Hyundai Azera Finds Niche Between Sonata and Genesis

2012 Hyundai Azera.Lucy Nicholson/Reuters2012 Hyundai Azera.

Introduced on Wednesday, Nov. 16: 2012 Hyundai Azera.

What is it? An all-new full-size sedan that fits between the Sonata and Genesis.

What they said: The Azera is the seventh vehicle in Hyundai’s “24/7 version 2.0 product initiative,” with seven new models in 24 months.

What they didn’t say: No one explained exactly why a brand like Hyundai needs three luxury sedans: Azera, Genesis and Equus. Hyundai is also boasting about its success at selling more than 100,000 vehicles that get 40 m.p.g., so with the Azera being just another luxury sedan and just another less-than-40-m.p.g. vehicle, we’re not sure we understand the business case.

What makes it tick? The 3.3-liter V-6 will make 293 horsepower and will be coupled to a six-speed transmission. Hyundai estimates a fuel economy rating of 20 m.p.g. city, 29 highway.

How much, how soon? Hyundai isn’t talking pricing yet, other than to say it knows that it has a reputation as a value brand and intends to stay that way when the Azera goes on sale in February. But there will be high-end standard equipment, including a navigation system.

How’s it look? Automakers continue to use this word to describe their new vehicle’s appearance: fluid. Hyundai went with its now-common phrase, “fluidic sculpture,” which we’re starting to believe is like saying “exciting-adjacent.”

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