By on February 27, 2012

Hyundai’s press materials list the 2012 Azera’s competitors as “…traditional large sedan sales leaders such as Maxima, Lacrosse, Avalon and Taurus.” But those cars were on the minds of exactly no one at the Las Vegas launch of the 2012 Azera. Only the Lexus ES350, the market’s leading 4-wheeled sensory deprivation tank, was on the lips of the assembled journos when talking about the Azera’s competition. Hyundai didn’t give us much time with the car, but one thing was clear.

The Azera is still not a match for the Lexus ES350. To be sure, the Azera is competitive with the “Big Four” full-size sedans mentioned above. But a loaded Azera, at $36,825, is only $775 less than the base price of a Lexus ES350. Hyundai can compare this car to the Taurus and Lacrosse as much as they want, but the public at large, looking superficially at the pricing structure (base price is $32,825, including destination. The Technology package, the car’s sole option, commands a $4,000 premium), and Hyundai’s newly minted premium image, will inevitably compare this car to the big front-drive Lexus.

When they do, they are going to be disappointed. The Lexus cabin is as quiet as Yankee Stadium was when Lou Gherig gave his final address. At 80 mph, the Azera lets in a staggering amount of wind noise, and dropping down to the double nickel only remedies this slightly. The Azera’s wind noise issue left the biggest impression on me, overshadowing all of the car’s other attributes – not a good sign in a segment that privileges isolation from the road above almost everything else. The interior, while more modern looking than the Lexus, isn’t a match for the ES350’s cabin, which is a superlative experience, “rebadged Camry” comments be damned. The quality of the Azera’s materials still feels a grade below the Lexus – eyeing the slightly wonky fit of one interior panel, my driving partner noted that when it comes to the ES “this is what you don’t get with that extra few grand you spend”.

It was difficult to glean any serious driving impressions of the Azera. We drove it on the exact same pin-straight, baby-bottom-smooth Nevada highways that we did with the Genesis Coupe. And that was it. One Hyundai PR rep asked me if I was even going to write about the Azera, offering me the chance to drive a Genesis Coupe 2.0T on the way back. Hyundai CEO John Krafcik, who rode in the back seat while I drove home from the track, wouldn’t even give me a firm sales number for the car – in fact there was no quantitative number mentioned whatsoever. Apparently, allocation for the United States depends on sales of the Azera in South Korea – a market where the car has always done well – but this hardly seems like a vote of confidence for the Azera’s prospects over here. My 45 minute drive under ideal road and weather conditions was not adequate to get a real sense of the car.

In its home market of Korea, the Hyundai Grandeur (as it’s known) has traditionally been something of a status symbol, driven by politicians, business leaders and other members of Korea’s elite. In America, the car has always been something of an oddity, whether it was sold as the gaudy, baroque XG350 or the previous generation Azera, an elegant if underwhelming sedan that made a great rental car. The lack of any confidence in a public sales target, let alone any serious seat time for us journalists, suggests that Hyundai has low expectations for this car, and that it will remain an oddity that consumers overlook in favor of the cheaper Sonata or the flashier Genesis.

The Azera is a nice car, even if it’s priced a bit too close to the Lexus ES. On the other hand, it’s priced smack dab in the middle of the Maxima, Lacrosse, Avalon and Taurus, and has a number of distinct advantages over the competition; it lacks the annoying MyFordTouch system of the Taurus, is a more civilized car than the Maxima, is more engaging to drive than the Lacrosse and the Avalon and gets better fuel economy than any of them; 20/29 mpg with a combined rating of 23 mpg from its 293-horsepower 3.3L V6 engine. Positioned as the next step up from a Sonata (which can only be ordered with a 4-cylinder engine), Hyundai justifies the $32,000 starting price by claiming that the 2012 Azera comes with far more standard equipment than the outgoing model’s top trim level. The Azera has lots of content; Hyundai’s BlueLink telematics system, a 7-inch LCD screen, navigation, a rear-view camera and heated seats front and rear are all standard. The Technology package adds a full-length glass sunroof, parking sensors, a power tilt and telescoping wheel, 19” wheels and rear sunshades among other items.

