When the Hyundai Azera showed up in America back in 2006, the rather strange name was explained as "the era between A and Z", whatever that means. It actually took over the reigns as the premium Hyundai sedan after the even weirder XG350 that ended production in 2005. The Azera was the most expensive Hyundai sold until the Genesis sedan hit our shores in 2008, and what a welcomed replacement it was.

Next to Hyundai XG350 (above), the Azera seemed damned futuristic.

As good as the Azera was, it never quite received the attention it deserved largely because of more high profile, more reputable models like the Toyota Avalon and the Nissan Maxima. Even after a seriously attractive redesign with the second-generation car in 2012, the car never saw the numbers Hyundai had hoped for. For the entire 2016 model year, the Azera sold just under 5,000 cars, when the Maxima sold 62K and the Avalon moved 48K units. The Azera couldn't even come close.

Hyundai just released its 2018 model line, and the Azera didn't make it. Though it will still sell overseas as the Hyundai Grandeur and will even see a 3rd generation redesign, we won't get it here in the states. The Hyundai brand is rejiggering things with a focus on more upscale Genesis cars. 

The 1st-generation Azera nabbed seriously good reviews for its power, amenities, design, and reliability.

We actually enjoyed our time behind the wheel of the most recent Azera. It had upscale looks, a nicely appointed interior, robust standard features and a potent 3.3-liter V6 engine good for 293 horses. But there's no room for it slotted above the Sonata and now with the G80 sedan moved to the premium Genesis brand. The Azera is one of those cars that just didn't get the love it deserved for a multitude of reasons, but it's time to say goodbye.

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