Buyers of the redesigned 2012 Hyundai Azera has more upscale features, style and horsepower compared to the outgoing model but it comes with an additional price of $6,600. The base Azera is available for as low as $32,875, which includes shipping cost. The Azera is positioned between the Genesis and Sonata sedans.
The 2012 model is the first revamped variant since U.S. sales started in 2005. A gasoline direct-injection 3.3-liter V-6 is the only engine in the Azera. This replaces a 3.3-liter V-6 and optional 3.8-liter V-6 on the outgoing model. The new engine delivers 293 hp, which outperforms the bigger engine in the 2011 Azera.
It also achieves slightly better fuel economy compared to the older 3.3-liter. The front-wheel-drive Azera is on a longer wheelbase compared to the Sonata. The Azera is also wider and longer than the Sonata. In addition, the Azera has isolated back and front subframes for a quieter cabin. On the other hand, it is only the back subframe that is isolated on the Sonata.
Among the features that are standard on the new model are the heated back and front leather seats and a navigation system with a rearview camera and a 7-inch touch-screen. The automaker asserts that good interior packaging provides the Azera with a bigger total interior and passenger room volume compared to the Nissan Maxima, Buick LaCrosse, Toyota Avalon, Lexus ES 350, Acura TL and Ford Taurus.
Its exterior dimensions are more or less in the middle of that group. Mike O'Brien, vice president of product planning for Hyundai Motor America, revealed that they now have 1.25 million customers for the Sonata. He added that the core role of Azera is "really as a good move-up step from Sonata buyers."