2012 Hyundai Azera First Test
As an older sibling of the multi-talented Sonata, the Hyundai Azera doesn't have it easy. Think about the four big brothers in the Jackson 5 who knew they were really members of the Jackson 1+4. Not only is the Sonata Hyundai's best-selling model, with 225,961 sold in 2011, but it's arguably the brand's most impressive offering. From the 198-hp, 35-mpg-highway GLS whose equipment and performance belie its "base" descriptor, to the 274-hp, 34-mpg-highway 2.0T that melds sporty dynamics with small-car mileage, the Sonata is a force to be reckoned with. Just ask Accord, Altima, and Camry. And what about the Azera? See, you've already forgotten about it -- that's the power of Sonata Effect.
So strong is Sonata Effect that Hyundai stopped building the previous-gen Azera in November 2010, even though that production run needed to cover all Azera sales for calendar 2011. Thus, only 1524 of the premium front-drivers were sold last year, or about half the number moved in 2010. Hyundai's mindset: The Sonatas, especially the 2.0T, can more than satisfy shoppers of the aged Azera, whose standard 3.3-liter V-6 made a sub-2.0T 260 horsepower. Plus, Hyundai knew the next-gen Azera, aka the Grandeur in Korea, was waiting in the wings.
2012 Hyundai Azera
[PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION]