The Truth About Cars » Hyundai Azera http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:07:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Hyundai Azera http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Hyundai Azera May Be Full-Size Segment’s Next Victim http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/hyundai-azera-may-be-full-size-segments-next-victim/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/hyundai-azera-may-be-full-size-segments-next-victim/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 18:06:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=867738 It’s hard out here for a full-size car. Sales are declining on a consistent basis, as crossovers and falling demand for V6 and V8 non-premium sedans eats into the once-proud full-size segment. Talk of Ford killing off the Taurus seems to float around, while at least half of all sales in the broader segment seem to go […]

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It’s hard out here for a full-size car. Sales are declining on a consistent basis, as crossovers and falling demand for V6 and V8 non-premium sedans eats into the once-proud full-size segment. Talk of Ford killing off the Taurus seems to float around, while at least half of all sales in the broader segment seem to go to fleets. Market forces might claim their next victim in the form of the Hyundai Azera.

Autoblog reports that even Hyundai execs are open-ended about the car’s future prospects in America. While the Azera is a hit in its home market of South Korea, sales are declining in the United States, and lagging behind key rivals.

While Hyundai claims that there is a place for the Azera between the Sonata and Genesis, industry analysts we spoke to (on condition of anonymity, due to the proprietary data being shared) shows that among sedan buyers, take rates for V6 engines across the mid-size segment is continuously falling. The near-term trend is said to be the eventual phasing out of the V6, similar to what Hyundai already did with the Sonata. Right now, one of the key selling points for the Azera over the Sonata seems to be the V6 engine, but if that’s no longer a factor, then that further weakens the business case for importing them from South Korea.

If that weren’t enough, the Sonata is dimensionally identical to the Azera, while boasting better fuel economy. And buyers can also be pushed towards the V6 powered Santa Fe, which can meet their space and power needs while also boasting all-wheel drive and the possibility of more cargo and passenger capacity.

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Hyundai’s New Large Sedan – Not For Us http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/hyundais-new-large-sedan-not-for-us/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/hyundais-new-large-sedan-not-for-us/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 15:38:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=834081   Along with an updated version of the Grandeur (aka the Azera), Hyundai has revealed the new “AG” large sedan, which will be a flagship, but also slot below the Genesis and above the Grandeur. Technical specifications are unknown, but one thing is for certain: the AG will not be coming to North America. Hyundai […]

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Along with an updated version of the Grandeur (aka the Azera), Hyundai has revealed the new “AG” large sedan, which will be a flagship, but also slot below the Genesis and above the Grandeur.

Technical specifications are unknown, but one thing is for certain: the AG will not be coming to North America. Hyundai is apparently feeling the pinch from “import” brands in its home market of South Korea, and the AG is meant to be a response to growing sales from non-domestic brands.

According to Automotive News, free trade agreements have sent import sales skyrocketing, with German brands providing intense competition to local players. Overall, imports make up as much as 13 percent of South Korea’s car market, which was closed until 1987.

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Review: 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited (Video) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/review-2013-toyota-avalon-limited-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/review-2013-toyota-avalon-limited-video/#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 18:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=484895 The Avalon has been something of a caricature since it wafted on stage in 1994. The stretched Camry was low on soul, devoid of style and soft of spring. In short, it was the Buick that wouldn’t leave you stranded. Since then Toyota has struggled to divine a mission for their full size sedan, a […]

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The Avalon has been something of a caricature since it wafted on stage in 1994. The stretched Camry was low on soul, devoid of style and soft of spring. In short, it was the Buick that wouldn’t leave you stranded. Since then Toyota has struggled to divine a mission for their full size sedan, a problem complicated by the re-invigoration of the large sedan market by the American brands. In hopes of resurrecting sales numbers, which have slid to 25% of their 2000 year shipments, Toyota has injected something hitherto unseen in an Avalon: style. Is it enough?

Click here to view the embedded video.

