Hyundai’s Genesis luxury sedan has been completely redesigned for 2015, and as such, has the talent to go up against similarly classed sedans from Audi, BMW, Cadillac and Mercedes.
As trivial as it may seem, when I was fueling the Genesis a guy at the next pump came around the island and saw the Genesis’s badging and asked if it was a new Bentley. And in fact it does look very much like Bentley badging.
Compared to the first gen Genesis, which debuted in 2009, the 2015 is built on a wheelbase that was stretched three inches that in turn improved the ride and added extra back seat legroom.
The interior too received a remake and it now compares to the best of them with an updated center stack, a larger display for GPS nav, rearview camera and audio, clam shell opening console box and faux wood trim that is the most realistic looking with wood grain that looks and feels like real wood grain. Even the heated/cooled tan perforated leather seats in my test car had eye-catching grey piping for a real classy touch. The driver’s seat also had a powered under-thigh support to give the driver added comfort during long drives. And all HVAC controls are easy to operate without having to consult the owners’ manual.
As an added convenience touch, the heated outside mirrors automatically fold in and out when opening/closing the front doors.
The cars head-up display not only shows the cars speed, but road lane markers, speed limit signs and a red distance control caution alert when coming up to a vehicle at too fast a speed.
Included too is Hyundai’s Blue Link connectivity that provides push button roadside service, crash notification, remote door unlocking, voice text messaging, geo-fencing that allows owners to set limits for teen drivers, stolen vehicle slow-down/immobilization, and more.
Slipping into the back seat is easy thanks to wide opening doors with legroom that is limo-like. Move to the trunk where space is rated at 15.3 cubic feet, which isn’t overly spacious but can handle one large roll-a-long luggage or two hoofer golf bags with the long clubs pulled and stacked atop the bag. The rear seatbacks don’t fold but there’s a pass-through for carrying long slender items.
Power wise, Genesis is offered with either a 311-hp 3.8L V6 or 420-hp 5.0L (383 lb/ft of torque) V8 that was tested. Both engines send power to the drive wheel through an 8-speed automatic transmission. The combination has been 0-60 timed at 5.6 seconds, which isn’t bad for a large, heavy (4,601 lb) sedan. And the engine is quiet both at idle and when underway.
Opt for the V6 and Genesis can be had with AWD, a traction feature that is needed here in the Snow Belt. And with 420 horses under the hood, it seems AWD should also be offered with the V8, which would make this sedan more desirable.
As for the ride on Hankook 19-inch tires, it was velvety smooth and quiet. Handling too was impressive perhaps because Hyundai employed the talents of Lotus Engineering for suspension tuning that has changed this second generation luxo-cruiser into a viable contender within the finest of the group.
If you’d like more control, there’s a driver-adjustable Sport mode that re-configures steering, transmission and steering response.
With a long list of standard items, many of which would be optional like a panoramic sunroof, the only extra cost option on the test car was the $3,250 Ultimate Package (also available are Tech and Signature packages), which brought the base price of $51,500 up to $55,700 with delivery.
Genesis is a safe car in that it earned a perfect 5-star overall government safety rating plus 5-stars for frontal and side impact crash tests. The Institute for Highway Safety, gave Genesis the best possible “Good” rating for moderate-overlap frontal offset, small-overlap frontal offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.
In comparison to the aforementioned Euro cars and one domestic, Genesis is a compelling alternative both in features and price. And it’s stylish