2014 Hyundai Azera

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Growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, my family had one not-quite-Cadillac after the next. A succession of Oldsmobiles that had many of the same features, but cost my folks less to buy because an Oldsmobile wasn’t a Cadillac – even if only in name.2014 Azera lead

The Hyundai Azera is a modern take on this idea.

For about what you’d pay to get into a compact-sized entry-luxury sedan such as a BMW 3 or Benz C, you can get into a full-sized Azera that’s bigger outside and inside than a BMW 5 or Benz E.

And it’s not merely a large car.

The Azera (like its principal rival, the Toyota Avalon) is also a really nice car. Leather interior – with heated seats in both rows – and a refrigerated beverage cubby in the center console. 10-speaker HD radio, GPS, auto climate control. An almost-300 hp V-6.

All standard – and for just over $33k.2014 Azera sunroof

For a few bucks more, you can fit it out with a full-length panorama sunroof, power driver’s seat cushion extender, side glass privacy shades, 14-speaker Infinity stereo, carbon fiber interior trim plates, 19 inch wheel/tire package – and still only be looking at about $37k, sticker. About what you’d pay for an entry-level (and only mid-sized) Lexus ES350  ($36,470).

Now, granted, it’s not a Lexus – or a BMW or a Benz.

But damn, Hyundai is sure trying to make them look bad.

And in several respects, succeeding.

WHAT IT IS2014 Azera interior detail

The full-size Azera luxury-touring sedan occupies the slot in Hyundai’s model lineup just above the mid-sized, family-minded Sonata sedan and right below the also-mid-sized but more sport/performance-minded (being RWD) Genesis sedan.

It’s also corporate cousin to the just-launched (2014) Kia Cadenza – which is priced slightly higher: $35,100 to start vs. $33,145 for the Azera. The Kia is slightly sportier-looking than the Hyundai and also a bit more sporty-driving, with a slightly firmer-riding suspension. It also comes with a few additional bells and whistles, such as adaptive cruise control and water-repellent window glass – which you can’t get in the Azera at the moment, but which will likely become available soon.2014 Azera headlights

The Azera’s base price is slightly higher than the base MSRPs of rivals like the Toyota Avalon ($31,800 to start) and a lot higher than the base MSRP of the all-new 2014 Chevy Impala ($26,860 to start). But unlike these competitors – which are sold in multiple trims – the Azera comes in just one fully loaded trim.

When comparably equipped, its rivals typically end up costing more.

WHAT’S NEW

Hyundai introduced the current Azera in 2012, so the current (2014) is only about two years old. There are no major updates for 2014, but it looks like there will be a mid-cycle refresh for the 2015 model year. In all likelihood, the ’15 Azera will come with (or offer) some of the equipment currently offered in its Kia Cadenza cousin, such as Adaptive Cruise Control.

It’s also possible there will be a hybrid or other economy-minded engine option.

WHAT’S GOOD2014 Azera forward view

Full-sized luxury, mid-sized price tag.

Standard V-6 is more powerful than several “luxury” cars’ standard fours.

Well-equipped, but not overwhelmingly so.

Peace-of-mind 10-year powertrain coverage.

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD

No hybrid or other gas-sippy engine option.

Sister car Cadenza has features not offered (yet) in Azera; offers a bit more styling and driving verve for about the same money.

UNDER THE HOOD2014 Azera engine

All Azeras come standard with a 293 hp 3.3 liter V-6 and six-speed automatic. The car can get to 60 in about 6.5 seconds, which is a speedy run.

It’s interesting that a car like this – a car that costs about $33k – comes with more engine – both in terms of displacement and power – than cars like the BMW 3 (or 5) sedans and the Mercedes C (or E) sedans, which can cost as much as $20,000 more and which are – ostensibly – premium cars. Those cars (most of them) come standard with fours now – and some of them (like the 1.8 liter, 201 hp Benz C250) are nearly 100 hp shy of what you get standard in the merely “Hyundai” Azera.

