and love the acceleration."
Cons: "No cons here."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Moving at 75mph at night on interstate. My headlights catch a sofa in the middle lane,which I was traveling, perpendicular to the road. My Azera Limited swung right around the sofa and stuck to the road beautifully and in full control. Folks, that is what I call fantastic stability and great driving dynamics.Plus the ride is very comfortable indeed."
"Bought a 2014 Limited and had it back in the dealer 4 days later for vibrations. Has been in the shop five times before the first payment and still no resolutions. Vibrations and drifting at highway speeds. The rougher the road the worse the vibrations. The vehicle does not conform well to the road. Has great features but the driving experience makes it a non pleasurable experience."
"My comments come after owning the car for 2.5 years, putting over 50K miles on it, and are calibrated considering my buy-in price of just a little over 31K new (plus tax etc). All the good remarks about room, features, comfort etc are right on the money. It's hard to imagine a more stylish and feature packed car in this price range.
I don't understand the complaints about the steering and handling. I've been a very spirited driver my whole life and have no complaints about the balance that Hyundai struck between ride comfort and handling composure during hard cornering. Lean is well controlled and the suspension is very well damped, almost a little too much at times as the car has a firm ride, but I like that. The steering feels solid and well connected, and I have never noticed mine wandering like some others complain of. In fact the car goes very straight hands-off. The OEM tires have limits that can be found quickly, but the car exhibits very benign understeer that is typical of front drivers and it never does anything unexpected even when pushed hard. I once found myself mixed up with a large group of Corvette owners doing a club run up a windy mountain road. After 20 or 30 miles of fun, I found that the lowly Hyundai sedan had left most of them in the dust and was only behind a handful of the better/faster drivers in the club. I was very impressed with the car in general but definitely wishing for some sticky tires. Obviously I'm not trying to say that the car is a sport car beater, but I thought it did quite well for a large family sedan. I've done many long trips with this car and never once found it tiring in any way; in fact, quite the opposite, always found it comfortable and capable. Some of my trips include long stretches of remote two lane at very elevated speeds. The car is composed and confidence inspiring even cruising at speeds between 100-120 (only done when alone and visibility allows of course).
I've had zero problems with the car since new. I only have two nitpicks that have to do with the engine/transmission tuning. One is that it runs rich under heavy acceleration and often leaves some black residue around the exhaust tips. I've asked the dealer about this but there is no update available. The second is that the shift performance could be sharper. With the go pedal mashed, you can actually feel the acceleration taper off slightly between shifts, as if engine timing is being reduced to limit torque during the shift. I think the car would be noticeably quicker and more fun to drive if they would allow the transmission to shift harder and keep full power on through the shifts.
Other than those two minor things, I have no complaints with the car. I typically get 25 in town and 29-30 on the highway running about 80. Obviously there are better cars out there, and if you want a true sports sedan you should be looking at RWD, but you will write a much bigger check for them. For what it is and in this price range, the Azera is a great car."