2014 Hyundai Azera

Shapely, spacious and well-equipped, the Hyundai Azera delivers the complete full-size family sedan experience along with an extra dose of style. Its driving dynamics are more Buick than BMW, but for buyers simply seeking a big, comfortable sedan with all the trimmings, the Azera fits the bill quite nicely.

Recent Changes
Hyundai has reorganized the Azera lineup for the latest model year. The base model gets a lower price and less content, losing the previously standard heated rear seats and navigation system. It does gain a driver blind-spot mirror and three years of Hyundai's Assurance Connected Care services, however.

Additionally, a new high-end Azera Limited with extra luxury features has been added to the range.

Overview
With their ample dimensions and prosaic shape, large sedans are often a yawn to look at, but Hyundai's organic "Fluidic Sculpture" design language helps the Azera to buck that trend. Up front, the car boasts handsome headlamps and a prominent chrome grille with a distinctive central indentation that continues along the hood. Wrap-around LED taillights dress up the rear end, while the flanks feature the Azera's most arresting stylistic touch - upswept hips underscored by crisp character lines and echoed in the side window curvature.

The flowing lines continue inside, where passengers are treated to upscale materials and first-class space at all five seating positions. Numerous desirable features are standard, including leather upholstery, heated front seats, a rearview camera and Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system. Blue Link provides voice text messaging capability, point-of-interest web search and download, and remote vehicle unlocking in addition to traffic, weather, restaurant and nearby gas station information. It also features Assurance Connected Care, which includes automatic collision notification and assistance, maintenance reminders, an SOS emergency function and more.

The Azera is motivated by a direct-injection 3.3-liter V6 that produces 293 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque, with output sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic. Thanks in part to a low curb weight, the Azera provides respectable acceleration and fuel economy: zero-to-60 mph is achieved in just over six seconds, and mileage is rated at 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

As expected of a full-size sedan, the Azera delivers a posh ride that smooths out bumps, potholes and other road perfections. Handling is safe and predictable but far from exciting; other models in this segment offer more engaging dynamics.

Trim Level Breakdown
The entry-level Azera comes standard with leather upholstery, power-adjustable and heated front seats, heated rear seats, a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/SiriusXM/HD radio stereo with a six-inch LCD display screen and USB and AUX inputs, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a proximity key, cruise control and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The Azera Limited adds a navigation system with an eight-inch screen, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a 14-speaker, 550-watt Logic 7 premium audio system, a LCD gauge cluster display, a power-adjustable steering column and interior ambient lighting.

The Limited can be further jazzed up with the Premium Package, which includes a panoramic sunroof, a rear parking assistance system, a power rear sunshade, manual side window sunshades and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Key Competitors
The Azera faces strong competition from a resurgent full-size sedan segment, with notable rivals including the sleek Kia Cadenza, the refined Toyota Avalon and the all-around capable Chevrolet Impala.