By on August 27, 2008

Dollar-store plainOne of the cornerstones of TTAC's existence is reminding the auto industry that "those who don't learn from the mistakes of the past are destined to repeat them."  As a corollary we can say that learning from history's successes forms part of the recipe for a flat-out victory in today's highly segmented, price sensitive market.  We have seen almost two decades since the boring sheetmetal of the Lexus LS400 hit our shores, forever changing the way we think about luxury cars. Fast forwarding along that school of thought brings us to the new, V8-powered, Hyundai Genesis 4.6.

Status seekers know the drill: avoid a South Korean automobile at all costs.  That explains HyMoCo's last-minute change of the V8 decklid's (America-only) "H" logo to the global market's winged crest. Even with the Genesis name spelled out on its rear, the re-badged badge puts a little Bentley in yo' face for maximum curb appeal. And it's not offensive. Like the Lexus That Started It All, the Genesis demonstrates design-naivety; a socially inept copycat of the hottest sellers in this segment. Think of it as a muscle-bound Milhouse Van Houten on 18" rims.

Much better than the "Circle H"The overall look mimics the 5 Series' swoopiness, but with aesthetic restraint and integrated form that eludes the Bangled brand.  The front doors have a classic cab-backward feel, paying homage to the G35 while thumbing its nose at Lincoln's latest FWD abomination. The only downside remains the finely crafted grille– it begs for some name recognition to ward off the inevitable references to the brandless contents of a local Dollar Store. 

The theme continues inside, where finely crafted materials draped over derivative bones make for a large and comfortable cabin.  There's an abundance of chrome accents in Mercedes-like fashion, topped with some of the finest polymers this side of 50-large to ever grace a dashboard. 

Nice, but uninspiredWhile the elegantly stitched leather panels are a welcome addition, the lack of wood trim complementing its bold sweeps keep the Hyundai looking up to its Japanese and German competition.  And the oak-ish trim that is there looks like an afterthought. The Genesis' dash is also cursed with an array of silver-toned buttons that look better when Wal-Mart sells them on a be-speakered ghetto blaster.  Ditto the poorly integrated plastic buttons on the big Hyundai's leather and wood-rimmed tiller.

And that's it. To wit: even the trunk is cavernous and exceptionally well trimmed. Get over the stylistic snafus and the V8 Hyundai earns its keep with up-rated leather seating, illuminated sill plates, a Caddy-trumping rear bench and a heated/cooled seat for the driver.  They had to cut costs somewhere, so too bad about the other occupants' thermally-challenged backsides. At least everyone else gets to share in the joy of all 528 watts in the stellar Lexicon 7.1-channel audio system. Mark Levinson may not feel the heat just yet, but Mark Fields better take some damn good notes.

There\'s a fine line between \"plain\" and \"understated.\"  This one rides the line.Fire up the (keyless) ignition and the Genesis "4.6" channels 375 horses through six speeds, under the watchful eye of two rear wheels, four Sachs-controlled (and Magnaride-worthy) dampeners, and a five-link suspension on both axles. The hardware continues to impress, just like the 5.7 second sprint to sixty.  But stomping the torque-rich "Tau" V8 feels like a hollow treat; the electronically controlled throttle keeps the you from overtaxing your funmeter. 

Put another way, you can feel the Genesis 4.6 really sing halfway though second gear.  Hyundai could have gone for Detroit's jugular, but this does leave room for a sport package. Or not. 

Granted the Pistonhead-worthy versions of Germany's finest are safe, but the Genesis 4.6 puts everyone else on notice with level cornering and a composed ride at sane speeds. Understeer hits well after the Genesis' body roll "tells" the driver to calm the hell down. That said, Hyundai did a fine job carrying speed with a load of passengers, but the positively sublime ride forms the core component of the car.

Yeah, this one didn't get the new badge.If Lexus pursued perfection, Hyundai got the patent. The SACHs-tuned springy bits absolutely devour a long interstate. Toss potholes, speed bumps or pavement joints into the mix and the Genesis moves so gracefully I swore it gained 6-inches in wheelbase and grew a Panther chassis.  The slippery drag coefficient adds to a silent cabin. The Genesis 4.6 simply drives like a far more expensive car.

A car this affordable this good simply boggles the mind. But armchair analysts see the derivative sheetmetal and questionable Hyundai dealership experience going over as well as a fart in church. Be that as it may, the Genesis 4.6 stands well on its merits. 

