Mildly updated for 2011, the Hyundai Azera gets updated bumpers, some new interior trim, increased engine power and better gas mileage. The front-wheel-drive sedan offers a 3.3-liter or 3.8-liter V-6, both mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission. Competitors include the Toyota Avalon, Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Impala.
Like before, the Azera's trim levels include the GLS and Limited.
Up front, the headlights have a more definitive look than those on the 2010 Azera. The lower bumper adopts an air dam similar to Hyundai's Genesis Coupe. The side mirrors have been reshaped, and the tail has new LED taillights and reshaped tailpipes. The alloy wheels also have a new design.
Standard exterior features on the GLS include dual exhaust pipes, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights and heated, body-colored side mirrors. Limited models add 17-inch wheels, additional chrome trim and power-folding side mirrors with turn signals.
The Azera's cabin seats five. For 2011, there's new brushed faux-metal trim below the center controls; otherwise, the interior carries over with minimal changes. Typical for this class, the backseat can accommodate adults comfortably.
Standard features on the GLS include dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats and a CD stereo with USB iPod compatibility. Heated leather upholstery and a moonroof are optional. They're standard on the Azera Limited, which also includes luxuries like a power tilt/telescope steering wheel, power rear sunshade and upgraded Infinity stereo. A navigation system and Infinity surround-sound stereo are optional.
Under the Hood
The Azera GLS has a 250-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6, while the Limited gets a 272-hp, 3.8-liter V-6. Thanks to improved airflow, both represent gains over last year's V-6 engines, which made 234 hp and 263 hp, respectively.
With either engine, a new six-speed automatic transmission replaces last year's five-speed automatic; overall gas mileage is also up 1 to 3 mpg, depending on configuration. That puts the 3.3-liter Azera GLS at an EPA-estimated 20/29 mpg city/highway, which ties the Avalon for segment-best. The 3.8-liter Azera Limited is rated at 18/28 mpg.
Standard safety features include eight airbags; besides the dual front ones, there are also side-impact airbags for the front and rear seats as well as side curtain airbags for both rows. Antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system are also standard.