Out on the road it doesn’t always seem that way, but there are lots of people who don’t prefer to be hauled around in cars on stilts (aka SUV/crossovers). Instead, they like the old-fashioned comfort of a luxurious, full-size sedan. That’s where the 2013 Hyundai Azera comes in.
After a short hiatus out of the market place, the Azera’s second generation appeared for model year 2012 as a competitor to the likes of the Buick LaCrosse, Toyota Avalon, Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus and others.
In the Hyundai hierarchy, it slots between the large-for-a-mid-size Sonata and the entry level Genesis luxury sedan.
It’s hardy to pick sides in the battle of the cruisers because all meet the expected standards of the market segment. But, I will say that the Azera checks in as a worthy alternative to its competitors.
So, let’s explore the 2013 Hyundai Azera from the outside in.
Like its predecessor, the 2013 Azera is handsome, benefiting from Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture” styling that sets it apart from the rest of the breed. I might have told the chrome guy to go a little easier on the hood accents and the stripe that runs across the bottom of the doors, but overall the Azera is a very good-looking sedan.
The Azera has plenty of room for up to five adults of most any size.. They will be ensconced in comfortable leather seats, surrounded by high-class materials, and treated to an excellent sound system and numerous convenience features.
Power is supplied by a new 3.3-liter V-6 engine with direct fuel injection. It generates 293 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. Teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission that offers manual control, it can propel the 3,800-pound sedan from a stop to 60 mph in a few ticks under 7 seconds.
The engine is smooth throughout its power range and particularly quiet out on the open road, adding to the feeling that it is a luxury sedan.
The EPA estimates fuel mileage at 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. In a week of driving split mostly between low-speed suburban roads and 70-mph highway cruising, I averaged between 22 and 33 mpg. The latter figure was obtained after pressing the “Econ” button that modifies shift points and throttle control for maximum efficiency.
There are no vehicles among the various full-size sedans that could be considered sporty so buyers can expect average driving dynamics from this front-wheel-drive sedan with independent suspension.