Midsize car; Built in South Korea
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $8,000 – $25,200*

2006 Hyundai Azera

2006 Hyundai Azera

2006 Hyundai Azera

2006 Hyundai Azera

  • Acceleration
  • Control layout and materials
  • Passenger room and comfort
  • Quietness
  • Steering/handling
  • Ride (on some surfaces)

Azera tops its class for standard safety features and warranty coverage, while offering impressive room, refinement, luxury amenities, and build quality. Indifferent handling and ride control take it down a notch, but overall, this Hyundai stacks up well against such target rivals as the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima, as well as the Buick LaCrosse and Ford Five Hundred. Considering that it costs less than those models when comparably equipped, the Azera starts to sound like a winner.


Azera replaced the XG350 as Hyundai’s flagship sedan for 2006, also positioned above the Sonata. Slightly larger than the XG350, the midsize front-wheel-drive Azera also had more power.

Compared to the Sonata, the new Azera was 3.8 inches longer overall, on a wheelbase 1.2 inches longer. Interior dimensions with respect to passenger space were only slightly greater. Hyundai claimed the Azera had more interior volume than a BMW 760i or Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

SE and uplevel Limited models were offered, with a 263-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission with a Shiftronic manual shift gate. Dual exhaust outlets were standard. Antilock braking and an antiskid system were standard, so were front and rear torso side airbags, and head-protecting curtain side airbags.

The SE sedan came with 16-inch alloy wheels, the Limited with 17s. Both included power front seats, a 60/40 split folding rear seat, and dual-zone climate control. The Limited added leather upholstery and heated front seats, as well as electro luminescent gauges and a power rear sunshade. A sunroof was optional for both models, but a navigation system was not offered.

Competing against the Honda Accord, Nissan Maxima, and Toyota Avalon, the Azera was backed by Hyundai’s warranty of 5-years/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper, plus 10/100,000 powertrain coverage.

Yearly Updates

2007 Azera
Not much changed for the Azera’s second season in the Hyundai lineup.
2008 Azera
The 2008 Hyundai Azera lost its mid-level SE model, but the base GLS added new standard features.
2009 Azera
Azera was virtually unchanged for 2009.
2010 Azera
The 2010 Hyundai Azera gained some additional standard equipment. Previously optional, a power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, driver-seat memory system, and a leather and woodgrain steering wheel became standard on the Limited for 2010. A navigation system became a Limited-exclusive option.
2011 Azera
The 2011 Hyundai Azera gets freshened styling, more power, and a new transmission.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Azera originally came only with a 263-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 and five-speed automatic transmission that incorporated a manual shift gate. Late in the 2007 model year, a base GLS was added that had a 234-hp 3.3-liter V6; returning SE and Limited kept the 3.8. For 2011, both engines got more power — the 3.3 grew to 260 hp, the 3.8 to 283 hp — and were mated to a new six-speed automatic.

dohc V61
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.3/204
Engine HP 234-260
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 226-233
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic
6-speed automatic
dohc V61
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/230
Engine HP 263-283
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 255-263
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic
6-speed automatic

1. Fuel-economy figures are for 2009 (5-speed automatic) and 2011 (6-speed automatic).

Road Test

We have had no opportunity to drive a 2011 Azera with its more-powerful engines and new 6-speed automatic transmission. In prior models, Hyundai’s refined V6 furnishes snappy takeoffs and works with a silky, responsive automatic transmission for quick passing sprints with little delay in downshifting. The manual shift gate is useful for hill-and-dale driving. A test Azera Limited accelerated to 60 mph in a brisk 6.2 seconds.

For a sizable sedan, fuel economy isn’t bad. In city/highway driving, Azeras have returned 19.9 to 21.5 mpg. Mostly highway driving resulted in an average of 24 mpg. Hyundai recommends premium-grade fuel, however.

Ride quality mimics the plush feel of the impressive Toyota Avalon, but Azera is harsher over small bumps and falls well short of all-around composure. On uneven surfaces, don’t be surprised to find wallow and float occurring

Steering/handling scores better. An Azera corners with decent grip and modest body lean. Steering takes appropriate light effort and delivers good road feel. Standard antiskid/traction control is a peace-of-mind plus. Strong brakes are easily modulated.

