The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

2011 Hyundai Azera Limited Review

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2011 Hyundai Azera

MORE: Hyundai Buyers Guide



Model: 2011 Hyundai Azera Limited
Engine: 3.8-liter V6
Horsepower/Torque: 283 hp @ 6,200 rpm/263 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 109.4 in.
Length/Width/Height: 193.3 x 72.8 x 58.7 in.
Tires: P255/55R17
Cargo volume: 16.8 cu. ft.
Fuel economy: 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway/25.7 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 19.8 gal.
Curb weight: 3,600 lbs.
Sticker: $33,720 (includes $775 inland freight and handling and $1,850 in options ($1,750 navigation package, $100 carpeted floor mats))

Five reasons to buy this car

1. Near luxury at a semi-normal price
2. Excellent ride quality
3. Good economy
4. Comfort
5. Almost Buick-like
The Bottom Line: The front-wheel drive Azera is about as good as you can get in a Hyundai before the rear-drive Equus hits the road. We found the ride quality to be almost Buick-like in its comfort and compliance, but "Buick-like" isn't bad in my age demographic.

Whenever I think of the Hyundai Azera, I think of the actor Hank Azeria. the two are similar. At their base, both are quality vehicles, and both can handle a variety of disciplines. But while Azeria the actor is only slightly restricted to stage, screen and television, Azera is restricted to the highway.

Those of us who were weaned on little Hyundais will find teh Azera a breath of fresh air. Ride quality is excellent, but first recognize that my age demographic likes Buicks and similar large cars. The Azera isn't as large as a big Buick, but there are a lot of similarities. And while GM is abandoning my demographic, Hyundai will gladly welcome the grey-hairs.

For example, the heated front seats are comfortable even if the side support is only so-so. they still hold you in. Of course, the Azera, like almost every other car available today, has a split front seating area with bucket seats and not a bench. If Hyundai chooses to add a bench front seat, they will grab a big market.

The 3.8-liter v6 engine has good power and is relatively quiet. Sadly, some road noise interferes with cabin silence, but when you're on smooth asphalt, that noise diminishes.

We took the Azera on some long trips, which accounts for the very good fuel mileage. The seats also didn't leave us with aching backs at the end of these long runs, and that's another advantage to the demographic.

We also had an opportunity to use the navigation system and found it to be easy to program. The screen and directions are clear. At least we didn't get lost.

We also liked the Infinity audio system, which consisted of FM/AM/XM/CD. The nav system screen tilts up to add or remove CDs.

Handling is also very good. We took the Azera on our hillclimb route and used the manual shifter (just tap the console-mounted lever forward or backward to change gears) and it worked fine. However, with a vehicle of this type, manual shifting is really unnecessary.

In general, the ride is soft, but not boat-like. There's still some sport left in those shocks.

As with most of the vehicles in this genre, the steering wheel is smart, with audio and cruise controls on the front and additional controls on the back for station change, etc.

There's a bit of the Camry in the trunk design, with its bustle top. There's a remote on the driver's door to release the trunk. the seat backs fold flat to enlarge the trunk capacity. The rear seats themselves are comfortable with good leg and knee room. The rear window has a shade, controllable from the dash, to relieve heat on the rear passengers' necks.

The Azera doesn't get a lot of advertising dollars committed to it. This could be because Hyundai has a redesign in the works. However, the present design isn't bad, even if it is a bit conservative. But then, consider the demographic.

2011 The Auto Page