Saturday, April 21, 2018
Business

The Daily Drivers car review: 2012 Hyundai Azera

Hyundai's Azera may not come to mind when you think of a full-size sedan, but it would be a shame to overlook it — especially because it has been stylishly redesigned for 2012. (The '13 has no major changes.) The Azera fits into the Korean carmaker's lineup above one of our favorite midsize sedans, the Sonata, and below the luxury Genesis.

Appearance: Frumpy look, begone! Like the rest of Hyundai's lineup, which has been revamped using its "fluidic sculpture" design philosophy, the Azera finally gets its makeover. It's now a striking sedan whose flowing lines resemble its siblings, albeit less "wavy" than the Sonata. The Azera has a curved chrome grille and other bold details such as jewel-like headlights with LCD accents, chrome-trimmed fog lights in the front fascia and taillights that wrap all the way around the rear. Chrome-tipped dual exhaust and 19-inch alloy wheels also add bling.

Performance: The 3.3-liter GDI V-6 makes 293 horsepower and provides plenty of pickup with a smooth-shifting 6-speed transmission. Still, the Azera won't be confused with a sports sedan. The cushy ride is engineered more for comfort than performance, with a soft suspension that soaks up bumps but doesn't give in to the "floaty" feeling you get in some larger sedans. The electronic power steering feels a bit vague but the Azera's handling is precise. Lyra had to react instantly to evade a reckless driver on a rainy Interstate 4 — jerking the wheel sideways. The car stayed planted and recovered well.

Interior: Little road or wind noise intrude into the quiet cabin. The Azera has a lot of standard features; it comes in just one trim level with a technology package ($4,000) as the only option. The fit and finish are good, even with an abundance of hard plastic. Hyundai says Azera has best-in-class headroom and legroom, and we found it spacious, although Peter felt the comfortable leather seats were positioned too high. We both liked the seat adjustment on the door — a Mercedes touch — but Lyra found it was located too far forward. Lyra thought the chestnut brown leather added warmth to the interior, but Peter saw it as an odd contrast to the rest of the black trim. We both loved the panoramic sunroof, which is part of the option package. There were some annoyances. The Blue Link buttons are on the rearview mirror and can be pushed accidentally while trying to adjust the mirror. And why no blind-spot warning system, even as an option? (There is a rearview camera and parking assist.) There is a big dial for the volume control, but no tuning dial.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Controlled ride: It doesn't handle like a boat.

Upscale look: It resembles an expensive car.

Standard features: Lots of them in one trim level.

Lyra Solochek

Sedan style: It's looks like a hybrid of a Sonata and Hyundai's corporate cousin, Kia's sleek Optima sedan (my favorite).

Cushy seats: Comfortable and impact-absorbent.

Quiet cabin: Not much road or wind noise.

The bottom line: The Hyundai Azera carries an expensive look if not a price tag. Call it Luxury Lite. For those looking for a comfortable full-size sedan that doesn't sacrifice features or styling, this is your car.

     
         
Comments
Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

When Samantha Hess’s marriage ended five years ago, she felt she was lacking a basic human need: Physical touch. As a woman in her late 20s living in Portland, Oregon, she found plenty of men interested in dating, but sexual contact was not what she ...
Published: 04/21/18
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. Those were among the prelim...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida. The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the do...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

For the sixth month running, Florida’s unemployment rate held at a nearly 11-year low of 3.9 percent in March as steady job gains continued. While many factors kept Florida’s economy chugging along, three industries stand out for leading year-over-ye...
Published: 04/20/18
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

The Tampa Bay Times recently sat down with Walmart director of corporate communications Phillip Keene to chat about the retail giant’s latest retail strategies and how the company is winning over customers in a competitive market.Already, two of the ...
Published: 04/20/18
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Published: 04/20/18
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18