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2016 Hyundai Azera: New Car Review

If you’re looking for information on a newer Hyundai Azera, we’ve published an updated review: 2017 Hyundai Azera Review

If you haven’t been paying attention to large sedans over the past few years, the 2016 Hyundai Azera has some surprises in store. Now entering its fifth year of production, the current Azera is massively more interesting than the previous model, a generic Korean cruiser that most folks have already forgotten. Indeed, it’s as if Hyundai designers put the word “generic” up on a whiteboard and said to the Azera team, “There won’t be any more of that.”

The car’s boldness starts with its 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 2016?

The Azera’s only change for 2016 is the addition of newly standard adaptive cruise control in the high-end Limited model. See the 2016 Hyundai Azera models for sale near you

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; price range overlaps with Genesis luxury sedan; design starting to get old as competitors catch up

How Much?


Fuel Economy

The front-wheel drive is motivated by a 3.3-liter V6 engine rated at 293 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a 6-speed automatic.

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-inch-larger wheels and an additional 190 pounds of curb weight.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 Hyundai Azera is offered in base or Limited trim.

The Azera ($35,000) 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 ($40,200) 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 2016 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

2016 Chevrolet Impala — Recently redesigned and massively improved, the handsome Impala is a compelling car, though it lacks the Azera’s adventurous styling.

2016 Hyundai Genesis — Since the prices overlap, we have to mention this car. The rear-wheel-drive Genesis luxury sedan is sportier and more advanced than the Azera, and it’s a great car, even in its most basic V6-powered form.

2016 Toyota Avalon — The Avalon is a sedan after the Azera’s own heart, boasting attractive styling and lots of technology. 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.

Autotrader’s Advice

While the Azera is a genuine bargain in base form, the Limited’s elevated price pits it against some formidable foes. We’d stick with the base Azera and keep the rest in the bank. Find a Hyundai Azera for sale

Our editors are here to make car buying easier. We’ve driven, reviewed and compared thousands of cars. We’ve bought and sold more than our fair share, too. And as part of the sprawling Cox Automotive group of companies, we have exclusive access to a range of valuable data and insights. Whether you’re looking for the best car, the best deal or the best buying advice, you can trust... Read More about Autotrader

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  1. I had a 2006 Azera and my wife loved it. Plenty of room and had only a “Starter” go out during our 180,000 miles. We did buy a 2016 Elantra limited…..and while it was a great “little” car and got fantastic gas mileage it was NOT and Azera. Bought a new 2016 Azera limited. Super nice car and very well appointed. And, talk about comfortable. Wife loves it. We love Hyundai cars and have Ihad virtually no problems….very well made. We always wanted another Azera and when we saw the rebates I went out to many different Hyundai dealers and got the Azera Limited for $30,000 plus TTL. Some dealers told me it was below their cost and would not consider matching….but no dealer ever loses. I understand that 2017’s are about to come out soon but they have no real changes so I did not consider paying a premium for a newer model. I will drive this car for around 8 years before retiring. So far, we love it.

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