Arguably, its best angleIts amazing that a country that had its first democratically-held election when Toyota was building a pseudo-autobahn now makes a luxury sedan that runs with the class leaders for a fraction of the price. The Hyundai Genesis 4.6 is the car Lexus made in 1989, and the one Detroit killed decades ago.

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154 Comments on “2009 Hyundai Genesis 4.6 Review...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    Wow.

  • avatar
    menno

    If I were in the mood to spend the extra money above and beyond the Sonata (2nd car), in addition to the Prius (commuter car), I’d get a V6 version of this in a heartbeat. Not because I care about what the neighbors think (because I don’t) but because I’d love a new luxury car just once in my life. The badge isn’t important to me. However, the fact that we’re on Hyundai #2 and #1 was “above average” (yet far better than Detroit 2.8 kraptastic offerings) and #2 was stellar (whoops, sorry, couldn’t resist).

    Plus as a bonus, our local Hyundai dealer is not a low-rent high-pressure sales no-service dealer, but a decent operation, about as good as you can expect from any car dealer (save Lexus, apparently). Ironically, he also sells Saturn cars in the store next door to Hyundai. I wouldn’t give a Saturn the time of day…

  • avatar
    doktorno

    Sajeev, somebody swiped the hood ornament off your Benz.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I think Hyundai has finally arrived at a point where they can build a quality car buyers can consider along side Infinity and Acura. I think Lexus has the edge in a few areas but considering the price it is a great value.

    I noted the 5 star review of this car and can’t think of the last whip to get a 100% rating. I have a 2004 XG350 and am looking at a replacement, this might just be it.

  • avatar
    mart_o_rama

    I’m wondering why Hyundai didn’t create a new luxury brand like Toyota and Nissan did? I’m thinking it would have cost them too much and degraded the profitabillity of the Genesis, but again I believe they may underestimate the North American perception of cars and its associated “social status”. The Genesis reminds me of the VW Phaeton: great luxury car, but everything else is just a mainstream car experience, and you just can’t get away from having to go to the dealer. I believe Lexus got that right and other luxury brand are slowly catching up with overall dealer experience.

  • avatar
    ppellico

    Sajeev…
    I also agree with what you say as I have pointed out in earlier blogs.
    Just a couple points, however.
    First, the 6 cylinder is a far, far better choice and I wish you had the chance/time to review it as well.
    Its power at 290 horses is astounding and feels great..
    Second, I am not sure of the pricing advantage as they state.
    To get the V6 Genesis at any reasonable luxury level, it will be 36,000.
    The V8 is well into the 40s.
    Even so, with most Luxus ES in showrooms listed at around 42 to 45…the Genesis is awfully close!
    While still pretty unbelievable, that’s pretty close to real quality competition.
    For instance, I just ordered a Lexus ES350 with (only) the luxury package (has everything…Lev sound, panoramic roof) and it came out before taxes and other crap at 36K plus.
    A fully loaded Avalon, albeit not a “luxury” car, but close (and huge), is 35, 36K.
    But overall…this car indeed runs and feels great.
    Get it at it’s base 33K that is really well loaded, and you got a wonderful entry level sports/luxury car.
    Silent.
    Powerful.
    Luxuriuos.
    Large.
    And really good and sporty looking.
    Well done Hyundai.

    God, it almost hurts to say that!

  • avatar
    1998S90

    They probably should have started another line for their higher end offerings.
    Honda –> Acura
    Toyota –> Lexus
    Nissan –> Infiniti
    Hyundai –> Hyundai??

  • avatar
    ppellico

    mart-o-rama
    The reason Hyundai did not creat another luxury brand was cost.
    They could not afford another dealer network.

  • avatar
    MattVA

    By all means this looks like a great car, but I have to ask again: Does anyone know how much money Hyundai is losing on each one?

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    It’s a very nice car for a very good price. I don’t think it’d snag 5-Series intenders (or M45 intenders, if they’re serious about sport) but anyone who wants a sizable, well-trimmed, nice-riding quick car would be hard-pressed to find something better for the price.

    Good for Hyundai for differentiating this product. About the only cars that sort of compete are slower (MKS) or less well-trimmed (300C). Everything else is either much more sporty, or much more expensive. And the coupe looks like it’ll make life uncomfortable for the sportier makes.

