The previous-generation Hyundai Azera represented a good value in the fullsize family car segment, but the cabin lacked style. The all-new Azera uses Hyundai’s new “Fluidic Sculpture” design language, top-notch materials and upscale features to create an interior that looks and feels like it belongs in a car costing twice as much.

Our test-car stickers at $36,875 with heated and cooled front seats, panoramic roof and motorized rear privacy shade; plus nine airbags and tons of other comfort, safety and infotainment features.

That’s a lot of content for the price, especially when it comes in a big car with class-leading head and leg room up front, more than some family cars already famous for roominess.   

But it is the dramatic styling and beautifully sculpted surfaces that are part of Hyundai’s new design vocabulary that first got our attention. In previous generations of vehicles, Hyundai tended to grab ideas and shapes from other brands and assimilate them into its own designs.

The result in recent years has been functional, high-quality interiors that scored well in buyer satisfaction surveys but bored critics and more discerning consumers.

Now, as Hyundai phases in its dramatic design language with each new product cycle, the results are increasingly spectacular with introductions in every product segment. The Azera is Hyundai’s best effort yet.    

“It’s easy to see the design-theme progression over two years, beginning with the launch of the new Sonata and continuing with Elantra, Accent and now Azera,” says editor Tom Murphy.

High-quality leather, meticulous stitching in key areas, brushed metal trim and strategically located carbon-fiber inserts all are extremely well-executed to give the cabin a truly premium look and feel. 

“Beautiful design and lovely materials,” editor Christie Schweinsberg writes on her score sheet. “I love the attention to detail, such as the oval visor lights,” she says, referring to the nicely designed vanity lamps that are hidden on the headliner-side of the visor.   

A highly crafted steering wheel and sumptuous 10-way and 8-way power seats up front round out the package and make the Azera an interior so inviting and comfortable you don’t want any trip to end.

dwinter@wardsauto.com