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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
As impressive as the acceleration can be, the six-speed automatic is the real star of the driveline.
Its electrically assisted rack is capable of providing a force in the countersteer direction when the vehicle’s stability-control systems conclude that danger is imminent based on vehicle trajectory, road conditions, or simple operator buffoonery.
Car and Driver
The steering may be precise, but the sense of driver engagement is otherwise ho-hum.
The steering is direct, if still a little artificial in feel.
The 2013 Hyundai Azera offers one thing the somewhat smaller Sonata does not: a V-6. With its 3.3-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission, the front-wheel-drive Azera is quick, responsive, and smooth, and while it handles confidently, its priority is comfort.
The all-alloy 'Lambda' engine has direct injection and incorporates dual continuously variable valve timing, four valves per cylinder, and double overhead cams, plus a three-stage variable intake system. On regular gasoline, it makes 293 horsepower and 255 pound feet, and has a roller timing chain for durability and lower maintenance cost.
With a dual personality of sorts, the V-6 revs high and eagerly, with a higher specific output than other engines in this class, making its peak power at 6,400 rpm, just short of redline; but it's also quite torquey at lower revs compared to Hyundai's former V-6 engines. This one already makes 200 pound-feet at 1,500 rpm.
A Shiftronic manual mode comes standard on the Azera, and the six-speed automatic transmission is responsive yet has a wide range of ratios for relaxed highway cruising or quick takeoffs. Plus, the electric power steering system in the Azera feels relaxed and better-tuned than what's used in other Hyundai front-wheel drive products. It's likely going to be what comfort-oriented buyers expect, with a good sense of center and weighting that builds predictably.
The Azera uses a MacPherson strut-type front system, and a multi-link setup in back, but Sachs amplitude-selective campers not only help filter out minor bumps without leading to less body control. Special attention has been paid to side loading, to help increase confidence on curvy roads, and body motion is better controlled than in other luxury cars with a soft ride.
Comfort is the priority, but the 2013 Azera has enough confident performance to satisfy all but those who want a a true sport sedan.