    I’d like to see this in a wagon. It’s a good-looking car as it is, and it could make a tasteful tourer.

    The Germans and Lexus probably don’t have much to worry about yet, but Infiniti and Cadillac might, Acura certainly does and Lincoln and Buick should be terrified.

  • avatar

    The Genesis doesn’t change the game the way the original LS did, as it brings nothing new to the table, just a low price.

    That said, I drove the V6 last week, and the suspension tuning, comfort, and overall refinement are outstanding. As the review notes, the Genesis is not a sport sedan, but the handling is never sloppy, and the ride is always smooth and silent.

    What’s not to like? As the review notes, the materials are not the best. They’re easily good enough for a $40,000 car, but you’re not exactly getting a $60,000 car for $20,000 less.

    Also, the black car I drove had some fit and finish issues: heavy orange peel in the paint, a broken power height adjuster, distortion in the front passenger’s side window, and some minor trim misalignment.

    But clearly they got the hard stuff right.

    Will the car prove reliable? TrueDelta’s Vehicle Reliability Survey hopes to provide a quick initial result. If you know someone who buys one, please send them here:

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar
    BEAT

    Doesn’t look like a Hyundai.

    I think this is the second Hyundai that looks like Benz.

    I will keep on eye on The Hyundai company a very interesting company to make history with.

  • avatar
    phil

    i agree with mart_o_rama, this car will remain an “expensive Hyundai” unless they form a new brand with an upscale image and chain of dealerships. and 5 stars? is this a 5 star car or a 5 star bargain?

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    I got to drive the V6 and V8 Geneses at a Hyundai preview event, and the review above is spot on. According to the staff…the difference between comparably equipped V6′s and V8′s is a mere $2000…and if that holds true, the V8 is clearly the game changer….as the V6, while nice, does nothing to differentiate itself from the competition.

    They had an E550 and base CTS there for comparison, and while the E clearly felt more powerful and substantial, the CTS was cramped in back and not as smooth in comparison.

    If this Hyundai were a Ford….I would already be on the waiting list.

  • avatar

    ppellico,

    Apples and oranges. The Lexus ES interior uses higher grade materials than you’ll find in the Genesis, but underneath you’ve got an upgraded, front-drive Camry. The Genesis is larger, with a far superior chassis. The hardware is comparable to the LS, not the ES, even if the interior is not.

    psarhjinian,

    Very well put. The thing is, how much of this market is really serious about sport? Maybe 20 percent? Probably less. The Genesis does feel sportier than a Lexus, and falls very close to Mercedes in terms of driving feel.

    The problem with the Lincoln MKS isn’t that it’s slower. It’s that the entire car looks and feels slipshod compared to the Genesis. I drove both the same day. The Lincoln both rides and handles considerably worse, noise levels are much higher, and some interior trim bits are Focus-class, at best. Supposedly it’s selling well. People must like the interior room and exterior styling. Seating comfort rivals the Hyundai.

  • avatar
    bfg9k

    1998S90 :
    August 27th, 2008 at 8:51 am

    They probably should have started another line for their higher end offerings.
    Honda –> Acura
    Toyota –> Lexus
    Nissan –> Infiniti
    Hyundai –> Hyundai??

    Hyundai -> Kia?

  • avatar
    murphysamber

    it reminds me of another great luxury car that was plagued with a proletarian badge, and a more direct link to Bentley.

    and if this thing tries to tell me i’m posting to fast again, I’ll crap a sack of nickles.

  • avatar
    ppellico

    Michael Karesh and psarhjinian..

    First, I wish people would stop saying the EX is just a Camry in better clothes.
    It has the same chassis, but lengthened and strengthened and silented.
    It has many more added luxury and performance.
    It is different, technically.
    To call the genesis chassis far superior is a really questionable statement.
    Where did you pull that from?
    Hardware comparison…please, Michael…its not even close as stated in the article above. Lexus IS quality, down to every nob and switch.
    Inside, although it states that the Genesis is larger…you would’t know it sitting in both as we have so many, many times this past month.
    That makes it different.

    As far as trying to be the luxury AND sport car…isn’t that exactly what the Germans have been doing successfully all these years?

    But don’t get me wrong.
    I must really like the Genesis as I constantly speak well of it, test drove it at least 3 times…and touted it here on TTAC.