Before we dive into the Avalon, let’s talk competition. Back when the LHS and Park Avenue roamed the land, the Avalon’s competition was easy to identify and easy to overcome. Nearly 20 years later those shoppers are in a nursing home and Toyota is hunting for younger flesh in a more competitive market. We now have the larger-than-ever Taurus, a new Impala that doesn’t make me want to put my eyes out, the Azera/Cadenza twins, Nissan’s Maxima and the less-Bentley aping 300.

But wait, I’m forgetting one. The “elephant in the room” that is the Lexus ES. You see, the kind of shopper that needs a new car and immediately thinks “Toyota Avalon” is far more likely to cross shop the Lexus ES than the gangsta 300 or the Impala. (You know I’m right.) After spending a a week with the twins back-to-back, this comparison is even more valid.

Exterior

While the “I’m a bigger Camry” look is still going on, Toyota has injected enough creases and curves that my 33 year old eyes gave the Avalon a second look (of course, I did buy a 2000 LHS new in 2000, so…) It’s not as exciting as the new Cadenza, but Toyota’s efforts look better thought out than the 11/10ths Cruze grille Chevy put on the Impala.

The new rump features more chrome, dual exhaust tips and tail lamps that wrap well around the side and thankfully share no styling cues with the Camry’s funky “apostrophe” shaped lights. The engineers stretched the greenhouse over the trunk to increase the visual length of the car, a trick that worked on me until I looked at the spec sheet. At 195 inches, the Avalon is 6-inches longer than the Camry, but it’s several inches shorter than the Chrysler, Chevy and Ford. Since the ES and Avalon are now twins separated at birth, most of the dimensions are common except that the Avalon gets a bigger booty (and more trunk space in the process) and has a lower ride height giving it a more aggressive stance.

Interior

The exterior looks like a Toyota product. No news there. Inside is a different ball of wax. The interior is why you may have heard people saying they prefer the Avalon to its Lexus sister. If you recall from our review of the Lexus ES 300h, there were plenty of hard plastics within reach of the driver, and instead of a leather dash (like the 300 wears) or stitched pleather goodness like the competition is wearing, the ES stuck with an injection molded dashboard “faux-stitched” with real thread. In an unexpected contrast, the Avalon’s interior has a more premium feel, thanks largely to heavy use of (you guessed it) stitched pleather. The faux-cow in the Avalon may not be hand-sewn (Toyota is mum on the subject) but its liberal use on the doors, dashboard and center console beat every competitor (except for that Chrysler with the leather dashboard option.)

My lunch group was divided about the styling, some feeling that Toyota had gone too far and the rest thinking it was a bold choice for Toyota. I fell into the latter camp. Yes, there’s an enormous driver’s window defogger vent (in the picture above), but I appreciate the fact that a styling direction was chosen rather than just repeating the same “beige” the Avalon has been known for. That a group of adults in their 30s were arguing the merits of an Avalon interior is nothing short of revolutionary.

Compared to the Avalon’s Lexus sister, the interior has a more expansive and harmonious feel despite the heavily styled parts. I think I chalk some of this up to the tan-on-black color scheme our tester sported, but plenty of it has to do with dashboard shapes. Lexus’ two-tier dashboard and the “high and centered” position of the infotainment screen make the dashboard feel more imposing than the Avalon’s sweeping forms and less “bulky” dashboard on the passenger’s side.

The front seats are functionally identical to those in the ES with the exception that the number of power-motions varies by the trim level. The thrones are thickly padded and comfortable for long journeys but larger shoppers should know that they are more “bucket” shaped than previous models. Taller drivers and passengers will appreciate the largest cabin Toyota has ever built, including the LS 600hL. With 42.1 inches of legroom up front, 39.2 in the rear, and class leading headroom, the Avalon swallows those tall kids of yours more easily than any front driver this side of the Cadillac XTS. How does Toyota do this with a shorter sedan? They “skimp” on trunk space. Our tester’s 16 cubic foot trunk is nearly 25% smaller than the Taurus and 18% smaller than the Impala.