While Hyundai had a media blitz for the Azera at this past weekend’s Academy Awards (and a media driving impressions embargo that lifted immediately afterwards), their sales strategy seems unusually tepid for a normally aggressive company. Initial impressions of the car seem to align with our usual take on Hyundai vehicles – a solid value choice, better than most of the field but not quite a segment leader. It’s possible that with South Korea taking much of the volume, Hyundai can move a relatively small number of Azeras  Stateside without having to worry about big sales volumes – or dumping their inventory into fleets, where nearly half of full-size cars end up.

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72 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2012 Hyundai Azera...”


  • avatar
    Zackman

    I see 1967-68 Chevy Impala lines in the rear hip and beltline area. Other than that, nothing about this or any other Hyundai interests me in the slightest as far as for as buying one goes. Rentals? Who cares? It’ll get you here and there as well as anything else. It’s still a Hyundai…and much too expensive for what you do get.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Hyundai won’t send this to the rental fleets. They will sell however many they sell and be content with that. This car could put a hurt on the Sonata Limited. a Sonata Limited 2.0T with navi is $31,500, and the V6 Azera starts at $32,800. Very close for a bigger, smoother car. I read somewhere that Hyundai’s sales target was 15,000 per year.

    This car could surpirse, though. We already have had several calls on it at my dealership.

  • avatar
    carguy67

    The rear end: Bangle Butt with muffin top.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Given the amount of standard equipment, the price is in line with its competition. Pity about the wind noise – this could have been a decent choice for long distance travel.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I’ve always had a goofy attachment to the previous Azera, so much that I seriously considered buying one (yes, I confess — I was that person). Big, quiet, comfy, powerful, loaded, decently built and cheap.

      There were basically two deal breakers: Cheap “wannabe” interior materials, and serious baked-in suspension problems reported by numerous owners that Hyundai couldn’t/wouldn’t fix. The front suspension made noises over bumps (particularly the dreaded “clunk”), the shocks wore out prematurely — sometimes within 5,000 miles — and Hyundai would often respond with either the usual “They all do that” denials, or with a shock swap that didn’t fix it. The cause seemed to have something to do with weird geometry that was chosen as a cheap way to give a pillow-soft ride on rough Korean roads (though I’ve heard since that Korea has pretty good roads, so I don’t know what to believe).

      Anyway, I was very impressed at the auto show that the cheapo-interior complaint has been decisively addressed; the leather quality seemed particularly good. I’m sorry to hear about the wind noise, and I hope they fix it. But it’s telling that they let the journalists drive the car only on glass-smooth pavement. It suggests a continued lack of confidence in the suspension engineering. Despite high-tech Sachs shocks, this car is a stretch of the Sonata chassis, which is having notable straight-line wandering and pull-to-the-left problems of its own. It seems that suspensions remain Hyundai’s final frontier.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      I’m curious to drive one and check out the NVH, myself.

      I haven’t looked up the ES’ base options, but I’m assuming that the $38,000ish it starts at probably doesn’t include heated front and rear seats, cooled front seats, nav, leather, memory seating, panoramic sunroof and proximity entry.

      Looking at this thing recently, the only competitor I was interested in comparing it to, assuming plushness of ride and quietness of cabin are the two more important attributes, was a Buick LaCrosse. I could get a LaCrosse *somewhat* similarly equipped to a base Azera (on the lot price of about $33k) for around $36k. This didn’t include the tech package, and frankly if I *did* include that package I’d price myself slightly out of the segment. That said, I still didn’t see nav on a LaCrosse for $36k. So $3,000 less gets me a car with a more modern interior, more features, and nav.

      I didn’t look at the Taurus given the price – the Titanium starts at $33k excluding destination and has less features, as well, and the Maxima isn’t going to be as plush or quiet. And I won’t buy a Toyota.

      If you look at cabin design, features and style, the Azera is the winner. It’s going un-contested. Period.

  • avatar
    stottpie

    tilt/telescope really isn’t standard on this car?

    my new focus has that for free.