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    psarhjinian :

    It’s a very nice car for a very good price. I don’t think it’d snag 5-Series intenders (or M45 intenders, if they’re serious about sport) but anyone who wants a sizable, well-trimmed, nice-riding quick car would be hard-pressed to find something better for the price.

    I agree. The Genesis is a very credible car for the money and should give the likes of Lexus a serious run (not to mention slaughtering cars like the MKS).

    I can totally understand Hyundai’s reluctance in establishing a dedicated dealer network for the Genesis. It worked for Lexus (and Infiniti and Acura) back in the 80s because the market and economy were different. That doesn’t mean Hyundai isn’t seriously looking at developing the network later on. As far as sales figures go, the Genesis seems to be doing very well.

  • avatar
    rpenna

    I’d actually look at this car if they had an AWD version. I realize that defeats the whole RWD luxury sedan idea, but in my locale, RWD isn’t really an option in winter.

    Hyundai may actually hit a home run with this car based on the timing of the introduction. With all companies toning down leasing (which account for 50% of all BMW sales, iirc), they may be able to snag the luxury car buyer who’s actually looking to pay cash for a car, but thinks 55 grand is a little high for a 5 series (me).

    Whether it succeeds or not, we’ll see. I’ve seen nothing but positive reviews for this car. Props to Hyundai for designing a car people SHOULD want, instead of hitting the panic button like Detroit and shifting to little crapboxes.

    Side note; Sajeev your reviews are always very well done, with relevant comparisons and not too much snarky attitude. Thanks.

  • avatar
    adam0331

    I’m still skeptical. In the late 90′s Toyota arguably had a better image than Hyundai has to day. Most people still joke about Hyundai as a cheap car, or have been burned by one of their awful products in the past. Simply put, they don’t have the caché to pull off a luxury car. Neither did Honda, Toyota or Nissan. No matter how good the car is it’ll be a failure until Hyundai creates an upmarket brand…or buys one.

  • avatar
    Orian

    Hyundai certainly isn’t hurting for cash – if they wanted to make a luxury brand they could have. I believe this is their halo car and they want to show that they can make a nice luxury car and I think they succeeded very well in doing so.

    As for the comparisons to the VW Phaeton, Hyundai did not price this car near 100k – they kept it right where it should be for what it is. The Phaeton is a wonderful car, but it really should have fallen into the Audi brand and not VW, especially with the price on it.

    Adam, I’m not sure if you are aware of this or not, but prior to Hyundai slapping on the 10yr/100,000 mile warranty they used Mistubishi engines and transmissions in all of their vehicles. It wasn’t until they had their power train program up and running that they started phasing out the Mitsu sourced power trains and put the warranty on the cars. This was back in 98 or 99 – even though they still had a couple models with the Mistu power trains at the time while they were in the process of converting over. That said, I still don’t believe they need a luxury brand at this time. They are working on positioning Kia as the entry brand and trying to move Hyundai upscale. That certainly is an uphill battle and will take years, but if they continue with vehicles like this it will happen.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The Genesis doesn’t change the game the way the original LS did, as it brings nothing new to the table, just a low price.
    It’s not so much game-changing as it’s picking up a game that Lexus walked away from and that Lincoln, Buick and Acura (and to a degree, Saab, VW and Volvo) have been playing badly as of late.

    Hyundai isn’t just selling a midsize sedan with extra frosting, it’s selling a purpose-built luxury chassis at a lower margin and without the sheer gimcrackery in it’s competition. No one’s sold anything like this car in North America since the not-as-good Q went away; everything’s been either a mainstreamer-with-frosting or a partial effort that lacks polish.

    If you think about it, this car competes with… what? The Lincoln Town Car? DTS? 300C? RL, 9-5 or S80? How about the Avalon, Maxima or Lucerne? It may come up short next to a 545i, but would you seriously buy a Town Car, Lucerne or Avalon instead?

    Again, not so much game-changing as picking up an existing game that’s been abandoned.

  • avatar

    True, at the $40,000 price point there simply is not a comparable car.

    The closest comparable car is probably the Infiniti M, which is priced at least $10,000 higher.

    But my point was that the Genesis will not have the broad impact on the industry that the LS did.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Simply put, they don’t have the caché to pull off a luxury car. Neither did Honda, Toyota or Nissan. No matter how good the car is it’ll be a failure until Hyundai creates an upmarket brand…or buys one.

