2013 Hyundai Azera Review and Prices
The 2013 Hyundai Azera is the best full-size sedan for you if you if you want a dazzling blend of style, space, and value.
The 2013 Hyundai Azera will be a virtual rerun of the vastly improved all-new Azera that debuted for model-year 2012. That redesign transformed this five-passenger sedan from a midsize-class wallflower to a large-car contender. The 2013 Azera will bring eye-catching bodywork, generous standard equipment, and low-$30,000s starting prices to its tussle with the restyled 2013 Buick LaCrosse and redesigned 2013 Toyota Avalon.
Should you wait for the 2013 Hyundai Azera or buy a 2012 Hyundai Azera? Still warm from its model-year 2012 redesign, the 2013 Azera isn’t apt to change in any way worth the wait. A new color or two, maybe a subtle shuffle of available features might be on the docket. More certain is some model-year price inflation. Bide your time and you can assess the 2013 Azera against the 2013 LaCrosse and Avalon. Buy a 2012 Azera and you’ll get everything that makes this such an impressive car – at model-year 2012 prices.
2013 Hyundai Azera Changes back to top
Styling: The 2013 Hyundai Azera will carry over the striking new styling and larger dimensions delivered by its model-year 2012 redesign. The South Korean automaker wisely shelved the dull-looking, Toyota Camry-sized 2006-2011 Azera. In its place came a new front-wheel-drive sedan that fills a niche in this South Korean automaker’s U.S. lineup. The 2013 Azera will again give owners of the midsize, four-cylinder-only Hyundai Sonata a larger, more luxurious V-6 alternative -- without compelling them to spend over $35,000 for the premium-class rear-wheel-drive Hyundai Genesis.
With its spread-wing grille, sculpted body, and full-width LED taillamps, Azera is arguably the best application yet of styling themes that helped fuel the success of the Sonata as well as Hyundai’s Accent subcompact and Elantra compact. Exceptional interior roominess highlighted by stretch-out backseat space will continue as a 2013 Azera asset. So will thoroughly modern cabin décor, upscale materials, and controls that are easy to decipher and inviting to use. A huge, 16.3-cubic-foot trunk completes Azera’s large-car credentials.
Hyundai launched the redesigned Azera in one well-equipped level of trim that buyers could dress out with the optional Technology Package (see Features section below for details). The package included 19-inch alloy wheels in place of the standard 18-inch alloys but otherwise had little effect on Azera’s styling.
For the 2013 Azera, Hyundai could decided to expand the lineup with a second trim level, essentially converting 2012’s Technology Package version to a stand-alone model. It also could conceivably de-content the core version to create a lower-priced base edition of the 2013 Azera.
Mechanical: The 2013 Hyundai Azera will repeat as essentially a Hyundai Sonata expanded to large-car dimensions and armed with a V-6 engine instead of a selection of four-cylinder powertrains.
Azera’s body is a significant 6.5 inches longer than the Sonata’s and an in inch wider. Its wheelbase is longer by 2.0 inches. Wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axles, and while Azera’s 112.0-inch span isn’t the longest in the class, efficient interior packaging gives this Hyundai as much or more rear-seat legroom than any direct competitor.
While Sonata relies on naturally aspirated, turbocharged, and gas-hybrid four-cylinder engines, the 2013 Azera will return with one V-6 – as is appropriate to its elevated market positioning. This fully modern direct-fuel-injected 3.3-liter V-6 should repeat at 293 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque (think of torque as the muscle behind acceleration). Both figures will again be impressive for an engine this size and type. Repeating as the 2013 Azera’s sole transmission will be a six-speed automatic with manual-type gear control via a separate gate for its console-mounted shift lever.
The 2013 Azera, like most cars in this large-sedan class, will again be based on a front-wheel-drive layout. This concentrates the mass of the engine and transmission above the tires that also propel the car. The resulting weight balance can’t match rear-wheel drive for ultimate handling prowess. But it’s superior for slippery-road traction and packaging efficiency. Within Azera’s competitive set, LaCrosse and the Ford Taurus offer both front-wheel drive and even-better-traction all-wheel drive (AWD). The Chrysler 300 is available with rear-drive and AWD.
On the road, the 2013 Azera should feel much like the 2012 Azera. The smooth V-6 and quick-shifting automatic transmission should again team up for brisk acceleration off the line and fine throttle response from midrange speeds. Expect a comfortable ride that allows bumps to register but seldom disturb. Interstate cruising should remain quiet and stable. Look for handling that’s nicely balanced if not particularly sporty. And we hope Hyundai will retune the 2013 Azera’s steering to eliminate the artificially heavy, nonlinear feel in turns.
Features: The 2013 Azera should again stand out for a range of standard features more commonly associated with true luxury-class cars. Barring a change in Hyundai’s approach to equipment levels, the 2013 Azera’s base price will include leather upholstery, power heated driver and front passenger seats, heated rear seats, and, of particular note, a navigation system with high-resolution 7-inch dashboard touchscreen and voice recognition.
Bluetooth hands-free mobile-phone and music streaming and USB and auxiliary iPod interfaces also would return as standard. So would Hyundai’s Blue Link assistance and concierge service that can provide owners who lend out their Azera with email or text alerts if the car violates preset geographic parameters. A full array of airbags, including driver and front-passenger knee airbags, a cooled dashboard glovebox, and 60/40 split/folding rear seatbacks also should return.
