Hyundai Azera: Chronicling the Changes

Hyundai launched into the large car market with XG300/350 in 2000, followed by the Azera in 2006. Subsequently, two additional models joined the product line – the midsize luxury Genesis and the full-size luxury Equus. In 2017, Hyundai separated the Genesis brand, moving the Genesis and Equus to the marque under new names. At the same time, the Azera was dropped, once again leaving the Sonata as the brand’s largest sedan. We chronicle the Azera’s 12-year model run in America.


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2017 — For its final model year, the Azera is unchanged.

2016 — Few changes mark this carryover model. However, the Limited grade gains adaptive cruise control and an electronic parking brake.

2015 — A mid-product-cycle update this year includes new front and rear styling. The Azera also gains expanded driver-assist tech, an 8-inch touchscreen display, and smartphone integration.

2014Hyundai lowers the Azera’s base price and divides the model line into two grades – Base and Limited.

2013 — No changes of note.

2012 — Hyundai launches the second-generation Azera, a much more stylish sedan than before. A 3.3-liter V6 serves as the lone engine choice, making 293 horsepower with power routed to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. A single, generously appointed grade level is available for a sedan that comes with automatic headlights, fog lights, leather upholstery, power front seats, zoned climate control, and other uplevel features.

Second-Generation Hyundai Azera


The second-generation Hyundai Azera
The second-generation Hyundai Azera

2011 — Refreshed front and rear styling and a new 6-speed automatic transmission highlight the changes this year. Also, both V6 engines are improved to deliver more power.

2010 — The changes this year involve feature shuffling only.

2009 — Modified steering and suspension upgrades chart the changes for this model year. Hyundai also added a new chrome grille and brought in new tech features, including an audio port.

2008 — Hyundai drops the SE grade and elevates the GLS with many of the features offered by the former. A new 3.3-liter V6 engine slots in as the standard engine with the 3.8-liter V6 optional.

2007 — For its second model year, the Azera gains a GLS introductory grade. Light changes accompany the other models.

2006 — Remember the Hyundai XG350? You’re forgiven if you do not. The XG350 represented Hyundai’s first premium sedan, measuring two inches longer than the Sonata. The XG350 wasn’t truly a large sedan and it was downright frumpy in appearance. Beginning in 2006, the XG350 was replaced by the Hyundai Azera, itself an extension of the midsize Sonata. The new model delivered handsome styling, a long list of standard features, and a 3.8-liter V6 engine paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The 2006 Azera was offered in SE and Limited grades upon its introduction.

First-Generation Hyundai Azera


The first-generation Hyundai Azera
The first-generation Hyundai Azera

Hyundai Azera Considerations

As a used vehicle, the Hyundai Azera brings tremendous value to the segment. Based on the slightly smaller Sonata, parts should not be difficult to find. That said, the Azera was sold in far smaller numbers than any other Hyundai sedan outside of the Genesis and Equus.

The full-size sedan market is nearly gone with the last players including the Toyota Avalon, Chrysler 300, and Dodge Charger. Recently retired models included the Ford Taurus, Buick LaCrosse, and the Chevrolet Impala.


See AlsoAll About the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid


Photo Attribution


Image by SsmIntrigue – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikipedia

By IFCAR – Own work, Public Domain, Wikipedia

Matt Keegan
Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

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