Hyundai introduced the redesigned 2012 Azera at the LA Auto Show yesterday. The previous-generation Azera was very pleasant and easy to live with. It was a large, well-equipped sedan that usually sold for a budget price. Despite that, it remained a wallflower with modest sales. This redesign strives to move out of the shadows.
The Azera shares its basic platform with Hyundai’s impressive Sonata midsized family sedan. While the Sonata only sports four-cylinder engines, the Azera comes with a 3.3-liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic. The interior is nicely furnished and spacious. The big panoramic sunroof is a nice touch.
It might seem that the Azera overlaps the Genesis luxury sedan in the Hyundai line-up, but we think the cars will appeal to different buyers. The Genesis will likely attract BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class intenders who treasure its rear-wheel-drive chassis. On the other hand, the Azera now is posh (and modern) enough to go after the Lexus ES and Buick LaCrosse. That said, we think the Azera will cannibalize more than a few Genesis sales--at least until the Genesis inevitably gets redesigned (and probably moves even more upscale) in a few years.
Hyundai dropped off an early Azera so that we could take a first look. To share the highlights, we shot a video to share the new Azera with you. Enjoy.