THE RIDE: Four-door, five-passenger 2008 Hyundai Azera Limited midsize family sedan.
DOWN THE ROAD: A carryover from last year, the roomy and comfortable front-wheel-drive car sits on a robust steel unibody structure. Regardless of road or weather conditions, the Azera boasts outstanding ride comfort with a responsive and poised handling.
TECH & PERFORMANCE: Power comes from a 3.8-liter DOHC V-6 engine that puts out 262 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 257 pounds-feet of torque at 4500 rpm. It is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capabilities. Suspension falls up to double wishbones in the front and rear, both equipped with gas shock absorbers and stabilizer bars. The power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering quickly reacts to the slightest movement, boosting the confidence of the driver. The 11.9-inch front ventilated and 11.2-inch rear solid discs also get power assistance.
LOOK & FEEL: Chrome accents easily are noticeable on the front fascia, especially the grille and insignia, body side molding and door handles. The cabin suggests an upscale appearance with leather and wood strewn across the steering wheel, shifter knob and sides of the center console. A power tilt-and-slide sunroof and rear sunshade are standard, quite laudable in a midsize sedan. White-on-black numerals on the electroluminescent instrument cluster look stylish. The trip computer is located ideally between the round speedometer and tachometer gauges.
SAFETY FIRST: Standard features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, Electronic Stability Control with traction control, four-wheel antilock brakes with Brake Assist, active head restraints, three-point seatbelts for all seats, front and rear crumple zones and a tire pressure monitoring system.
OUT THE DOOR: $28,550, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges.
BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, P235/55VR17; wheelbase, 109.4 inches; length, 192.7 inches; weight, 3,629 pounds; fuel capacity, 19.8 gallons; highway, 26 mpg; city, 17 mpg.
WHY DIG IT: It's generous with interior space, power and standard safety features. Plus, Hyundai's five-year, 60,000 new vehicle, 10-year, 100,000-mile power train and seven-year, unlimited-mile antiperforation warranties are even tough to match.