CHANGES FOR 2008:

– Turn signal indicators integrated into mirrors
– One rear coat hanger deleted (driver’s side only)
– Air Quality System function deleted

The Hyundai Azera, the flagship model of Hyundai’s sedans, remains virtually unchanged for 2008. As in 2007, two trim lines are offered: the GLS and Limited.

Both models use a 3.8-litre V6 aluminum engine, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with “Shiftronic” manual mode. Both models include four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake force distribution, eight airbags (including rear-seat side impact bags), traction control and electronic stability control.

Features on the GLS include 16-inch alloy wheels, leather interior, front windshield wiper de-icer, heated mirrors with turn signal indicators, automatic light control, fog lamps, automatic climate control, heated power front seats, woodgrain interior trim, power locks with keyless entry, power windows, power sunroof, trip computer, Homelink garage door opener, leather-wrapped wheel and CD/MP3 stereo with six speakers.

The Limited adds 17-inch alloy wheels, power-adjustable pedals, chrome exterior package, wood and leather steering wheel, electric rear sun screen, rain-sensing wipers, integrated memory system, and six-CD/MP3 stereo with ten speakers.

Offering a long list of higher-end items, the Azera is luxury on a budget; its handling isn’t as tight as some competitors, but it’s still a very pleasant car to drive, especially for longer highway trips, and it offers the company’s extensive warranty. Shop it against competitors like the Buick Lucerne, Lincoln MKZ and Kia Amanti.

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