    I’m not so sure. I think that there’s a great big gaping hole in the market, and Hyundai has driven the Genesis straight into it without the pretensions and problems of VW’s Phaeton.

    Think about it: there’s no real “nice car” anymore. The niche that Lincoln, Volvo, Buick and Saab used to own has been gutted between decontented 3-Series and C-Classes on one hand and Camry XLEs on the other. Their cause hasn’t been helped by the fact that Volvo, Saab and Buick haven’t exactly been cranking out good cars.

    And now along comes Hyundai, with a car that’s every bit as good as the MKS, S80 or Lucerne should have been, and at a time where people–even well-off people–are going to think more than twice about spending 20-40 grand more for a badge, but don’t really want a nice Camry or a mediocre Volvo or Buick.

    Compared to Mercedes they don’t have much brand equity, but what about Lincoln, Volvo or Buick? How much equity to they really have next to Hyundai? Remember the glory-era Volvo 740s, Buick Park Avenues, Lincoln Continentals? That’s the Genesis’ niche, and I don’t think that, given how far the midmarket makes have fallen, that it’s going to very hard for Hyundai at all.

  • avatar

    Sajeev – Thanks for a great review. It’s going to be interesting to see how this does in the marketplace. You can bet Toyota is watching closely…

  • avatar
    menno

    Let’s not forget something else. A TON of people read Consumer Reports, and Mercedes Benz products have been truly catastrophic in their reliability for over a decade now – and the word is “out” about them.

    Folks moved “down” from Saabs to Subarus. Saab is all but dead in the water.

    I can’t see why it’s any different for folks to move “down” from an overpriced, overengineered (read: over complex), unreliable POS Mercedes, easily escewing the Chrysler 300 POS, and trying this car out. Particularly the folks who aren’t interested any more in what their neighbors think of the badge on their cars (i.e. they’ve grown up).

    Perhaps it is not a Camry sized market for sure, but it’s there. Hyundai’s done well.

  • avatar
    Gottleib

    “But armchair analysts see the derivative sheetmetal and questionable Hyundai dealership experience going over as well as a fart in church.”

    sometimes a fart in church is just what it takes to wake up the congregation during a boring sermon.

    The Lexus was never predicted to be as popular and successful as it turned out to be. The Genesis will appeal to a very large segment of the buying public that is not impressed by three pointed stars and other symbols that shout, “I have money!”. These things seem most important to those that do have money and those that want to be thought to have money. The rest of us just want a nice car. Good luck Hyundai, and good review.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    To get the V6 Genesis at any reasonable luxury level, it will be 36,000.
    The V8 is well into the 40s.

    A fully loaded V8 tops out at $42,000 including freight.

    For instance, I just ordered a Lexus ES350 with (only) the luxury package (has everything…Lev sound, panoramic roof) and it came out before taxes and other crap at 36K plus.

    The ES base price is over $34,000, and the Levinson/Nav package is $4,250 and the luxury package (panoramic roof, etc…) is $5,380. I’d like to know where I can get one for $36,000…

    A fully loaded Avalon, albeit not a “luxury” car, but close (and huge), is 35, 36K.

    A fully loaded Avalon is more like $40,000, which puts it squarely in the V8 Genesis range and as expensive as the V6 Genesis.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    A TON of people read Consumer Reports, and Mercedes Benz products have been truly catastrophic in their reliability for over a decade now – and the word is “out” about them.

    I would still like to know exactly what all those circle ratings mean in Consumer Reports. I got their auto survey and they ask very generic questions, leaving a lot to the interpretation of the respondent. I don’t put a lot of stock in CR anymore.

    I know several people with Benzes who love them and have had no trouble, but that is just anecdotal evidence. Mr. Karesh, any comments??

  • avatar

    Impressive.

    However I must bark editorially (NVH engineers are howling): please correct to four Sachs-controlled (and Magnaride-worthy) dampeners, lest someone get the impression that Sachs is in the vehicle irrigation market.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    @Sajeev
    Lexicon 7.1-channel audio system. Mark Levinson may not feel the heat just yet

    Mark Levinson and Lexicon are both Harman International brands, like Infinity, JBL, Harman Kardon, Becker and about a million other brands, so it’s mostly a badge thing.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    ppellico,

    The Lexus ES really is a luxury version of the Camry, riding on the same 109.3″ wheelbase. I’m sure you’ll like yours, but you really can’t compare them in terms of their chassis design and construction. The Lexus GS would be a better comparison.

