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2014 Hyundai Azera Overview
The nearly full-size sedan that's more than full of things to love gets an early update for 2014 in anticipation of a style refresh next year. Adding a top-shelf Limited trim and several new standard features to the incumbent Base, Hyundai's already-economical midsize Azera also sees a fairly significant price drop this year, as if it weren't appetizing enough.
The Azera was already a sweetly luxurious deal after the 2012 redesign, lauded by drivers as everything from cozy for any size, efficient, well-thought and most commonly “truly amazing for the money.” Fun factor isn't the focus, but the Azera is also perfectly capable of getting to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds – just bear in mind that the suspension is tuned more for touring comfort than tearing up corners. Most drivers think of the Azera as their inexpensive Lexus with a better warranty.
Newly including 3 years of Hyundai's Assurance Connected Care services for 2014, the Azera now boasts peace of mind above and beyond the 9 airbags and top-notch safety marks across the board inherited from previous years. Little else changes in the basic package other than a new driver's blind-spot mirror and 6-inch color LCD audio display with a rear-view camera, but it's a package that really didn't need much help in the first place.
Features like 60/40 split-folding rear seats, leather upholstery, heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, 8-way powered front seats, heated seats all around, a chilled glovebox and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror were already standard for 2013. The previously offered Technology option package may be scrapped or at least largely changed this year, with the Azera's latest trim addition taking up the majority of those features.
That new Limited trim adds (take a deep breath now) HID headlights, power-folding outside mirrors, a powered tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, driver's seat extension, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, navigation with 8-inch touchscreen and an Infinity Logic 7 sound system complete with HD radio and techno-happy style touches like ambient lighting and a color LCD trip monitor.
This all comes for about half what you might expect to pay for it from a brand with a longer track record in luxurious style. Ante up for the Premium package and you'll get 19-inch alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors, power rear sunshade and manual rear side window shades—most of which made up last year's Technology package.
Fuel economy out of the 3.3-liter V6 is reported by drivers as true to the advertised 20 mpg city/29 highway, even with lead feet making use of every last one of its 293 horses and 255 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission is a shiftable 6-speed automatic, and drivetrain options are similarly limited to front-wheeled power—all of which are expected to remain unchanged at least until the next generation debuts in 4 years. Whether there will be a better deal next year given the refresh is all but completely ruled out.
Drivers seeking better economy can look to the Sonata, and rear-wheel performance is readily available in Hyundai's Genesis; the Azera is all about practicality. Boasting a 16.3-cubic-foot trunk and delectable accommodations for all, big and small, drivers tend to overlook those steering drawbacks mentioned by professional reviewers. It turns when you expect it to turn. That's good enough in a car that is otherwise in perfect lockstep with Hyundai's usual “wow” effect.
Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.
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