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Hyundai Azera vs Toyota Avalon vs Ford Taurus vs Chevrolet Impala



  • bsparks294bsparks294 Posts: 23
    Many problems have been reported with the transmissions on the new Toyota Avalon, so I would definitely steer clear of that car.

    Some software issue, as I understand.

    Those Azera's are sharp, but the dealer will give great incentives on the Sonota.

    Hope that information is helpful regarding the Avalon.
  • windycity7windycity7 Posts: 24
    I spent 6 months thinking I wanted a Toyota Avalon. i thought it was more room & HP than the Lexus ES330. but the forums indicated a lot of transmission and other problems with it. in fact, Toyota seems to be having a lot of quality problems - recent recall on steering columns etc. I test drove the Hyundai Azera (forum has lots of comparisons and were really impressive) back to back with the Avalon. No comparison. The Avalon felt cheaper with plastic feeling leather. The Azera has so many bells and whistles (ESC, EZ-out, elec folding side mirrors, elec rear sunshade, 263 HP,etc) for $4000 less! I bought the Limited with Ultimate package after years as a Volvo owner. People are surprised that I bought a Hyundai, but when the see the car, they are really impressed. Hyundai quality is right up there with Honda the last few years and with Toyota's recent quality problems, will be pressuring Toyota. If you need a "L" or "T" on your grill, then you won't want a Hyundai. If you want quality, luxury at a low price (and will keep the car more than a few years), you owe it to yourself to test drive the Azera and read all the forum postings on Edmunds.
    Good luck
  • windycity7windycity7 Posts: 24
    Hyundai will give Toyota and Honda serious competition as their quality and cars win over skeptics.

    Hyundai Reports 2006 Record April Sales
    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., May 2, 2006 -- Hyundai Motor America today announced April sales of 41,025, a new record for the month. Hyundai's sedans continued to lead the charge. Azera sales were up 82 percent over XG350/Azera sales in April 2005, and Sonata sales grew by 46 percent over last year.
    "We are very encouraged by the strength of our sedans, with Sonata and Azera showing excellent growth over last year," said Mark Barnes, vice president, National Sales, Hyundai Motor America. "The combination of value and safety continues to resonate with consumers."
    All Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by The Hyundai Advantage, America's Best Warranty. Hyundai buyers are protected by a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 7-year/unlimited-mile anti-perforation warranty and 5-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance protection.
    Following is the sales breakdown for April 2006:

    CARLINE APR/2006 APR/2005 CY2006 CY2005

    ACCENT 3,491 4,022 8,256 13,269
    SONATA 15,716 10,790 58,587 38,931
    ELANTRA 9,121 11,271 34,906 38,106
    TIBURON 1,674 2,124 5,337 5,984
    SANTA FE 3,639 6,129 14,091 22,218
    XG350/AZERA 2,601 1,427 8,861 5,210
    TUCSON 4,657 5,195 16,849 17,252
    ENTOURAGE 126 0 126 0

    TOTAL 41,025 40,958 147,013
  • windycity7windycity7 Posts: 24
    Depends if you believe the IIHS or the NHTSA ratings. here are the IIHS results from their web page. Same rating as Toyota Avalon pasted below the Azera.

    Consumers reports is supposedly doing a full review in July if you want to wait a month.

    Azera has 8 airbags including rear side and full head curtains.

    Structure/safety cage Injury measures Restraints/dummy kinematics
    Head/neck Chest Leg/foot, left Leg/foot, right

    Important: Frontal crash test ratings can be compared only among vehicles of similar weight.

    Test details:
    The Hyundai Azera was introduced in the 2006 model year as a replacement for the Hyundai XG350. Frontal ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test conducted by Hyundai as part of frontal crash test verification.

    Restraints/dummy kinematics — Dummy movement was well controlled. During rebound, the dummy's head hit the roof rail.

    Injury measures — Measures taken from the head, neck, and chest indicate low risk of injuries to these body regions in a crash of this severity. Forces on the right tibia indicate that injuries to the lower leg would be possible. Head acceleration from the roof rail hit was low.

    Additional features:
    Side airbags: front and rear head curtain airbags and front and rear seat-mounted torso airbags
    Electronic stability control
    Antilock brakes

    Toyota Avalon
    2000-04 models
    Structure/safety cage Injury measures Restraints/dummy kinematics
    Head/neck Chest Leg/foot, left Leg/foot, right

    Important: Frontal crash test ratings can be compared only among vehicles of similar weight.

    Test details:
    The Toyota Avalon was redesigned for the 2000 model year.

    Restraints/dummy kinematics — Dummy movement was well controlled. During rebound, the dummy's head hit the roof rail.

    Injury measures — Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity. Head acceleration from the roof rail hit was low.
  • hugobeckerhugobecker Posts: 45
    . . . when in doubt, "both feet out". ; -)
  • averigejoeaverigejoe Posts: 559
    ...according to this great and informative website:

    Check it out!
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    What is the fleet percentage for those sales? LOTS of Sonatas and increasing amounts of Azeras in rental fleets- in March, the YTD for the Sonata was at 30%, and I'm not sure how much that % has decreased since then. Not sure about the Azera.

    Great review of the Azera SE in this month's Car and Driver, except for the abysmal fuel efficiency they logged. Lots of car for $25K (though not as many standard features as one would expect from a top of the line Hyundai).

    bsparks294, as with any car, there are those that love their Avalons and those that don't. Although I havent driven the Avalon for extended periods of time, I never thought the hesitation issue was very significant, and I've observed similar hesitation in other transmissions which interact with the electronically controlled throttle, most notably, in my parents' '05 Legacy. Of note is that Toyota's new 6A used in the Camry (which itself has experienced a manufacturing issue-remedied in current production), is claimed to respond to throttle input and kickdown more than twice as quickly as the older 5A.

  • aspen4aspen4 Posts: 22
    Have not been able to find whether the Azera
    has an outside temperature display, and a
    self dimming rear mirror? Option or otherwise.
  • hugobeckerhugobecker Posts: 45
    Yes it has a self-dimming interior mirror (with integrated homelink and a compass display - can't remember the supplier though). And it does have an external temp readout in the HVAC display.
  • vrmvrm Posts: 308
    I thought Toyota's attitude to their potential customers was too arrogant for my liking and I decided to take another look at the Azera.

    Right on the money! I will never buy a Toyota because of The Toyota "take it or leave it" attitude.

    All the Toyota recalls in the last 6 months prove one point: Toyota "quality" is grossly overated. Maybe five years ago, Toyota had the quality edge. No more. They are just like any other manufacturer trying to churn out new models and capture market share.

    The latest recall (steering problems) should convince folks to stop overpaying for Toyotas. Save your money.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    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: 137
    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 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    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. ;)

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • 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: 13,454
    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.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • 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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