Hyundai Azera 2008

2008 Hyundai Azera
The 2008 Hyundai Azera ranks 4 out of 9 Affordable Large Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 48 published reviews and test drives of the Hyundai Azera, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The 2008 Azera delivers solid performance, a very roomy interior, a long list of safety features and an unmatched warranty. However, many consider the handling vague, and the exterior styling bland.

The 2008 Hyundai Azera is unique in this class for its balance of features and capabilities, combined with a relatively low price. The argument for the Hyundai's large car is simple: The Azera finishes in the top half of its class in our ratings in nearly every category, is available with a ten-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and can be bought fully-equipped for under $30,000. It's a tremendous value. U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman calls the Azera a "darn good product that undercuts the competition by a couple thousand dollars or more."

Hyundai is trying a similar tactic with its upcoming Genesis sedan. The Azera is front-wheel drive, while the Genesis sends its power to the rear wheels. The two cars occupy similar space in Hyundai's lineup for a similar price, but the Azera can be had for a slightly lower investment.

For 2008, Hyundai has cut the midlevel SE trim from the Azera lineup. Buyers now choose between a relatively well-equipped base-level GLS, and a Limited trim that adds enough luxury features to allow the Azera compete with some entry-level luxury sedans. Hyundai has also addressed some complains by retuning the Azera's suspension for 2008 to improve ride and handling. If you're interested in the Azera, the Toyota Avalon and Chrysler 300 are also worth a look.

* "A handsome larger sedan that has scads of interior room, neat LED taillights and projector-beam headlamps firmly affixed on the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima." -- Road and Track

* "Azera is one of the nicer midsize sedans on the market in room, comfort and quiet. Sadly, it's also one of the best kept secrets in that segment and beyond." -- Chicago Tribune

* "If you can do without a few frills, Hyundai's Azera rides with some heady competition in the near-luxury segment, but at a much lower price." -- Forbes

* " In design and styling, in creature comforts, powertrain and in safety features, Azera offers as much or more than anything else in the class, and at a lower price." -- New Car Test Drive

* "Car buyers will soon define Azera as ‘discount luxury.' In addition to a long list of familiar basics, like 16-inch wheels, a CD player, and a dual-zone A/C system, the Azera comes standard with many niceties that often add thousands to the price of similar vehicles." -- U.S. News

* "Compared to not only its premium rivals, but also to entry level luxury sedans, it is a high quality bargain." -- Motor Week

Azera Performance - 7.6 (Good)
The 2008 Hyundai Azera is among the top performers in the affordable large car class. Reviewers praise its handling, improved for 2008, and they say the 3.3-liter V6 that powers the GLS model moves the large car well, while the Limited's 3.8-liter V6 builds some fun into the equation. The Sacramento Bee says "the V-6 accelerated strongly and smoothly. The Azera was a nimble highway performer. On city streets, it steered with ease." Continue with our full Performance Review to read about improvements in suspension for 2008 that helping bring the Azera's handling in-line with the best vehicles in its class.

Azera Exterior - 7.6 (Good)
Many reviews describe the 2008 Azera's appearance as a conservative, but refined success. The Chicago Tribune says "While Toyota and Honda have gone to great lengths to ensure Camry and Accord set the benchmark for bland, Hyundai has taken pains to make Azera fashionable, from the jewel lamps upfront to eye-catching multi-spoked wheels along the sides to curvy deck lid." A few see the Azera's lines as bland and unexciting. Continue with our full Exterior Review to read both praise and criticism of the Hyundai's sheetmetal.

Azera Interior - 7.8 (Good)
Hyundai likes to promote the 2008 Azera as a near-luxury level sedan, and the automotive press sometimes concedes the comparison. Road and Track says "As you'd expect of a premium sedan, the Azera is opulent inside." However, the Azera competes in a class filled with comfortable, spacious cabins. Though the 2008 Azera's cabin earns praise, Hyundai's effort doesn't reach the top of our rankings. Continue with our full Interior Review to read how about proportions that seem to fit some drivers well, and make others feel awkward.

Azera Safety - 8.3 (Very Good)
The Azera offers a competitive suite of safety equipment, now expected in order to compete in this class. The 2008 model scored fairly well in crash testing, but didn't match its best competitors. It earned four out of five stars in government frontal-impact crash tests and received five out of five stars in side-impact crash testing for the front seat and four out of five stars for the rear seat Though the 2008 has not been tested, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests rated the mechanically similar 2007 Azera a top score of "Good" for passenger protection in frontal offset crashes and "Acceptable" in side-impact testing. Continue with our full Safety Review for a complete summary of the Azera's safety equipment.

Azera Reliability - 6.0 (Mediocre)
The 2008 Hyundai Azera reliability score shown is the Predicted Reliability rating provided by J.D. Power and Associates. This score is based on trending the past three years of historical initial quality and dependability data from J.D. Power's automotive studies, specifically the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and the Initial Quality Study (IQS). Hyundai offers a five-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty on the 2008 Azera. The Azera also comes with a ten-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and five-years of 24-hour roadside assistance. The powertrain warranty is particular noteworthy. Forbes says "the Azera is covered by a warranty that puts most, if not all, of the luxury makes to shame." It may be the best argument for considering the Azera. Continue with our full Reliability Review to learn about Hyundai's increasing reputation for building solid, dependable cars -- and offering industry-leading warranty coverage to protect owners.
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