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2011 Hyundai Azera Limited Review & Test Drive

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The 2011 Hyundai Azera Limited brings affordable luxury to the American automotive consumer.  The Azera Limited is priced thousands of dollars less than its Buick LaCrosse, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon and Ford Taurus competitors, including standard features not even available from the competition.  Hyundai designers and engineers have done their homework well.

The new 2011 Azera Limited gets updates to the exterior, powertrain and interior including a 3.8 liter lambda V6 engine with more power and improved fuel economy, an all-new, in-house engineered six-speed automatic with sequential shifting, new front grille, headlights with LED surround accent lighting, new foglamps and new taillights, new bumper fascias, side mirror design, window trim, trunk lid, alloy wheels, center console aluminum graining, Eco instrument cluster indicator and EZ lane change assist-one touch triple turn signal.  All of these upgrades help illustrate why more and more customers are discovering how well Azera stacks up against the competition.  A further example is that the spacious and luxurious Azera features more interior volume than the more expensive M-B E-Class, BMW 750i and Lexus LS460 sedans.

The Azera Limited delivers powerful performance due to its revised clean and efficient all-aluminum 3.8 liter DOHC V6 engine, which generates 283hp at 6,000rpm and 262lb.f.t of torque at 4,500rpm.  To maximize the power spread, this engine also uses DCVVT and a Variable Intake System (VIS) to help the six cylinders breathe more efficiently at both low and high rpm.  MPG figures for the Limited are 19mpg/city and 27mpg/highway.  To help Azera drivers get the most MPG when driving their cars, Hyundai has added a fuel economy indicator ‘Eco’ that displays a green light on the instrument cluster when driving habits are contributing to good fuel economy.

Hyundai’s commitment to making the Azera extremely fuel efficient continues with a six-speed automatic with Shiftronic manual control.  This all-new transmission offers smooth shifts and a wide ratio spread that ideally suits the 3.8 liter engine’s characteristics.  This new transmission helps the company meet its goals of improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions.  Shifts are silky smooth with an option of manual control through the Shiftronic feature.  You can access the Shiftronic feature by moving the gear selector into a separate gate.  Pushing the selector forward or pulling it rearward will shift the transmission up or down sequentially, adding to your driving control.  A clear LCD readout in the instrument cluster shows the gear being used.  The new gearbox has no dipstick because it is filled with automatic transmission fluid that increases vehicle life under normal usage conditions, thereby reducing maintenance costs.  It was developed over a four-year period and is 26.4lbs. lighter than the five-speed automatic that it replaces, and is also 1.6in. shorter and considerably simpler, having 62 fewer parts, which is key to increased durability, lighter weight and lower cost. The addition of a sixth gear enables closer spacing between gear ratios providing a better balance of performance and fuel economy while the wide overall gear ratio helps deliver strong and smooth acceleration like 0-60mph launches in just 6.5sec.

Hyundai engineers benchmarked the best cars in the full-size segment before designing the Azera’s double-wishbone and multi-link rear four-wheel independent suspension system.  By using high-tensile steel in critical unibody areas, the Azera features increased stiffness and rigidity, which ensures formidable resistance to flexing and enhanced ride and handling, while lowering interior noise levels.  Attached to Azera’s rigid structure is improved suspension and steering hardware to keep the vehicle even flatter through turns and more compliant over bumps.  The double-wishbone suspension up front features twin-tube gas-charged shocks, coil springs, softer bushings, and a 27mm anti-roll bar, while the rear multi-link setup in the rear features twin-tube gas-charged shocks, coil springs, softer bushings, and a 17mm anti-roll bar.

With a quick-reacting, power-assisted, speed-sensitive rack & pinion steering system the Azera goes where you point it to go with excellent feel for the road and great on-center feel.  Standard electronic stability control and traction control systems keeps you out of trouble during severe maneuvers due to high speed driving, cornering or when driving on slick or wet pavement.

Slowing the Azera down from speed are power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes.  Up front are 11.9in. vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers and the rear features 11.2in solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers.  Standard ABS, EBD and BA keep you in control also during severe maneuvering, panic stopping and when braking on wet or slick pavement.