The Azera also outmuscles price-comparable rivals like the Toyota Avalon (3.5 liters, 268 hp) as well as the Chevy Impala – which comes standard with a 2.5 liter, 195 hp four (a 3.6 liter, 305 hp V-6 is available – but it’s optional).

So, what don’t you get?2014 Azera shifter

Good gas mileage.

The BMWs and the Benzes use turbo fours (and turbo-diesels) to deliver comparable 0-60 times, with EPA highway numbers in some cases (3 series diesel, for instance) well into the mid-40s.

The Azera rates 20 city, 29 highway – which isn’t terrible.

It’s just not great.2014 Azera i-pod hook-up

And it’s also odd in a way. The higher-priced cars just mentioned can be a lot more economical to drive – even if they are much less economical to buy. A car like the Azera loses some points on this account – especially in view of the fact that more direct rivals like the Toyota Avalon can be ordered with a hybrid powertrain capable of exceptionally economical operation (40 city, 39 highway) or – as in the case of the ’14 Impala – can be ordered with a more frugal four-cylinder engine (25 city, 35 highway).

It’s likely that Hyundai (and Kia, in the Cadenza) will address this by 2015. A hybrid version will almost certainly become available – and perhaps a four-cylinder, too.activeeco

The current car does have an “Active Eco” setting – there’s a driver-selectable button off to the left of the steering wheel. When activated, the transmission shifts into higher gear sooner to conserve fuel and other engine operating parameters are adjusted to maximize efficiency.

I honestly could not tell the difference, MPG-wise, either way.

However, one very real fuel-saving attribute of the Azera is that its engine is made to run best on regular unleaded. Premium fuel isn’t even recommended.

It’s often the case (and typically the case with status-brand cars) that powerful engines require premium fuel only. The 20 or so cents per gallon difference in cost, regular vs. premium, will probably save you more money than pushing (or not pushing) the Active Eco button.

I also dig that the Azera does not have an Auto-Stop function – a gimmick, in my opinion, that probably causes more in the way of wear and tear than saves you money on gas.

ON THE ROAD2014 Azera road

The Azera’s engine pulls strongly and without drama – for which it has been criticized by some other reviewers. They forget, I think, that the Azera is supposed to be a luxury-touring car. Or more to the point, a car that in many ways offers more real luxury than the higher-priced cars it was designed to undercut. And what could be more luxurious than a bigger/stronger – and quieter/smoother – engine?

It used to be that when you paid more for a car, you got more under the hood.

Lately, you get less.

For instance, to get nearly 300 hp in a new BMW 3 sedan (a much smaller car than the Hyundai) you’re looking at $43,400 to start – for the 335i. To get 300 hp in a BMW 5 (still smaller – and less roomy inside – than the Hyundai) you’re up to $53,400.2014 Azera road 2

Meanwhile, the standard turbo four in cars like the above  – while fun to play with, if you’re after that – isn’t as calmly powerful (especially in the lower ranges of the RPM band) as a bigger (and not turbo’d) V-6 as in the Azera. You hardly have to exert pressure on the accelerator pedal to get gratifying (and amply sufficient) acceleration. Spur it lightly – and off you go. Quietly, smoothly, without fuss. It’s rarely necessary to spin it faster than 3,500 RPM or so. This is the chief virtue of a bigger rather than a smaller engine – and having a big engine is one of the things that used to define a luxury-touring car.

But don’t expect the good times to last.

The current Azera was introduced in 2011 as a 2012 model. Since then, the federal government kicked-up fuel economy mandatory minimums (CAFE, in DC-speak) to 35.5 MPG, average. It is for this reason that BMW, Benz – and probably soon, Hyundai too – have been shedding bigger – and thirstier – sixxes in favor of smaller, fuel-sippy fours like a Himalayan cat drops fur on the couch. I fully expect the Azera update that’s on deck for model year 2015 to involve either a smaller, less powerful (but more economical) standard engine – with the 3.3 liter six relegated to optional status, as is the case with the new Chevy Impala. Or there’ll be a hybrid option, to even out the CAFE averages.CAFE graphic

One other point of order. The Azera is, of course, a front-wheel-drive car. FWD vs. RWD is one of the few meaningful/functional differences between “status” cars (BMWs, Benzes, et al) and, well, not-status cars. Hyundai is trying to horn in on that action too, of course – with the RWD Genesis and Equus sedans.

