Hyundai Azera
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Hyundai’s near-luxury sedan fills an increasingly narrow gap between the new-for-2015 Sonata and Genesis sedans, but it’s not as popular as either model.

A 293-horsepower V6 that’s connected to a six-speed automatic transmission is your only choice.

What’s it going to be: selecting a fully loaded top-of-the-line Sonata or an Azera that arrives already in that state in its base form? Given that both Hyundai models are closely matched in size, passenger/cargo volume and price, the difference could boil down to engine choice. The Sonata has only four-cylinder engines available — albeit reasonably powerful and fuel-efficient ones – while the Azera comes standard with a 293-horspower V6 that’s connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. Other pluses in the Azera’s favor include the attractive upscale design and its impressive level of standard content. There’s also the $1,250 reduction in base price (to $31,900 from $33,150, including destination charges) that Hyundai recently instituted. For that money you get dual-zone climate control, a leather-covered interior, a rearview camera and heated front seats with 10-way power driver’s seat. Moving up to the Azera Limited adds a 12-way power driver’s seat with power-extending cushion, eight-inch touch-screen navigation system, heated rear seats and a 14-speaker “Logic 7″ surround-sound audio system. Options for the Limited trim level only encompass a panorama glass roof, manual side- and power rear-window sunshades, rear parking assist and 19-inch wheels (18s are standard). As for safety, Azera comes with nine airbags, including a driver’s knee cushion.