Hyundai Must Make Azera Relevant Again
The Hyundai Azera has become an after-thought of sorts seeing as it's sandwiched between the white-hot Sonata and Genesis sedans. About all the 2014 Hyundai Azera has going for it is a $1250 drop in price from the 2013 model.
The Azera had a good year in 2013 with sales up 33 percent from 2012. However, through the end of May, sales are off for the sedan. No new plans have been announced in terms of upgrades or new models for the vehicle that was last updated in the 2012 model year. Sure that's not all that long ago but it feels outdated already.
So, what can Hyundai do to make it relevant again? The first step would be bringing over the 2.2-liter R diesel engine. If the math is right, it generates 200 horsepower and 325 lb. ft. of torque. That would be an amazing engine to have here in the United States. The gas engine is nothing spectacular (because we already have it) but improvements to the "motor-driven power steering system result in a greater handling responsiveness and stability," according to Hyundai. Better steering is always welcome.
In Korea, according to Hyundai, the Azera "has also been upgraded with redesigned exterior front and rear styling, as well as enhanced audio equipment. The cabin receives a remodeled central fascia with the latest HVAC controls, as well as a new 8-inch navigation screen as standard." As the photo above shows, the new Azera is pretty sharp looking. A fresh face always helps move metal. According to Hyundai, "A high-gloss two-tone rear bumper design provides a wide and elegant appearance, while a stylish new grille and front bumper complement the LED fog lamps to create a cutting-edge front visual aspect."
Hyundai also adds, "New safety and convenience features have been added to Grandeur to maximize customers’ satisfaction. While cutting-edge technologies such as Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Front Collision Warning System (FCWS), and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) features secure drivers’ safety, Advanced Smart Parking Assist System (ASPAS) and Smart Trunk offer more convenience."
Bring all this technology and diesel power to the Azera in the United States and Hyundai could have a troika of three affordable great sedans.