- Roomy back seat
- Lots of available features
- Powerful V-6
- Light-touch controls
- Lots of airbags, but not class-leading safety
- Fuel economy lags class
- Cushy “handling”
- Anonymous styling
The 2008 Hyundai Azera gives the Korean automaker a legitimate full-size sedan, with plenty of power, features, and room, but not much excitement.
The 2008 Hyundai Azera is a front-wheel drive sedan with a large interior, somewhat lazy handling, and oodles of features.
The Azera GLS gets its power from a 3.3-liter V-6 that produces 234 horsepower, while the Azera Limited has a 3.8-liter V-6 that makes 263 hp. A five-speed automatic incorporates Shiftronic for manual gear changes. The 3.3-liter engine hits 18/26 mpg, while the 3.8-liter achieves 17/26 mpg.
All 2008 Azera sedans get eight airbags and active head restraints. Even so, the Azera has four-star front impact crash protection and five-star ratings for driver-side impact protection, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The Azera has an impressive 44 inches of front-seat legroom and more than 38 inches of legroom for rear-seat passengers--as much as (or more than) some traditional-brand luxury cars that can cost twice as much. The big size plays a role in its handling, which is characterized by light steering, lots of wheel motion, and plenty of body roll. It's how big cars used to handle, and while it's not sloppy, it's almost devoid of any sporting feel.
The styling is anonymous but competent. It gets better inside, where the 2008 Hyundai Azera sports features like a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, an electrochromatic mirror with compass, HomeLink garage door opener, and power driver and passenger seats. The Premium package on the GLS includes leather heated seats and a sunroof, while top-of-the-line Limited models get 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, heated front seats, wood trim, a power rear sunshade, a sunroof, and an Infinity audio system. A test car provided to TheCarConnection.com showed some obvious gaps between interior trim pieces, but the materials themselves were of good quality.
Available options include a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescopic steering column, integrated memory system, power-adjustable foot pedals, rain-sensing wipers, and an LG navigation system. Bluetooth connectivity is absent, though.