Hyundai's full-size sedan adds an optional navigation system and a few more standard features for 2008. The midlevel SE trim level has been put out to pasture, leaving the base GLS and top-shelf Limited. The Azera competes with large sedans like the Toyota Avalon, Chrysler 300 and Buick Lucerne.
The Azera features graceful four-door lines that the automaker says are aerodynamically efficient. The Azera debuted for the 2006 model year; in the middle of 2007, Hyundai added a base GLS trim level with a smaller 3.3-liter V-6.
The Azera Limited carries a 3.8-liter V-6 with 263 horsepower, which is a big boost over the output in the XG350, which the Azera replaced. Standard safety features across the line include eight airbags and an electronic stability system.
Available luxuries include a powered tilt/telescoping steering column, a powered rear sunshade and leather upholstery.
The Azera's large trapezoidal grille has horizontal bars and incorporates a Hyundai logo in the center. Wide headlight units wrap around into the front fenders. Clear-lens rectangular fog lamps sit low on the front bumper. GLS sedans have body-colored side moldings, while Limited editions have turn signals integrated into the side mirrors.
Built on a 109.4-inch wheelbase, the Azera measures 192.7 inches long overall, 72.8 inches wide and 58.7 inches tall. The Azera's fully independent suspension uses double wishbones at the front and a multilink configuration at the rear. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard on both the Limited and GLS, the latter an upgrade from the 16-inchers last year. The full-size spare tire is mounted on an alloy wheel. A power sunroof is standard on the Limited sedan and optional on the GLS.
The Azera can seat up to five occupants. Each model's 60/40-split folding rear seatback includes dual cupholders and storage space.
Standard amenities include dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats, a manual tilt/telescoping steering column with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote keyless entry, a digital clock, a console armrest and cruise control. A power rear sunshade, electroluminescent gauges, leather seating surfaces and heated front seats go into Limited models; the latter two items are optional in the GLS.
The Limited sedan also opens up a gamut of options, including a powered tilt/telescoping steering column, rain-sensing wipers, power-tilting side mirrors and power-adjustable pedals. For 2008, a navigation system with a 12-speaker, six-CD surround-sound audio system is optional. It's Hyundai's first navigation system. Limited models without the navigation option have a 10-speaker, six-CD stereo; the audio system in the GLS has a single-disc player and six speakers.
Under the Hood
The Azera GLS has a 3.3-liter V-6 that produces 234 hp and 226 pounds-feet of torque. The Azera Limited has a 3.8-liter V-6 that makes 263 hp and 257 pounds-feet of torque. With either engine, the standard five-speed automatic transmission incorporates Shiftronic for manually selectable gear changes.
The Azera's complement of airbags includes seat-mounted side-impact airbags for both the front and rear and roof-mounted side curtain airbags. Active front head restraints are standard. All-disc antilock brakes incorporate electronic brake-force distribution. An electronic stability system and traction control are standard.
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