The 2024 Hyundai Azera is a premium full-sized saloon with an impressive array of high-end features.

Thanks to the team at Skyline Automotive, FACT was recently invited to inspect and test drive the top-of-the-range Calligraphy model of the all-new Azera, the seventh generation of the brand’s iconic flagship saloon.

Dynamic Exterior Design

From head-on, the 2024 Azera displays a front end that we felt to be a little boxier than its predecessor. This does not, however, equate to a dated-looking design. Instead, we recognised the rectangular shape of this full-sized luxury saloon’s forefront to bestow it with a unique yet refined presence.

Immediately drawing our attention was the distinctive parametric pattern grille in dark chrome, underscored by the futuristically designed continuous horizontal LED lamp that stretches the full width of the front face. This feature is also present at the back end, with both front and rear horizontal LED lamps displaying rhythmic light capabilities, accentuating the novel nature of the car’s exterior makeup.

Shifting our focus to the flanks, we acknowledged the dynamic flair of the car with its elongated bonnet, sloping shoulder line, split C-pillar and classic opera-glass. We noticed how the frameless doors, complete with auto-flush door handles, provide a further touch of class, as do the novel 19-inch alloy wheels which are fitted as standard on all Calligraphy trim models.

Luxurious Interior

Once inside, we noticed the absence of Hyundai’s conventional logo on the steering wheel, having been replaced by four sequential dots.

Looking around the cabin, we were impressed by the wraparound design of the interior and recognised the use of premium materials, including genuine wood and aluminium trimmings, along with the inclusion of ventilated Nappa leather seats with specially designed mono-post headrests.

We discovered both the front and rear to offer sufficient head, shoulder and leg room, with up to five occupants able to sit comfortably on longer journeys. The welcoming nature of the rear seating was amplified by its exclusive reclining capabilities, a first-in-class feature. We loved the inclusion of the panoramic sunroof that amplified the feeling of space and ensured the entire cabin had plenty of natural light. To further enhance the practical nature of the vehicle, Hyundai has included a sizeable, hands-free Smart Power Trunk in its design.

High-End Infotainment & Tech

The all-new Azera contains Hyundai’s Connected Car Digital Cockpit, a feature we found to provide an intuitive and innovative driving experience. This advanced configuration of screens and hardware is powered by high-speed processors and a cuttingedge computing system.

This digital setup includes a 12.3-inch full TFT LCD infotainment display, a 12.3-inch fully virtual flatscreen instrument cluster and a 12-inch Head-up Display. This modern configuration combines touch elements with physical buttons, enabling us to control multiple features and functions without removing our hands from the steering wheel.

Perhaps our favourite feature of the new Azera’s interior was the novel turn signals. When indicating left, the speedometer became a separate display on which we could see the same view as the left side-view mirror. The rev counter provided the same function for the right side.

Another must-mention feature is the outstanding 10-speaker Bose sound system that provides a high-quality soundtrack for any journey. In fact, we agreed the high-end tech and features fitted in the all-new Azera are of a quality usually reserved for vehicles with considerably higher price tags.

Furthermore, the 2024 model features Hyundai’s advanced driver assistance system, SmartSense. Highlights of this extensive range of features include blind spot monitoring and detection, lane keep assist and lane departure warning, front and back collision avoidance assist and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist.

Imposing Power & Performance

As is always the case, our favourite part of the day was heading out onto the roads. The latest Azera houses a capable 3.5-litre GDi V6 engine coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

This Smartstream engine produces an impressive maximum power output of up to 300hp at 6,400rpm and a peak torque of up to 360Nm at 5,000rpm.

Navigating our way along Qatar’s roads, certain performance features stood out.

Firstly, the Electronically Controlled Suspension with Road Preview (Preview-ECS). This cutting-edge suspension system analyses the road conditions ahead and automatically adjusts the damping force accordingly, ensuring we had one smooth ride.

Secondly, the Road-noise Active Noise Control (RANC). This fascinating feature uses an acceleration sensor to calculate the vibration from the road to the car and analyses the road noise through a microphone. It then emits inverted sound waves near the occupants’ ears to neutralise the incoming road noise. The result was a tranquil travelling environment from which we watched the kilometres roll silently by.

Thirdly, the Predictive Gear-shift System (PGS). This state-of-theart system improves driving safety and comfort by predicting the acceleration and deceleration conditions of the road ahead. It automatically shifts to the optimal gear, working in tandem with ADAS navigation and radar signals. Pretty impressive to say the least.

Our Verdict

The all-new Hyundai Azera is a capable, classy, full-sized luxury saloon, offering an abundance of cutting-edge tech and a safe and comfortable travelling environment. ✤