Infotainment & Gadgets

The Avalon comes in four trim levels, three of which have no available options for the picking. Things start with the $30,990 XLE which comes well equipped with 8 speakers, a touchscreen audio system, Bluetooth integration, dual-zone climate control, keyless go, and a heated 8-way power seat for the driver. The $33,195 XLE Premium tosses in a moonroof, backup cam, an extra speaker, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. For $35,500 the XLE Touring adds navigation, shift paddles, driver’s seat memory, fog lights, 18-inch wheels with 225-width rubber, and Toyota’s Entune data services. Our tester was the top-of-the-line Limited which starts at $39,650 and gets auto-dimming side mirrors with puddle lamps, HID headlamps, 11 JBL speakers, rain sense wipers, three-zone climate control, heated rear seats, ambient lighting, a color HVAC control panel, and a passenger seat with eight powered directions instead of four. Limited buyers can further option their car with two technology packages, for $1,750 you get radar cruise control with pre-collision warning and automatic high beams and for an extra $200 Toyota will integrate a wireless charging mat into the console.

On the infotainment side it is important to remember that Toyota makes two different systems that share nothing with one another. The picture above is the 7-inch system in our Limited tester and the picture below is the 6.1 inch “display audio” system in lesser Avalons. The 6.1 system has more basic graphics but is more responsive and is designed around an “app” model where things like navigation (available only on the Touring trim) are just another “app” available via the “apps” button on the dash. The 7-inch system uses XM Satellite data services while the 6.1 uses your paired smartphone for dynamic content. The 6.1 provides a fairly basic navigation experience, but it is easy to use and very responsive. The 7-inch system (only on Limited) is the familiar Toyota/Lexus system that’s been around for several years that has been updated with Entune data services, smartphone app integration and voice commands for controlling your media device ala Ford’s SYNC. This is the same software used in the Lexus, except without the atrocious “Remote Touch” joystick.

Going back to the ES comparison, since the Limited model uses essentially the same system, driving the ES and Avalon back to back served to solidify my dislike of the Lexus pain stick. The exact same interface is considerably easier to use, less distracting and more intuitive when you can glance at the screen and stab the option with your finger.

Drivetrain

The 3.5L V6 is buttery-smooth, but churns out a less-than-thrilling 268 HP and 248 lb-ft of twist. For reasons I don’t understand, Toyota has yet to fit their D4-S direct-injection system which would make it more competitive on paper (the competition are all around 290 HP). (Ford of course still offers the insane 365HP twin-turbo V6.) Proving that horsepower isn’t everything, the Avalon’s light 3,461lbs curb weight allows it to scoot to 60 in 6.25 seconds, among the fastest in the group behind the 365 HP Taurus SHO and the 290 HP Maxima (thank the Nissan CVT). While we haven’t been able to get our hands on the new Impala, expect it to be fairly quick thanks to its low curb weight as well. Meanwhile the 300 V6, LaCrosse, Azera, MKS and plenty of others will be seen in the Avalon’s rear view mirror.

The only major change for 2013 is the fitting of paddle shifters to the 6-speed automatic transaxle in Touring and Limited trims. With the paddles comes revised software that blips the throttle on downshifts. Don’t get too excited, since this cog swapper is just as up-shift-happy and down-shift-resistant as it was before.

For $2,360 on XLE Premium and $1,750 on Touring and Limited you can opt for Toyota’s 200 HP hybrid system. This is the same setup under the hood of the Camry and ES 300h and increases the Avalon’s MPGs from 21/31/25 (City/Highway/Combined) to 40/39/40 resulting an a savings of $900 per year at $4 a gallon. The trade off is the loss of one full second on the run to 60, well worth the cost in my book.

Drive

For 2013 the Avalon has ditched the wallowy ride synonymous with the model in favor of stiffer springs and a more buttoned down demeanor. Thanks to the new found corner carving skills and a curb weight that is 600lbs lighter than the Taurus, the Avalon is more engaging, composed and nimble than the heavy Ford. Notice I didn’t say “handles better.” The reason the Taurus clings onto first place in our road holding test is down to rubber, seriously wide 255/45R19 rubber (Taurus Limited.)

