The 2013 Hyundai Azera is in its second year after a 2012 redesign,
and the car remains virtually unchanged. The redo has seen the car
morph from a bland, unremarkable sedan into an eye-catching
contemporary design with modern design elements.
It’s the equivalent of sensible shoes but in an attractive body with an equally attractive
interior. Hyundai’s designs have come a long way in just a few years, as
has their J.D. Power ratings for quality, performance & design and
The list of standard equipment is impressive, as the car comes in a
single trim level. Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels,
automatic headlights, foglights, heated mirrors, keyless ignition/entry,
cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery,
eight-way power front seats, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, heated front
and rear seats, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a chilled glovebox,
an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a navigation system, a touchscreen
interface, BlueLink emergency communications and a 10-speaker audio
system with a CD player, an iPod/USB audio interface and HD radio.
The only option package offered is a Technology package, which adds
19" alloys wheels, xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, sunroof,
power rear sunshade, manual side window sunshades, power
adjustable steering wheel, driver seat memory, ambient lighting,
ventilated front seats, and 14-speaker 550-watt Infinity sound system.
Hyundai’s subscription-based Blue Link system offers services like
vehicle location, remote vehicle access, roadside assistance, turn-by-
turn navigation and traffic/weather updates.
The Azera comes well equipped with safety features; antilock brakes,
stability and traction control, side airbags (front & rear), full-length side
curtain airbags, driver’s knee airbag, and active front head restraints.
The Azera is motivated by a 3.3 liter GDi V6 rated at 293hp and
255lb-ft torque. Power is routed to the front wheels via a six-speed
automatic; its 0-60 time clocks at 6.7 seconds (Edmunds’ data) and its
EPA rating is 20mpg city/29 mpg highway with 23mpg combined.
Acceleration is a bit quicker than average for sedan in this segment,
while the fuel economy is about average.
The interior is quite roomy, and its long list of standard features and
leather upholstery lends a luxury feel. The biggest knock on the interior
is the extensive use of hard plastics. Head and legroom in front and rear
seats is plentiful, and the trunk is equally large at 16.3 cubic feet.
On the road, the Azera offers strong acceleration from its V6 and the
automatic transmission shifts smoothly without hunting for gears. There
are no other engine options, but the 3.3 liter provides plenty of power
for passing and merging. Ride quality is quite good; this is clearly what
Hyundai was after but that’s not to say the handling suffers because of
it. Normal manueuvers show little body roll, and there is no perceptible
floatiness in the ride.
The issue with the Azera is its price, among the highest of any full-size
sedan. MSRP for the base car is $32,250 while the test vehicle had the
Technology Package which added $4,000 to the cost for a total MSRP
of $37,225. The long list of standard equipment may offer value for the
money but not all buyers would want some of the high-end features.
Competitors like the Toyota Avalon offer less expensive trim level with
less equipment. Chrysler’s 300 offers V6 and V8s and all-wheel-drive.
In sum, Hyundai offers an attractive, well-equipped car for buyers
looking for acceptable performance and good ride quality in a
contemporary package. It does not pretend to be a driver’s car, but will
soak up highway miles on long trips while providing roomy comfort for
its occupants. The long list of standard equipment raises the car’s value
proposition without getting into the luxury segment’s steep buy-in price.