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Hyundai Azera vs Toyota Avalon vs Ford Taurus vs Chevrolet Impala



  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,598
    I was in Phoenix in mid-March and asked Enterprise for an Azera preferably, or a Sonata. The people in the office (20ish) hadn't even heard of an Azera and said they didn't have any Sonata's.

    With all the talk of Hyundai fleet sales, I couldn't get one when I asked.

    The base Azera SE is loaded with features, although not as many as the Limited/Ulti. What additional features are you looking for in a $25K MSRP car?
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Azera has very little units sold to fleet, AFAIK.

    As for the Sonata, even subtracting fleet figures, which are not released on a monthly basis, its estimated figures (retail customers only) still meet 150K units/year goal. Obviously at the end of the day, all sales are counted, and 200K+ units this year is well within reach.

    The purpose of fleets for the Sonata, as stated by Hyundai, is brand recongition more than anything.

    Back to Azera:

    Azera takes home "Best Luxurious Car For A Nonluxury Price", as well as AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award for a large/luxury car and overall in all car categories.
  • sundevilssundevils Posts: 100
    You can also display the outside temperature (in lieu of the compass heading) on the rearview mirror.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Fair enough, but I've had 5 different rental Sonatas from Hertz in Milwaukee and 1 Azera since January. I'm not sure what that indicates, but I know the Sonata was running at a very high fleet sales percentage in the first quarter of this year- 30% through March.

    Those awards are commendable, FWIW. Hyundai certainly has come a long way, has it not??!

  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Agreed :)

    I was working the math the other day. For the latest May sales figure, Hyundai moved ~17K units (of Sonata) in the US - taking 30% into account, that would mean a little over 5K units went into fleet, and the remainng 12K units were retail for the month.

    So on average, 140-150K should move through retail this year - on par with the original target of 150K units/yr (but this number is estimated for combined sales) - adding another 55-65K through fleet (estimate), we are looking at over 200K units sold for the Sonata for FY2006 (not bad considering all of the circumanstances; for one, it exceeds the target by a wide margin).

    I recall AutoNews said Hyundai officials wanted to get as many "butts" in the Sonata as possible :) which essentially translates into "the more exposure, the better". Frankly, the results have been great, as far as I can tell - more and more consumers are now favorable toward the Sonata (and Hyundai, for that matter); and with only a minority group of people still put off Hyundai competely.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    I finally drove an Azera limited with the Ultimate package today. It is amazing how much nicer the interior looks in reality than in photographs. Anyone who has any interest in cars and large sedans and who has not actually gone to see and drive one is really missing something.

    First, the interior makes the interiors of the Five Hundred/Montego looks even worse than they already seem. I once drove a Chrysler 300 and then a Montego, and the Montego seemed especially cheap in comparison. The Hyundai interior is also significantly nicer than the GM cars on the ancient W-body platform (Impala, Grand Prix, and Century) and the Lucerne.

    Second, the smoothness, quietness, and power of the drivetrain are exceptional and quite a surprise for a car at the price shown on the window sticker. At least on this first drive, I was unable to provoke any torque steer or other bad charateristics of front wheel drive.

    Third, the car does lack a few things:

    1) The leather on the seats in not perforated, so will be too hot most of the time in southern California. Besides perforations, cooled seats would be a feature fully in line with the character and equipment levels of this car.

    2) A navigation system and Bluetooth are also quite glaring omissions, although it seems reasonable to expect that they will be offered on the 2007 model. Does anyone here know when the 2007 model will be out?

    3) The lumbar support in the seat is too low for me (6' 1"), and only adjusts in and out, not up and down as does the system in the fancy version of the Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS. My wife also had the same complaint about the passenger seat (she is 5' 10").

    The latest JD Power ratings for this car are also very, very impressive.

    Unfortunately, the dealer I visited in Irvine, CA had a very pushy salesman who kept pushing a lease, even after being told that I pay cash for cars and drive 35,000 to 40,000 miles per year. He also did not know the options and equipment on the cars. Hyundai needs to get rid of such salespeople if they expect to suceed.

