Hyundai has gone deep into the heart of the popular Azera for 2011, hoping to give buyers more of what they crave: extra power and better fuel economy.
The front-wheel-drive Azera GLS and Limited models return. The GLS comes powered by a new V6. The 3.3L unit utilizes Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (DCVVT) to deliver 263 hp and 233 ft-lb. of torque, with Hyundai estimating 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. The Limited, meanwhile, draws power from an all-new 3.8L DOHC V6, also with DCVVT. The engine is also used in the upscale Genesis sedan and coupe, and it produces 283 hp and 263 lb-ft. of torque. This engine is expected to return 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
Both engines are mated to an all-new 6-speed automatic transmission, which Hyundai designed and built in-house. The unit features Shiftmatic manual control, which gives drivers greater flexibility in controlling shift points. Hyundai states the transmission is the most compact 6-speed auto on the market, and it is more than 20 pounds lighter than the version it replaces.
The Azera's underpinnings also have been revised, with a stiffer chassis and more responsive suspension and steering.
The Azera is little changed inside for 2011, though new bits include blue backlighting, a power rear sunshade, dual front climate control, power seats, power folding side mirrors and a brushed aluminum finish.
Standard features in the GLS include the above amenities, plus a 6-speaker MP3-compatible stereo, and premium cloth seating, while the Limited adds leather seating and a 10-speaker Infinity in-dash six-disc CD stereo.
The Premium Package adds leather seating, heated front seats, and a power sunroof. A Navigation Package includes an LG navigation system and 605-watt Infinity surround sound stereo. The Ultimate Package features the above stereo, plus the sunroof, power tilt/telescopic steering, adjustable pedals, seat memory, woodgrain accents and rain-sensing wipers.
All Azeras come standard with eight airbags, active front head restraints to help prevent whiplash, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a Traction Control System (TCS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), which optimizes brake performance.