If Hyundai keeps things simple, the 2013 Azera would return with the Technology Package as its only option. This would again include the 19-inch alloy wheels, a large panoramic sunroof, xenon headlights, and rear parking-assistance sensors. It would enhance the front seats with ventilated cooling and add a driver-seat cushion extension and interior ambient lighting. The option would bring power adjustment to the manual tilt and telescopic steering column and link the column, driver's seat, and exterior mirrors into a memory system.
Unchanged, the Technology Package also would upgrade the stereo to an Infinity-brand 12 speaker Logic7 system with subwoofer and external amplifier. And it would add features unusual in this class, including a power rear sunshade and manual rear side-window sunshades.
2013 Hyundai Azera Prices back to top
Base prices for the 2013 Hyundai Azera had not been announced in time for this review but should not stray far from the car’s model-year 2012 prices.
That suggests the 2013 Azera equipped similarly to the 2012 core model would start around $33,000. Estimated base price for a 2013 Azera equipped with the Technology Package – either as an option or as a separate model – is around $37,000. (Estimated base prices in this review include the manufacturer’s destination fee; Hyundai’s fee for the 2012 Azera was $760.)
These estimates would again place Azera’s price at the lower end of its competitive set, with the unusually broad roster of standard equipment serving to enhance the value proposition. And don’t expect huge discounts on the 2013 Azera. As a brand, Hyundai says it trails only Toyota and ranks ahead of Honda in purchase price as a percentage of manufacturer’s suggested retail price. And it boasts that linewide, it has the lowest incentive spending in the industry.
2013 Hyundai Azera Fuel Economy back to top
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Hyundai Azera had not been released in time for this review but probably won’t change from those of the 2012 Azera. That means a rating of 20/29/23 mpg city/highway/combined.
Pending release of fuel-economy ratings for the redesigned 2013 Toyota Avalon – and tweaks other automakers might make – the 2013 Azera should continue at or near the top of its competitive set for gas mileage. Hyundai recommended regular-octane fuel for the 2012 Azera and is apt to do so for the 2013.
2013 Hyundai Azera Release Date back to top
The 2013 Hyundai Azera will go on sale in mid-to-late August or early September 2012.
What's next for the 2013 Hyundai Azera back to top
Don’t look for major changes until at least model-year 2015 or 2016, when Azera would be due for freshened styling and features though not changes in dimensions, overall shape, or powertrain.
Hyundai could, of course, respond to Toyota’s reported plans to include a gas-electric hybrid model in the lineup of the newest Avalon. An Avalon Hybrid could return over 30 mpg city/highway. And the 2013 Taurus is available with Ford’s turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder with 237 horsepower, 250 pound-feet of torque, and ratings around 30 mpg.
Based as the two cars are on the same underskin design, Sonata’s hybrid system would seem an easy fit for the Azera. It teams an electric motor with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gas engine to generate 206 horsepower, 193 pound-feet of torque, and 35/40/37-mpg ratings in a car about 150 pounds lighter than the Azera.
2013 Hyundai Azera Competition back to top
Buick LaCrosse: In line for a model-year 2013 sheetmetal freshening, this already-pretty Buick should continue as a fine domestic-brand match for the 2013 Azera. It’s nearly as spacious and maybe a dab quieter than the Hyundai. And the 2013 updates likely will keep it abreast for interior-materials quality. The 2013 LaCrosse should continue with two powertrain choices. Expect the 182-horsepower electric-motor-boosted four-cylinder eAssist model to again rate 25/36/29 mpg and start around $32,000. The 303-horsepower V-6 versions should return with front-wheel-drive (17/27/21 mpg) or with AWD (16/26/20), both and starting around $36,000.
Ford Taurus: Another full-size domestic sedan facelifted for model-year 2013, Taurus is the most boldly styled big car in this group. It’s as large as any car in its competitive set but suffers relatively tight cabin space, especially in the rear seat. New underhood is an EcoBoost four-cylinder that promises V-6 acceleration with four-cylinder fuel economy, including at least 31 mpg on the highway. These models should start around $30,500. Priced from about $27,000 will be Taurus models with a 3.5-liter V-6 (290 horsepower, 255 pound-feet of torque). They rate 18/28/22 mpg with front-wheel drive, 17/26/20 with AWD. Also returning is the twin-turbo EcoBoost-V6 Taurus SHO model with AWD, 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The SHO rates some 16/25/20 mpg and starts around $40,000. Also available for the first time on the Taurus is the controversial MyFord Touch multimedia operating system that swaps buttons and switches for touchscreen menus and dashboard “touch points.”
Toyota Avalon: Avalon will be fully redesigned for model-year 2013, and reports say Toyota is pulling out the stops to shed this car’s staid image through styling inspired by sporty Audis and Jaguars. Avalon is many ways the exemplar of the large, front-drive sedan built from a stretched midsize (the Camry) and offering good value for the money. The 2013 version will remain spacious and stay with front-wheel drive. Expect the return of a 3.5-liter V-6 with about 270 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. Engine advances, aerodynamic enhancements, and perhaps lighter weight should help the 2013 Avalon beat the 2012 model’s rating of 19/28/23 mpg. A gas-electric hybrid model aimed at 30/30/30 mpg is likely in the works. Anticipate the base-level 2013 Avalon to be priced from around $34,000 and the uplevel model to start around $40,000.