Hyundai has officially announced what it will be offering for the 2018 model year. The lineup will include a refreshed Accent and Elantra GT, together with the brand new Kona compact crossover. The other models that were not mentioned will also be getting some upgrades for the next generation, except for one: the full-size Azera sedan. Well, in the United States at least. Nonetheless, the model will still be available in the Korean market, where it will be known as the Grandeur.
The main reason for the discontinuation is because the Azera has not been doing well in the U.S. for the past few years. The Azera first entered the western market in 2011, where it peaked in 2013 making just over 11,000 sales. Since then, it has just declined. Despite going through a makeover in 2015, it still did not raise its sales with just 5,539 units sold, and just under 5,000 units in 2016. That is a clear indication that the Azera is not seen as appealing in the market, especially if you consider that its rivals like the Chevrolet Impala and Toyota Avalon are selling the same number of cars, in just a month - making the Azera way behind in terms of sales.
Other than that, the Korean automaker also has its upscale company Genesis in the market. Despite the fact that the Azera comes off as an upscale model with a touch of luxury and a number of options, it was never considered a proper sport sedan. And when being compared to a Genesis G80 sedan, both cars offer similar features and performance. In terms of price, the Azera Limited costs almost the same as the base Genesis G80. I’m guessing that there may be so much competition in the segment that the 2018 Azera will just drown. But who knows, its Grandeur twin might still make it in the Asian market.
When the Azera finally gets phased out in the US market, it will be the Hyundai Sonata that will take the role of top sedan in the lineup. Though it may not be as big and luxurious, the 2018 model will be getting a refreshed look with a number of new options like an eight-speed automatic transmission. There will also be the Elantra Sport that a lot of people love to drive, except it is just a little smaller. Also a part of the lineup is the G80, so losing the Azera will not be such a big deal for consumers.
So if anyone might still be interested to get their hands on the Azera, might as well get one already before it becomes exclusive to the Asian market.