- Plenty of standard features
- Smooth ride quality
- Quiet and spacious cabin
- Large trunk
- Long warranty coverage
- No cheaper, less-equipped base model
- Indifferent driving dynamics
- Some disappointing interior plastics
Think of the 2013 Hyundai Azera as a sensible, run-of-the-mill full-size sedan disguised in a sleekly styled package. Descriptors like "spacious," "well-equipped," "long warranty" and "easy to use" may not get the blood pumping, but when accompanied by sleek styling inside and out, sensibility suddenly doesn't seem so dull.
Fresh off last year's complete redesign, the Azera not only boasts an elegant exterior, but a cabin that looks as if it should have a luxury badge. Its abundance of standard features helps the illusion as well, though a few too many hard plastic pieces ultimately betray it.
Behind the wheel, the 2013 Hyundai Azera isn't exactly memorable, but it certainly delivers what you'd expect for the segment. The suspension soaks up pavement irregularities to create a comfortable ride, while the handling instills confidence without being what we'd call involving. Similarly, acceleration won't get the neighbors' attention, but is definitely strong for the segment.
If there is a significant problem, it's the price, which is the highest of any full-size sedan. That may seem odd for a Hyundai, but the reason is that aforementioned long list of standard features. Technically, it provides plenty of value for the price, but not everyone needs or wants high-end items like a navigation system, heated rear seats or a chilled glovebox.
Its rivals come in cheaper, less-equipped trim levels, while also possessing their own share of desirable attributes. The all-new 2013 Toyota Avalon is more refined and offers a hybrid model. The Buick LaCrosse and Chrysler 300 are more enjoyable to drive, while providing different engine options as well. Hyundai's own Genesis sedan may not have the Azera's good looks, but it does possess a higher-quality cabin and better driving dynamics. While we like the Azera a lot, we're all for checking out these excellent competitors before signing on the dotted line.
WHAT'S NEW FOR 2013
The 2013 Hyundai Azera is unchanged.
TRIMS & EQUIPMENT
The 2013 Hyundai Azera is offered in a single, well-equipped trim level. Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, heated mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats (with driver lumbar adjustment), 60/40-split-folding rear seats, heated front and rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a chilled glovebox, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a navigation system, a touchscreen interface, BlueLink emergency communications and a 10-speaker audio system with a CD player, an iPod/USB audio interface and HD radio.
The only Azera option is a Technology package, which adds 19-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, a power rear sunshade, manual side window sunshades, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver seat memory functions, power-adjustable driver thigh support, ventilated front seats, interior ambient lighting and a premium Infinity 14-speaker sound system.
INTERIOR & SAFETY
In some ways, the full-size Azera looks a lot like a larger version of the automaker's midsize Sonata. The interior design is similar, though the standard leather upholstery gives the cabin a definite luxury sedan vibe. The one thing that detracts from this impression is the extensive use of cheap-feeling hard plastics.
The interior's principal attraction, other than the long list of upscale standard features, is its roominess. All but the very tallest adults will find plenty of head- and legroom in both the front and backseats, something few of the Azera's competitors can claim. The trunk is equally large at 16.3 cubic feet, a number that makes it one of the biggest in the full-size sedan segment.
Standard safety features on the 2013 Hyundai Azera include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver-side knee airbag and active front head restraints. Hyundai's BlueLink system (which is similar to GM's OnStar service) provides services such as remote access, emergency assistance, theft recovery and geo-fencing.
In Edmunds brake testing, the Azera came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet, which is average in this class. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Azera its highest score of "Good" for the car's performance in frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.
PERFORMANCE & HANDLING
The 2013 Hyundai Azera gets a 3.3-liter V6 that produces 293 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered and sends power to the front wheels.
In Edmunds performance testing, the Azera accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, which is quicker than average for a large sedan. Fuel economy is about average for the segment, at an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 23 mpg in combined driving.
The 2013 Hyundai Azera offers swift acceleration for a V6-powered full-size sedan, while the six-speed automatic provides smooth but leisurely shifts. There isn't an engine upgrade like in a Chrysler 300, but we don't think you'll miss one.
The suspension is clearly tuned for optimal ride comfort, though handling doesn't suffer noticeably. Overall, the Azera inspires confidence with none of the floaty feeling you might associate with large sedans. Truth be told, though, all its competitors can boast the same thing and are generally more involving to drive. The Azera won't turn you off, but it won't turn you on, either.
The 2013 Hyundai Azera brings lots of style to a segment known for conservative design. It's also suitably luxurious and spacious, though its fully loaded equipment list makes it pricey.