Just for the record, the Hyundai Azera is not a luxury car. That's okay with most buyers as the Azera offers many of the luxury appointments of a car in a class above Hyundai, while offering Hyundai value and quality. Loaded to the gills, the Azera is a complete five passenger sedan, stacked with all of the stuff that drivers prize in cars costing thousands of dollars more.
Introduced in 2006, the Azera was the flagship sedan for Hyundai until the Genesis was introduced during Fall 2008. Considered by most to be a premium sedan, the Hyundai Azera's main competition includes the Toyota Avalon, Buick Lucerne, and the Lincoln MKZ.
Among the improvements made for the 2009 model year is improved steering and suspension, new blue interior lighting, chrome interior accents, a more distinctive chrome grille, redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels and iPod®/USB and auxiliary inputs. An LG in-dash navigation system, introduced during the middle of the last model year is also present.
The standard engine for the Azera is a 3.3L, DOHC V6 that produces 234-horsepower and 226 lbs. -ft. of torque. Optionally, buyers can choose an all-aluminum 3.8-liter, DOHC V6 engine, which delivers 263-horsepower and 257 lbs. -ft. of torque. Fuel economy for the smaller engine is 18 mpg city and 26 highway, while the larger engines delivers 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Both engines are paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Safety is a key element contained within the Azera as the sedan earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) top crash test ratings for frontal offset impacts. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Stability Control (TSC) are standard with every Azera model. Moreover, safety minded customers will enjoy the sedan's independent double-wishbone front- and multi-link rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes and the antilock braking system (ABS) that includes brake assist, and electronic brake force distribution (EBD), which automatically adjusts the amount of force applied to each of a vehicle's brakes for optimal performance under poor road conditions, speeding, loading and other potentially hazardous situations.
For drivers accustomed to enjoying a wide range of luxury appointments, the Azera doesn't disappoint. Interior volume is excellent, offering even more space than the BMW 7-Series, while rain-sensing wipers, power adjustable foot pedals and power folding side mirrors with turn signal indicators is available on the Limited version.
Standard luxury includes, dual front automatic climate controls, electrochromic auto-dimming mirror, power seats for driver and front passenger, as well as woodgrain and metalgrain interior accents. By choosing the Premium package, buyers will get leather seating surfaces, heated front seats and a power sunroof to go with the standard amenities.
Warranty coverage is excellent and includes Hyundai's five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper protection, 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, five-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance and seven-year/unlimited mileage anti-perforation coverage. Furthermore, Azera buyers receive 24-hour roadside assistance coverage at no extra charge for five years (no mileage limit), a service that also includes emergency towing, lockout service and limited coverage for trip-interruption expenses. There is no deductible on any of this coverage.
With a base price of $25,695 for the Azera, the sedan is priced thousands of dollars less than competing models, proving once again that price and value go hand in hand with every upscale Hyundai model.
Copyright 2008-2012 - Matthew C. Keegan is the owner of a successful writing and marketing business based in North Carolina, USA. He manages several websites and is a contributing writer for Andy's Auto Sport a retailer of quality aftermarket parts including body kits .