Quiet running is another virtue. Coarse-surface tire thrum is noticed, but it never annoys. Wind rush rises with speed, but doesn’t intrude much, either. The V6 emits a raspy, if classy, growl at full throttle, but is otherwise hushed. One test Azera’s suspension made an occasional clunking sound.

Hyundai’s logical, stylish dashboard puts large, clearly-marked gauges and switchgear within easy view and reach. The steering wheel masks the in-dash ignition switch, but includes buttons for audio and climate systems. Attractive cabin materials are not quite Lexus-level, but there are enough padded surfaces and careful detailing to belie Azera’s price. A navigation system has not been available, but Hyundai said it would offer one in the near future.

Front legroom is plentiful. Headroom is ample despite relatively high-set seats, which combine with a rather low dashtop and large windows for fine all-around visibility. The driving position is easily tailored with the standard power seat, tilt/telescope steering wheel, and (if installed) the Limited’s optional power-adjustable pedals. Seats are nicely contoured for good overall support. The backseat yields adult-worthy head and legroom, plus good foot space. Legs won’t be crowded with front seats pushed well back, but cabin width may slightly squeeze three grownups. Entry/exit is trouble-free.

Trunk volume is unexceptional but efficiently shaped, easily accessed, and expandable via standard fold-down rear seatbacks. Covered sickle-shaped trunklid hinges sit well outboard, and steal little cargo space. Good cabin storage includes a large bi-level console bin, plus front-seatback pockets offsetting the tiny door map pockets.


Model Tested: Hyundai Azera Limited

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 7
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 6
Quietness - 7


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
Cargo Room - 5


Value - 7

Total: 65


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
109.4 192.7 72.8 58.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.6 19.8 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.2 38.2 43.7 38.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 Azera 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 4


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: Automatic transmission may not operate in drive or reverse due to the maladjustment of the transmission range shift and could ultimately lead to complete transmission failure. (2006)
Oil leak
Description: Oil may leak from the transaxle at the oil seals, but looks like a seam leak. (2006-07)
Steering noise
Description: Whining power steering is frequently caused by a restricted filter screen in the bottom of the fluid reservoir. (2007-09)
Transmission leak
Description: Transmission fluid may leak from the front pump seal at the torque converter requiring replacement, or the reduction brake piston cover requiring replacement of two O-rings. (2006)
Transmission noise
Description: When shifting from reverse to drive, a snap noise may be heard requiring an isolation washer on the front hub. (2006)
Description: The low tire pressure warning light may illuminate due to electromagnetic interference from transmitters near police stations, airports or other sources of electronic transmission, but will usually go out when moving out of range. The warning light may also be activated by some electronic devices plugged in the accessory power outlet. (2006-07)
Description: The displayed temperature may be off from 5-10 degrees from actual outside temperature, on vehicles with the fully automatic temperature control, requiring replacement of the temperature sensor. (2006)
Check-engine light
Description: Engine may seem to lack power and check engine light may illuminate due to a faulty accelerator pedal sensor. (2006-07)

Recall History

2006-09 vehicles manufactured from September 27, 2005-October 1, 2008
Description: The wiring harness for the right front seat belt tension sensor may sustain damage after repeated use of the seat belt. If the seat belt tension sensor wiring becomes damaged the air bag will not deploy in the event of a crash necessitating front air bag deployment. The seat occupant is at an increased risk of injury should the air bag not deploy as intended. Hyundai will notify owners and repair the vehicles free of charge.
Description: The stop lamp switch in the affected vehicles may malfunction and cause the brake lights to not illuminate when the brake pedal is depressed or may cause the brake lights to remain illuminated when the brake pedal is released. A stop lamp switch malfunction may also affect the operation of the brake-transmission shift interlock feature so the transmission shifter would not be able to be shifted out of the park position. Dealers will replace the stop lamp switch free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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