By on September 25, 2012

Even when stacked up against other Lexus models, the front-drive ES has long been considered boring. Yet the Camry-based sedan has been a best-seller for Lexus and in its segment. For this reason, it has become a benchmark; just as every compact sport sedan targets the BMW 3-Series, every upper-midsize near-luxury sedan targets the ES. Well aware of the beads drawn on its back, Toyota Lexus has redesigned the car for the 2013 model year. But has it raised the bar enough to keep Koreans with upward aspirations in their place?

Earlier this year the recently redesigned Hyundai Azera handily dispatched two other aspirants to the near-lux throne from Buick and Ford. Even with the 2013 Lexus thrown into the arena, the Hyundai appears the most modern and the most “money.”

Buick, Hyundai, Lexus, and (on the horizon) Lincoln were all thinking in the same direction, but Hyundai pushed the “swoopy coupe-like sedan” theme the farthest and finished it best. In contrast, Lexus appears to have been held back by other considerations and its innate conservatism. The lines of the new ES, though a definite leap forward from the staid old car’s, don’t flow as well as those of the Azera. Or do they? The wind tunnel actually finds the visually stiffer ES a little slipperier (0.27 vs. 0.28). The ES’s nose wears the make’s new “spindle” grille. While lust isn’t likely to be provoked, it is distinctive.

Lexus interiors have always sold more cars than Lexus exteriors, and the ES fares better once you’re inside it. The bi-level instrument panel first seen in the 2013 GS works on a functional level, maximizes perceived space by abutting the doors and center console at sharp angles, and covers both “sport” and “luxury” bases.

Just about everything looks and feels at least a little more posh and refined than in the considerably more cockpit-like, and consequently more cramped, Azera. (One exception: the leather on the Hyundai’s seats has a richer hand. Also, while the Lexus’s upholstered-by-master-craftsmen IP is a nice touch, the upholstery is too obviously synthetic and doesn’t continue onto the upper doors.)

Both cars are available with panoramic sunroofs, but one of them is considerably more panoramic than the other and has a single power sunshade rather than two manual ones. Guess which car has the manual sunshades. Guess again.

Stop gazing at the stars and direct your view forward, and the Lexus regains major points. The Azera’s so-relaxed-it’s-nearly-asleep windshield translates into a very tall, very deep instrument panel. As a result, it’s difficult to gauge the front end of the Hyundai from the driver’s seat, both along a curvy road and in parking lots. Thanks to the more conservative rake and position of its windshield, the Lexus provides the driver with a more confidence-inspiring view. Both cars have large, supportive front seats compared to those in the previous ES, though the Azera’s headrests jut a little too far forward for my upright build.

The Lexus ES is no longer based on the Toyota Camry. Instead, it’s now based on the upcoming Toyota Avalon…which is based on the Camry. A push for more rear seat legroom drove the switch. But if rear legroom was such a priority, why isn’t there any space for the rear passengers’ toes under the front seats? Lexus has stretched the car’s wheelbase to add four inches of rear legroom (for a generous total of 40.0 that roughly matches the Buick LaCrosse as well as the Azera) only to then effectively lose four inches through poorly designed front seats. Lexus is far from alone in this, but did your mother ever accept the excuse that “everyone else was also doing it”? Toe space is tight beneath the Azera’s front seats, but it’s there. Combine this with a larger, better-positioned rear cushion, and the Hyundai is a little more comfortable in back. There’s also an extra cube in the Azera’s trunk (16.3 to 15.2) and this trunk, unlike the Lexus’s, can be expanded by folding the rear seat.

Lexus put all of its powertrain development hours into a new ES hybrid. Like the Camry with which it shares a basic powertrain, the ES 300h can dish out more shove than most people expect from a hybrid, but doesn’t make $40,000 noises and has a sizeable EPA fuel economy rating deficit relative to the 2013 Ford / Lincoln sibs (40/39 vs. the Ford’s 47/47).

Put another way, the ES 350’s non-hybrid, non-DI V6 has been carried over with no major changes. And it doesn’t matter. This 3.5-liter remains a sweetheart of an engine, with a pleasantly plump torque curve (that too readily chirps the grip-deficient Turanza EL400 tires) and among the smoothest, richest tenors you’ll find in a V6. The direct-injected 3.3-liter V6 in the Azera peaks higher (293 vs. 268 horsepower), but its midrange is noticeably weaker and it doesn’t sound or feel as refined. Its NVH isn’t bad, but the Lexus’s is simply the best. On top of this, the larger, old-tech engine in the ES 350 earns higher EPA ratings (21/31 vs. 20/29).

