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Hyundai Azera

Hyundai’s posh mid-sizer.

All-new in spring 2012, the Azera is staged to take a sizable bite out of the market share of cars like the Ford Taurus, the Nissan Maxima, and the Buick LaCrosse. The traditional slowest-selling Hyundai — it slots between the Sonata and the Genesis — recently got the full attention of the company’s able engineers and designers, and it follows the swoopy design themes of the Sonata, the Elantra, and the Accent. Only one trim level is available, and it’s loaded — as it should be for a starting price of about $33,000. Standard leather upholstery is sweetened by seat heaters for all four outboard positions. Touch-screen navigation, a backup camera, Bluetooth, and dual-zone automatic climate control are also standard. The only option is the $4000 technology package, which includes a panoramic moonroof, xenon headlights, nineteen-inch wheels, ventilated front seats, rear sunshades, and a powerful Infinity stereo. There’s only one engine (previously there were two), but it offers 10 more hp and better mileage than the previous top engine. A six-speed automatic transmission remains standard. The Azera is no sports car, but it’s comfortable and spacious. If you like the styling and don’t care to spend a couple grand more on the sportier rear-wheel-drive Genesis sedan, the new Azera might satisfy your automotive hunger.

COMPETITORS

Chrysler 300

Nissan Maxima

Toyota Avalon

Volkswagen Passat

new for 2013

Nothing — because everything was new last spring.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, side curtain, and driver’s-knee air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; electronic brakeforce distribution; tire-pressure monitors; and impact-reducing seats are standard.

MPG

CITY 20

HWY 29

PRO

Affordable, spacious luxury

New model follows recent Hyundai lead

CON

Far from sporty

Lots of solid competition in Hyundai’s own showroom

Base Price: $33,000 (est.)

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel

TRIM LEVEL: Azera

BODY STYLE: Sedan, 5-passenger

ENGINE: 3.3L V-6, 293 hp, 255 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 107.0 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: 16.3 cu ft

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