The Hyundai Azera and its Kia cousin are well-priced alternatives. While the Avalon beats them handily in terms of interior refinement, the Koreans have plenty of power (293 HP) and coupled with a curb weight that’s only 150-200 lbs more than the Avalon they are quicker off the line. Thanks to more aggressive rubber and excellent suspension dynamics the pair is also faster around a track. Of course, shoppers in this segment don’t really care about handling limits and that’s a problem for the dynamic duo because their refinement quotient is still a notch below the new Avalon.

Nissan’s Maxima is fairly light at 3,565lbs and has one of the more powerful engines at 290 HP and 261 lb-ft of twist. Thanks to the low starting ratio and step-less nature of the Nissan CVT, the Maxima burns rubber on its way to the best 0-60 time in this bunch of 5.6 seconds. Of course I can’t talk Nissan without admitting that the CVT isn’t the “sporting” choice because of the “rubber-band” like feel they impart but I don’t think its much of a problem in this segment. On the down side, the Maxima is starting to show its age in a stable of products shifting to a new design language.

The Chrysler 300 is the odd man out. I’m including it because some of our readers would have complained if it had been left out. The problem is the 300 appeals to an entirely different sort of person, both because of its aggressive looks and its RWD drivetrain. Still, the 300 V6 would be my personal choice in this shootout, but I have to acknowledge that a bold RWD American sedan isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Chrysler’s smooth 292 HP V6 and the slick ZF 8-speed automatic are no match for the 300’s higher curb weight making the 300 slower to 60 by nearly a full second. Although I prefer the RWD dynamics of the 300, the heavier curb weight means the Avalon is the nimbler choice. On the flip side, the 300 Luxury Series (the most appropriate cross shop) has a gorgeous full-leather dash and the ride of a full-sized luxury sedan.

That brings us full circle to the elephant in the room: the 2013 Lexus ES. Our Avalon Limited tester has so far knocked the ES to its knees by delivering a better interior, nearly identical feature content, and an easier to use infotainment system. Of course, siblings fight dirty and the Avalon kicks her sister while she’s down by handling better thanks to stiffer springs and wider rubber. When you factor in the Avalon’s lower sticker price and the reality that the Avalon and ES are likely to be as reliable as one another and cost essentially the same to maintain, you have to ask yourself how much that Lexus logo is worth to you. Even outside the direct Toyota vs Lexus comparison the Avalon is highly competitive with an excellent interior, plenty of power, huge back seat and a price tag that isn’t as frightening as the “luxury” alternatives. I never thought I would say this about the Avalon: it’s the aggressive sister that knocks down her stuck-up twin and steals the boyfriend by promising to be a cheaper date. Since I like my women cheap and feisty, I’d take the Avalon up on her offer and only think about the ES once a year at family reunions.

 

Hit it

  • The best interior with a Toyota badge.
  • Never thought I would call an Avalon “nimble.”
  • “Better” than the Lexus for less.

Quit it

  • No ability to add navigation to the base display audio system.
  • 268 HP is nothing to brag about in 2013.
  • Smaller trunk than the competition.

 

Toyota provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.55 Seconds

0-60: 6.25 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 14.51 Seconds @ 98.8 MPH

Average Fuel Economy: 23.2 MPG over 534 Miles

2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Rear 3/4 View, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Side, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Front 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Wheels, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Daytime Running Lamps, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Headlamps, Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Front, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Front, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Front Overhang, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Rear, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Rear, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Avalon badge, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Rear, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Rear 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Trunk, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Gauges, Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Rear Climate Control, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Rear HVAC, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Door Stitching, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Passenger Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Front Door, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Steering Wheel Buttons, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Steering Wheel, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Heated and Cooled Seat Controls, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Memory Buttons, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Rear Seats, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Premium Navigation, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Premium Navigation, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Premium Navigation, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Premium Navigation, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Premium Navigation, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Premium Navigation, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Premium Navigation, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Infotainment and navigation, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, HVAC Controls, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, HVAC Controls, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Infotainment Controls, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Infotainment Controls, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Interior, Driver's Window Defigger Vent, Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Engine, 3.5L V6, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Engine, 3.5L V6, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Toyota Avalon Display Audio System with Entune and Navigation, Picture Courtesy of Toyota 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, Exterior, Front, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Chart Of The Day: Full-Size Sedan Freefall http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/chart-of-the-day-full-size-sedan-freefall/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/chart-of-the-day-full-size-sedan-freefall/#comments Thu, 21 Mar 2013 15:43:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=481933 Recent talk of Chevrolet attempting to convert the 2014 Impala from 75 percent fleet sales to 70 percent retail sales seemed like an improbable figure. Judging the success of any new car is a crapshoot for most of us, but one thing is for sure; the full-size sedan segment as a whole, is declining. Over […]