As with the latest Camry, Lexus has removed considerable float, slop, and pillow-soft glide from the ES’s suspension. A little low-speed ride quality has been lost, but a fair amount of handling precision and control has been gained. The ES still isn’t a sport sedan, but it no longer trips clumsily over its own sidewalls when hustled, either.

Hyundai doubled down on the same bet. The Azera has heavier, quicker steering and a more aggressively damped suspension. But it’s not significantly more fun to drive, partly because the steering doesn’t communicate much and partly because of the confidence-impairing view forward. Either car easily outpoints the soggy old Lexus ES, but neither can induce grins the way an Acura TL SH-AWD can. They’re curious about heading in a sporty direction, but far from committed to the lifestyle. Both cars get a little jumpy over tar strips and expansion joints, but the rough edges are more frequently exposed in the less well-sorted Hyundai. On many roads the Azera feels smooth and luxurious. On others it just can’t settle down.

The Lexus ES’s higher grade materials and additional refinement come at a price. Its $36,995 base is $4,120 higher than the 2012 Hyundai’s. A quick run through TrueDelta’s car price comparison tool finds that the Hyundai is also better equipped, to the tune of about $600. (The ES has a standard sunroof, but the Azera has standard leather upholstery, seats heaters in both rows, and nav.) Load both cars up, and the Hyundai’s price advantage more than doubles ($36,975 vs. $46,450). Adjusting for the Lexus’s additional features narrows the gap to about $8,000.

Paid out-of-pocket, $8,000 would seem a serious chunk of change. But roll it into a lease with a correspondingly higher residual, and it’ll seem much less sizeable. Factor in the Lexus’s more prestigious badge, more upscale interior, and greater refinement, and the ES will remain the choice of those buyers not seeking a deal. And, if the lease terms are favorable enough, perhaps of those seeking a deal as well. This said, Lexus best step up its pursuit of perfection, as Hyundai’s cars have been improving at a faster rate and the latest Azera isn’t far behind. Carving out some space beneath the front seats and enlarging the roof portal would be a good start.

Both cars were evaluated at media events where breakfast and lunch were provided. The Azera was driven again during the Lexus event thanks to the helpful folks at Ralph Thayer Hyundai of Livonia, MI (734-425-5400).

Michael Karesh operates truedelta.com, a provider of car reliability and pricing information.

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67 Comments on “Comparison review: 2013 Lexus ES 350 vs. Hyundai Azera...”


  • avatar
    rodface

    The trunk hinges. Are gas struts really so worthy of the decontenting axe?

  • avatar
    Thinkin...

    Wait a minute… “The Lexus ES’s […] $26,995 base is $4,120 higher than the 2012 Hyundai’s.”

    Either that’s a typo, or I really need to start shopping for reliable luxo-barges right now. $23k for an Azera with leather, nav, and heated seats all around? It’s not a car I’d normally like, but at that price it’s a car I could certainly love.

  • avatar
    indyb6

    Wow! The Lexus’s rear seat does not fold? Surprising.
    I really like the Lexus interior, but where will I keep my phone? And my big Sam’s Club soda and Coffee? :)

    • 0 avatar

      The rear seats don’t fold in any Lexus or Infiniti sedan. Or in the larger Acura sedans. Odd, since this is offered in all of the German sedans except the largest ones.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      I know the last-gen Avalon and ES lacked folding seats due to the (ever so slightly) reclining rear seatbacks.

      I’m not sure about the 2012, but the ’07-11 top-trim Camry XLE lacked the folding seats of the LE and SE trims due to the addition of these same reclining seat mechanisms.

      Having ridden in the rear of many of these, I feel it’s not really worth the trade-off.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    How was the cabin noise on this Azera? I know at least one TTAC review commented on that when the car was introduced.

    As long as the Hyundai is “Lexus Quiet” inside I know which one I’d feel smarter spending my money on. (HINT: It doesn’t have an L on it’s face that looks like it came from the “Predator” movie franchise.)

    • 0 avatar
      indyb6

      Thanks for that. I will never be able to let go of the Predator association.

