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2013 Hyundai Azera

Bottom line : Let’s get something straight. No, you are not going to have the same exciting driving experience in a Hyundai Azera or Kia Cadenza that you will have in a BMW 3-Series or Audi A4. But the Hyundai-Kia drive will be pleasant enough, an enjoyment made all the more pleasurable by the quality and pricing of the South Korean cars — and the stunning exterior and interior design of the Azera.

Acceleration and handling : The Azera gets good marks in all three.

Head-turning quotient: It snaps necks worldwide. Try this: If you find yourself in Frankfurt over the next week, visit the auto show. Notice the number of car companies copying Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture.”

Body style/layout : It is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive, full-size family sedan in the entry-level luxury class ($30,000 to $50,000). It shares a platform and engine with the Kia Cadenza.

Engine/transmission : The Hyundai Azera comes with a 3.3-liter, 24-valve gasoline V-6 with variable valve timing. The engine is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission that also can be operated manually.

Capacities : Seats five people. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 16.3 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 18.5 gallons (regular grade is recommended).

Real-world mileage : I averaged 19 miles per gallon in the city and 29 on the highway.

Safety : Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front, solid rear); four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; side and head air bags; and stolen-vehicle tracking assistance.

Safety options : This column recommends the “Azera technology package,” which includes high-intensity-discharge headlamps and electronic parking sensors.

Pricing : The 2013 Hyundai Azera starts at $32,250, with an estimated dealer’s invoice price of $30,000. But the manufacturer and its dealers are being aggressive in Azera retail. Fully loaded models, including an estimated $750 transportation charge, are selling in the vicinity of $33,400 in the Mid-Atlantic region.

— Warren Brown