2012 Hyundai Azera
On the more practical side of the car equation is the all new 2012 Hyundai Azera. Azera is the final car in Hyundai’s 24/7 product plan, and joins their other new cars by taking on the dynamic “fluidic sculpture” design language. What that means, is a no longer boring full-size car for Hyundai and lots of standard features for buyers. Navigation, rear-view camera, front and rear heated leather seating, 18-inch wheels, cooled glove box, and dual-zone automatic climate controls are all standard features. As for options, we liked the light from the available panoramic sunroof.
A new 3.3-liter V6 lights up the front wheels with 293-horsepower, and still posts very good Government Fuel Economy Ratings of 20-City and 29-Highway. After our first drive, we came away very impressed. We found the Azera to furnish adequate power and offered extremely smooth shifts from the 6-speed automatic transmission. The ride was comfortable, and felt roomier than most in this class.
Azera’s exterior styling is clearly drawn from the Sonata, though its wheelbase is 2-inches longer and overall length gains 3½-inches. The belt-line is a bit more aggressive, and thick sculpting over the rear wheels attempts to convey an impression of a classic full-size car. Upfront, there’s a wide chrome grille between HID headlights, and the sloping roof-line leads to a short rear deck and wraparound LED tail lights.The Azera’s base price of $32,000 is 6-grand more than the outgoing model which may seem like a lot. But, the Azera has moved up the Hyundai corporate ladder and is now much closer to the Genesis than to the Sonata.
Engine: 3.3-liter V6
Price: Base price of $32,000