    Sajeev,

    Excellent review. Mirrors my sentiments. I’m convinced the Genesis is the big story of the year, and will find/open a substantial niche in the market for itself.

  • avatar
    ppellico

    TexasAg03

    I am talking as the one person here that has spent the last few weeks driving each one of these cars at least 3 times each AND pricing them.
    In fact, my wife and I had to start going to farther away dealers so they wouldn’t get angry!
    The fully loaded Genesis V8 is 43K.
    A fully loaded V6 is 40K.

    Now, for my Lexus ES350 pricing.
    The base is 32,024 at overstock.
    IF you do NOT order through a dealer AND you are willing to wait as I am the 3 or more months to get it from Japan you can order the base at 32K then add the 4,400 Ultra pack.
    Thus the 35,582.
    I have the printout in my hands.
    For this excercise…go to overstock.com.
    Build your lexuse es350.
    Once you pick the basic, then only add the luxury package for 4,352…the final 35,582.
    Maybe they lied.
    Maybe it won’t happen.
    But I did it.

    And once again, I AGREE with everybody.
    I love this Genesis!
    But I explained once before, you can’t get a car that does everything.
    The Avalon will not get you the sport, but Jesus…you can camp in the back seat and its front wheel drive can’t be ignored.
    Genesis cannot give you the pure soft creamy leather and silence of the ES, plus FWD.
    (I know, pure performance can’t be had with FWD.)
    But all I want is for the car to wake me when I get home!

    I personnaly would get a Genesis if not for the absolute need for 7 hour cruising luxury.
    Its all straight, full spead ahead driving.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    When Hyundai got into trouble in the 1980s instead of whining about a mythical perception gap it dug in and made itself better. The Genesis is their game changer.

  • avatar
    seoultrain

    ppellico,

    on overstock for ES350:
    “This vehicle does not have an Overstock price”

    am I looking in the wrong place?

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    The most direct competitor to the Genesis IS going to be the Lexus ES350.

    The Genesis is a conservative vehicle. The exterior styling, the interior design, heck even the actual driving experience is far reminiscent of a cruiser than a carver.

    Any comparisons with Saab, BMW, Infiniti, or the C-Class should be thrown out the window. That’s not going to be the intended audience.

    ES350, Lucerne, Town Car (the Hyundai may actually pull a few retirees), and the Avalon/Camry will be the most direct competitors. I would even throw in the Accord EX-L V6 sedan to this group as well.

    As Sajeev already mentioned, it is an extremely competitive vehicle. But I can see it having trouble after the first year if three critical things aren’t done to improve it’s marketability.

    1) They need to provide a warranty and a standard of dealer service that puts Lexus on notice. In fact, the biggest deficit Hyundai has at the moment is that most of their dealerships have been focused on the ‘value’ side of the consumer experience instead of the ‘premium’ side of it.

    The dealer will need to give the potential customers a ‘Wow!’ as well as Lexus already does in this market. That will not be easy to do.

    2) Hyundai’s marketing of this vehicle is half-baked. They don’t seem to be able to push the quality of the component of the equation as well as the value in their commercials. That’s one thing every luxury model needs to be able to establish from the get-go.

    3) A lot of folks are going to look at the front grille, the price, and simply conclude that the Genesis is a cheap Benz knockoff without driving it. Related to this, the 1st gen Lexus LS400 was a staid vehicle. But… it pursued all of the items mentioned above and had a stablemate Lexus SC300/SC400 that was drop dead gorgeous. Hyundai needs that type of sister car for the Genesis if they want anything more than just a foothold in this market.

    Finally, what do you guys think about Hyundai taking over Hummer and using the standalone dealerships for a ‘Genesis’ brand? The facilities of the Hummer dealerships are very recent and GM would potentially be able to just sell the network and the models as separate units. It’s a thought.

  • avatar
    Alex Dykes

    Steven Lang: I think that you are too swayed by price. The Genesis is really comparable to the Infiniti M / Lexus GS in terms of good comparison. Comparing a V6/V8 RWD luxury car to a FWD gussied up Camry is perhaps a bit flawed. Comparing the Genesis to the Town Car and the Lucerne is insulting the Koreans. The funny thing is this is all very familiar. Back when the LS400 was introduced everyone was saying the same thing, gee, I should compare that to a Chevy or a Chrysler rather than comparing it to the actual competition from Europe.