But RWD isn’t necessarily a plus.

Getting the power to the back wheels means a driveshaft running from the engine up front to an axle in the back. This means more parts – and more parts take up more space. All else being equal, a FWD car will usually have more interior space (and a larger trunk) than an otherwise similar RWD car. I’ll get into that in more detail below.snow driving picture

On the track, a RWD car has a handling advantage over a FWD car, by dint of (usually) more even weight distribution and because the drive wheels aren’t also the wheels that steer the car. But on the street, the FWD car has the traction advantage – especially if there’s water (or snow) on the road – because the engine pulls rather than pushes the car and because the weight of the engine (and transmission) is pushing down on the drive wheels, which helps them to bite better and slip less.

AT THE CURB2014 Azera curb

Hyundai (and Kia) are surely giving the Status Boys heartburn. The initial knife-thrust was the striking-looking Kia Optima – which has sold like black velvet paintings at an Elvis convention. I see them (Optimas, not Elvis paintings) everywhere.

Now comes the Azera (and its corporate cousin, the Kia Cadenza). Also striking-looking cars that shiv the Status Cars on price. It is no coincidence that Mercedes just launched a new “under $30k” sedan – the CLA. Not when you can buy a car like this for just over $30k.frontseat

Now, granted, Hyundai did some cribbing. The Jaguar XF-esque tail-lights, for instance. The Chrysler 300 double-pleated hood. And the Lexus LS-esque trapezoidal exhaust tips. Doesn’t detract from it looking good, does it? And the jaunty arch that sweeps upward from the back doors to the trunk? That’s uniquely Hyundai – and uniquely Azera.

I mentioned earlier the roominess advantage of the FWD layout vs. the RWD layout. The Azera has slightly more legroom up front than Hyundai’s top-of-the-line (and RWD) Equus sedan – 45.5 inches vs. 45.1 – and nearly as much backseat legroom – 36.8 inches vs. 38.6 – as the physically much larger (196.3 inches long overall vs. 193.3 inches) Equus.2014 Azera rear seat

But how does the Azera compare to its immediate competitors?

The Toyota Avalon and Chevy Impala are both a bit larger on the outside than the Azera, 195.3 inches overall for the Toytoa and 201.3 inches for the Chevy – and give you a lot more backseat legroom – 39.8 inches for the Chevy and 39.2 for the Toyota. Still, they’re all adult-friendly as far as the back seats go – vastly more so than RWD price (but not size) comparables. The new Benz CLA, for instance, has just 27.1 inches of second row legroom.

That’s a difference you’ll notice.

Headroom in the back is also something you’ll notice. There’s plenty for someone well over six feet – and that means for nine out of ten people.

I mentioned earlier the back seats also come standard with heaters – a nice touch, that. To get heated rear seats in the Avalon, you’ve got to step up to the Touring trim, which has a sticker price of $35,500 – $2,355 higher than the Azera’s base price. The Impala doesn’t offer rear seaters at all.2014 Azera door detail

Other nice touches include the controls for the front seat adjusters, which are not located where you can’t see them. Hyundai emulated the premium cars it is working night and day to send to the glue factory by mounting them on the door panels, where you can both see and reach them easily. At night, the buttons are highlighted with ice-blue LED backlighting, too.

The trunk is huge – 16.3 cubic feet, bigger than the Avalon’s – and the trunk lid opens tall and wide. It’s not quite as capacious as my mom’s old ’74 Olds 98 – but it’s close!2014 Azera trunk

All the Azera’s controls are blessedly easy to comprehend and operate. For example, there’s a single, hand-sized rotary knob to control the audio system’s volume. Push it to turn the radio off – again to turn it back on. You want the seats to heat? Push the (clearly marked) seat heater button. No multiplexed menus; no mice – no hassles. This is a clear departure point relative to the Status Stuff, where the controls are often inscrutable and awkward to operate.

One control that does need updating, though, is the cruise control. It’s a basic system that will try to maintain whatever speed you set. But if you roll up on traffic – or find yourself rolling down a hill – the system can’t adjust vehicle speed accordingly. You have to manually brake to avoid running up on the bumper of the slower car ahead of you – or to keep the car from building up too much speed when descending a steep grade. Adaptive cruise control – which is pretty much standard in higher-end cars these days – uses radar proximity sensors to detect the presence of traffic and automatically decreases (and then increases) your vehicle’s speed to match the ebb and flow of traffic. And to keep you from getting nabbed in a speed trap at the bottom of a hill.

The absence of adaptive cruise control – even as an option – is one of the very few areas where the Azera’s not quite up to snuff.

THE REST2014 Azera close-up

Some cars have obnoxious buzzers that harass you if you elect not to wear your seatbelt. The Azera has an overly-cheerful syrupy ring-tone thing that plays whenever you start – or stop – the engine. It only lasts a few seconds, but it gets old after awhile. I wonder whether it can be turned off.

Beyond this – and the lack of Adaptive Cruise Control – this is an impressive car for the money.

And otherwise.2014 Azera tail

THE BOTTOM LINE

I’ll take a Cadillac at an Oldsmobile price any day of the week.

How about you?

Throw it in the Woods?

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  45 comments for “2014 Hyundai Azera

  1. Garysco
    October 14, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Eric -Just looking at the car, if it had one of these fitted to the grill I wouldn’t be able to tell it from a Benz. :)
    http://blog.caranddriver.com/mercedes-benz-gets-its-shine-on-introduces-dealer-installed-illuminated-three-pointed-star-emblems/

  2. Robert
    October 14, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Although I haven’t driven one, I like the IDEA of cars like the Azera and the Avalon: width and legroom of a large SUV, but height of a sedan — thus better MPG and handling. But the Avalon used to be such an Ugly Duckling! It’s gotten much better, though, and so has the Azera. The Azera is now in the same class as the Sonata, style-wise — which is a good thing. And like you said, Eric, you get a lot for the money. And I definitely like that!

  3. Doug
    October 14, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I don’t understand your problem with a with Start/Stop function. If you don’t like it, turn it off. Mine is turned-off most of the time but there are a few instances (particularly driving in areas with a lot of traffic lights) where it makes sense.

    • eric
      October 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      It’s a gimmick, for one. No meaningful difference in fuel economy – unless you routinely sit for long periods of time with the engine idling.

      In which case, just turn the engine off!

      Some of these systems (BMW, for example) require you to turn them off every time you go for a drive – because the default setting is on. It’s an annoyance.

      And even if not, I don’t like the idea of repeated stop/start cycles. When the engine isn’t running, the oil is not flowing. And most wear and tear occurs guess when?

      At start-up.

      • Robert
        October 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm

        I don’t like the idea of all that starting and stopping either. Gimmick is the right word, because all it does is get the car company a little help in their CAFE ratings. Any savings for the driver will likely be more than wiped out when starters, etc., have to be replaced early.

      • Doug
        October 14, 2013 at 5:39 pm

        My Start/Stop is the same as BMW but pushing a button to turn it off is no big deal – actually, easier than operating the radio – or turning on my Valentine1 for that matter. I will turn it off when I start the car and turn it on when I expect to be stopped for relatively long periods.
        The initial wear on the engine is during start-up when cold. Once operating temperature is reached, modern synthetic oils provide enough protection to make this a non-issue.
        I am concerned about the longevity of the system. Normal batteries have always lasted me 7+ years so I hope the S/S battery is the same since they are more expensive. All the European manufacturers have increased the durabilty of the other components (Mercedes claims they have increased the strength of their starters by 8 times) so maybe they will last as long as non-S/S parts. I have met a few people with S/S systems in my town and,so far, reliabilty has not an issue – one has a 2009 BMW Mini. If I do have a problem though, I can always turn-off the system permanently with my VAGcom.