  • avatar
    hachee

    Maybe I don’t know jack about marketing cars, but this strikes me as adroit handling by Hyundai. As dwford says, it’s close to the top Sonata, but at least there’s no overlap. And why state high sales goal only to possibly look bad and need to discount heavily to move them? The Lexus ES has a lot going for it compared to the other cars you’ve mentioned, but it’s also probably a bit higher priced. I assume they’re also counting on satisfied Sonata buyers to step up to these and who otherwise might have gone to the ES.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    I disagree with the premise of your post, Derek. Most people I know who shop the ES350 are shopping not just for an isolation chamber but for a capital-L Lexus. The Azera name and the Genesis-by-way-of-Mazda6 styling make this look like a pure value play to buyers who want size, leather and a cushy ride – in other words, smack in the middle of the LaCrosses, Tauri and Avalons that you dismiss in the first paragraph but then concede this basically beats later on. What I’d want to see is more focus on how it compares against these guys on materials, space, handling (OK, probably not from your drive) and noise, not against the benchmark in the next class up.

    As for the price, sure it nears the ES350′s base if you add the tech package, but a comparably-equipped ES runs what, eight grand more?

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    I don’t accept the premise that this car will be compared inevitably and exclusively with the ES350 – or the resulting negative commentary regarding the extent to which it falls short of that high standard.

    Maxima, LaCrosse, Avalon and Taurus are all priced in the same ball park – do we measure those by the extent to which they match up with the Lexus? Hyundai has the Genesis Sedan for that.

  • avatar
    msechea

    Derek,

    I’m surprised no one has commented on whether or not it was actually windy on your test drive day. That can make a lot of difference in whether or not you get a lot or a little wind noise. I would appreciate you commenting on this.

    Thank you!

    • 0 avatar

      It wasn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        msechea

        From The Car Connection review:

        “While cruising at 70 mph in the 2012 Hyundai Azera, it’s what we didn’t have to do that’s especially telling.

        My co-driver and I didn’t have to raise our voices above normal, quiet conversation level to carry on a conversation in front—and the same held true in speaking with our two passengers in the back seat. We all were able to simply chat, without shouting.”

        Derek, with the Azera having the same drag coefficient as the Avalon, how did you achieve such drastically different results?

      • 0 avatar
        msechea

        Thanks a lot!

        Just talking about the idea of wind noise, made me think of this post on Inside Line, where they talk about some of the technology existing on the Optima. Boggles the mind why they didn’t incorporate that into the Azera (if, in fact, it does make a noticeable difference in/around the A-pillar and side mirrors)

        http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtests/2011/11/2011-kia-optima-sx-turbo-quiet-ride-technology.html

        Thanks for your thoughts, Derek.

      • 0 avatar
        msechea

        Also, Derek, did you happen to mention the overwhelming wind noise to the CEO/PR to get their thoughts on it? Whether it was a problem they were working on, and will the production model be any different or have reduced wind noise? The only reason I ask is that wind noise is subjective obviously, so if there is no proper metric provided for being _the_ reason for not buying or recommending this car.

        Thanks for your thoughts.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Wind noise (or at least total cabin noise) is not subjective. It can be measured with a sound meter. Obviously, sound meter readings need a point of reference reading to be useful. For example, a car generally accepted as noisy like a 350Z or RSX. I actually found an old TTAC article on the subject: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/02/the-art-ofnoise/

        Cabin noise comes from a variety of sources (wind, tires, engine, etc) with some sources annoying different people more than others. That can be subjective, but I think sound meter readings could help tell the story. You don’t see this in reviews too often anymore. Not sure why, as sound meters look cheap enough. I think it would be useful.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Derek, how was the front seat comfort and legroom? My girlfriend and I shopped the previous Azera, and we were shocked at how even moved back all of the way, there was essentially no space for the driver’s legs. Hyundai used to brag in past ads that the Azera had more rear seat room than the comparable BMW 7, and it seemed like they got there by making the driver’s seat unsuitable for anyone taller than about 5 feet. We are both under 5’8″, and we basically couldn’t fit.

  • avatar
    JCraig

    I agree that the focus of this review should not have been on a comparison with the ES350. This is clearly an Avalon competitor as they stated. So we get to read mostly how this isn’t as good as a more expensive Lexus and a tidbit on how it’s probably the best among its actual competition. I’m guessing these are pre-production cars? If so that could explain the panel gaps and wind noise to some extent. My Elantra has no wind noise at highway speeds, I can’t imaging them getting something that basic wrong on a car that costs twice as much.

