In recent years, full-size sedans have slipped into the background of the American automotive scene: too useful to become extinct, yet too sedate to generate much attention. That hasn't stopped automakers from developing thoroughly modern large sedans like the Hyundai Azera, a stylish cruiser packed full of standard features. With its 112-inch wheelbase, Azera fits right between the midsize Sonata and the larger Genesis.
2016 Hyundai Azera Overview
What's New for 2016
“Smart” (adaptive) cruise control with stop/start capability has been added to the standard equipment on the Limited model. So has an electronic parking brake.
Choosing Your Hyundai Azera
While you'll still find some V8s as well as four-cylinder engines in this class, the Azera follows the middle path with a 3.3-liter V6 that sends 293 horsepower to the front wheels. A six-speed automatic is the sole transmission. The V6 can propel the Azera from a standstill to 60 mph in a brisk 6.7 seconds, and achieves an estimated 23 mpg in combined driving (20/29 mpg city/highway). The Limited model is a hair less frugal, at 19/28 mpg.
Hyundai loads standard equipment into both trim levels, so even the base Azera lacks just about nothing that buyers generally expect in this class. The Limited steps even higher with its collection of high-end features.
No factory options are available for the Azera, although a few port-installed accessories can be added
Purchasing an Azera could hardly be easier. Since the Azera can only be configured in two ways, your only real decision is whether the $5,200 upgrade to the Limited is worth the price. If you intend to live with your Azera for a long time, it might well be -- especially in view of the additional active-safety features.
2016 Hyundai Azera Review
With attractive styling inside and out, the 2016 Hyundai Azera offers full-size comfort and meaningful performance thanks to a nicely-appointed interior and a stout powertrain.
Pricing and Equipment
The 2016 Hyundai Azera is a front-wheel drive full-size five-passenger sedan powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai offers the Azera in two well-optioned trim levels.
- The feature-laden base Azera starts at $34,100. Highlights include 18-inch wheels, push-button start, 8-inch touchscreen navigation, 550-watt 14-speaker Infinity audio, leather-trimmed upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change assist.
- The top-trim Azera Limited begins at $39,300. Building upon the already well-equipped base model, the Premium adds luxury and safety features like 19-inch wheels, an electronic parking brake, smart cruise control with start/stop capability, a panoramic sunroof, HID Xenon headlights, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic high beam assist, rear parking sensors, interior ambient lighting, and a power rear sunshade.
Prices do not include an $895 freight charge.
The 2016 Azera is powered by a powerful 293-horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque 3.3-liter V6 engine and smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission.
- Acceleration is excellent for a full-size sedan; the Azera scoots from zero to sixty miles per hour in 6.2 seconds.
- The six-speed automatic transmission includes Hyundai’s Shiftronic system that allows the driver to change gears manually, and an Active ECO system works to help relieve strain from the engine to conserve fuel.
- Fuel economy is good for the segment. The Azera earns up to 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.
- Steering feel is uninspiring
- The engine needs to be pushed to shine.
The 2016 Hyundai Azera offers a premium cabin at a not-so-premium price tag. High quality leather-trimmed seating is standard, heated and ventilated up front and heated in the back.
- Carbon fiber-appearance trim decorates the cabin, while nice touches like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob add to the luxury feel.
- The Azera is loaded with standard technology. The “base” 550-watt Infinity audio system is closer to what many manufacturers would treat as a $2,000 option. Navigation with an 8-inch touchscreen display adds to the value.
- The panoramic sunroof in the Limited model is absolutely stunning—the roof alone may warrant the additional cost for some.
- The rear seat is better for two adults and/or three children. The center seat is lacking in space.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The 2016 Hyundai Azera just might be the best kept secret for families looking to upgrade to a luxury sedan without the premium price tag.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The Azera’s steering is great for highway cruising but could use refinement and a bit of tuned-in sportiness to make it more enjoyable around town and on winding back roads.
The Bottom Line
If you think you know the Hyundai brand, but you haven’t experienced the mid-priced range of newer models, you really don’t know Hyundai. The 2016 Azera is a legitimately contender in the affordable full-size car segment, providing a nice ride, great performance and a luxurious cabin with amenities usually only found as expensive optional equipment on cars at the Azera’s price point. Be aware that the Azera’s driving dynamics may or may not fit your taste, so a long spirited test drive is obviously recommended. But frankly, I would suggest you do that with any potential new car purchase.