        • eric
          October 14, 2013 at 6:02 pm

          I’d have no issue with it – if it were an optional feature. My gripe is that it’s been bundled into the roster of standard equipment – one more hassle, one more potential extra expense – for something I don’t want and would never choose to buy.

          • BrentP
            October 14, 2013 at 7:18 pm

            Many times it is simply cheaper to make something standard. The carrying costs of different BOMs costs more than just bundling it in.

  4. Pericles
    October 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Yup…The new Cadillac CTS is excellent except for the price. It will make a great 3 year old off-lease car.

  5. Zathras
    October 14, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Thanks for the review Eric! I own a 2013 Azera, and I love the car. It’s quiet, smooth, powerful, has tons of room, and all the gadgets I want. I don’t care about the lack of adaptive cruise control, as I don’t really want my car to do the driving for me. One other feature that the car has that you didn’t mention in the article is ventilated front seats. They quickly became my favorite thing about this car during the Texas summer!

  6. October 14, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Moderator, there are no headings showing in my browser for the three blanks, so I do not know what to put in them. Anyway, here is my comment:

    Are you sure you tested a 2014 Azera? Two local dealers tell me that they haven’t been released yet. Did you test a 2014 on the assumption that there were no changes? There were to be some minor changes, like blind-side mirrors, some steering and suspension tweaks, etc. but you made no mention of that. What about price increase? Please clarify, 2013 or 2014?

    • MrVivona
      October 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      I agree. I think the car that you actually tested was a 2013 Azera. If it was actually a 2014 model, I too would be interested in knowing how you were able to get one since no one else seems to know anything about even its release date.

  7. MoT
    October 14, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Once again Hyundai moves forward. A very nice vehicle for the money.

    • October 14, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      Dear MoT,

      When Hyundai first came out in the unitedstate, I was skeptical.

      But “Time has told,” if that’s idiomatically acceptable.

      Not just Hyundai, but sister company KIA, seem to be making damn good products at highly competitive prices.

      The KIAs have been given a nice makeover by Peter Schreyer, the designer of the Audi TT.

      http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110505/CARNEWS/110509928

  8. Jack
    October 16, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Eric,

    You can turn off the seatbelt chime in any car. You can add comfort windows (auto up and down from key fob) to any car as well. Also retract the roof from key fob. You can even add a digital speedometer. There are also many neat things to be done with the way the lights operate with the turn signal as well. Any tuner shop will hook up any modern car to the computer and reprogram some of the code for $50 to $100. It usually only takes 10 minutes. Fortunately on my new Cayman S, the start stop defaults to off whenever I start the vehicle. However, my new car did have a lame and annoying *beep beep* horn honk sound when I locked the car. The dealer quickly changed that line of code upon my request and now it is silent.

    • eric
      October 16, 2013 at 7:54 am

      Good to know, Jack.

      It’s just a PITAS that people have to deal with these hassles at all!

  9. MrVivona
    October 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Eric, please respond to the question: Was it actually a 2013 Azera that you tested since according to Hyundai the 2014 Azera won’t start production until October 30th? If it was a 2014, how did you get one and why didn’t you mention the changes from the 2013 model?

  10. dom
    October 19, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Was it actually a 2013 Azera that you tested?

    No, it was a 2014.

    How did you get one?

    Eric is a professional columnist and receives press cars before the public to drive and write reviews.

    Why didn’t you mention the changes from the 2013 model?

    Eric will have to answer that one.

    • MrVivona
      October 20, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Dom, thanks for your reply, but who are you and how do you know it was a 2014? Are you directly associated with Eric and this website? I am surprised that a question asked directly to Eric has not been answered directly by Eric.