The new Azera Limited rides on 17X7in. alloy wheels wrapped with 235/55R17in. all-season radial tires for excellent traction and a very smooth ride over poorly paved roads.

This year the 2011 Azera is reborn with a more handsome exterior design.  The most noticeable exterior upgrade is anew sleeker front bumper fascia with a number of subtle tweaks.  Design updates up front also include redesigned headlamps with LED surround accent lighting, a new chrome and round foglamps.  From the side are steeply raked windshield A-pillars, revised side repeater mirrors with all-new bright puddle lamps, a high-gloss window trim treatment that enhances Azera’s profile and deeper lower side extensions.  The rear of the new Azera features redesigned signature LED taillights, redesigned bumper with integrated chrome dual exhaust tips and a matching decklid.

Overall, Azera’s proportions remain elegant, purposeful and aerodynamically efficient, reducing wind noise while adding maximum stability on the highway.

Inside, Azera’s spacious cabin provides not only roomy comfort, but a luxurious look with a new attention to detail and excellent workmanship that makes you and your passengers feel like they are riding in a luxury sedan.  These details include a new brushed metalgrain finish applied to the gear shift indicator area, dual cupholder cover, ashtray cover, center console padded surface with a two-tier storage bin, EZ lane change assist where one-touch triple turn signal stalks where at the slightest touch the turn signals blink three times and shut off automatically, leather trimmed seating with front power adjustable bucket seats and driver lumber adjustments, an easy-to-see electroluminescent cluster display, power tilt/telescoping/woodgrained steering wheel with audio and cruise control buttons, wood grained strip that runs from the doors through the dashboard and bordered with thin aluminum strips, blue backlighting for interior gauges, switches and buttons along with ion-plated accents highlight the vehicle’s modern appearance.  Other unexpected luxury appointments include a power rear sunshade, power windows/door locks, integrated two-driver memory system, power folding sideview mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, dual-zone climate controls, solar control glass, grab handles at the top of each door, an AM-FM-XM-CD-MP3 Infinity audio system with seven channels, a 315-watt amplifier with an in-dash six-disc CD changer with ten speakers, dual map lamps, remote keyless entry, power glass sunroof, dual vanity mirrors with lights, remote trunk and fuel filler door releases,

thick cut-pile carpeting, pull-down rear armrest with dual cupholders, 60/40-split folding rear seat back to expand the large trunk, and aluminum scuff plates at the bottom of each door.  With nearly 44in. of legroom up front and more than 38in. for rear-seat passengers, Hyundai engineers have created efficient packaging to maximize interior volume that offers more interior volume (123.5cu.ft.) than the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima.

Luxury options for the Azera Limited include a navigation package which receives a powerful 605-watt Infinity Logic 7 audio system with 12-speakers and a subwoofer.

Another option is the signature carpeted floor mats.  One question though is where is the backup camera that usually comes along with the navigation system?

Standard safety systems include front/side/side curtain airbags, 3-point safety belts for all five seating positions with pretensioners/load limiters up front, front/rear crush zones, steel beam in each door, front active headrests, LATCH system for child seats, tire pressure monitoring system and an engine immobilizer.

Hyundai engineers and designers have brought forth a very competitive full-size near luxury sedan that competes well and in some instances surpasses the competition while saving the consumer several thousands of dollars besides.  The new 2011 Azera Limited has a base price of just $30.095.00.



  • Price: Base Azera $30,095
  • Wheelbase: 109.4in.
  • Total length: 193.3in.
  • Total width: 72.8in.
  • Total height: 58.7in.
  • Track: f/r-62.2/61.6in.
  • Turning circle: 37.4ft.
  • Steering lock-to-lock: 3.195 turns
  • Headroom: f/r-40.2/38.2in.
  • Legroom: f/r-43.7/38.2in.
  • Fuel tank: 19.8 gallons
  • 0-60mph: 6.5 seconds
  • EPA passenger volume: 106.9cu.ft.
  • EPA total volume: 123.5cu.ft.
  • EPA cargo volume: 16.6cu.ft.
  • Curb weight: 3,717lbs.
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