  • avatar
    david42

    I just read three Azera reviews in a row: autoblog, hooniverse, and TTAC. Derek’s is the only one that doesn’t read like a press release. Much appreciated.

    As for the car itself… it’s hard for me to imagine buying a loaded Azera instead of a Genesis w/tech package. I understand that the Azera gets you a few more toys for about $3k less, but I bet significant number of Azera-intenders could be easily swayed by the Genesis’ better engine, deathly-quiet ride, enormous rear seat, and more dignified looks. Maybe if you must have a FWD deluxe Hyundai, this is a good answer. It’s a lot cheaper than a similarly-equipped ES350–about $46k (though it sounds like you get what you pay for).

    I certainly wish Hyundai luck with this car; there’s a gap between the Sonata and the Genesis, though I think a Sonata V6 could have satisfied the US market just as well.

    The best explanation seems to be that it’s a KDM oddity that Hyundai USA is just tossing out here in case there are any takers.

    • 0 avatar

      “The best explanation seems to be that it’s a KDM oddity that Hyundai USA is just tossing out here in case there are any takers.”

      I strongly suspect this is the case. The previous cars have a very “Korean” character. It’s difficult for me to verbalize, but it works in the same way that a Crown Victoria is a distinctly American product. The XG350/Kia Amanti is the best example of what I mean.

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        If they’re just throwing it out here to see what happens why can’t every carmaker do that w/ manual wagons sold in other markets? :(

        It makes sense to only offer a ‘fully loaded’ model if they know making enough of them will be an issue.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      @david42 – I would not be surprised to see Hyundai raise the price of the Genesis sedan for the next model year.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        The next generation Genesis will be getting a significant price bump.

        Definitely the most negative review out of Car & Driver, Motor Trend, LeftlaneNews, Autoblog, etc.

  • avatar
    Squirrel19

    At the detroit auto show I saw and sat in the Azera and thought it was very comfortable and well apportioned. I also felt that it should have a starting price (base niceties aside) around 28k tops.

    One of the spokeswomen heard me and almost leapt at me with the ‘base content’ verbage.

    While I understand the built in content, and the cost of having options packages, you cannot help but notice that this car has a base price $10,000 over the Sonata and a few grand less than the genesis. VW just recently learned this fact when they dropped the base price of the Passat a huge amount tp spur sales.

    Low base price that moves rapidly upward sells more than a high base price which hardly moves at all.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Hyundai dropped the base model on the Genesis sedan b/c so few buyers were opting for it.

      At this pricerange, buyers are looking for a certain level of amenities and Hyundai has no intention of selling the Azera in large volume to rental fleets as is done for the Taurus, etc. (so no need for a base trim).

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    It looks good. A mature version of the Sonata style, which I feel is “too much.”

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      +1. I had not originally thought that about the Sonata, but I’m beginning to think “psar” was right when he said the Sonata’s styling would wear thin.

      I am appalled at the wind noise Derek describes; Hyundai needs to fix this, or else discover that the test car was faulty. Wind noise alone could prevent me from buying one.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    “and Hyundai’s newly minted premium image, will inevitably compare this car to the big front-drive Lexus.”

    Hyundai and newly minted premium? Am I missing something? Comparing a Hyundai to a Lexus is giving Hyundai way too much credit. Just because they sell a $64,000 boat of a car doesn’t make it premium, especially when that car sits next to an Accent on the same dealer lot. And the Genesis 4.6 that I rented (and left me stranded) was the biggest pos I ever drove. Sure the new Sonata looks the part in some trim levels, but again hardly premium. Actually I think this Azera is a perfect car for the “Olive Garden” set. What a perfect car to take out for “premium” Italian cuisine.

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      “Actually I think this Azera is a perfect car for the “Olive Garden” set. What a perfect car to take out for “premium” Italian cuisine.”

      Dead on. That could have been the review.

  • avatar
    John R

    A 293hp 3.3L…I wonder if it’ll fit in my Sonata…

  • avatar
    bobkarafin

    I’ve been looking to replace my Sonata V6, and have had my eye on the new Azera for at least the last six months. I view it as really a fancied-up version of my V6 Sonata, which of course is not offered anymore (was this deliberate, so as not to compete with the new Azera)?

