Hyundai made unsurprising news official today, announcing a 2018 brand lineup that gives the hook to the slow-selling Azera full-size V-6 sedan.
Hyundai said as much last fall when it announced a redesigned Azera for South Korea and global markets, though it told in an email at the time that it had not slammed the door on a U.S. launch. The new Azera flagship for the Hyundai brand went on sale in South Korea, where it is known as the Grandeur, in November.
Hyundai said then that a U.S. decision would be "announced in due course." That time came today when Hyundai released a 2018 roster listing Azera's U.S. market availability as "discontinued."
U.S. buyers who want a sedan bigger or fancier than the Hyundai Sonata mid-size — or one with more than four-cylinder power — will still have choices from the Hyundai company, with its premium Genesis brand's G80 sedan and corporate sibling Kia's redesigned 2017 Cadenza full-size sedan. The 2017 Azera starts at $34,995, while the 2017 G80 starts at $42,350 and the 2017 Cadenza starts at $32,890. Meanwhile, the starting price for the refreshed 2018 Sonata is up $500 to $22,935, and it tops out with the Limited 2.0T that starts at $33,335. (All prices include a destination charge.)
There was little business case to continue the current Azera. Just 241 were sold in June. Sales in the first six months of 2017 were a meager 1,792, down 30.4 percent from the period a year ago and lagging the Cadenza's 2,655.
Sales of competing near-luxury full-size sedans have suffered, as well, as buyers flocked to SUVs and mid-size sedans have gotten bigger. Still, Toyota, for example, has sold 16,735 Avalons year to date; Chevrolet has sold 31,312 impalas; and Nissan has sold 31,519 Maximas.
You still can get a new Azera for now, however, and likely could get a deal. As of today, listings showed 808 new 2017 Azeras and 127 new 2016 Azeras.