      I do know that auto journalists can receive press cars in advance, but no other journalist that I can find online has reviewed a 2014 Azera. In fact, I can find nothing whatsoever on the 2014 Azera online or in print except for a brief mention by Motor Trend in their New Cars edition. Further, information from Hyundai says the Azera doesn’t go into production until October 30th. Also, I just checked with several local dealers and none of them have any information on the 2014 model. My suspicion that Eric tested a 2013 model is further supported by the fact that he did not mention any changes from the 2013 model, and that he lists the exact same MSRP as the 2013 Azera. Rarely does the MSRP stay the same year-to-year.

      So, Eric, could you please directly reply to this?

      • MrVivona
        October 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm

        I should add that my interest in verifying the year of the reviewed Azera is not to point out any errors in the article. I am in the market at that critical point between the outgoing 2013 Azera model and the incoming 2014 model where I have to decide on either buying one of the last of the 2013 Azeras in stock, or waiting to buy a 2014 model. If there are changes, or price increases, that make the 2014 model undesirable, I have to snag a 2013 Azera in the color and option level I want before they are all gone. If the 2014 Azera is unchanged, or changed for the better, then I can comfortably wait until they are in stock and wait until the first round of rebates come along, usually around January.

        So, if you actually reviewed a 2014 model, that tells me there are no substantive changes. But, if it was a 2013 model, I can’t rely on your article to make a buying decision.

        I hope you can now understand why I would really like some verification of the actual year of the Azera reviewed.

        • dom
          October 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm

          On the phone with him now. 100% sure it’s a 2014.

  11. Madro
    October 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    At position 9:16 the version in Saudi Arabia has Smart Cruise Control

    • dom
      October 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Holy cow, that auto braked?

  12. JB
    October 31, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I have owned my 2013 Azera (with Tech pkg) for the past 6 months and it is everything you claim and then some. BTW, you can turn the alarm music off easily, read your manual.

    Couple of things this car needs (options or std): Needs the adaptive Cruise but also needs side warning system, a crime that this is not std. on the technology pkg. Also needs an option to display MPH digitally. Bluetooth connectivity it good, but the quality is poor. And lastly the navigation could be more forthright with clearer directions. Interestingly, all of the manuals are available in PDF file except the one that you need to spend the most amount of time with familiarizing yourself…. the Nav manual. You cannot even order an additional one, no part number.

    Clean these elements up and the car is perfect. A great bargain, turns heads especially since I chromed the stock 19″ wheels, an option that should have been available from the factory.

    • eric
      October 31, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Hi JB,

      Thank you for the input; it’s always helpful to hear from someone who’s had a given car for longer than the week I get them!

      PS: They just dropped off a ’14 Cadenza. Look for the write up shortly.

      • Steve
        December 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm

        Eric,

        I’ve driven my 2013 for a little over a year now and really like it. Agree that it should have a few options that aren’t offered. One not mentioned, and I can’t understand, is why no heated steering wheel? Has heated rear seats, but think the heated steering wheel would be more logical.

        Hopefully they’ve added that and possibly others for 2014.

        Regards, Stevve

  13. Werner
    November 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    A Kia SUV was on our list to look at when shopping for a small SUV some years ago. TV ads touted Kia’s 10 year warranty! However, when we investigated at a local dealer here in Canada we were told that the warranty in Canada was only for five years! Reason: no explanation other than that it is just the way it is! Guess what? Feeling like being treated like a second class customer we went to a brand where they don’t discriminate! Good thing too, our neighbours’ Kia Sedona’s V6 engine gave up the ghost right after the warranty ran out – it is parked in their drive way as they can’t afford the many thousands to fix it…after the dealer charged them an arm and a leg (several days in the shop!) trying to find out why one cylinder is dead.

    • eric
      November 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Hi Werner,

      That’s interesting about the warranty being different in Canada; I didn’t know that.

      To be fair to Kia, though, we’d have to ascertain why the V-6 in your neighbor’s Sedona developed a problem. It might be a manufacturing defect, but it could also be the result of abuse – and so not Kia’s fault.

