New Car Review
2017 Hyundai Azera: New Car Review
If you're in the market for sedan that is larger than the average family car, but not so big that it also comes with an enormous price tag, the 2017 Hyundai Azera may be the perfect solution. Competing with the likes of the Toyota Avalon, Chevrolet Impala and Ford Taurus, the Azera offers a roomy interior and near luxury levels of equipment and refinement, yet its price begins in the mid-$30,000 range.
Unlike some competitors, the Azera isn't timid or generic in appearance, with a rakish yet graceful exterior, which is surprisingly bold and eye-catching. Then there's the futuristic dashboard, a festival of curves and slopes that's more spaceship than sedate luxury sedan. Hyundai even throws in a standard telematics suite called Blue Link that can read your text messages aloud to you, among other nifty features.
Don't worry, the Azera still nails big-car basics such as a pillow-soft ride, light steering and a cosseting back seat, and that makes it an excellent all-rounder worthy of a spot on your shopping list.
What's New for 2017?
The Azera's only change for 2017 is the addition of some new color choices.
What We Like
Modern styling inside and out; buttery ride; great front seats; limolike back seat; features galore
What We Don't
V6 could be stronger; Limited trim nearly overlaps the new Genesis G80; no AWD options; design starting to get old as competitors catch up
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Azera is good for 20 miles per gallon in the city and 29 mpg on the highway in base trim, a respectable showing for a large V6-powered sedan. Oddly, the up-level Limited trim drops to 19 mpg city/28 mpg hwy, perhaps explained by its 1-in-larger wheels and an additional 190 pounds of curb weight.
Standard Features & Options
The 2017 Hyundai Azera is offered in base or Limited trim.
The Azera ($34,995) starts with 18-in alloy wheels, fog lights, hands-free trunk opening (via a key-fob proximity sensor), power-folding side mirrors, keyless entry with push-button starting, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped power adjustable steering wheel, leather upholstery, a 12-way power driver's seat and 8-way power passenger seat, driver memory settings, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, iPod/USB and Bluetooth connectivity, Siri Eyes Free voice-command functionality, the Blue Link telematics system, a rearview camera, an 8-in touchscreen, a navigation system and a 14-speaker Infinity audio system.
The Limited ($40,195) throws in 19-in wheels, xenon headlights with automatic high beams, LED fog lights, a panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors, lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, manual rear side sunshades, a power rear sunshade and interior ambient lighting.
The 2017 Azera comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and nine airbags -- front, front-side, driver's-knee, rear-side and full-length side-curtain. A driver's blind spot mirror is also standard. The Limited comes with a handful of exclusive electronic safety features, including adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning and rear parking sensors.
Due to its low production volume, the Azera has not been crash-tested by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In crash tests conducted by the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Azera received the top rating of Good across the board, though it has not yet been subjected to the firm's challenging front small-overlap test.
Behind the Wheel
In our interior evaluation, we found the Azera's front seats to be unusually supportive for this segment -- even featuring some lateral bolstering -- and we're fans. Form has clearly trumped function on Azera's swoopy central control panel, but the various buttons are logically grouped. We suspect owners will acclimate quickly.
The Azera's back seat (with standard seat heaters) is one of our favorites in any car. Legroom is expansive, the bottom cushion is high and plush like on a good easy chair, and headroom is satisfactory even for tall folks, despite the Azera's sloped rear roofline.
Under the hood, the V6's output numbers are fully competitive, but the Avalon and Impala feel stronger with their larger-displacement motors. Still, there's plenty of smooth power for passing and merging, and that's largely what matters in this segment.
On the road, Azera is all about comfort and isolation from the elements. Road and wind noise are minimal, while the soft suspension filters out impacts from all but the roughest roads. Less optimally, the steering feels numb and isolated, and there's a bunch of body roll in corners. We have to give the Azera's suspension engineers their due, though, as the Azera is actually reasonably athletic for a full-size sedan once you get used to that body roll.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Chevrolet Impala -- Recently redesigned and massively improved, the handsome Impala is a compelling car, though it lacks the Azera's adventurous styling.
2017 Hyundai Genesis G80 -- Since the prices nearly overlap, we have to mention this car. The rear-wheel-drive Genesis G80 luxury sedan is sportier and more advanced than the Azera, and it's a great car, even in its most basic V6-powered form.
2017 Toyota Avalon -- The Avalon is a sedan after the Azera's own heart, boasting attractive styling and lots of technology including standard automatic pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control and auto high beams. It also has Toyota's lovely 3.5-liter V6, and there's even a hybrid option.
Used Lexus ES -- Ordinarily out of the Azera's league, the handsome, luxurious and comfortable ES 350 becomes quite attainable if you consider certified pre-owned examples.