- Spacious backseat
- Strong acceleration
- Light-touch controls
- Lots of available features
- Excess body motion
- Anonymous styling
- Fuel economy lags
- Not class-leading in safety
The 2009 Hyundai Azera is somewhat limited in its mission, but it does it well. If interior space and a cushy ride are priorities, the Azera should be on your shortlist.
The 2009 Hyundai Azera is somewhat limited in its mission, but it does it well. The front-wheel-drive Azera appeals to those who value ride comfort over handling, and interior space over style statements. It’s in many respects the most faithful interpretation of what Buicks have been in the recent past.
The styling of the Hyundai Azera is anonymous but competent. New wheel designs and a tweaked chrome grille are switched in for 2009, and inside, the Azera now offers new wood and metal grain accents.
The Azera GLS gets its power from a 3.3-liter V-6 that produces 234 horsepower. It can achieve 18 mpg city, 26 highway. The Azera Limited has a 3.8-liter V-6 that makes 263 hp and achieves fuel economy of 17/26 mpg. A five-speed automatic incorporates Shiftronic for manual gear changes.
The driving experience in the 2009 Hyundai Azera 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 Azera is a big, rather heavy sedan—which plays a role in its handling. Fortunately, however, the large size means that 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. TheCarConnection.com has seen some obvious gaps between interior trim pieces and some assembly issues in past Azera test cars, but the materials themselves are of good quality.
The 2009 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. For 2009, Hyundai offers new iPod/USB inputs and a fresh audio display screen.
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 available, though only as a port-installed option.
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). All 2009 Azera sedans have eight airbags and active head restraints.
2009 Hyundai Azera
The 2009 Hyundai Azera has a fairly stylish interior but a nondescript exterior.
On the outside, the 2009 Hyundai Azera is fairly anonymous, according to reviews read by TheCarConnection.com. It looks a lot like the Toyota Avalon—which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Car and Driver is not impressed with what it calls "a nondescript, almost generic mid-size sedan look." Cars.com, however, refers to the 2009 Hyundai Azera's "graceful four-door lines." The 2009 Hyundai Azera leans "ever so slightly on the sporty side of this conservative sector," Edmunds concurs: "with its...crisp body lines, this sedan looks more like an Acura than a Hyundai." Kelley Blue Book likes the 2009 Azera's "classy look." New for 2009 are redesigned wheels and a slightly different chrome grille.
The interior of the 2009 Hyundai Azera is also well received. Edmunds comments, "Hyundai infuses the Azera's cabin with robust doses of luxury. With good-looking faux wood and metallic piping, materials quality is simply excellent, and those who opt for the Limited will find themselves swaddled in soft, double-stitched leather." For 2009, Hyundai adds some new wood and metal grain trims that impart a touch of class. Car and Driver finds fault inside, with the "econocar-like gauges." One other gripe: The light-colored beige leather of the driver seat is known to become worn and discolored prematurely, so Edmunds advises "sticking with the black interior option, which looks classier anyway."
2009 Hyundai Azera
The V-6 engines in the 2009 Hyundai Azera offer plenty of smooth ramp-merging power; handling is expectedly soft.
Most reviewers find that the 2009 Hyundai Azera offers good performance for the big sedan’s likely buyers—that is, it can get up to speed easily but doesn’t need to handle particularly well.
The 2009 Hyundai Azera is available in two different varieties: the GLS and the Limited, both with V-6 power. As Cars.com indicates, "the Azera GLS has a 3.3-liter V-6 that produces 234 hp and 226 pound-feet of torque." Meanwhile, the Azera Limited has a 3.8-liter V-6 that makes 263 hp and 257 pound-feet of torque. Cars.com reports that either engine comes with a five-speed automatic transmission that "incorporates Shiftronic for manually selectable gear changes." For buyers who can afford it, the 3.8-liter is well worth the $4,000 or so it will cost to buy a Limited rather than a GLS. Kelley Blue Book, however, reports that "the standard 3.3-liter V-6 may not be as powerful as the available 3.8-liter, but it does offer acceptable levels of performance and smoothness."
Edmunds explains, "We've timed an Azera Limited at 7.1 seconds for the 0-60-mph run." However, Edmunds notes, "Although this Hyundai never feels as athletic as cars like the Nissan Maxima and Chrysler 300, acceleration is brisk, and there's always ample power on tap from the V-6." Automedia finds much to like about the union of the larger V-6 engine and the automatic in the 2009 Azera: "They make a nice couple. The V-6 flagship sails easily down the highway, with plenty of power on tap for passing and on-ramp merges. The transmission gets from gear to gear smoothly, with a manumatic mode for do-it-yourselfers."
In either case, fuel economy isn’t quite as good as that of other sedans in the Azera’s class. The EPA rates the 2009 Hyundai Azera with the smaller V-6 at 18/26 mpg, while the 3.8-liter gets 17/26 mpg.
Handling in the 2009 Hyundai Azera is cushy and isolated, which is similar to what drivers will find on most cars in this class. "The Azera's handling is on the soft side," Edmunds reports. "However, the car feels predictable and secure around turns and the steering has a slick, accurate feel."