    I’ve been mightily impressed by what I’ve seen so far, and if you consider the main competition the Toyota Avalon, I don’t think the price is out of line for what’s being offered.

    My only beef is that at 32 large, another 2K will put me into a base Genesis; a larger, rear-drive car with an EIGHT-speed automatic and forty more horsepower. No, it’s not quite as luxurious as the base Azera (and it’s not the newest thing out there anymore)…but as luxury goes; it’s more than good enough for me.

    I figure either they’ll be offering some rebates on the Azera by the time the 2013′s come out, or else the Genesis will be looking at a big price increase to keep its distance. At any rate, I figure the smart thing is to see what’s on the dealer lots this fall when they start clearing the leftover 2012′s out.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    “The Lexus cabin is as quiet as Yankee Stadium was when Lou Gherig gave his final address.” My wife bought a 2007 Moonshell Mica Ultimate brand new with less than 4 miles on it. During our test drive of another trim level and the one she bought we both came to the conclusion that noise around the A pillar was pretty much just as loud a my CX9. So if the Azera is louder than the ES I feel for whoever buys it. It does have a well built interior and the GPS is the best touch screen system on the market (shame they are dissing it). Not to mention in 2007 my wife’s car cost 43 grand without satellite radio or spoiler. Priced new one with same features at 46500. Dont know it would be worth ten grand more?

  • avatar
    TheHammer

    From what I have seen around my neck of the woods, leftover Genesi sit on dealer lots even with all sorts of money on the hood and 0% financing.

  • avatar
    George B

    I just don’t get the Azera, Maxima, Lacrosse, Avalon and Taurus class of >$30k vehicles. In my opinion the buyer pays way too much for zero prestige. Why not just buy a loaded Toyota Camry for value or a used luxury brand for prestige?

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      I always felt that it was precisely for people who didn’t want the attention that came with a luxury badge but wanted more room than the loaded Camry.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Yes, but once the Camry, Accord, Mazda6, and now the Passat were supersized, anyone smaller than a professional basketball player should find plenty of rear seat legroom. On the image side, I guarantee that driving a <$30k used BMW is more likely to get positive notice or cause envy with neighbors, coworkers, and the opposite sex than spending the same or more money on a new Azera, Maxima, Lacrosse, Avalon, or Taurus. Guess I just can’t see the value in piling thousands of dollars worth of accessories, isolation, and extra weight on top of mass market FWD car vs. buying more car and less accessories.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      If you think you’re getting prestige with any $30K car, used or new, you’re either hanging around losers or more likely fooling yourself.

      That segment is selling a quieter car with a better ride and a few extra dash gadgets. No more, no less.

      Considering what each successive generation of Camcord have looked like, that’s exactly what most buyers want.

      • 0 avatar
        msechea

        you probably know this one. What’s the difference between a BMW and a porcupine?

      • 0 avatar
        david42

        I have to disagree with this: the ratty old Benz I used to drive–with plenty of bumper scratches a smattering of A-pillar rust–got a lot more compliments than my wife’s shiny-new Passat.

        I always got a kick of out explaining to people that the Benz was just a cheapo winter beater and taking them on a tour of its battle scars. That three-pointed star just has an effect on people.

    • 0 avatar
      Alexdi

      FWIW, in my case with a Maxima, I was persuaded by the styling, power, and superior handling. As of 2010, that combination wasn’t available from any other front-driver, though the G37 is arguably another step up in at least two of three. Didn’t care for used luxury because I didn’t want to budget for the maintenance.

  • avatar

    This is probably going to cut right into Genesis sales.

    No point in buying a Genesis if you can get a car with good front and rear legroom as an upgrade from the Sonata.

    • 0 avatar
      bobkarafin

      When the Genesis is just $2000 more?

      I think the Genesis will be the new Azera’s worst enemy. No, it’s not QUITE as luxurious as the Azera, but when you’re moving up from a Sonata, the Genesis will do just fine.

      As for the wind noise, while I do agree with the others about it being a deal-breaker; I’ll bet that Derek drove a pre-production car and that the production cars will have this bug taken care of (I hope).

      • 0 avatar

        A LOADED Azera is $36,000. At that price, there are several other cars you could get including the bigger Charger/300 which offer features Hyundai doesn’t such as heated/ventilated seats for both passenger/driver, heated/cooled cupholders and a RWD V6.

        “At 80 mph, the Azera lets in a staggering amount of wind noise, and dropping down to the double nickel only remedies this slightly.”

        I’ve driven the 2011-2012 300c, 300SRT8 and Charger V6, Hemi and SRT8 and none of those cars have wind noise issues.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      A comparably equipped V6 Genesis is $40k; and the next generation Genesis which is due to launch next year will be getting a significant price hike (probably starting around $38k).

      The Taurus, Avalon, Maxima, etc. are all over $36k fully loaded (and they all don’t have things like heated rear seats).

      As for “wind noise” other reviews haven’t had the issue and have remarked how quiet the cabin is – so let’s see what the reviews across the board have to say.

    • 0 avatar
      satnav4

      I just bought this car, and love it. I see a lot of hate for it, and comments from people who have never been in the car. I am 6’4″ tall, and have plenty of room. The passenger also has plenty of room behind me. The horsepower is adequate. It might feel even stronger if I hadn’t come from a Chrysler 300C. For people talking about “badging” and what people think about status, please get some self esteem. Drive what makes YOU happy. If you are buying a car to impress your friends, you are an idiot. Funny thing is, this has impressed my friends, at least 2 of which own 5 and 7 series BMW’s. I wanted something that drove and handled well, that looked great and that had a good warranty. This fits the bill, although I will warn you that the 5 year, 60,000 bumper to bumper warranty carves out the radio/Nav. system, which has only a 3 year/36k warranty.

      Oh, and as for the alleged wind noise problem, I simply don’t know what the reviewer is talking about. I have not noticed an unusual amount of noise. The car is quieter than my Chrysler 300C.

      • 0 avatar
        david42

        The warranty carve-out for the radio/nav is… intriguing. Hyundai’s inability to fix the constantly-freezing system in our Genesis (“they all do that”) is the main reason we just traded it for a 3 series. Hope they avoided the bug in your Azera’s system.

  • avatar
    mored

    Thank you Dereck for the review. One thing that I really appreciate about TTAC is that I can count on their reviews as a fairly accurate portrayal of the car being discussed, unlike several other automobile publications. This happens to be a class of car that I am very familiar with, having shopped it last spring. A major change in our lives required me to sell my beloved TSX and purchase a long distance cruiser. I ended up with an Avalon. My father owns an 09 ES350 which I have put many miles on, so I am very familiar with it also. First, wind noise on 07 ES 350′s is a well documented problem on the Lexus owners forums. Lexus took care of this problem in 08 with a redesign of the mirrors which from what I have read, took care of the situation (a good reason not to buy the first year of a new model until all of the bugs are worked out). I know that my father’s does not have wind noise. It is not as quiet as his previous LS 430, but it was also almost $35,000 cheaper. I dsiagree with the folks that have stated that this car will not be shopped against the ES 350. I know that I looked at both the Genesis and the old Azera as well as all of the cars Dereck mentioned as well as the Acura TL. I know that many people will buy a car because of the name on the front, but not everyone. Some of us actually buy a car because it meets our needs and is a better value. I read somewhere not long ago that Avalon owners have a higher net worth than ES 350 owners (unfortunately, not true in my case). Some people do live by the principals that were stated in “The Millionaire Next Door”. I ruled out the TL because of its small trunk, the Taurus because I felt like I was sitting in a bathtub and could not see out. I also looked at some used Genesis that had not aged well. I thought that the center armrest in the Avalon was more comfortable to my way of driving than the ES. It has a much more comfortable back seat, better interior storeage, and I hate to admit it, but better cupholders. Using the true cost of ownership tool at Edmunds and comparing ownershp costs sealed the deal. I guess what I am trying to say through all of this rambling is that yes, many people will compare all of these cars. Just because we can afford to buy something else dosen’t mean we have to.I agree with Dereck, wind noise in this class of car is definitly a deal killer.

  • avatar
    david42

    Since we all seem to be on the topic, let’s talk about NOISE.

    I hate noisy cars. I don’t care if it’s from the tires, the wind, or engine drone. When I’m spending 2 hours on the slab, I want to either listen to the stereo or talk to my wife.