    BMW and Mercedes don’t have too much to fear from the genesis at the moment, but I think Infiniti an Lexus have a great deal to worry about. Acura is having their own sales problems at the moment, and trouble defining what an Acura really is, but the Genesis can’t really be good for them either. I’d take a Genesis V8 over a current generation RL any day.

    On the warranty front I’m not sure what you mean. Lexus has a 4 year 50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper and 6 year 70,000 mile powertrain warranty. The Genesis gets Hyundai’s 5 year 60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper and 10 year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. I’m not sure how you can look at what is possibly the best warranty available and say it should be different? The one thing I could add to the Genesis would be maintainance for a period of time, but, that would go against the “discount” theme.

  • avatar

    Steven Lang –

    If memory serves, the SC was introduced three years after the LS, and had very little impact on anything. Initially, the only other Lexus was the ES, which was very much a tarted up Camry with framless door glass.

    I also think you’re overestimating the badge snobbery of many German car buyers and underestimating the driving experience provided by the Hyundai. Lately an increasing number of my panel members have been opting for something Japanese as their BMW and Mercedes leases expire. The Genesis would actually be a less abrupt transition for many of these people.

  • avatar
    inept123

    On MB “reliability”… Anecdotal, I know, but my experience with a 2002 C320 wagon was atrocious. ECU replaced 2x. Battery replaced 3x. Every window lift motor replaced. Every seat motor replaced. Sun roof motor replaced. Tranny shot with less than 60k miles. MB USA and Germany told me “tough luck.” It was indeed. I will NEVER buy another MB.

    I like the Hyundai Genesis very much. If it sells/runs without major problems for the first 2-3 years, it’ll be my next highway cruiser.

  • avatar

    menno,

    POS is a major exaggeration when speaking of a Chrysler 300, much less a Mercedes. What those dots in CR obscure is how low even the repair rates of such “worse than average” cars are.

    I have quite a few owners of the large Chryslers in my survey. The 2005s, even with a higher repair rate than newer model years, are averaging just over one repair trip per year.

    In Mercedes case, I have less data. But what I do have suggests that the new 2008 C-Class is managing an average repair rate, about 60 repair trips per hundred cars per year, while the 2005 is about twice that level, around 120 per 100. These cars are hardly in the shop “all the time.”

    It’s a bit early to say with any certainty, but I also think it’s possible that Mercedes has turned a corner in the last year or two with regard to quality. As inept123 attests, the cars from the early 2000s could be troublesome. Not all of them were, but too many of them were.

  • avatar
    Kyle Schellenberg

    I wouldn’t argue that Hyundai ‘gathers’ design ideas from other companies but I think they are more scrutinized in this respect. When I look at the radical new Acura TL, it makes me think last-gen Nissan Maxima. There’s always going to be some overlap unless you’re willing to do something truly bizarre.

    Hyundai won’t be disappointed when they’re not considered over a BMW because they’ll be selling lots of these on sheer price point to Joes and Janes who just know/assume they can’t afford a luxury brand.

    Once they get a foot in the door though, history proves they’re relentless so we can expect a respected luxury line from Hyundai in the next 10 to 15 years. By that time we won’t look back on the Genesis in the same light as we do the Pony.

  • avatar
    ppellico

    Paul Niedermeyer
    and
    seoultrain

    Paul, look, you may be right, but all I can do is go by what the reviewers and so called experts state.
    Here it is from Edmunds…instead of redesigning a whole new platform for the ES, they tweeked and changed and lengthened the Camry chassis.
    So, technically, they are not the same…but basically, you are right.
    However, in the auto world, enlarging and tweeking platforms is a whole new world for the car.

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FullTests/articleId=109687

    Seoultrain…here is the page for the ES configuation
    Overstock:
    http://cars.overstock.com/configurator.html?trimId=224981#

  • avatar
    Evinx

    I wonder how much Hyundai’s dealership network will hurt sales of the Genesis.

    I’m willing to bet that Hyundai dealers like Planet Hyundai here in the Las Vegas valley will drop the ball and drive away potential customers.

