: Hyundai Azera Test Drive



Lord Cadillac
12-05-05, 04:05 PM
Well, I test drove the 2006 Hyundai Azera (not for sale yet). It's a nice car. An improvement over the XG350. But I wasn't that impressed.. The leather was decent and the car is pretty roomy..

I read somewhere about it being either the same size or larger than the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series - and this is one of the first things the salesman mentioned to me as we were walking toward the car - but I don't see it. It seems smaller than both cars. So don't expect a BIG car.

The ride wasn't very soft. Harsher than my DTS, actually.. The power wasn't bad but nothing to be crazy about either. Think back to an 80s Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme or Buick Regal with the 3.8 liter engine...

There are a few nice features in the top of the line model (the Ultimate) costing probably $35k.. A rear-shade that automatically (or manually) goes up and down depending on which gear you're in. The steering wheel moves out of your way when you get in and out.. Memory seats...

The interior is pretty nice - an improvement over the XG series - but the exterior is much less noticable.. It looks too much like the new Sonata - which looks too much like a Honda Accord.. I'm not sure where Hyundai is going with this car.. I thought they wanted to go more upscale - like the looks of the old XG or Kia Amanti - but they've gone downscale to the Honda Accord.. Oh well..

NOBODY is going to buy this car over the Toyota Avalon - unless they never saw an Avalon. And NOBODY in their right mind would buy this car over a Buick Lucerne - which is quite nice.. I think Hyundai dropped the ball with this car...

Jesda
12-14-05, 02:26 PM
Some suggested it might eat into Sonata sales because you get a lot more features for not much more money.

Katshot
12-14-05, 02:50 PM
Damn Sal, that's a pretty scathing review. So far all but one review I've read in magazines has been very positive about the Azera. I'm puzzled by your comparison with the Lucern. The base Lucern starts at $26265 which is only like $600 less than the top trim level Azera Limited's base price of $26835. All the other trim levels of the Lucern START way above the Limited's price. And as for the Azera's power, thinking that it's even close to an "...80s Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme or Buick Regal with the 3.8 liter engine..." is absurd. The Azera Limited's V6 has 263HP and 255lb/ft of torque. Dude, that's a far cry from a '84 Cutlass's 110hp and 190lb/ft of torque.
Somehow, the car really managed to turn you off but I think your review was rather far off target.

Lord Cadillac
12-14-05, 04:49 PM
I thought the Azera was being compared to the Lucerne. I'm probably wrong..

The car is so weak regarding power. It's a slug. Everyone else is moving into the high 6's in 0-60 comparisons and this felt like it was in the 9s... Drive it and you'll see what I mean. It feels just like I described. It's heavy. You know - as big as a 7-Series or S-Class.

I've always been the first to advocate Hyundai around here. Since before you bought your Daughter a Sonata. Hyundai had a good chance to go above and beyond, like they normally do, but they didn't...

Lord Cadillac
12-14-05, 05:05 PM
Okay. It's supposed to compete with the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon.. It's a roomy car but to me, it doesn't fare well against it's competitors...

Playdrv4me
12-14-05, 08:36 PM
Thats too bad. I guess Hyundai is allowed to shoot blanks now and again too.

Blackout
12-15-05, 07:39 AM
The car is probably deceiving like most cars are now adays. Most cars have such nice smooth rides that when you hit it your used to getting thrown back into your seat. but with these mushy rides now adays you odn't think your going fast but you actually are. hell Katshot and I took a Altima SE-R out for a test drive and Katshot wasn't impressed with its performance but yet the thing is faster then his FTS.

Anthony Cipriano
12-15-05, 01:42 PM
That's a good point.. But even a regular 4cyl Nissan Altima is pretty quick. I'm sure the SE-R has to feel fast.. I've never driven the Hyundai Azera but I wouldn't mind giving it a shot.

Katshot
12-15-05, 01:59 PM
Here's an excerpt from Edmonds "First Drive" report on the Azera:

"Hyundai says the front-wheel-drive Azera is the quickest Hyundai ever built, with a manufacturer reported 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds. If that's true, it'll be quicker than the last Avalon we tested, which hit 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. We haven't put the Azera through our own instrumented tests yet, but it does feel quick out on the open road."

If those numbers are true Sal, that Azera is significantly quicker than the LT1-powered Fleetwood you had, and I think (without looking it up) your DTS. It's all about perception. I've owned and driven PLENTY of cars that didn't "feel" fast but certainly were regardless. Like my son pointed out, the Altima SE-R didn't "feel" very fast to me but I know it is. I think a lot of today's cars have such linear power delivery that they don't give that same old seat of the pants pull that the older cars do. They do what they do with little or no drama. Problem is, that comes off a little boring at times IMO.
I can't wait to drive an Azera myself. The interior is supposed to be larger than Mercedes S-class so it's certainly not a small car by any stretch. My guess is it's as good as Hyundai will do without launching a premium brand and the reason is exactly what might be influencing Sal's take on the car. Most poeple will not accept a premium level Hyundai. It's not much different from the lesson that VW learned with their ill-fated Phaeton. Objectively, it's one of the best cars in the world but, "subjectively" people are having a hard time accepting a VW in that class.

caddycruiser
12-15-05, 02:01 PM
The car is probably deceiving like most cars are now adays. Most cars have such nice smooth rides that when you hit it your used to getting thrown back into your seat. but with these mushy rides now adays you odn't think your going fast but you actually are. hell Katshot and I took a Altima SE-R out for a test drive and Katshot wasn't impressed with its performance but yet the thing is faster then his FTS.

True. It's all about how EVERYTHING feels together, as a whole. I wouldn't expect a super smooth 3.8L V6 to feel all that spunky either in a car like this, since snappy is not its mission.

That being said, I'm still amazed to this day by my aunt's '02 Kia Sedona van, which, by far, is still one of the super smoothest, most solid feeling, and quiet vehicles I've been in. This experience, plus all the Hyundai's and Kia's I've checked out at auto shows and the reviews I've read, I think I'd really like the Azera.

Lord Cadillac
12-15-05, 10:16 PM
When Hyundai comes out with their luxury division, I'll be the first in line to check it out. I'm anxious. I think they can compete with the best.. I was just very unimpressed with this car.. 0-60 in 6.5? Wow. Maybe I just didn't get on it hard enough. Ya know how some cars just don't perform unless you drive 'em like you stole 'em? Maybe that's what you need to do... 6.5 would be faster than my DTS by quite a bit.. With the Northstar and it being as smooth as it is, you always feel the power...