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.
Standard equipment will include dual-zone climate control; electronic tilt and telescoping steering column; a memory system for the driver’s seat, outside mirrors, steering column and foot pedals; a power rear sunshade; rain-sensing windshield wipers; and the requisite leather seating surfaces. The Azera will also be available with an Infinity audio system and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. Safety features include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), front dual active headrests, and eight airbags including roof-mounted side curtain airbags. As with all Hyundai vehicles, the Azera comes with a limited bumper-to-bumper warranty for five years or 60,000 miles, 24-hour roadside assistance coverage at no extra charge for five years with no mileage limit, and a limited powertrain coverage of 10 years or 100,000 miles – coverage that remains in effect when ownership of the car is transferred to other family members.
Inside, it’s surprising that the Azera is a Hyundai. Really. There’s dual-zone climate control; an electronic tilt and telescopic steering column; a memory system for the driver’s seat, outside mirrors, steering column and foot pedals; a power rear sunshade; rain-sensing windshield wipers; and leather seating surfaces that almost shout “Lexus.” Add to that an available Infinity audio system featuring a seven-channel, 315-watt digital amplifier; 10 speakers and a subwoofer; speed-sensitive volume; steering-wheel-mounted audio controls; and an in-dash six-disc CD changer, and you’ve got yourself quite a comfy ride.
Photos courtesy of Hyundai