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Recent talk of Chevrolet attempting to convert the 2014 Impala from 75 percent fleet sales to 70 percent retail sales seemed like an improbable figure. Judging the success of any new car is a crapshoot for most of us, but one thing is for sure; the full-size sedan segment as a whole, is declining.

Over the past half decade, the full-size segment as a whole has been in serious decline. The number of product offerings for sale has been cut in half, from 15 to 7. IHS Automotive, an independent research firm, reports that full-size car sales have declined by 42 percent since 2006.

From a peak of 311,128 units in 2007, Impala sales have nearly been cut in half – and the fleet mix numbers suggest that Chevrolet is only selling about 50,000 units at retail. At the other end of the spectrum, the Hyundai Azera is barely moving the needle, consistently selling below 10,000 unts over the past few years. Impala sales will undoubtedly decline with the introduction of the 2014 model – there’s no way that Chevrolet can sustain current volumes if they plan to sell 70 percent of cars to retail customers. But even with sales of 100,000 units, it would still be the segment leader – though the Dodge Charger would be nipping at its heels.

However, an almost-certain reduction in government fleet spending could put a dent in the sales of both models. Sources in D.C. tell us that this could be as much as a 20 percent cutback, or about 100,00-120,000 vehicles. The current Impala, along with the Chrysler LX cars and the Taurus, are darlings of government fleets, and stand to lose the most from this sort of reduction. Meanwhile, the same source tells us that Chrysler is ramping up promotion of its fleet program, with Ram trucks and the LX cars as its main focus.

For many potential large car buyers (whether retail, government or private fleets), a CUV is a much more attractive vehicle, with similar fuel economy and comparable interior volume. For consumers, a CUV is often more appealing to their emotional side, while daily rental fleets can charge more for than a comparable sedan. In other cases, the CUV has a similar footprint but also offers a third row of seats and more cargo room. It’s not a coincidence that some major police departments, like the California Highway Patrol, are opting for the Ford Explorer-based Police Interceptor rather than the Taurus variant.

Speaking of the Taurus, another rumor making the rounds right now is that the Taurus won’t be back after this generation. Poor margins and difficulties during the development process meant that the Taurus has been scrapped part way through the development process, and Ford is content with the Fusion acting as its flagship sedan. If this situation holds true, that leaves Chevrolet and Chrysler as the vanguards of the large American sedan.

Even though rear-drive sedans have fallen out of fashion with most of Detroit, Chrysler seems to have made a business case for the continuation of the rear-drive platform. With Alfa, Chrysler and possibly Maserati sharing the next generation large rear-drive platform, Chrysler and Fiat will have both economies of scale and some high margin luxury vehicles on the same platform.

Previously, Chrysler had little exposure to Europe, Asia and other markets where big engines and a big footprint are seen as negatives. This allowed them to go it alone with the LX chassis and their larger V6 and V8 engines, since their main focus was the United States. Without Fiat, it would have been tough to continue down this road, but now that they can spread the technology across multiple brands and price points, the future of at least one family of full-size sedans is secure.

Furthermore, Chrysler could be in a good position to absorb the rear-drive sedan segment in Australia if GM and Ford walk away from their offerings. The rear-drive Ford Falcon has become a victim of the One Ford policy  while the Holden Commodore will apparently adopt the front-drive Epsilon II platform for its next iteration. The 300C and its SRT8 version are gaining a bit of a following in Australia, which is also becoming one of the SRT brand’s hottest markets. Despite the declining sales of the Falcon and Commodore, it would be nothing short of amazing to see both GM and Ford cede that market to a relative upstart that had almost zero presence in Australia just a decade ago.

