Azera loaded with features, good on gas
By Mike Mathes
The 2012 Hyundai Azera

If you like a roomy sedan, with loads of standard features, the new second-generation Hyundai Azera is worthy of your attention.

The 2012 Azera is loaded with features, starting with a great fuel-economy power plant in its 3.3-liter, direct injection V6 engine.

Azera has plenty of get-up-and-go from the start line, and you can feel the horses under the hood ready at the beckon for a burst while passing. In short, Azera has all the acceleration you need for around-town driving, and plenty of giddy-up for comfortable cruising on the interstate.

Azera’s six-speed transmission roamed through the gears admirably, allowing for smooth and quick transitions for the driver and riders alike.

As always, drivers appreciate a vehicle like Azera, which boasts best-in-class power output to boot. And, the front wheel drive is not only responsive, but should be a plus for Wisconsin drivers who have to contend with slick winter driving conditions.

Sleek design

With its sleek, streamlined angles, the Azera looks like a stylish big brother to the popular Sonata. In fact, sales consultant Phil Aiello of Van Horn Hyundai labeled the Azera a “Sonata on steroids.”

“It’s a spanking new car and a pretty exciting one at that. We have only had them available for three or four weeks.

The standard feature package includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED accent lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a navigation system, a rearview camera, BlueLink telematics and a seven-speaker CD player with satellite radio, USB/auxiliary audio inputs and iPod integration.

The safety-minded Azera has already earned accolades for its safety features. Added as standard in the Azera is a ninth air bag, designed to cushion the knees of passengers in case of sudden impact.

Options available

While the standard package starts around $32,000, motorists considering the Azera can lick their chops over a stylish set of options to give their new vehicle even more of an upscale feel.

Options for the Azera include Options include 19-inch wheels, xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, a sunroof, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver seat memory functions, a power rear sunshade, manual side sunshades, ventilated front seats and an Infinity 12-speaker premium audio upgrade.

And, the sunroof isn’t just one of those little cutouts. It’s a full panoramic roof, comparable to the one on the sporty Hyundai Veloster.

Rated as one of the most fuel efficient sedans in its class, Azera boasts a 29 mile per gallon fuel efficiency on the open road and 20 miles per gallon in the city.

Since I usually cruise in my vehicle with XM radio or an iPod in play, Azera seems to fit all those needs and more.

But when test driving, I always look for quiet and comfort, and on both of those qualities Azera scores high.

You might say taking a spin in the Azera was as comfortable as a ride in my very own desk chair. The roominess of the sedan, including ample head room which is always a concern for drivers with bigger frames, offered that comfort comparison.

Indeed Azera was pleasurable ride, and with all it’s other features, a worthy entrant into the competitive sedan market.

Overall, if you are looking for a sedan that offers comfort, luxury, safety and value, the Hyundai Azera should be one of your first considerations.