2013 Hyundai Azera Ride and Review By Larry Nutson

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2013 Hyundai Azera

2013 Hyundai Azera

Review By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

A lengthy road trip with a press test car is the best format for an evaluation. At the time of my drive in the Hyundai Azera I needed to travel from Chicago to Southeast Michigan. I want to make a specific point about this drive and then I’ll get into the Azera overall.

Off I went and in total I drove the Azera just a bit more than 600 miles on this road trip. Door-to-door my average speed both going and returning was 68mph on a route that is posted at 70mph for most of the interstate. It was weekday, daytime driving so I had many semi-trucks on the road. Remarkable to my fast highway pace was the fuel economy going measured at 28.9mpg and returning at 28.3mpg.

The EPA ratings for my test-car 2012 Azera with its 293HP, 3.3-liter V6 and 6-speed automatic were 20 city mpg and 29 highway mpg. The official EPA highway rating is now being revised to 28mpg; the city stays the same. Recently it was revealed that procedural errors at the joint Hyundai/Kia testing operations overstated the fuel economy ratings for a number of its vehicles including the Azera. The error had been in measuring coastdown data for its vehicles. Coastdown data is used to adjust the test dynamometer and accounts for aerodynamic resistance, rolling resistance and frictional losses. Fuel-economy numbers come from the manufacturers themselves and are based on a rigid set of procedures under controlled conditions. The EPA selectively performs subsequent audit testing.

Log on to www.HyundaiMPGinfo.com to see the vehicles affected by the fuel economy rating change.

That said, after completing my road trip I was well impressed by the fuel economy I achieved, considering I was not shooting for any record. And now with the highway rating being revised down by 1mpg to 28mpg I’m still very pleased. I beat this new number with ease. A buddy of mine who is a hypermiler would have driven much slower and more conservatively and gotten way higher mpg, probably well over 30mpg but it would have taken him more time to make the drive. Tradeoffs.

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For 2013 the Hyundai Azera is unchanged, or carry-over in industry jargon, which is not uncommon for a newly introduced model that has just undergone a complete redesign. Two buyer-related changes are the price that was bumped by $250 to $32,250 and the EPA fuel economy ratings that are 20mpg city and 29mpg highway for a combined rating of 23mpg. The original 2013 highway rating was 30mpg but this was recently revised down by 1mpg, similar to what I wrote above.

This is now the second-generation of the Azera. This redesign, incorporating Hyundai’s fluidic sculpture design language, was introduced at the Los Angeles auto show in November 2011. The Azera slots-in between the Sonata and the Genesis in Hyundai’s lineup. It’s a 5-passenger front wheel drive large sedan that’s both spacious and luxurious. My lengthy drive proved out its excellent ride quality, and roomy and quiet passenger space.

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There is long and impressive list of standard features including items like 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seats with both the front and rear being heated, navigation system, rear backup camera, along with a long list of safety equipment. Coupled with the overall upscale exterior and interior design, the Azera looks and feels like a more upscale car.

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The only option is a Technology Package priced at $4,000 that brings 19-inch Alloys, Panoramic Sunroof, HID Xenon Headlights, Rear Parking Assistance Sensors, an Infinity Premium Audio System, Ventilated Front Seats, Driver’s Seat Cushion Extension, Power Rear sunshade and manual side window sunshades, Power-adjustable tilt and telescopic Steering Column, Integrated Memory System for Driver, and Interior Ambient Lighting.

In regard to all these features, some we have come to expect today and some are new and really nice to have. The rear backup camera as well as the rear parking sensors are wonderful if you need to parallel park frequently, such as in a crowded city. The driver’s seat cushion extension was very nice to have on my road trip providing great upper leg support. I liked the power adjustability of the steering column but would have also liked a heated steering wheel. With all this luxury equipment I was looking for a power-fold feature for the outside mirrors, but this wasn’t really a must-have.

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The only power train is the 3.3-liter V6 with the 6-speed automatic I mentioned. Acceleration is quick and responsive. Zero to sixty is sub-7 seconds. The Azera weighs around 3600 lbs., which is somewhat light for a large car with all this equipment. The lighter weight makes for comfortable handling and the soft suspension makes for a comfortable ride but yet handling is predictable in emergencies.

The trunk is spacious at 16.3cuft and will hold a car full of stuff. An 18.5 gallon fuel tank is good for over 500 miles of cruising. The basic warranty is 5-years/60,000 miles and the powertrain warranty is 10-year/100,000 miles.

Hyundai is doing a nice job of providing stylish, quality and comfortable cars to the marketplace. Give the 2012 Hyundai Azera a look.

Larry Nutson

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