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Comparison review: 2013 Lexus ES 350 vs. Hyundai Azera http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/comparison-review-2013-lexus-es-350-vs-hyundai-azera/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/comparison-review-2013-lexus-es-350-vs-hyundai-azera/#comments Tue, 25 Sep 2012 13:55:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=461509 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 […]

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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.

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ES front, picture courtesy Michael Karesh ES front quarter, picture courtesy Michael Karesh Azera front quarter, picture courtesy Michael Karesh ES side, picture courtesy Michael Karesh ES rear quarter, picture courtesy Michael Karesh ES rear quarter high, picture courtesy Michael Karesh ES interior, picture courtesy Michael Karesh ES instrument panel, picture courtesy Michael Karesh Azera instrument panel, picture courtesy Michael Karesh ES rear seat, picture courtesy Michael Karesh ES trunk, picture courtesy Michael Karesh ES engine, picture courtesy Michael Karesh Azera panoramic sunroof, picture courtesy Michael Karesh

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Review: 2012 Hyundai Azera (vs. LaCrosse and Taurus) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/review-2012-hyundai-azera-vs-lacrosse-and-taurus/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/review-2012-hyundai-azera-vs-lacrosse-and-taurus/#comments Tue, 29 May 2012 17:22:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=446613 Derek’s capsule review of the 2012 Hyundai Azera gave the car a resounding “meh”. My own impressions weren’t going to be quite so positive, but then something happened: I test drove the Buick LaCrosse and refreshed 2013 Ford Taurus. Suddenly a $37,000 Super Sonata didn’t seem such a bad way to go. (N.B. Photos of […]

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Derek’s capsule review of the 2012 Hyundai Azera gave the car a resounding “meh”. My own impressions weren’t going to be quite so positive, but then something happened: I test drove the Buick LaCrosse and refreshed 2013 Ford Taurus. Suddenly a $37,000 Super Sonata didn’t seem such a bad way to go.

(N.B. Photos of the Lacrosse and Taurus are in the gallery below)

At first glance, the new Azera looks much like the LaCrosse. The current fashion in semi-premium semi-large front-wheel-drive sedans pairs a high, rounded front clip with a roofline that cleanly sweeps all the way from a point far ahead of the driver to one near the trailing edge of an even higher decklid. Despite rear fenders whose convolutions recall late 50s American iron, the Azera is the sleekest and most athletically proportioned of the bunch (LaCrosse, 2013 Avalon, 2013 ES, 2013 MKZ). The Taurus? Compared to the others, it’s a throwback to a different era when sedans were composed of three distinct boxes. The Azera also has a strong family resemblance to the Sonata (and even the Elantra), but looks appropriately larger and more expensive.

The Azera’s interior isn’t quite a match for that of a Lexus ES. Compared to the Buick and the Ford, though, the Azera is a clear step (or three) up. Everything inside the big Hyundai looks and feels tight and precise. The leather on the seats has a soft, luxurious hand. Inside the Ford, the materials and secondary controls look and feel clunky in comparison. The 2013 refresh adds MyFord Touch complete with reconfigurable instruments, but otherwise left the interior largely untouched. Ford of Europe clearly had no role in this one. Inside the Buick, the dash-to-door fits are abysmal and the material used to mold the doors and dash doesn’t look enough like leather to pull off the embedded stitching (at least not in the tested tan). The Buick’s faux timber is even less convincing. This interior impressed just a couple of years ago, but today a Hyundai outclasses it.

Functionally, the Azera doesn’t fare quite as well. The shift knob’s piano black plastic gets hot in the sun. The Benz-like seat-shaped seat controls are too far forward on the doors. The center stack employs buttons for key audio and HVAC functions that would be much easier to operate with knobs. (No, a gigantic volume control knob isn’t sufficient compensation.)

