2006 Hyundai Azera Preview
Can Hyundai do luxury better than the Europeans?
Hyundai is one of the worst at the name game, and a perfect example is the recent debut of its new flagship, the 2006 Hyundai Azera. Yes, it roles off the tongue a little - Ahhhzeerah - but it could be anything from a far-away news outlet to the name of a new jungle creature. But at least Azera is better than the non-descript moniker given to the outgoing XG350, the vehicle it replaces. Not that it really matters - if the car is good enough, you can call the thing anything you want - people will get used to it. If that happens with the Azera, a likely result will be plenty of smiles that have nothing to do with names, and everything to do with a nice ride, ageless styling and a great interior.
As the replacement for the XG sedan, Hyundai hopes that the Azera will compete with the big boys on the luxury block as a lower-end luxury choice. Their optimism isn't far off, judging from the initial reaction at the 2005 New York International Auto Show.