      But, I agree, if it does not rattle and is as quiet as the Lexus, I wouldn’t think twice about the Azera.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      The Lexus premium isn’t the quiet, a $25,000 Chrysler 300 is as quiet as anything short of a LS, it’s the respectable badge on a pleasant car from a pleasant dealer.

      Either that’s important to you or it’s not, if it’s not then spending $35,000 on an Azera isn’t any kind of smart money bargain either.

    • 0 avatar

      Both cars struck me as only moderately quiet, with a slight edge to the Lexus.

      In my notes for the Lexus I have “noise level just okay.” I don’t think the ES has gotten any noisier over the years, but others have caught up, so Lexus no longer stands out in this area the way it used to.

      In my notes for the Azera I have “look and feel of premium car, but occasionally falls a little short (road noise, wind noise, ride quality).”

      If you want an affordable car that’s surprisingly quiet, check out the Chevrolet Malibu.

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack

        The Cruze is shockingly quiet at its price point. GM might get ridiculed for adding pounds, but those pounds are performing a noticeable function in creating a more serene driving experience than is the norm in each class.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The other reviews of the Azera haven’t noticed much wind/cabin noise.

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    They say if you live long enough you get to see everything. If you had told me 10-15 years ago that we would be comparing Lexus with Hyundai…

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      Just a particular writer chose to compare the two. I can compare a Prius with an Enzo if I want to, and claim that the Prius is the winner because it’s quieter. But that doesn’t make it intelligent.

      There is the perfect Camry XLE V6 to compare to a Hyundai. And the ES350 should be compared to FWD A6 and TL.

      • 0 avatar

        The Azera is much closer to the ES than it is to a Camry. I haven’t been inside the new Avalon yet. Depending on how nice it is, it might be the most direct competitor for the Azera.

        I do mention the TL in the review, but it’s nearing the end of its lifecycle so you won’t see it getting much attention from anyone.

        The A6 isn’t another level up from the ES, and competes much more directly with the GS.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        It’s not like the Genesis sedan hasn’t been compared to the GS or the Equus to the LS.

        While the direct competitor to the Azera is the Avalon, numerous auto publications have mentioned the ES as being a competitor.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        From my own observation, people buy an entry level luxury car for the badge. That may not be the only factor, but probably the most important one. In that sense, an ES buyer would cross shop the car with the following cars:
        Lexus IS, Acura TSX/TL, MB B/C class, BMW 1,3 series, Audi A4/A6.

        An ES350 may be more different from an IS, but there is a higher chance they are cross shopped before a Hyundai comes into the picture. The Azera type would cross shop with Avalon, or Crown Vic, or the newer long Taurus.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    Just some random thoughts from an ES300 owner.

    The Azera looks like the closest we’ll get to a Toyota Crown on these shores. I prefer it’s appearance over the ES.

    I can’t imagine the ES going with a firmer suspension, because I find ours to be way too harsh. Anyone who’s driven an LS, S-Class, or Phaeton will realize there’s an order of magnitude improvement in ride quality when you go towards an air suspension and road hugging curb weight.

    The 40 inch rear leg seat room will drive sales for the ES. I think the midsize luxury market is silly in not offering an extended wheelbase version like they do in China. It’s an untapped niche. I’m sure customers avoid the RL, M37, and GS for just that reason.

    The new ES now has Volvo-like seats, a dramatic improvement. How were the seats on the Azera?

    • 0 avatar

      I liked the seats quite a bit in both cars, with the exception of the headrests in the Azera, which jut a little too far forward for me. They did have a 2012 ES on hand for comparison, and the differences between the old and new car were striking. The seats in the new one are larger and firmer (but still more Volvo firm than BMW firm). It’s considerably roomier. And it handles with much more composure when hurried.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    “Chrysler 200′s don’t have an optional power trunk opener and closer. Most luxury cars have intrusive hinges to enable this feature.”

    Let’s see, my 2011 Ford Taurus SEL and my daughter’s 2010 Mazda 3 – both have struts, the Ford has a power release button inside, the Mazda – a little lever by the seat, both have them on the key fobs.

    • 0 avatar
      ezeolla

      Yeah but that little button (and lever) isn’t going to magically open and close the trunk to impress all your friends.

      My experience with cars with trunks is that when you pull the lever next to the driver’s seat, the trunk opens about an inch, and then you have to do it the rest of the way by hand.

      The power trunks are similar to SUV’s and Minivan’s motorized hatches; it does all the work (opening and closing) for you.