My least favorite aspect of the Hyundai: the view forward from the driver seat. The rake and position of the windshield yield a header that’s overly close for comfort. The instrument panel flows upward over an awkwardly executed ridge to the base of the windshield. The trailing edge of the hood is higher still, such that from the driver seat you see little beyond the undersides of its uplifted corners. Pulling into a parking space involves far too much guesswork. (Forward obstacle detection would be very helpful, but isn’t offered.) Trimming even an inch from the cowl height would work wonders. Yet the Azera’s windows only seem small until you drive one of the others. The Buick has an even deeper instrument panel and what must be the widest A-pillars in sedandom. The Ford, nine inches longer, three inches wider, and three inches taller, but with no more room in the front seat, feels like a massive bunker on wheels.

Unless you’re bothered by forward-positioned headrests (I am) the Azera’s front seats are comfortable and supportive. Those in the Buick and Ford feel smaller, less luxurious, and less tailored. The rear seat of the Azera, like that of the Buick, is ideal for tall people who have most of their height in their legs. Despite the Ford’s much larger exterior, it provides much less space for rear seat passengers to stretch out. But it does have the largest trunk, 20 cubic feet to the Azera’s 16. In this last area the LaCrosse is the clear loser even in V6 form. The eAssist’s 10-cube trunk could be a deal-killer.

Most cars in this class are motivated by 3.5- or 3.6-liter V6 engines. The 2011 Azera straddled the norm, offering both a 260-horsepower 3.3 and a 283-horsepower 3.8. For 2012 the 3.8 is reserved for the rear-wheel-drive Genesis, but the 3.3 gets direct injection, a bump to 293 horsepower, and a cover styled to make it appear longitudinally mounted (well to the right of center). Hyundai’s engines generally underperform their specs, but paired with a six-speed automatic the 3.3 feels sufficiently torquey off the line. Spurred over 4,000 rpm it moves the big sedan plenty quickly and sounds far more upscale than the Sonata’s turbo four in the process. The Buick and Ford V6s are about as quick, but the latter is far less refined in sound and feel. (I actually drove the Buick with eAssist this time around. It’s inexcusably sluggish for a $30,000+ car. Combine this with the tiny trunk, and I’m surprised they sell any.) My largest gripe with the Hyundai’s performance: power delivery sometimes included the sort of surges and lulls more often experienced with a boosted engine.

With the smallest engine and lowest curb weight, the Azera delivers the best fuel economy of the three: 20 city 29 highway vs. 17/27 for the Buick and 19/29 for the Taurus. The big Hyundai’s trip computer reported slightly better figures in my driving, low twenties in the suburbs and 31 on a highway run to the airport. Acceptable numbers, but not the company’s best effort.

Hyundai took its biggest risk with ride quality. The Azera’s suspension tuning, though not as aggressive as that of an Acura TL or Nissan Maxima, is considerably firmer and more tightly damped than that in the Buick and especially the Ford. On most roads the Hyundai’s ride feels smooth and composed, but on others it sounds thumpy and feels lumpy. The Technology Package’s lower profile 19-inch wheels probably don’t help. The suspension especially struggles with expansion joints and other lane-spanning road surface imperfections. The Azera’s steering is heavier than the systems in the Buick and Ford (but has a few degrees of off-putting on-center slack). Do these differences deliver a sportier driving experience? Relatively speaking, yes, but the end result feels close but not quite there. I’d rather drive the Azera than the LaCrosse or the Taurus, but it’s not fun the way a Maxima or TL can be. (Granted, the TL I tested had the unfair advantage of SH-AWD and the Maxima had a sport package.) Unlike the Buick, Ford, and Acura, the Azera is not available with all-wheel-drive.

Derek had a big issue with wind noise. Perhaps because my ears are older, I noticed only a little, in the vicinity of the windshield header at highway speeds. I noticed more road noise, but not much of this on most roads, either. There are quieter cars in the class, but the Hyundai is in the ballpark and generally oozes upscale sedan.

