2013 Hyundai Azera review | Catalog-cars

2013 Hyundai Azera review

27 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2013 Hyundai Azera review
Hyundai Azera

2013 Hyundai Azera

No longer the new kid on the block, Hyundai keeps hitting with an easy-to-please attitude and a vehicle for nearly every segment.

Now in its second generation, the 2013 Hyundai Azera is firing on all (six) cylinders and hitting the competition where it counts: In the showroom.

The first Azera was, undoubtedly, a dud. But that ugly duckling has since been replaced by a bird of another feather entirely – Hyundai#39;s first truly competitive full-size sedan.

A sleek, well-proportioned big sedan, it is the result of a redesign that cast off everything undesirable about the outgoing first generation Azera. In other words, they scrapped the whole car.

The new Azera follows the current Hyundai fluidic sculpture design seen most commonly on the Hyundai Sonata. Powered by Hyundai’s well-received 3.3-liter, direct-injected V6 engine that produces 293 horsepower and 255 lb-ft. of torque, it offers best-in-class power output of 88.8 ponies per liter.

Power goes to the front wheels exclusively through a six-speed automatic transmission with a manual control, but that#39;s not to fool drivers into thinking they are behind the wheel of a high-performance vehicle.

Instead, the Azera offers an Active Eco mode, which, while not including an auto start/stop function, does remap engine and transmission performance for improved mileage said to best the 20/30 mpg (24 mpg combined) EPA rating.

The Azera rides on a suspension package made up of MacPherson struts with coil springs and stabilizer bar in front and a multilink independent rear kit. Sachs amplitude selective dampers are located at all four corners for enhanced ride control.

Since our tester was equipped with the $4,000 Technology Package, it was also equipped with 19-inch 245/40R all weather tires on bright silver alloy wheels.

What#39;s it up against?

The Azera, by its size alone, places it squarely in the center of the Large Car Olympics . Also competing are the Chevrolet Impala. Chrysler 300. Buick Lacrosse, Ford Taurus. Toyota Avalon and, in a case of eating their young, the related Kia Cadenza .

How does it look?

To our eyes, the Azera appears as a more stylish version of the Hyundai Sonata sistership. True, it does not possess the rolling hips that help to make up that version’s stylish profile but the general arc-like shape is still here, carrying forward the familial resemblance.

There is plenty going on outside, and much of it includes good attention to detail. Chrome accents box the window frames, while a rocker-edging bright piece helps to lessen the mass that makes up the Azera when viewed in profile. We especially like how Hyundai designers managed to clean up the rear under-car airflow by enclosing the exhaust finishers within the lower façade of the rear bumper.

Equipped with the typical long nose, short rear overhang that connotes the feeling of forward motion, a well-designed exterior hides extra space under the skin to offer such features as a large (16.3 cubic feet) trunk, and inside, a very generous amount of legroom for all but the very tallest of passengers.

Since our tester came with technology package, it was equipped with the large black-tinted glass roof that is part and parcel of the panoramic tilt and slide sunroof.

And on the inside?

Just one trim level helps to keep things fairly simple inside the Azera. Well-bolstered seating offered great legroom and support, both front and rear, doing an admirable job keeping us in place in the turns. But one must remember that this is not a car with a track day in its future.

A driver’s seat thigh extension helps to relieve pressure, especially on long cross-country jaunts, while ventilated front seats do their part to cut the effects of black leather when combined with dog days of summer temperatures.

Soft-touch material does make quite a statement inside, but not enough to cause us to overlook the large quantity of hard plastics that still exist. Rivals from Detroit and Japan generally have the upper edge here.

A nicely done navigation system with easy Bluetooth connectivity did the trick right quickly, but we eagerly await the day that Hyundai offers 3D mapping with their system.

Hyundai Azera

The driver’s instrument panel offered a simplistic view of the typical Azera owner’s world, with a large speedometer and tachometer flanking a small vertical information display. While the Azera has plenty of room front and rear legroom, (107 cubic feet of passenger space overall) we felt the tilt and telescoping steering column should come out a couple of inches further. As it stood, it still prevented us from achieving an optimal driving position.

But does it go?

The Azera and its 3.3-liter GDI engine, with a zero to 60 mph time of 6.6 seconds, offer some of the best get up and go in the large car segment. While on a momentary green kick, we tried a stretch with the Active Eco button enabled. At that point, we felt this Azera was driving as though it needed an intravenous injection of Red Bull. Stat.

Needless to say we reverted to standard mode.

We found the Azera’s cabin to be extremely quiet, except on the coarsest of road surfaces, possibly owing to the Hankook 19-inch low-profile tires. Better suited to a higher performance vehicle, they feature skinny sidewalls that contribute to a rougher ride than you might receive with a tall-sided set of rubber.

The rack and pinion power-assisted steering is interesting in that it has a definite center, which when turned slightly left or right, will spring back to its mid-point. A nice feature to have on one hand, we found on the other that it is pretty numb when slightly off-center. It does, however, progressively firm up when delving deeper into a turn.

That same steering offered a very good turning radius of 36.5 feet, which allowed us to change directions on a very narrow country road. We observed a 30 mpg average while cruising the highway, which makes the Azera among the most efficient in its segment.

Hyundai continues to offers vehicles that challenge the vehicular status quo of the North American highway. The Azera is no exception to that, but at the end of the day, one must remember the Azera is a car that exists for buyers who consider a vehicle an appliance – albeit a big one.

The upside, though, is its good looks and decent value. We think the Azera is a natural bargain basement rival for those who might be drawn to the Buick LaCrosse and Lexus ES 350.

2013 Hyundai Azera base price, $32,250. As tested, $37,225.

Technology Package, $4,000; Destination, $875.

Photos by Mark Elias.

Hyundai Azera
Hyundai Azera
Hyundai Azera
Hyundai Azera
Hyundai Azera
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