2012 Hyundai Azera: Review Notes

Azera_front

Cars.com Senior Editor Kristin Varela just reviewed the redesigned Hyundai Azera, the latest generation of Hyundai's full-size sedan. The Azera represents the Korean automaker's effort to draw buyers from a competitive, if overlooked, field that includes the Ford Taurus, Toyota Avalon, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. Hyundai hopes the Azera can improve upon its unpopular predecessor, which hasn't broken 15,000 annual sales since 2007. That's a fraction of the 70,000-plus Chargers that Dodge shoppers took home last year. It will have its work cut out for it: All four competitors have been redesigned or significantly updated in the past 19 months.

Varela, based in Denver, praised the Azera's drivetrain and value but took issue with some controls and the seating position. Other editors, myself included, had a chance to drive an Azera tester at Cars.com's Chicago offices.

"It’s a lovely car," Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder said. "Ride quality is definitely not as good as it could, and arguably should, be, but I don’t think it will turn off the masses." Editor Jennifer Geiger noted the lack of composure, saying the Azera "feels sloppy in certain situations. It seems to float and bound over rough stuff." I concurred: The Charger and 300 filter out pavement divots that jolt the Azera's cabin. It's not terrible, but a full-size car should ride better. The only caveat? Our tester had 19-inch wheels and lower-profile tires. With its base 18-inch wheels, the Azera might ride better.

Another recurring gripe? Steering.

"Steering is an issue," Wiesenfelder wrote. "It has a typical lack of torque buildup and general feedback, and it feels like it needs a front-end alignment." Hanley agreed: "The biggest issue with it seems to be at slow speeds and close to on-center, where the wheel kind of sticks to its spot, and you have to move it back to where you want it. The tuning feels pretty artificial and removed from the wheels."

Slow speeds weren't the only concern. "There is something not right about the steering, especially at 30 to 45 mph. It feels jittery," Managing Editor David Thomas said. I agreed: On the highway, you're correcting all the time. It's just too touchy and it doesn't settle in. It always needs to be managed, but it still feels numb overall. It's fatiguing on road trips.

Fortunately, the Azera found redemption in cabin quality and roominess.

Azera_interior

"Materials look and feel top-notch," Geiger said. "There's plenty of headroom and legroom in the front and rear seats for a 6-foot passenger and me." Said Thomas: "The materials are worlds better than our Ford Taurus tester — plus it delivers a ton of interior and trunk room without being as big a boat." I noted the comfortable seats, with effective cooled seats — often a gimmick — and soft cushions. Hanley found our car's leather upholstery subpar: "It kind of felt like fine-grit sandpaper."

Thomas liked our test car's Infinity stereo, which is part of a $4,000 Technology Package. Wiesenfelder went further: "It’s a stereo of note," he said. "Good tonal qualities, with notably controlled bass. … It's good to see Infinity finally figuring cars out."

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2012 Hyundai Azera

2012 Hyundai Azera

2012 Hyundai Azera

2012 Hyundai Azera

2012 Hyundai Azera

2012 Hyundai Azera

2012 Hyundai Azera

2012 Hyundai Azera

2012 Hyundai Azera

2012 Hyundai Azera

2012 Hyundai Azera

2012 Hyundai Azera

Comments 

George

Well, hopefully for '13 they will downsize the wheels to 17/18"

xsolara

I own a 2012 Azera with tech pkg. and do not have ANY of the problems noted in this review......

Lance

Really disappointed in the way manufacturers have changed to EPS(electric power steering). I realize it saves a little gas but they should have perfected it before they started using it. So many EPS equipped cars steer so artificially with no road feedback and on the freeway need constant adjustment that a long trip is just not a relaxing drive anymore.

skippydog

I really don't think most buyers are cross shopping the Charger and 300c with the Azera. A big appeal of those two is rear wheel drive both for styling and handling dynamics.

Azera competes with Avalon, Taurus, and the new Impala when it goes on sale.

Al

I agree with Skippy. Anyone who is looking at a Charger or 300 wants the car for the RWD and probably the v8. Big difference in the dynamic and almost every other aspect of the car, except where size is concerned.