    So here’s a request: Can TTAC find a reliable way to rate noise? I understand it would be hard (varying types of asphalt, wind conditions, etc.). But it would be a huge service to the car-buying public.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Seems like they need to spend an extra $1000 on some heavy Dynamat

  • avatar
    Pleiades

    “In its home market of Korea, the Hyundai Grandeur (as it’s known) has traditionally been something of a status symbol, driven by politicians, business leaders and other members of Korea’s elite.”

    That’s good for a laugh (no offense). I’ve lived in South Korea for 3 years now, and I can assure you that it is NOT driven by politicians, business leaders and other members of Korea’s elite. Those people wouldn’t be caught dead in anything but the Equus, Genesis sedan, or any luxury sedan from Germany. The persons who do drive the Grandeur however would be the spouses of those who you mentioned or public school teachers (and in some cases they will be used as taxis by the independent taxi drivers that can afford something more than a Sonata, K5, or an SM5 [Altima clone]).

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Looks like a sedan version of a Mazda CX-7. That being said there is a considerable market for large sedans aka Avalon, LaCross, Taurus and it makes sense for Hyundai to have something to compete with them. I know of a couple of people who moved upmarket from a Camry to an Avalon.

  • avatar
    obruni

    all this talk of potential competitors to the Lexus ES…

    no love for the Passat CC in here?

  • avatar

    Why is is Hyundai is the only maker willing to copy Mercedes Benz’ control placements? I LOVE seat controls on the door where they are easy to see and understand. Why aren’t more makers doing this? BMW screwed it up in the 750 and went back to normal placement in their newest 7.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    For the person who stated earlier that you shouldnt by first gen/year of a car..??That makes no sense. Then when do you buy them..If no one bought first gen/year cars there wouldnt be a second year of the car..Wish you folks would think more about things in practical matters and not what someone told you.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      Also Yes I know that Lexus fixed or redesigned the mirrors but do you really think that started out by saying “oh yeah lets make some screwed mirrors and get a bunch of folks to buy it and if they dont lets redesign it.

    • 0 avatar
      msechea

      Who are you, a prophet or something? If no bought anything of the first generation there would be no economy. Don’t take everything so seriously because this will never happen. It’s one of those things where you shrug it off, you don’t actually try and argue against it. Because again, it will never happen.

      There are some people who like being early adopters, the first-in-liners, the misfits. Then there are those who like to wait a little for the kinks to be worked out. This will always be the way it is, no matter what advance you find in a comments section of a car review website.

      When do you graduate, by the way?

  • avatar
    plee

    ” It lacks the annoying My Ford Touch System of the Taurus”. Uh, the Taurus has never had this system yet. The 2013 will have it but it is not on sale yet. Good idea, pick up a 2011 Taurus Limited program car for well under $30,000.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Derek, you say “It was difficult to glean any serious driving impressions of the Azera” then later on claim it is more engaging to drive than the Lacrosse or Avalon. How did you arrive at that conclusion?

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      It really shouldn’t take more than a few seconds behind the wheel to determine that a certain vehicle provides more driver feedback than those that are the worst in that regard.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    Looks nice the new Azera! I don’t like the front grid and it probably needs to be refine; but the next generation Azera is going to be hard to beat! Like the Japanese before them; the Koreans are doing the same in improvements to their models. Even Cadillac is picking up their act in nice fashion. I serious going to look at buying the next generation CTS sedan.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The interior looks more like a 23K car than one starting close to 33 large. The wind noise in unfortunate. Still I think in some ways it out LaCrosses the Buick and out does the Taurus with lower curbweight, larger trunk than the pathetic Buick, better mileage, better warranty than either and far more equipment for the $$$.

    • 0 avatar
      satnav4

      Have you been in the car? My friend with an M series Infinity didn’t think it was a cheap interior. I didn’t buy the car to impress anyone–you don’t buy a Hyundai if you are out to impress someone. But, everyone has been impressed. This is not a cheap looking interior. Get off your sofa, and go take a look.

  • avatar
    Keith Tomas

    Clearly, there is still a market for large FWD V-6 powered sedans. I think the Azera will do well. It certainly is good-looking.


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