Motor Trend Azera

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Azera was among 10 finalists for MT "Car of the Year". When I was young, Buick had motto: "When better cars are built, Buick will build them."
Last sentence of MT article about Azera reads. "When better Buicks are built, Hyundai will build them" !!!thought that was kinda cute!
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More prophetic than you may think. A new Hyundai model, not yet named, will be coming out in 2 years, designed to compete with Avalon, Lucerne, CTS, etc, with prices $29,000 to $38,000.
I was considering a Lucerne CXL and ended up with a Sonata Limited. About the same features, but $5000 less.
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MT also said that if you took the H off and put a Buick insignia on it no one would know that it was not a buick~~!!!
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The way I interpreted the comment was that the Azera is what a Buick "should be".
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Deck wrote:

That sounds like an insult to Hyundai.
Matt
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Matt, Ed, Wayne........a few words defending Buick
Have you driven (or owned) a Buick a lately? I previously had a '99 Regal LSE. I loved it.
As equipped, it handled decently, and lots of grunt. Dependable as taxes....I drove mine for 225k miles. It got about 28 mpg (hiway) to boot. Solid, rattle free driver.
Lots or options like like my LX plus others like dual climate control and tire inflation monitor. Excellent stereo. Interior space, head room, and driver seating comfort were great.
Buick was stupid to drop the Regal. It had an edge to its personality that seems lacking in current offerings
......I love my Sonata. If it turns out be as good as the Buick, it will have been a great car too.
PS I bought my Regal 1 year old w/21k miles for 15000.......no idea how the new models price out.
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84 and 91 Regals, 97 and 01 LeSabres. Still have the 01 LeSabre. Olds, 81, 83, 86.
My experience with the 01 LeSabre is why I bought a Hyundai. It rides OK, it handles OK, the engine is OK ,but the rest of the car is falling apart and GM is no help.
My biggest complaint was after about 20 months, the heated seat stopped working. Since it had more that 36,000 miles it was not covered under warranty and the dealer charged me $75 to tell me it would be $560 to replace it. A letter to GM got me a few hundred buck off if I bought a new GM car. Sorry, but aside from the seat, the car was in perfect condition and the color, style, equipment that I wanted.
I was still considering a Lucerne and test drove one. My plan was to buy one after getting back from Italy last year. and I knew exactly what I wanted. Meantime, the transmission went and cost me $2500. Then the wheel bearing for $350, and other assorted things that brought the total to $850 over about 5 weeks. (some could be considered routine, I guess)
Did I mention that both rear windows are being propped up by a stick of wood? I'm not going to bother repairing them. The cruise control is on all the time because the switch has to be held in the "on" position with a toothpick. There are a few other assorted little nits that I could pick. A week after I fixed the second LeSabre window with a stick, one of the Regal windows broke also. I'm getting good at removing door panels and wedging them by now.
After 15 years, I still liked driving hte Regal for the most part. Things were braking, but considering the 15 years and 150,000 miles I'd expect that. Oil pressure and water temperature gauges did not work, radio was static prone, AC was repaired twice and would have been very expensive to repair again, the rear brakes were as source of a few repairs, most attributable to both the age and miles though. It still had the same exhaust and no repairs to either engine or trans.
So far, my Hyundai is perfect, but only 6 months and 11,000 miles. I have no idea what I'll buy in 2011 or so, that depends on how this one hold up. If you asked me about buying a Hyundai last August, I'd have laughed, but I bought one in September. They've come a long way.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Yes, I'm really interested to see how the Sonata holds up. Mine just rolled over 19,000 and so far, so good. I've had no assembly problems or failures as yet. The only problems are the design problems that we've hashed over in the past here.
Matt
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I have 42000 miles on my Sonata LX. I have none of the little nagging problems others have reported on their models. No clunk from rear, no slosh of tank. My defroster works great. I do think the seat base is too short for large people, and my forehead "feels" close to the roof./windhield. Performance is great, mpg is average at best. Very nice car to drive overall.
I've two warranty repairs; my rh front seat track adjuster broke, and the ambient air sensor fluxuated wildly(seemed to affect climate control functionality). Dealer fixed both.
To conclude, my Buick was a car I'll always remember fondly. I was never afaid to jump in, and drive it anywhere in any weather, even with high miles on the odometer. Take your friends and luggage too........ Everyone in my family loves the sonata, and pick it over our volvo to drive.........different strengths for each car I guess
. PS If you put the Volvo seats, and the Buick headroom/seating position in the Sonata, I'd never look back......maybe thats where the Azera come in.
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Geeze man - I can't believe you said the "V" word...
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Darby OGill wrote:

Yes, my mother-in-law is on her second Buick, I believe both were/are Centuries. It drives like a boat. It wallows and wobbles and the steering is as vague as a politician running for office. It has been reasonably reliable, but it isn't a pleasure to drive. It does have a very good HVAC system, unlike my Sonata.
I drove a Park Avenue rental a few years ago from Elmira to Boston and back. It was quite comfortable, but again the handling just wasn't my cup of tea. It did get amazing mileage for a car that size. I averaged 30 MPG traveling at 65-70 MPH which I thought was amazing. However, it had a persistent slight miss at cruise speed which I suspect was a "lean" miss like some of the early "lean burn" Chrysler's had.
Matt
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That's surprising Matt. What year is the Century? The Century is essentially a Regal with a case of the wimps, but as far as handling goes, they are normally quite firm and committed. I've never heard of one referred to as wallowing and wobbly. Never experienced such in one either. They are 4 wheel McPhearson strut suspensions, and as such are normally quite solid on the road. Does she have decent rubber on the car?

