Hyundai ups the ante again at L.A. Auto Show
If the all-new Azera is any indication, the Korean automaker's winning ways are far from over.
Hyundai has enjoyed explosive growth thanks to superbly styled and reliable cars that over deliver on standard goodies — and let's not forget the industry's best warranty. With the new Azera, the Korean badge looks to continue the trend of reshaping formerly bland, cheap cars into visually captivating and value-packed vehicles.
2012 Hyundai Azera
What is it? The new iteration of Hyundai's midsize near-luxury sedan is the latest model to adopt the company's Fluidic Sculpture design language, which has created critical and consumer hits out of vehicles such as the Sonata and Elantra.
What's hot? It's not just about the looks: The Azera's 3.3-liter direct-injected V6 engine gets a combined city/highway fuel-efficiency rating of 23 mpg, which bests midsize competition such as the Lexus ES350, the V6-powered Buick LaCrosse and the Nissan Maxima. As with its Genesis and Equus models, Hyundai offers luxury amenities that punch above the vehicle's price point, with a leather interior including heated front and rear seats, navigation system, rear camera, dual automatic climate control and nine airbags standard.
What's not? Without some time behind the wheel, it's hard to knock yet another captivating design from Hyundai. However, as the Azera slots above the popular Sonata as a steppingstone to the upscale Genesis, the fast-growing manufacturer has quite a bit riding on this model's success.
How much and when? Rumors are that it will cost in the low-$30K range. It will go on sale in February 2012.
MSN Autos' verdict: With undeniably handsome sheet metal and luxury features at a near-luxury price tag, the new Azera will likely be yet another hit for Hyundai.