      • Werner
        November 4, 2013 at 5:32 pm

        They don’t drive their vehicles very hard! They also have a GM Saturn which has outperformed the Kia Sedona as far as reliability is concerned, needing only the usual things like brake pads. They always have two vehicles. Appeals to Kia to help them somehow with this not typical engine failure led nowhere. The Sedona had other problems with sliding doors and switches and so forth but an engine failure is actually rare. Had they had the usual US warranty it would have been covered by it.

        Now they have the Saturn and a new Toyota Sienna van. The Kia is rusting in the drive way because the repair would cost more than what the van is worth!

        The Saturn has at least twice the number of kilometers on it!

        • eric
          November 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm

          Hi Werner,

          I’d still like to know exactly what went wrong with the engine – which would help us evaluate the why (and whether it’s abnormal or to be expected). Again, I’m not taking Kia’s side. But I’m also not taking the neighbor’s side. We need more data!

          PS: The warranty may not have covered this problem – if it was deemed to be the result of poor maintenance or abuse. It’s entirely possible that (as an example) they took the vehicle to a quick lube joint and they under-filled the crankcase. This happens more often than you might imagine. And when it does, the warranty won’t cover the damage that results.

          • Eightsouthman
            November 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm

            eric, my dad would take his vehicles to a quick lube. I sometimes think he used it as an excuse to go to the big town, eat, shop with my mom, etc. which he didn’t need an excuse. I always tried to get him to let me service his vehicles, have a shop in the barn and didn’t mind doing it at all. He pulled up to our gate one afternoon and the oil light came on so when he got to my house he told me he’d just had it serviced at Jiffy Lube. We leave it for a while and I check it, nothing on the stick. I put in a quart, tip of the stick. Ended up putting 3 quarts in it to get it full. Then I worked on my mom. He still wouldn’t have me do it and of course I’d check the vehicle out and fix things I found not up to snuff. I finally started doing this thing of borrowing his vehicles and then servicing them. I kept cases of filters and oil so it wasn’t here nor there to me. People have their idiosyncracies though.

          • eric
            November 4, 2013 at 8:03 pm

            Hi Eight – yup!

            Most people don’t realize that (a) these Quick Lube joints don’t have trained mechanics doing the work (how else do you suppose they can offer $19 oil changes?) and (b) they don’t add oil quart by quart, as you or I would do. Instead, they use a gun – and shoot in what you hope is the right amount of oil but often isn’t.

            There’s also this:

            Years ago, my mom calls me up and asks me to come by the house to check out here car. There is an oil puddle underneath the engine. She had taken it to a Quick Lube place the day before. Turns out the dickweed crossthreaded the drain bolt – and then left it like that (looser than an old hillbilly’s tooth).

            A miracle it didn’t fall out – and with it, the 5 quarts of oil.

          • Eightsouthman
            November 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm

            eric, I used to use my cousin’s barn to service my vehicles before I bought mine and I’d often help him by servicing his equipment, whatever it might be. Since he bought oil on the cheap by the drum he finally bought a gun since there was compressed air everywhere. I liked the gun and it was accurate although I always manually checked the level. I think some of these guys just don’t know how to operate them. They are flowmeters and will not register X amount of quarts if X amount of quarts don’t flow through them and they’re better now than ever. Just chalk lack of correct amount and cross-threaded plugs to “you get what you pay for”. I have NEVER cross-threaded an oil plug of any sort. They have very definite threads that are easy to hit. You shouldn’t need a wrench until it’s tight against the pan or I’m the luckiest guy in the world and YOU KNOW THAT AIN’T SO.

          • Werner
            November 4, 2013 at 9:20 pm

            Hi Eric,

            the diagnosis that the local Kia dealer came up with (they bought the vehicle brand new from there and it was serviced there during the warranty period) was one dead cylinder. However, it took many trips and many hours in the shop to come up with that final verdict. Several times he paid, had the vehicle pronounced fixed, but the problem was never really eliminated.

            It has been parked for more than a year now as he does not believe that after spending a pile of money on finding out what was wrong with it that he would throw more good money after bad.