    The Five Hundred and Montego do have better crash test results and offer the added safety of all wheel drive, but the Azera is still as safe or safer than all of the other cars I have ever owned, so these aspects of the Ford products do not, for me, make up for their shortcomings. The new exterior styling and new engines and transmissions on the Five Hundred and Montego will only bring them up to the performance level of the Hyundai, and perhaps not to the same level of quietness and smoothness. The Ford products do have a somewhat larger trunk, but not enough so to make a different for more than a tiny percentage of potential buyers.
  • metamelmetamel Posts: 7
    Oldbloke, How do you still like the Azera? Any gas mileage numbers to report, and are the leather seats too hot in the summer? Also, how is the dual-climate control working? I've been thining of buying one or the Avalon, just like you, doing a similar gas-cost trade off. Any info or feedback that you could provide would be helpful.
  • rj123456rj123456 Posts: 128
    Check out the Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ if you want the perforated/cooled seats.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Just fyi. the Avalon Limited has perforated/cooled seats as well.
  • oldblokeoldbloke Posts: 22
    I still am quite happy with the Azera. I recently drove 475 miles almost all interstate at 70-80 mph, mainly 70, and got 27.3 mpg. Most of my driving is interstate or secondary (55 mph) roads with perhaps 10-15% "around town". I've done 1935 miles and average is 24.7 mpg based on my total fuel purchases. I haven't found the leather seats too hot in summer and also use the A/C on auto set at 73F, which both my wife and I find quite comfortable.
    No troubles of any sort after 3 months and 1935 miles. I haven't tried the dual climate control. Must admit I wonder how effective this is on any vehicle because of no partition between occupants.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    The dual climate is actually quite effective (never tested it in an Azera, but in Freestyle and Five Hundred). What it mainly does it to affect the temperature of the air that's directly blowing onto the driver/passenger. This can make a HUGE difference in how cold/warm one feels, even if the air temperature in the car is the same.
  • chilliwackchilliwack Posts: 189
    I live in California (Bay Area) and we recently had a wicked hot spell. I found that the leather seats did not get too hot, although I have the grey leather. Now black leather is another story. :shades:
  • lfagiuslfagius Posts: 3
    I have a 2005 Mercury Montego Premier AWD, and yes, I have driven the Avalon. Several times. As a matter of fact, as a person hired to shop different car dealers in the area, I have driven the Avalon several times, as well as most of the Five Hundred & Montego's competition.

    I'm glad I bought the Montego. Is Avalon faster? Yes. Who cares. For all the pissing and moaning about the Five Hundred/Montego being under-powered, the fact is that it's not only more than adequate, it feels faster than the 1996 Taurus I traded in (same Duratec DOHC V-6), and delivers 3 to 4 MPG better than my old Taurus, and this is comparing an AWD Montego to a FWD Taurus, with the same V-6. And the Montego enters the Freeway on ramps and passes just as well as the not only the '96 Taurus I traded in, but the 2004 Sable loaners car I had for three days from a local Lincoln-Mercury dealers, also equipped with the Duratec V-6.

    Seating position in the Avalon, compared to the upright position in the Five Hundred/Montego, isn't appealing at all. Too low, and piss-poor visibility. Handling? Nothing great. Five Hundred/Montego's Volvo derived chassis delivers a smooth ride with very solid handling.

    Trunk room? The Avalon is a joke. What trunk? I can barely get a weeks worth of groceries in the Avalon's trunk. The Five Hundred/Montego's trunk? I routinely go to Costco and Target, stopping at Meijer on the way home for the perishables. Plenty of trunk room - biggest trunk of any sedan on the market.

    The seating position and room of the Five Hundred/Montego is superior, the trunk capacity of the Five Hundred/Montego is superior, the Five Hundred/Montego has AWD AND gets better gas mileage in AWD than the Avalon gets in FWD. And Consumer Reports rates the quality of the Five Hundred/Montego HIGHER than the Avalon.

    So the Avalon is a bit faster? Again, I ask, who cares?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    have to compete with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. while driving around America's highways, biways and city streets. This nation is stocked with mindless dorks who are know-it-alls who know next to nothing about anything. Sounds like the Montego was the right choice and also a much better looking rig than the hideous looking Avalon. ;)

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    I suppose if the 500/Montego were to be pushed up all hills and coast down the other side, they just MIGHT come close to the mileage of the Avalon (which has a much bigger engine, of course). But, if you go with the EPA numbers, the Fix Or Repair Daily products don't even come close!
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    Fix Or Repair Daily?

    Clearly, YOU haven't driven a Ford lately. :P
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,558
    But, if you go with the EPA numbers, the Fix Or Repair Daily products don't even come close!

    They don't?????

    The Avalon gets 31 highway 22 city and a 25 combined rating, the 500/Montego gets 29 Highway 21 city and 24 combined per EPA figures. For all intents and purposes thats pretty much the same.

    There are three types of people in this world. Those who are good at math and those who are not.

  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    Hey, I like the pun! I sold my 1996 Taurus and, quite frankly, it was extremely reliable.

    The mileage to which I was referring was the 19/25 MPG rating for the AWD products since the writer was raving about the AWD mileage being better than the Avalon's FWD mileage.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the much anticipated 3.5 V6 will first appear in a new Lincoln MK at 268 hp/258 ftlbs (the same ratings as the Avalon). Assumming the 500 gets the same engine, that engine doesn't have teething problems, and that engine sports the same sort of economy as the current 3.0 gets - then, it will be very competitive to things like Avalons and Azeras.
    The design and assembly of the car are both really good, it is a 'spaceship' in comparison - as a 'Volvo' would be. Ford's mistake was bringing out the 500 without a more capable engine.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    I sold my 1996 Taurus and, quite frankly, it was extremely reliable.

    I had a 1989 Taurus, a 1996 Taurus wagon, and a 2002 Taurus. All were extremely reliable.

    I kept the '89 for 11 years and the '96 for 8 years.

    I sold the '02 after less than 4 years, but ONLY because I was so impressed with my 2005 Freestyle that I had to get the 2005 Five Hundred when the employee pricing came out in July of that year.

    I've NEVER kept a new car for that short a period of time before.
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