Reporting Vinnie Richichi
PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA)– We already know that Hyundai can build a pretty spectacular small car but how do they do when they dip their toes into the luxury end of the pool? If the Hyundai Azera that I recently put through its paces is any indication, they swim pretty good at the deep end.
The Azera is built to run with the Buick Lacrosse, Ford Taurus, Acura TL class of car as the first sniff of a nice car. You are not on Easy Street yet but you could be on the way there.
From the outside the Azera has a unique style with two distinct flowing lines running from front to back. The grillework is muted and the headlamps with LED lamps round out the front of the car nicely. Outside, rear view mirrors have turn indicators in them and the roof line makes you think of Audi with a bit of and upward tilt toward the back. The Azera benefits from the Hyundai panoramic sunroof which with the comfortable heated seats and clear nights I took full advantage of.
Inside the front seats are quite comfortable with the adjustment controls on the doors ala Mercedes. The dash is high quality and styled with a two tier look. Controls are logical, well placed and the Navigation/Entertainment screen and Bluelink system that has a ton of really cool features that are easy to use. Seats are cooled and heated in the front, have good support and were extremely comfortable on a quick one day round trip to Washington DC. Rear seat legroom was excellent although in and out for the rear seat might be a bit tough for taller people due to the roofline. Sunshades were a nice touch. Trunk cargo space was voluminous.
The Azera had plenty of get up and go even loaded thanks to its double overhead cam 3.3 Liter V6 and 6 speed automatic that delivers 293 hp and 255 lb ft of torque…amounts that give you comfort while driving down the highway and confidence in the passing lane. The 6 speed is a lot of fun to slip into manual mode and dictate the shift points around a country road. I kept reaching for shift paddles though!
Handling down that country road strikes me as quite nice…comfortable luxury car with a solid feeling ride. Steering gets the job done in that it points the car where you want it to go with a minimum of effort and not a lot of road feel.
The Azera I drove with the Tech Package that included 19 inch alloy wheels, ambient lighting, rear parking sensors, Infinity Premium entertainment system and lots more stickered at $36,875. Gas mileage figures are 20 city 28 highway mpg with a combined figure of 23. I got close to 21 combined in my week of driving the Azera not using the ECO mode which Hyundai says can give you a 7 percent savings in gas mileage. The Azera is a top Safety Pick of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and comes with a 10 year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty
The 2013 Hyundai Azera is a well styled, attractive, roomy, comfortable upper end family sedan. While it has a lot of techie stuff it isn’t going to park itself, plug itself in, massage you, cool your drink or open the trunk when you kick the rear bumper. It was an enjoyable car to drive on a long road trip to Washington DC and back in one day which can be brutal in some cars. It was equally impressive on the backroads and city streets.
If you can live without the high high tech stuff it’s a great choice to make that jump into the luxury pool.
For more information on Hyundai’s Azera click here: https://www.hyundaiusa.com/vehicles/2013/azera/?
Reviews, news about cars and the people who drive them, interviews and tips on how to get more out of your driving experience all on Drivetime with Vinnie Richichi and Rob Pratte Saturday mornings 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Newsradio 1020 KDKA. Also listen to Vinnie on The Vinnie and Cook Show Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.