            He has no idea what would be required to resurrect an engine with one dead cylinder. The cost to troubleshoot and repair the thing would be far more than what the van is worth now.

          • BrentP
            November 4, 2013 at 9:53 pm

            It’s pretty simple to see if there is a major mechanical issue or not.
            If it’s dead because of no spark then it’s an electronic issue.
            If it’s dead because of a lack of compression, the engine is broken in some way. A best case there is pulling that cylinder head. worst case is rebuilding the engine.

            After that the diagnosis becomes more interesting, but that’s where to start.

          • Eightsouthman
            November 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm

            An engine is an engine and no matter how it get’s spark or fuel, it’s still just an air pump. I could located the problem if not specifically if say, it’s the electronics, but I could locate the problem in an hour, maybe a little more depending on how hard it was to remove the head if that was required. Dead cylinder, no spark, no fuel, no air(not likely)hole in piston, or bad valve, determined by pressure gauge. No spark determined by pissing on the plug wire ha ha but it is easy. No fuel? Direct injector? Getting gas? If it’s a valve or piston you can almost always hear that. It ain’t that hard.

  14. Robert
    November 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    … we went to a brand where they don’t discriminate!

    What brand did you go with, Werner?

    • Werner
      November 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Hi, Toyota…2004 RAV4….almost ten years of trouble free driving. It was made in Japan, our first ever completely trouble free vehicle. Still have it!

      • eric
        November 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm

        We’ve had three Japanese vehicles (one Toyota, two Nissans). All out-performed my expectations.

        I also have owned a dozen-plus Japanese bikes over the years and not one of them was other than excellent.

  15. Dolf
    November 7, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Eric never did answer the question whether it WAS a 2014. Therefor is was NOT !
    I understand the marketing play… I cant find anything else on the 2014 Azera yet low and behold Eric has reviewed it!

    Good move Eric, I am sure you got lots of hits and interest on your website.

    Now I just wonder how long my comment will stay posted here.

    Sorry, just “keepin it real”

    Dolf.

    • MrVivona
      November 7, 2013 at 11:10 am

      I am inclined to agree with you since Hyundai wouldn’t send a car to the press fleet prior to publishing it’s press release on the car, and, as of this message, Hyundai still has not issued a press release on the 2014 Azera. Further, production on the 2014 Azera started on October 31st, two weeks after this review was published. And, finally, if it was a 2014 that Eric reviewed, the rear of the car would have the word Limited on the right side of the trunk lid, just above the tail light. But, in this picture you can see it does not: http://ericpetersautos.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/2014-Azera-curb.jpg

      • MrVivona
        December 3, 2013 at 9:06 am

        I just met with a Hyundai product specialist at the local International Auto Show where they were displaying a 2013 Azera because the 2014 has not yet been released. She verified that there are no 2014’s available anywhere in the USA, even in a press fleet. So, Eric really was testing a 2013 Azera. The changes will be minimal, so you can rely mostly on the comments made by Eric on the 2013 model.

        According to the Hyundai rep, for 2014, there will be a base model and a Limited model. The base model will not have navigation, so the MSRP will be reduced. The Limited model will have most of the options currently on the 2013 Tech model, with a few items available as an optional Premium package, such as the panoramic roof and 19″ tires. Improvements for 2014 will be a larger nav screen (8″) and blind-spot mirrors.

  16. MrVivona
    January 25, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Eric – Now that the 2014 Azera is actually out, why not admit you actually tested the 2013 Azera is this review, re-title it as such, and then get your hands on a 2014 Azera. There were a few changes in the 2014 Azera, like a change in trim levels, a new 8″ Nav system, steering improvements and a blind spot mirror. It would be great to have a comparison to see how these changes compared to the outgoing 2013 Azera you tested. I would like to see your review of the 2014 model.

  17. Max
    April 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    2014 Azera (teck) onwner – no big volume knob on 2014, replace with smaller equl sive volume and tuner knob….so the above review was for 2013, but one of the best reviews I have read

    • eric
      April 10, 2014 at 6:36 am

      Thanks, Max!

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