  • avatar
    lostjr

    The ES is a “luxury” car but you have to pay $740 for a package to get a backup camera, and $2600! for a package if you want navi! Basic versions of both should be standard.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      That’s exactly what entry level luxury cars are. Bimmer 3s don’t even have leather seating standard.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        BMW insults their customers by charging extra for things that are standard on basic cars.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Why is it insulting? It allows a lower base price if you don’t care about those things. I would have prefered the German vinyl that lasts forever with no maintenance over the leather that doesn’t, if I could have gotten it in more attractive colors. Ditto the manual seats – they have all the same adjustments as the power seats do, and feel the same. But in my case the leather was part of the free value package on the 328i Wagon, and the power seats ended up costing no more because the individual parts of the Premium package that I wanted would have cost more than the package as stand-alone options. But at least you have the option to have it your way.

        WAAAY more annoying is the Japanese practice of “Trim Levels”, to get that ONE thing you really want you have to get 15 that you don’t. Case in point, my Mom bought a Prius-V yesterday, only way to get heated seats is to get the top trim level, even though otherwise the middle level had everything she wanted and then some. So I will install aftermarket seat heat for her.

      • 0 avatar
        Roberto Esponja

        krhodes1,

        As someone who’s owned several vehicles with cloth, leatherette/mbtex and real leather interiors, I will attest to the fact that, while durable, leatherette/mbtex vinyl interiors are truly uncomfortable in very cold or very hot weather. Yes, they DO get way hotter than leather. When properly maintained, good quality leather will last for decades (most people don’t bother to maintain it, and that’s why it cracks). And I will keep on insisting that vinyl or imitation leather has no place on premium cars. The sad thing is, many people who buy these premium cars have no clue that a fake material has been foisted upon them.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @Roberto Esponja

        As have I. In my climate there is no difference – both are hot in the summer until the A/C cools the car off, and seat heaters deal with any winter issues – I won’t have a car without heated seats here. And if you think the sort of leather used in sub $50K cars in any way “breathes” I have a bridge to sell you. The stuff is impregnated and coated to the point it might as well be plastic. Which means treating it really doesn’t do much good either. MB-Tex might well be what the cockroaches build their houses out of after the apocalypse, the stuff is so durable.

    • 0 avatar
      bkmurph

      @lostjr, Some of us would rather use a Garmin (or comparable) nav unit on the winshield or dashboard, rather than being locked in to the manufacturer’s unit (at a higher cost, no less).

  • avatar
    suspekt

    The ES is a stunning design. Really is.

    I don’t know how Michael is giving the edge to the Azera but the ES is the most uniform application of the new Lexus design. Front to back and it works very very well.

    • 0 avatar

      While some designs are clearly great and others are clearly not, preferences between the new ES and Azera will come down to personal taste. I do think the Azera’s design is bolder, while the ES is more tasteful (the Hyundai’s rear haunches in particular are a bit much).

    • 0 avatar
      MBsam

      Stunning?! Wow, standards for beauty in this country are really slipping. The GS has far better proportions than this barge and I’m by no means a fan of the GS (not that I hate it, it’s just kinda dull).

      Opinions like “suspekt”s are what happen when you take the arts out of our schools people!

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    What’s the price differential vs a Genesis? Does that $8k difference between the two put the Lexus in the same league as the Hyundai’s big brother?

    • 0 avatar

      Good question. Given how options are packaged on the two cars, it’s very hard to similarly configure them without loading them way up. In this case, the Genesis 3.8 costs $5,400 less but includes about $2,600 less stuff, for a net difference of $2,800:

      http://www.truedelta.com/Hyundai-Genesis/price-777-2013/vs-ES-157-2013&audio_1=4397&body_1=4&pt_1=1211&tire_2=3890&audio_2=6763&body_2=4&pt_2=171&price_feature=3

      Now you’re going to wonder if Lexus ES money will get you the Genesis R-Spec. Yes, yes it will, with difference of $1,900 before adjusting for feature differences and $300 afterwards (you can’t get the latest gadgetry on the Genesis–it’s the oldest model in the Hyundai line).

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Had recently seen an ad for the Genesis @ $400/month lease with no money down.

      That is a no brainer.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        How much is the Lex in comparison? I really have no experience with Genesis, and IIRC they are two diff types of car (FWD vs RWD), but from what I have seen Lex ES type buyers would get snickered at pulling up in a Hyundai anything.

