ALGONQUIN, ILL. (10/03/2012)(readMedia)-- Since undergoing a comprehensive redesign for the 2012 model year, the Hyundai Azera has received a warm critical reception for its luxury and performance, and now it has become the fastest-selling model in its full-size segment. According to J.D. Power's Power Information Network, the Azera spends an average of just 16 days on the lot, compared to 28 days for the Toyota Avalon, 65 days for the Nissan Maxima and 70 days for the Ford Taurus. Just as impressively, the new Azera also has a 61-percent conquest rate of car buyers coming from other brands.

Hyundai's redesign for the Azera focused on creating a spacious and luxurious interior. Heated leather seats are standard in the front and back, while ventilated front seats are optional. The full-size sedan also offers best-in-class headroom and legroom for front passengers, and all occupants can enjoy an optional panoramic sunroof that lets in plenty of natural light and fresh air. While some of the Azera's competitors require pricey upgrades for advanced tech features, the Hyundai model comes standard with a seven-inch touchscreen navigation system, a rear-view camera and Bluetooth connectivity.

"By the time you're done paying for all the features you want in many full-size cars, you're looking at a much more expensive vehicle, but the designers of the new Azera focused on luxury even with its base model," said Scott Levy, general manager of Rosen Hyundai, a Hyundai dealership near Chicago. "Regardless of the trim that Chicago commuters choose, they are going to have a much more comfortable ride to and from the city in the Azera."

Even passengers relegated to the backseat can find a lot to like about the 2012 Hyundai Azera, including an automatic rear-window sunshade and segment-first manual side-window sunshades. Cars.com recently cited the shades' ability to keep heat out of the cabin, as well as the model's spaciousness in the back, when naming the Azera to its list of top vehicles for backseat passengers.

Under the hood, the redesigned Azera houses a direct-injected V6 that generates 33 more horsepower than its predecessor for a total of 293 horsepower. At 3.3 liters, the engine boasts the smallest displacement in its segment, yet it also has the highest specific output at 88.8 horsepower per liter. Featuring a six-speed automatic transmission, the 2012 Azera's powertrain returns up to 29 mpg on the highway.

For the 2013 model year, the Azera will get a slight upgrade in fuel economy, earning one extra mile per gallon during freeway driving to make it Hyundai's first V6-powered vehicle to net 30 mpg on the highway. An extra mile per gallon has also been earned in combined city and highway driving, raising the 2013 Azera's rating to 24 mpg, higher than the Maxima and Taurus.

"Fuel economy is becoming ever more important to car buyers no matter the segment, and putting the Azera in the 30-mpg club on the highway gives it an edge over many of its competitors," added Levy. "There is no other car in the Azera's segment that can deliver that kind of efficiency while still offering such an appealing interior and engaging performance."