I think this car will definitely be eating into Avalon and Taurus sales. We'll see what price point the Impala comes in at, because this car is still a hell of a value proposition. I don't know about the steering gripes, could easily have been an issue with just that car, or a software update which could be coming down the pipe to help re-calibrate/firm up the power steering programming maybe?

xsolara

A steering update did come. I had mine updated a week after I purchase it. I didn't notice any real change. My car steers just fine I didn't notice any problems that the reviewer had. This is one great road car.

Alan

My wife's new Sienna has electric power steering too, and I really don't like it. It is overly light and there is no feel. Reminds me of the 1970's...

George

What are the guys in this review talking about? Were they even driving an Azera? I own an Azera with the tech package and almost every comment/gripe they made is inconsistent from what I've experienced.

greg

I own an Azera with the tech pkg - They don't know what theyre talking about. I have no issue with the steering, the leather seats are top notch and the ventilated seats work great. It is the top selling car in Korea and there is limited supply in the US especially if you want the tech pkg.

Bob K

My 2012 Azera withe 18" wheels had about 600 miles on it when I took a 2200 mile trip. I experienced similar complaints about the steering on freeways and turnpikes. Constant minor corrections seem necessary (very tiresome), especially on very smooth road surfaces. The car seems very sensitive to vibrations on different road surfaces. However, I have no other complaints, especially about the interior as expressed above. I woud be interested if an EPS software update is available. I haven't taken mine back to the dealer as yet.

Warhog08

I own the non-tech/standard Azera. Although I found the steering wanting, I never had the total experience mentioned by the reviewer. However, the GPS system is a nightmare. My brand new 2012 Azera came with 18 month old maps uploaded with Hyundai telling me to wait until Nov for updated ones that I will have deal with a subcontactor AND I have to pay $300 to get them!!! Unbelieveable, my trusty ole portable GPS system is 1000 times better and with liftime free updates much cheaper!!

Syd Gurley

My 2012 azera has the steering problem after power steering module update. Alignment and tire pressures are ok. I discovered that it tracks straight if the correction is held for about 2 seconds. Small corrections around center cause the car to always drift right. Going back to dealer tomorrow

John Walters

I sometimes have the feeling car reviewers find issues most owners never experience. As an Azera owner I'm delighted with mine, matter of fact I prefer this vehicle to the MKS I tried before buying the Hyundai. Especially when you consider the huge price differential. So far the only negative I have is the sofware for the GPS. I believe Hyundai may have increased their sale numbers if the styling wasn't so close to the Sonata, it can be hard to tell them apart, except for the price that is. Overall I'm extremely pleased with the vehicle.

LoriM

I also own a 2012 Azera and not experienced any of the negative comments at all.

Vicki

I understand that if you've never driven a front wheel drive car that it can seem peculiar at first. Mine now has about 6000 miles on it and I still, at times, find the steering touchy. Has anyone had problems with the acceleration being sluggish when first pulling out into traffic? Very scary. Calling them tomorrow to check it as today was the 3rd time this has happened to me. Could it be a sensor? Other than that it's been an OK car. I like the style and the interior roominess; however, trunk appears to be small.

MoeP

I have a 2012 Azera and I am always correcting the steering. I have taken it in twice and they say it is supposed to do that.

I also have an issue with the pass side washer. It only goes half way up. So the upper part of the window just smears dirt. They say this is also normal.

Ride is very rough. I have to try and avoid man hole covers because it hurts going over them.

I love the car but would not recommend the car to anyone.

Moep

Update: The car now has 29K on it. The tires on the outer edge are bold. I am down to 4/32 all the way around in the middle. I took the car back last week for an alignment and they said the toe was out. They fixed and now the steering wheel is not centered. I took it back and "I think" they made an adjustment but the wheel is still not centered. If I center the wheel while driving the car flies over to the right. Hyundai said this is normal. I paid $99 for this alignment and basically they are telling me to live with it.

Hi,
I also own a 2012 Azera and not experienced any of the negative comments at all. And Now I am thinking to purchase New 2014 Hyundai Azera.

.........................

hyundai dealerships in oklahoma

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