        I suppose if the Hyundai were something like half price its the better value buy, but as someone said above, Lex buyers enjoy the badge.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        “but from what I have seen Lex ES type buyers would get snickered at pulling up in a Hyundai anything.”

        — Actually a decent of no. of GS owners have switched to the Genesis and while it may be true of the typical Lexus ES buyer (know little about cars or about performance and handling), it would be the opposite when it comes to auto enthusiasts (more apt to snicker at an ES driver than a Genesis driver).

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      I doubt the Genesis R is typically cross shopped by Lexus ES buyers haha. Probably thanks to its 8 speed gearbox, the Genesis 3.8 matches the Azera in fuel economy so it’s not too far behind the Lexus despite delivering what I would guess is an equal if not superior driving experience as far as refinement, handling, and luxury feel of the car? I’d suggest that, as well as a Chrysler 300 for future comparisons to the Lexus.

      • 0 avatar
        Disaster

        We’ve had our Genesis for 3 years now. It’s been dead nuts reliable except for an oxygen sensor. Fuel economy is about 23 mpg mixed, 29 mpg highway. V6 has plenty of power that seems to build and build. It is deceptively quick and you have to watch your speed because it is so quiet and the power delivery so smooth. The one “fly in the ointment” is the ride. Our ’09 is oversprung and underdamped. Hyundai progressively made improvements but the latest model still isn’t as good as Lexus…or Ford for that matter. Still, every time I read a review of a new car I can’t help comparing it to the Genesis and thinking “I’d rather have a Genesis for that price.”

  • avatar
    fvfvsix

    As I look at the photos, I just can’t help but think “man, I really wouldn’t want to be driving that Hyundai in 15 years”. The swoopy ‘coupe-like sedan’ look on the Azera will age quickly, and it will really look bad ‘rimmed up’ on some buy here, pay here lot.

    Others may disagree, but I think Lexus finally has its “ES mojo” back after losing it with the 3rd generation cars. ESes are cars that you buy to keep in the long term stable. Older examples (late ’90’s) are still decently attractive on the road. My mother bought her second ES300 in 1997. Today, it still drives amazingly like a new car, and is still in the family.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Agreed the second gen ES300 is/was an attractive proposition. ES should distance itself from Camry in the styling dept though IMO, the first and third gen looked very cheap and ‘Camry’ to me. This one is a bit better but I still think it looks a bit plebeian.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Eh, while the grill design on the Azera isn’t the greatest, that gaping “Predator maw” on the ES isn’t attractive no matter how you slice it.

      And it doesn’t help that it is attached to what is otherwise a pretty mundane design so that makes for quite the clash in design.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “The Lexus ES is no longer based on the Toyota Camry. Instead, it’s now based on the upcoming Toyota Avalon…which is based on the Camry.”

    A Camry by any other name would still drive as beige.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    If you’re not convinced the ES is the coolest car EVAH, check out their tv spots. Lexus is continuing the “using booming dubstep music to sell banal products” trend started by Microsoft IE9.

    To be fair, I prefer the new “Du(ll)bstep” trend to the venerable trend of using indie rock with extensive xylophones and vulnerable sing-songy vocals. (Toyota still employs this for its Prius ads).

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    From the side view the new ES is a dull and blob like as it’s smaller brother which it looks too eerily similar to. The Azera has a more interesting exterior IMO. The exact opposite is true of the interiors with the Lexus looking a bit more upscale and warmer to the Hyundai’s dull black/silver Sonata look. It’s a shame because the Azera’s leather is actually very high quality and fit/finish inside are top notch and there is a lot of rear seat legroom and the seats are comfy for long trips. Hard to believe the Lexus still doesn’t use a split rear seat and that a backup camera are extra cost. Under 40K would buy a fully optioned 300C with more HP and torque than either of these cars tied to the 8 speed transmission with better highway mileage than the Azera a split rear seat which the ES lacks, more trunk space than the ES and more interior space than either with “right wheel drive” and superior handling thrown in.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Ponchoman, in Midwestern winters, “right wheel drive” gets you thrown in—into the nearest lamppost or ditch.

      The 300 interests me, but only with AWD.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        I’m glad I don’t live in such an unforgiving environment! In Western Canadian winters, the ability of a vehicle to stop and turn depends almost entirely on the tires, and the ability of the vehicle to stay on the road depends almost entirely on driver skill, regardless of tires.

