November 28, 2007
Edmunds.com spent 12 months and 18,000 miles with the 2007 Hyundai Azera Limited. This is the most luxurious car from Korea yet, a front-wheel-drive sedan equipped with the kind of luxury amenities that used to be the exclusive signature of Lexus. The Azera looks the part, thanks to voluptuous sheet metal that makes you forget all about Hyundai's cheap-and-cheerful image. And yet the story of the Azera is all about value, just like every other Hyundai. Our long-term test taught us that there are both good and bad things about value.
Why We Bought It
Hyundai first introduced the 2006 Hyundai Azera as a replacement for the XG, the Korean company's previous luxury sedan. Based on the platform of the Hyundai Sonata, the Azera represented a kind of breakthrough in prestige for Hyundai. And when the 2007 Hyundai Azera arrived with a number of minor updates, we took the opportunity to add an example to our long-term fleet.
Our full test of the Azera made it clear that this sedan is the best bang for the buck in its segment. Of course, we've become accustomed to Hyundai's ability to deliver more for less in almost every vehicle category. The important question here for us would be to evaluate whether this strategy could be effective in a luxury vehicle. Could the Azera provide everything we expected of a luxury car, from features to ride quality? Reliability and durability are also part of the luxury-car equation, as the success of Lexus has demonstrated.
Would the 2007 Hyundai Azera lose its edge over the competition after its affordable-luxury recipe had been tested daily for 12 months? We would find out.
November 14, 2007
With so much emphasis put on sport sedans, their big wheels, short sidewalls, and impressive slalom speeds approaching, and in some cases, eclipsing those of outright sports cars, I found more than a little comfort driving the Hyundai Azera home last night. Sometimes, a pillowy ride is just the right thing. Remember when a cushy, all-smothering ride was once the thing that separated a good car from a cheap car? Tastes do change, but maybe we took a wrong turn.
Don't get me wrong; I love a 70-mph blast through the cones. It absolutely amazes me what's possible these days. Yet I couldn't help but notice how my shoulders relaxed, my grip loosened, and my attitude changed within about five minutes behind the wheel of the Azera. I then realized the Azera isn't about how stiff a car can be and still get away with a decent ride, but how comfortably the car rides while still achieving decent handling numbers. The last time we tested this car, it weaved through the cones at 62.6 mph. That's still better than a bunch of current sedans and even a couple sporty coupes.
November 13, 2007
Our 2007 Hyundai Azera is finishing up its stint in our long-term fleet. We've had some tangles with a hard-to-clean leather seat and a fallen-apart mirror but for the most part we've had warm thoughts about this car. A lot of us were surprised by its lux features "for a Hyundai" -- seat heaters, refined door jambs, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and a wood-accented interior -- and how comfortable it was to drive. While others felt like there were some quality issues that still needed to be addressed... Keep an eye out for a future wrap-up to see if this car will be missed.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 18,449 miles
November 09, 2007
Once in a while my back likes to play tricks on me and stops bending. That's one of the reasons I like seat heaters so much.
All this week when I woke up in the morning, my back has been nice and inflexible. But the 5-level seat heaters in the Azera really help.
They warm the seat backs as well as the cushions. So by the time I get to the office, I feel a lot better.
I wish my desk chair had seat heaters. And my couch. And my kitchen chairs. And...
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 18,250 miles
November 01, 2007
I just spent a week with our Long Term Azera, capped off with a road trip from Long Beach to Las Vegas. It's a very good highway car. The engine is smooth and willing which makes hills and passing a breeze.
The stereo is also very good but there's no AUX jack - I had to use a cassette adaptor to listen to my iPod.
Other than that, the long stretches of open road flew by smooth and silent.
Brian Moody, Road Test Editor @ 18,111 miles.
October 15, 2007
This weekend we found ourselves at the local Scandinavian furniture retailer (you know the one) looking for furniture that would make us appear more stylish and organized. Alright, so we went for the cheap hot dogs and pickled herring. But, as luck would have it, we also ended up buying some furniture.
As expected, everything we bought came in a series of flat-pack boxes. Upon wheeling the cart full of boxes out to the car, I realized that I might have made my life a little bit more difficult by bringing our long term 2007 Hyundai Azera along for the ride. Because the boxes weren't that bulky I was sure I could fit everything in the car, but I wasn't sure I could fit all that Scandinavian sensibility in the trunk. These days, trunks just never seem to hold what you think they should what with all their braces, sound equipment and wheel arches taking away a lot of usable space.
It's not the end of the world, but I'm not real big on having nearly 200 pounds of unsecured fiberboard and glass furniture floating around inside the cabin with me, but I didn't think I'd have a choice.
I figured I'd start with the trunk and once that was full, I'd stuff the rest in the back seat and hit the road. When I stopped I was surprised to see that there was still a little room left in the trunk. I thought about going back into the store to get some more herring, but decided to shut the trunk before it all fell out and headed for home.
The trunk in the Azera is enormous. Whatever the engineers did to keep the rear suspension and chassis odds and ends from robbing valuable cargo space really worked. There's tons of room and there's no need to be a Tetris wizard to pack the trunk full of stuff. Kudos, Hyundai.
Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 16,924 miles
October 01, 2007
On Saturday morning, the passenger-side mirror on our 2007 Hyundai Azera decided to take a more relaxed approach to its role in life. A week or two ago, an editor mentioned that the side mirror had come loose while the car was in her care; she told us that she'd remedied the situation by popping the mirror back into place. We huffed and puffed and slammed the door really hard a few times, but we weren't able to duplicate the problem.
However, the issue returned on Saturday. It seemed to have taken place overnight; I noticed it first thing in the morning. Maybe the mirror just wanted to take things easy over the weekend.
I was able to nudge the mirror back into place. It's power-adjustable, and that feature wasn't compromised. The issue will no doubt surface again, though; we'll have the dealership take a look during our next service visit.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @16,580 miles
September 24, 2007
Here's a simple device that made grocery hauling (not shown) better this weekend. It kept my milk from floating around in the trunk.
Why don't all cars have one of these?
Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor @ 16,347 miles
September 13, 2007
So remember that post I did complaining about our 2007 Hyundai Azera's non-popping trunk lid? Well, Hyundai PR called me up to explain that the key fob's button is designed to do just that: unlock and release the trunk lid. He said that the lid doesn't "fling open" because that's how it is in "refined cars." "Well, I'm not expecting it to fling open...nowadays cars can pop the lid even a little bit," I responded. But he reiterated how since it's a "refined" car it's not going to "fling" the lid open and hit you in the chin, like car trunk lids used to do in the old days.
Also, he said it's a safety issue, as Jaymagic had mention in the comments of the other post, if you do hit the button accidently, the lid won't fling open leaving all your cargo exposed to the world. So there you have it.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor
September 11, 2007
I had my arms full when I made my way to our long-term 2007 Hyundai Azera last night, so I was happy to see on the key fob that it had a trunk release button. Unfortunately, when I pressed it while walking toward the car, nothing happened. I pressed it again. The trunk lid didn't even budge. But when I dropped my bags to try and open the lid, it was already open, just barely.
So the trunk release only unlocks the trunk, it doesn't pop it open for you. I guess I'm really spoiled, but most cars I've experienced that have the trunk release button usually at least open the trunk lid for you, even a little bit. All I need is a little opening so that I can fling it open with my elbow or foot if my hands are full. Can't do that if the lid is still closed. Might as well just get rid of that extra button on the key fob since the unlock button will do the same thing.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor