2014 Hyundai Azera Comfort & Quality

9.0
Comfort & Quality

The Azera isn't just a large sedan; it's a luxury car in all but pedigree and cachet. And that holds true whether you judge it by interior appointments, seating, or ride.

With a wheelbase just a couple of inches longer than the Sonata, the Azera fits in between the Sonata and Genesis. Its overall length is just 3.5 longer than Sonata, and with some added width, the Azera offers nearly as much space as big luxury-brand flagships.

A smooth ride, spacious seating, and a luxury-car ambiance add up to more than just a comfort sedan.

Ride quality is superb, with only the most jarring bumps heard heard and felt in the cabin. And inside, it's quiet—very quiet—with nearly all road noise filtered out; likewise, you hear engine noise only when accelerating hard. The Avalon also has the lowest coefficient of drag (tied with the Avalon, at 0.28) of any large sedan, which helps keep wind noise down (and aids efficiency).

Adults will find plenty of sprawl-out legroom in front or in back. Front seats are adjustable to a wide range of sizes, and we like how Hyundai has assembled the power-seat controls, Mercedes-Benz style, along the upper door trim. As for the back seats, headroom is the limiting factor, although there's just enough for taller adults, thanks to two carved-out headliner recesses. If anyone ends up in the middle, they might not be as happy, as the headliner's lower there and the bench position is notably harder (the back of the center console is there as well). Ingress and egress is disappointing, and it's the only real price of the fashionable exterior. Taller folks will have to lean forward and duck their heads under the curved-down roofline when getting in.

I's a very thoughtful interior otherwise. Under the audio and climate controls, there's a large hinged bin (felted), with auxiliary and USB ports, and a hinged compartment next to the shift knob, containing a couple of cupholders. The space behind the center stack has also been used—a la Volvo—with a tray at the bottom of that, and the center console itself has the capacity to hide a camera or small purse. Cupholders and bottle recesses, along with map pockets, are included along all doors, too. And there's a useful pinch point that lines up about where you might splay your knees.

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