        Unless you’re just talking about driving on slippery days with the cruise control on. I will concede that RWD isn’t good for that.

  • avatar

    #1 Hyundai will do ANYTHING to get a sale – even if it means knocking more than expected amounts of cash off the deal to ensure the sale.

    #2 I like the Azera, but it doesn’t offer enough to justify buying one over a Sonata 2.0T for the higher price if you don’t need the extra interior space.

    #3 If I had a choice between just these 2 cars and people complementing me on the brand name wasn’t an issue, I’d go with the Azera for the touchscreen navigation system over the ES’ annoying mouse interface. I’d only pick the Lexus “because it’s a Lexus”.

    At these prices shouldn’t the ES be compared to the Genesis V6?

    I could get an R-Spec Genesis loaded for the cost of that Lexus.

  • avatar
    slance66

    I think the ES could use a wagon version, but it would cannibalize the RX 350 I suppose. It’s a good looking car, and I enjoy the 3.5 V6 in my wife’s RX, but they really need to move to DI in the Lexus models at least, if not in the Toyotas. They need to get the MPG up to around 24/34. The new 328i with turbo 4 gets 23/34. I know they are not direct competitors, but the FWD Lexus is well behind.

  • avatar
    Spanish Inquisition

    It’s good to hear that the suspension has been fixed, because the 2010 ES’ suspension is unbearably wobbly and confidence uninspiring. I have half a mind to buy new springs and dampers to cure it of its ailment. And the comment about chirping the tires is also true. You can skid out just by stomping on the accelerator. And the leather… Is it really leather? They say its leather, but it handles a bit closer to soft pleather. Stick a finger nail in it, and it won’t hold an imprint. It’s a bit too cold and mechanical to the touch. Our 02 MDX had much better leather; softer, pliable, strong. And let me use another and here, and say that the brakes are the weirdest things I’ve ever had the misfortune of using. Strange power curve on those.

    The ES350 is an excellent car to be driven around in, otherwise. Quiet, smooth. Driving it is an exercise in patience though.

  • avatar
    BlackDynamiteOnline

    Until Hyundai has the maracas to build a luxury marque of it’s own, take the Lexus for a entry-luxury car.

    The People aren’t falling for the Azear’s swoopy look, as they have been selling less than 1000 units a month all year. Not a good sign for the future…..
    BD

  • avatar
    darex

    Just checked out the Azera at the car show. It is really an impressive step-up from the Sonata, and the impression of quality and luxury inside is very palpable. It proves that Hyundai can make as nice a car as the best of ‘em, once the appropriate price-threshold is surpassed.

    I think anyone looking at entry-level MB, BMW, Passat, Lexus, etc., really ought to check out this car. They will be pleasantly surprised.

    • 0 avatar
      BlackDynamiteOnline

      Matters not. The People have a problem spending $35k for a Hyundai. The brand is weak. Not thought of as high end automobile producer.

      That applies to the Equus (3k sales a year) and Genesis Sedan (Sells 15k a year) too.

      They need a new brand if they want to go upmarket. But they’re just scared…..
      BD

      • 0 avatar
        jayzwhiterabbit

        I agree. It seems foolish for Hyundai to keep coming up with otherwise credible luxury cars if they aren’t planning a separate luxury marque. It would be incredible expensive, but they have to look to the success of Lexus and, less so, Acura and Infiniti. A whole new dealer network would have to be formed with new brick-and-mortar sites, and that’s a ton of money to gamble with. Personally, I think it would work. They have three models ready to go: Azera, Genesis, and Equus. Actually four, because Genesis is two entirely different models.

        I think they were considering it more seriously before the worldwide economy tanked in ’08.

  • avatar
    BlackDynamiteOnline

    That’s my point. If they believed in themselves, it would work!

    They have the advantage of seeing a company like Lexus go from nothing to #1 in the business. And seeing companies like Acura and Infiniti not pan out. There is so much history to learn from just in the last 25 years.

    It was harder back when Lexus did it, because nobody had made new luxury car line in 50 years. Acura obviously wasn’t looking to take over the luxury car game. Lexus was.

    But it doesn’t matter if we think Hyundai could make a luxury marque. They don’t think so. They’re right, either way.

    Half of life is having the guts to be who you want to be. That’s really the hard part…..
    BD


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