Serenity through luxury When you say the name "Hyundai", there are still gobs of people that scoff, thinking of the Stellar, Excel, and Pony of the 1980s.
When you say the name “Hyundai”, there are still gobs of people that scoff, thinking of the Stellar, Excel, and Pony of the 1980s. These were legitimately cars that, if you owned, you probably should have simultaneously owned bus passes as well. However, Hyundai has demonstrated staggering amounts of movement into the upscale market. The Genesis was introduced a couple years ago as the flagship for the brand. The $70,000+ Equus has since taken its place at the top of the Hyundai chain, but the 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 is still a huge seller, and rightfully so!
Our test car was a Genesis Sedan with the 3.8 GDI V6 engine and the Technology Package. This base engine got a bump this year from 290 to 333 horsepower, and you can certainly feel it. The Genesis may be a gigantic car, but it flies the second you give it some gas. The throttle response and refined acceleration feels very pseudo-European. The handling of the Genesis is very boat-like, and parking it was very much like docking the Titanic, but in all honesty, it’s a big car, and it behaves as such. The new 8-speed transmission was a pleasure to pilot, idling very low at cruising speeds. Real world fuel economy could certainly be better. Even with cruise control on the highway, the best I was able to muster with the Genesis was 9.8L/100km.
The first thing I noticed about the Genesis was the insane amount of technology it comes with. Keep in mind, I drove the car back-to-back with the all-new Jaguar XJL Portfolio, which costs roughly 3.5 times as much as the Genesis. Surprisingly, even at that price difference, the Genesis had many features that the Jaguar lacked. For instance, the laser-guided cruise control was absolutely excellent. Even with comparable Mercedes models, the system does not completely stop the car as it does with the Genesis. While testing the system, I was following another car on the highway doing roughly 100 km/h; as the car in front of me braked to a stop, the Genesis came to a complete stop right behind it. Granted, coming to a stop completely disengages the cruise, but the added safety is an excellent thing to have.
Other notable features on our tester were things like the air-conditioned seats (a godsend in 30-degree summer weather), rear heated seats, Lane Departure Warning System, and power-folding mirrors. The seats were supremely comfortable, and while they could use a tad more support, they’re perfect for long-distance driving.
The Genesis is an average-looking car, in my opinion. Hyundai could have been a bit bolder with its styling as they were with the Coupe. It seems to blend in awfully well with the sea of other sedans on the market. Also a noteworthy question is, why Hyundai avoided putting any sort of badge on the front of the car? I haven’t seen this since Kia avoided putting any badges on the front of their Amanti in the early 2000s. If Hyundai is genuinely trying to improve their overall image in the consumer’s eye, they should proudly display their name on the front of one of their best products.
At an as-tested price of just over $49,000 with the Technology Package, the Genesis doesn’t appear to be as great a value as it could be. However, if you option up a BMW 5-series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class with the same options this car offers, you would be paying well north of $80,000. Overall however, the Genesis is certainly an exceptional value, and for the price you pay for it, this car delivers.