2009 Hyundai Azera
Comfort & Quality
The 2009 Hyundai Azera is very spacious inside, but it’s not yet up to true luxury-car standards of refinement.
The Azera is indisputably one of the better choices for interior comfort in a large sedan. Although TheCarConnection.com has noted some build-quality issues in the past, most other reviewers are largely impressed with the Azera.
Still reviewers had some conflicting impressions of the seating comfort in the 2009 Hyundai Azera. ConsumerGuide points out that drivers can easily adjust the seating position "with a standard power seat, tilt and telescopic steering column, and Limited's optional power-adjustable pedals. The seats are nicely contoured for good overall support." Edmunds, however, says, "One of our few complaints about the Hyundai's interior concerns the overly high seating position up front, which can be awkward for taller drivers with long torsos."
ConsumerGuide observes that headroom in the 2009 Azera "is ample despite a relatively high seating position, which combines with a lowish dashtop and large windows for fine all-around visibility." The Azera has an impressive 44 inches of front-seat legroom and more than 38 inches of legroom for rear-seat passengers—as much (or more) room than some traditional-brand luxury cars that can cost twice as much.
According to ConsumerGuide, the 2009 Hyundai Azera's "cabin materials are not quite to Lexus levels, but there are enough padded surfaces and carefully executed details present to belie Azera's price." Edmunds also approves of the overall feeling of quality, stating, "This Hyundai isn't just a hastily thrown-together collection of features—its high-quality interior materials, luxurious trappings and solid overall construction come together in a cohesive package that feels like the work of a true premium brand."
The subject of road and wind noise in the 2009 Hyundai Azera also brings different views from reviewers. ConsumerGuide points out that the Limited's V-6 "emits [a] raspy growl at full throttle." Also, one test car's suspension reportedly made an occasional clunking noise. Edmunds, however, reports, "Road noise is minimal even at high speeds, allowing for quiet conversations in the cabin." ConsumerGuide heads in the opposite direction, marking the Azera down for its "coarse-surface tire thrum" and "wind rush [which] rises with speed."
Cargo space is good in this full-size, family-friendly sedan. Edmunds refers to the 2009 Hyundai Azera's "humongous Ikea-friendly trunk."
2009 Hyundai Azera
The 2009 Hyundai Azera offers a roster of safety features that’s typical for its class, but its crash-test ratings are middle-of-the-road.
Editors at TheCarConnection.com are pleased to report that the 2009 Hyundai Azera offers great safety features and solid test scores.
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the 2009 Hyundai Azera "earned a top score of 'Good' for its protection of passengers in frontal offset crashes, and a score of 'Acceptable' (the second-highest rating) in side-impact testing," according to Edmunds. The 2009 Hyundai Azera received five stars from NHTSA for front-seat protection in side impacts and four stars for rear-seat protection, as well as four stars for frontal impact protection.
Hyundai equips every Azera with dual front airbags, electronic stability control, front-seat active head restraints, a tire pressure monitoring system, front and rear side airbags, curtain side airbags, anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes, and brake assist.
2009 Hyundai Azera
The 2009 Hyundai Azera includes a wide range of features that befit its luxury-car aspirations.
When Hyundai designed and equipped the 2009 Azera, it did so with a high bar in mind: The automaker wanted to match or best the Buick LaCrosse, Ford Taurus, and Toyota Avalon. TheCarConnection.com finds that the Azera thus offers plenty of nifty features.
In discussing the car that they test-drove, Edmunds says, "At under $30,000, our Azera Limited came packed with features normally found on luxury-branded vehicles costing thousands of dollars more. It comes as no surprise, then, that the loaded Azera is the volume seller, as consumers can't ignore such obvious value." Kelley Blue Book considers the 2009 Azera "a car to rival some of the best near-luxury sedans in America."
The base GLS trim level's standard equipment includes power door locks, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player, satellite radio, trip computer, compass, universal garage door opener, illuminated visor mirrors, air conditioning with dual-zone automatic climate controls, tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio controls, cruise control, cloth upholstery, eight-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment, four-way power passenger seat, split folding rear seat, heated power mirrors, power windows, automatic headlights, theft-deterrent system, fog lights, and alloy wheels shod with 235/55VR17 tires, reports ConsumerGuide. Also offered for the GLS is the optional Premium Package, which replaces the cloth upholstery with leather and adds heated front seats and a sunroof. The sunroof is also available separately.
Moving up to the Limited trim level brings a more powerful 3.8-liter V-6, as well as features like "power-folding outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, power rear sunshade, electroluminescent gauges and a 10-speaker Infinity sound system with in-dash six-CD changer," says Edmunds. The options package offered on the Limited is called the Ultimate Package, which "adds a power tilt-telescoping steering column, power-adjustable pedals, driver memory functions, a wood grain steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers and a 12-speaker Infinity Logic7 surround-sound stereo including subwoofer," according to Edmunds. For 2009, the Hyundai Azera comes with new iPod/USB inputs and a new audio display screen.