Yeah - that Park Ave was really some kinda car. Mine never experienced the miss you mention, but I did consistently get the mileage you saw. Quite a pleasure that was - a nice, comfortable car, *and* great mileage.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

I'm not sure of the year, but I'd say around 1999-2000 for the current one. The prior one was 1988 or 89 I believe.
I think the rubber is pretty cheap, but the tires don't affect what I'm talking about. Actually, the Sonata has somewhat the same problem as it feels loose and unconnected at times, even more so than my minivan.
However, at least it has pretty precise steering. The Century has a lot of play in the steering and it is overboosted and lacks feel.

The miss was subtle and I doubt many people would even notice, but I've very attuned to my cars and I hear and feel very subtle vibrations and noises. The Park Avenue had this very sporadic miss that you could feel and hear when the road was smooth and there were no other cars around you to make noise. In traffic, it was hard to detect, but route 88 from Binghamton to Albany is boring and has very little traffic!
Matt
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A man after my own heart.

Mine was a '98...

I loved the handling of mine, and the performance. Quite snotty.

I didn't have the tire inflation monitor, but I had a very nice leather interior, dual climate control and a great BOSE factory stereo system.

Preach it brother!

I feel the same way about my wife's Sonata. I have often referred to the interior of it as being very Buick-esq. Same sort of feel, trim type, atmosphere. That, I consider to be a strong plus.

Bought mine at almost 2 years old, with 30K on it. Would still be driving it today if number 3 daughter had not been pinched off the interstate by an absent minded tow truck driver.
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I bought my wife a new Regal LX in 2000. 3.8 engine. It gets a true 29 MPG on the highway, 22 in town. Unlike the XG350 I have which gets lousy milage in town and on highway. Geared way to low for good milage. Runs at least 500-750 RPM higher than the 3.8 Buick at the same speed. Transmission fluid doesn't need changed every 30,000 miles either, at $6.50 a quart. Oil and Air filters are $5.00 too at Pep boys instead of 25.00 for a Hyundai, and last but not least, the antifreeze for it is Prestone at $5.00 a gallon instead of Hyundai at $23.50 a gallon. Have 21,000 miles on it. Great car. She has never had a bit of trouble with it except for an idiot at the dealer performing a recall on the fuel tank who damaged the electrical harness when he installed the new tank, and will not consider getting rid of it. I plan on getting rid of the gas guzzling Hyundai as soon as the long (chuckle) bumper to bumper warranty is up. Hyundai had a recall om my XG350 to re program the computer for something to do with pollution, and dropped the MPG in town to about 16, instead of the 19. I got before the computer update. I had a 91 Crown Vic with a a 5.0 litre Ford V/8 engine that got better milage than the XG350 3.5 litre engine does.
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I also have had great experiences with Buick, It seems that a lot of GM cars get great MPG. I rented a DTS last year, got 30 mpg on the hiway at 80 mph. BTW I liked the Park Avenue better than a DTS. I owned a Chevy Venture which was an all around better vehicle than the previous Ford Windstar and Honda Odyssey I owned. Detroit has always been good to me.

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(Fri, 09 Mar 2007 11: 08:12) about "Re: Motor Trend Azera":

That's an interesting thought Wayne. As one who waited a long time to buy a Hyundai, I owned several GM's while I watched Hyundai develop. A friend had purchased a Hyundai in the early 90's and had some good luck with the car. It had some problems, but it was a fairly new introduction at the time and some problems were to be expected. The car did show promise though, and it was an interesting car to watch develop. It wasn't something I was ready to invest any money in though, until the early 2000 era vehicles came along. I started looking pretty closely at them in the early 2000's and finally bought a 2004 Sonata. Never looked back. I'm still GM at heart and I'm one of the crowd that is hoping they'll get past their arrogance and mis-deeds of the past and get back to building the quality they've been known for and creating a new customer care attitude, but this Sonata has really impressed me. I never did look down my nose at any Hyundai owner. Always thought they were taking some pretty big chances on that company in the early days, but that's not a look down on cause in my book.

Oh - let me correct you there Wayne. It has always been... Ford owners were to be somewhat pitied for their dimwitedness, or perhaps their economic misfortune as to be unable to afford a nice car. Chrsyler owners were just despicable.
DO> .......I love my Sonata. If it turns out be as good as the Buick, it DO> will have been a great car too.

My wife's 04 is creeping up on 60K miles, even as we speak. I have not put a wrench to the car except to change the oil. I'll be changing the timing belt soon and the associated preventative tasks, and I'm still not thrilled at having to do that, but it's life with rubber band interference engines. Certainly not unique to Hyundai. That is a pretty good reliability record in my book. And I have to say... every time I get into that car and drive it, I get out saying the same damned thing - "man this car impresses me". My wife just loves that car as much today as the day we bought it.
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I didn't watch it develop; I just ignored it. Had I not has problems with my Buick, I may have continued to ignore it and just bought another Buick. . My former impression was that they rusted away (early ones did), were too small, lacked any special styling appeal. Once I took the time to look at them closely, then actually drive one, I was impressed. Styling got my eye with the Tiburon, then the new Sonata and Azera.
If Hyundai could take a bunch of them out and get people off the street to drive one, I'd bet there sales would jump. Go to the supermarket parking lot, the mall, the little league field, grab the driver and entice him to take a new model out around the parking lot and I'd bet many would be hooked. Lots of bang for the buck.
I'm looking forward to the new model in two years. It will really give Buick and Avalon a run.
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At the risk of being accused again of plugging my website, the above comment is essentially the reason behind the website's name - Drivers and Believers.
I never saw it. Until now that I did a Google search Why not just put http://egt.gwebworks.com/index.shtml in your sig line? Anyone curious will click on it.
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Sun, 11 Mar 2007 17:43:14 -0500

Have you no shame man!!! :-)
Eric
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