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Beater that's Hard to Beat: 2006-2011 Hyundai Azera

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On: Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 10:39AM | By: Teddy Field


Beater that's Hard to Beat: 2006-2011 Hyundai Azera

When it comes to buying an affordable family sedan, most people stick with the obvious choices: Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata. But if you know what you're looking for, you can walk away with a used luxury car that will be just as reliable as a blue-chip family sedan. So let's have a look at the 2006-2011 Hyundai Azera. Because at $6,000–$12,000, it's a luxurious beater, that's hard to beat...

Introduced to the U.S. market in 2006, the Hyundai Azera is a near-full size flagship sedan that was designed to compete with cars like the Toyota Avalon (Lexus ES), and Chrysler 300. This handsomely styled premium sedan features front-wheel drive, for optimum traction and interior room, and the suspension has been set to "American Float" (like most in its segment). So expect couch-like cruising, and lots of bodyroll in the bends. And the top-spec 3.8-liter V6 gives you that traditional "I can pass anything" feel, as it churns out a marvelous wave of torque to slingshot you down the road. Add all of this up, and you could almost call it the Hyundai LeSabre.

But, unlike that old, dead Buick, the steering rack in the Hyundai Azera isn't powered by Novocain. And the soft suspension is actually quite controlled, unless you decide to act like you're driving a BMW 540i around the Nurburgring. In a day-to-day urban environment, the 2006–2011 Hyundai Azera is the luxury-smooth car you never thought you could afford.

Furthering the luxury notion is a cabin that's just as proportionally pretty as the exterior. There's nicely grained plastics, soft-touch surfaces, and convincing woodgrain trim. The seats are cushy soft, there's lots of legroom in the back, and the domed roof provides an open, airy feel. Available toys include heated leather seats, power rear sunshade, navigation, power-adjustable pedals, a sunroof, and a bangin' 605 watt stereo. Standard gear includes dual-zone climate control, electric everything, and a full complement of airbags (front, side, and window).

Like most modern cars, there were recalls. So check the service history to make sure everything was addressed. You can find a good condition 2006–2011 Hyundai Azera for between $6k-$12k, depending on the mileage, equipment, and condition. Post-2008 models got a recalibrated suspension to improve both the ride and handling. And later Hyundai Azera Limited models can be found with luxuries like navigation, heated leather seats, LED tail lamps, automatic wipers, and really nice-looking 17-inch chrome alloys. Reliability is just as good as any other Hyundai, which makes this luxury cruiser a bargain that you should really consider. If Oldsmobile, Mercury, or Pontiac had made cars as good as the Hyundai Azera, they'd probably still be in business.


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