Hyundai?s Azera debuted as an all-new premium, large four-door sedan, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2012. The Azera was positioned between Hyundai’s Sonata and Genesis models, and became the fifth Hyundai vehicle to adopt the company?s graceful ?Fluidic Sculpture? design philosophy – a modern, sleek, sophisticated style that creates the illusion of smooth, constant motion, taking its inspiration from the mechanics of flight. For the 2015 model year, the Hyundai Azera will continue to be powered by Hyundai’s 3.3-liter DOHC, 24-valve Lambda II GDI V6 with CVVT, generating 293 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 255 pound feet of torque at 5,200 rpm. The engine is positioned forward in a transverse orientation and its driving force is delivered to the front wheels through an electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission with an OD lockup torque converter, shift lock and ShifTronic? manual shift mode.
The 2013 Azera was the first Hyundai V6 equipped model to achieve a 30 mpg highway EPA rating, with better claimed fuel efficiency than Buick’s V6 LaCrosse, Ford’s Taurus and Nissan’s Maxima, and a best-in-class specific output of 88.8 horsepower per liter.
The 2015 Hyundai Azera comes with nine standard airbags, including a driver?s knee and rear side impact airbags; an impact-reducing front seat system, standard alphabet soup of safety fare – VSM, ESC, TCS, ABS with Brake Assist and EBD and best-in-class head and leg room for front-seat passengers. There are HID Xenon headlights with LED accents along with a segment-exclusive standard navigation system with rearview camera. A leather interior with heated front and rear seats is standard, and there’s a Bluetooth hands-free phone system with voice recognition and streaming audio, standard Blue Link telematics platform, a segment-first manual rear side window sunshades, a Panoramic sunroof and ventilated front seats.
The Hyundai Azera delivers an EPA estimated combined fuel economy of 22 mpg, and there?s an Active Eco Mode that modifies engine and transmission control, contributing to enhanced fuel economy.
The Azera represents a modern approach to traditional large sedan production by utilizing an advanced powertrain, an emotionally stirring design and luxurious features as part of Hyundai?s value philosophy. The Azera is long, light and low, with the exterior displaying a unique, undulating beltline that enhances the effect of the sleek roofline, which is accented by the third window aft and wraparound LED taillamps.
The monoform profile displays flowing lines as well, with the athletic stance supported by available 19-inch, multi-spoke alloy wheels. The Azera?s face showcases a masculine look with its bold, powerful chrome grille and precisely detailed HID headlamps. The exterior?s appealing persona is continued in the interior with its elegant, upscale ambience, highlighted by the flow-through center console fascia and instrument panel. Leather is standard in the roomy cabin that provides more than 45-inches of legroom along with 40 inches of headroom. An optional panoramic sunroof allows more natural light into the sumptuous cabin surroundings, with side shades providing additional privacy. Seating accommodations are akin to airline First Class seating and the driver?s seat has an optional cushion extension and a memory system for the seat, steering wheel and side mirrors. Heated front and rear seats are standard equipment, as is the cooled glove box. There are also optional ventilated front seats with fans located in both the cushion and back.
Advanced connectivity via Hyundai BlueLink steps up to keep vehicle occupants in touch and informed while on the go via a standard navigation system featuring a 7-inch screen.
My test 2015 Hyundai Azera was a Limited model and sported a Diamond White Pearl exterior with a Black interior featuring faux carbon fiber trim. The base Price was set at $38,200 while the carpeted floor mats and Inland Freight and Handling charge elevated the final tally to $39,220.
SUMMARY: The 2015 Hyundai Azera sedan continues as a breath of fresh air, not only in terms of its Fluidic Sculpture design appeal, but also in its performance capability. The appearance eschews elegance and luxury at a glance – no boring cookie-cutter styling here folks.
The appeal of the new 2015 Hyundai Azera is significantly enhanced with the addition of standard Blind-spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning and Automatic High Beam Assist standard on Limited models.
Exterior design changes include: a redesigned grille and front and rear bumper fascias; a new 18-inch alloy wheel design; new LED fog lights available on Limited model, and a new standard hands-free Smart Trunk opener.
Interior enhancements and technological improvements consist of: a standard 8-inch color LCD navigation and audio display; new navigation/multimedia system features, including: Enhanced Google? Point-of-Interest search, Pandora? capability, Apple? ?Eyes Free? Siri? integration with voice-command recognition, HD Radio? capability, Navigation with Music split-screen display capability and junction lane guidance; SiriusXM? Travel Link? with traffic, sports, weather, stocks, fuel prices, movie times, additional multi-cultural channels and recording capability; Blue Link? next-generation telematics system function; Wi-Fi? client available for Apps; a new center stack design and new standard illuminated door sill plates.
The 3.3-liter V6 cranks out more than enough power to satisfy the majority of driver’s needs and requirements, while still delivering impressive fuel economy for a full size sedan. The ride quality delivered is that normally expected from only an all-out sport luxury-class automobile. Handling characteristics provide a spirited feel across the board, with stability and feedback hitting the high notes. The 2015 Hyundai Azera Limited is efficient, luxurious and attractive, and while It?s not a Hyundai Equus, it serves up a sumptuous and more affordable alternative.
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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Hyundai Azera Limited Sedan [/wptabtitle]
|Price as Tested:||$39,220.|
|Engine Type and Size:||3.3-liter DOHC, 24-valve Lambda II GDI V6 with CVVT.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||293 @ 6,400 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||255 @ 5,200 rpm|
|Transmission:||Electronically controlled six-speed automatic with OD lockup torque converter, shift lock and ShifTronic® manual shift mode.|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.|
Front – MacPherson independent strut SACHS ASD shock absorbers and 24 mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-link SACHS ASD shock absorber and 17 mm stabilizer bar.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted, dual diagonal, split circuit four-wheel discs with four channel and four-sensor ABS, EBD and TCS.|
|Tires:||Hankook Optima P245/40 R19 94V mounted on 5-“V”-spoke Hyper Silver painted alloy wheels.|
|Length Overall:||193.3 inches|
|Curb Weight:||3,684-3,871 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||18.5 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||19 mpg city / 28 mpg highway|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested.|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.