The tested car’s $36,875 list price included the $4,000 Technology Package (19-inch wheels, huge panoramic sunroof, Xenons, uprated audio, cooled front seats with memory and thigh extension for the driver, sunshades, cool blue interior ambient lighting, rear obstacle detection). Pretty steep for a front-wheel-drive Hyundai, yet very reasonable compared to competitors. Based on TrueDelta’s car price comparison tool, a similarly loaded LaCrosse is about $3,700 more before adjusting for feature differences and about $2,400 more afterwards. The Taurus might seem out of place in this group, but it’s priced about even with the Buick. A Toyota Avalon is priced even higher. An Acura TL is about seven grand more than the Hyundai (after a $1,650 adjustment in the Azera’s favor for feature differences), and a Lexus ES 350 is about eight.

But what about the Sonata? Why pay a lot more for a couple more inches of wheelbase (all of which goes into rear legroom), a couple more cylinders, an upgraded interior, and snazzier styling? Well, you won’t pay a lot more, at least not if you can live without the Technology Package’s panoramic sunroof and high-watt audio system. A Sonata 2.0T Limited with nav undercuts the otherwise similarly equipped base Azera by a mere $1,705.

The new Hyundai Azera isn’t perfect. It would benefit from a lower cowl, less intrusive headrests, more polished powertrain programming, less on-center slack in its steering, and a less lumpy ride. But it mostly suffers from being so good in most ways that you wonder why it couldn’t be a little bit better. What direct competitor is actually better? Compared to the Buick LaCrosse and Ford Taurus, the Azera is superior in nearly every way. It’s not as sporty as an Acura TL or Nissan Maxima, but it seems more luxurious and upscale than either. It’s not quite as luxurious as a Lexus ES, but it’s also priced below a Toyota. If fact, it’s not priced much higher than a loaded Sonata. Anyone considering one of these cars should also check out the Azera.

Carol Moran-Charron of Art Moran Buick in Southfield, MI, provided the LaCrosse. She can be reached at 248-353-9000.

Frank Cianciolo of Avis Ford in Southfield, MI, provided the Taurus. He can be reached at 248-226-2555.

Michael Karesh owns and operates TrueDelta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data.

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Azera front quarter, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Azera side, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Azera rear quarter, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Azera interior, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Azera instrument panel, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Azera rear seat, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Azera engine, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Azera engine undressed, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Azera view forward, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Azera view rearward, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Azera panoramic sunroof, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Azera A-pillar interior, photo courtesy Michael Karesh LaCrosse side, photo courtesy Michael Karesh LaCrosse interior, photo courtesy Michael Karesh LaCrosse eAssist trunk, photo courtesy Michael Karesh LaCrosse A-pillar, photo courtesy Michael Karesh LaCrosse dash-to-door fit, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Taurus front, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Taurus side, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Taurus interior, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Taurus rear seat, photo courtesy Michael Karesh Taurus trunk, photo courtesy Michael Karesh

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Capsule Review: 2012 Hyundai Azera http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/capsule-review-2012-hyundai-azera/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/capsule-review-2012-hyundai-azera/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 16:57:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=432868 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 […]

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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.

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail 2012 Hyundai Azera. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler. Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch Hyundai Las Vegas Media Launch 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera 2012 Hyundai Azera

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Choose Your Cruiser: 2011 Azera or 2011 Avalon? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/02/choose-your-cruiser-2011-azera-or-2011-avalon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/02/choose-your-cruiser-2011-azera-or-2011-avalon/#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2010 23:49:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=344997 Hyundai and Toyota have done the math, and they know Americans almost always prefer big, crude and comfortable over slick, trim and stylish. In hopes Impala-ing this fat part of the mid-sized sedan market, Toyota and Hyundai have refreshed their Avalon and Azera sedans for 2011, and the results are… well, frankly, we can’t tell.

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Hyundai and Toyota have done the math, and they know Americans almost always prefer big, crude and comfortable over slick, trim and stylish. In hopes Impala-ing this fat part of the mid-sized sedan market, Toyota and Hyundai have refreshed their Avalon and Azera sedans for 2011, and the results are… well, frankly, we can’t tell.

2011avalon 2011avalon1 2011avalon2 2011azera 2011azera1 2011azera2 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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