    Jack of all trades is a master of none …

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    This is very bad news for GM and Ford. It’s highly unlikely that the Lexus crowd will be seen driving a Hyundai – any Hyundai. But this will definitely take sales away from Buick (if it has any left to steal) and Lincoln and Cadillac. I think Cadillac is particularly vulnerable, since they no longer offer a large sedan (the DTS doesn’t count, since it doesn’t appeal to anyone who doesn’t have an enlarged prostate).

    Hyundai’s timing may also be perfect, as they are introducing the Genesis right at the time when people are scrambling to abandon their Lincoln Navigators, but still want something big and “safe” they can drive in.

  • avatar

    Thank you all for reading.

    ——————————-
    Detroit-Iron : Wow.

    I said that a few times during the test drive. That doesn’t happen very often for me.

    —————-
    doktorno : Sajeev, somebody swiped the hood ornament off your Benz.

    And gave me a $20,000 instant rebate on an E550.

    ——————————-
    GS650G : I noted the 5 star review of this car and can’t think of the last whip to get a 100% rating.

    Aside from the exotics, the last one I remember was the Ford Mondeo.

    ——————————-
    mart_o_rama : The Genesis reminds me of the VW Phaeton: great luxury car, but everything else is just a mainstream car experience, and you just can’t get away from having to go to the dealer.

    The difference is that the Genesis is much, much cheaper than its (V8 powered) competition, and the Phaeton was astronomical and untouchable.

    ———————-
    ppellico : First, the 6 cylinder is a far, far better choice and I wish you had the chance/time to review it as well.

    I couldn’t disagree more. For $2000 less, the 6 cylinder is not worth it. It has cheap leather and less standard toys, IIRC. The V8 model is the only one I’d consider.

    ppellico: For instance, I just ordered a Lexus ES350 with (only) the luxury package (has everything…Lev sound, panoramic roof) and it came out before taxes and other crap at 36K plus.

    Yes, I saw your posts and kudos for reaching out to the TTAC community.

    Not to be a jerk, but I wish you the best of luck. Read my review of it here on TTAC, because I didn’t like the ES much. Keep in mind that several owners on Lexus forums experienced what I did and complimented me for seeing things from their eyes. Even if they fix the transmission surging problem and horrible wind noise, it still drives like a torque-steering V6 Camry with terrible visibility.

    The Genesis 4.6 is an LS460 for half the price. Its something much, much more than its $35000-$45000 price point implies. The ES is what it is.

    ——————————-
    MattVA : By all means this looks like a great car, but I have to ask again: Does anyone know how much money Hyundai is losing on each one?

    IIRC, Lexus sold the LS400 at a loss too. Hyundai is offsetting that loss somehow, maybe by not building a new dealer network. Then again, if Ford can sell 4.6L Panthers with power everything for $20,000…the Genesis 4.6 might be making decent profit at $42,000.

    ——————————-
    Michael Karesh : The Genesis doesn’t change the game the way the original LS did, as it brings nothing new to the table, just a low price.

    The LS400 didn’t bring anything new to the table, other than fresh dealer real estate. They benchmarked the S-class and gave most of its goodness for less money…and Hyundai benchmarked the “benchmarker” that started it all.

    ——————————-
    phil : and 5 stars? is this a 5 star car or a 5 star bargain?

    It wouldn’t get 5-stars if it was $60,000. Unless you’re the type that buys houses with cash and a whim, this much performance and luxury for $42,000 is a godsend.

    ——————————-
    Michael Karesh : The Lexus ES interior uses higher grade materials than you’ll find in the Genesis, but underneath you’ve got an upgraded, front-drive Camry.

    Quite frankly, the ES’s leather is junk compared to the Genesis 4.6. Ditto the seat foam and many of the dashboard vinyls. The ES has far superior gauges and wood trim, however.

    ——————————-
    ppellico : To call the genesis chassis far superior is a really questionable statement.

    Well it is because it’s not a torque steering wrong-wheel driver that’s based on a $19,000 Camry. The five link suspension, RWD, Sachs shocks, etc are a CUT ABOVE anything near its price.

    You should really drive a V8 Genesis when you have a chance.

    ——————————-
    rpenna : Whether it succeeds or not, we’ll see. I’ve seen nothing but positive reviews for this car. Props to Hyundai for designing a car people SHOULD want, instead of hitting the panic button like Detroit and shifting to little crapboxes.

    Side note; Sajeev your reviews are always very well done, with relevant comparisons and not too much snarky attitude. Thanks.

    Gotta love the snark in small doses, that’s why I’m not writing for the big boys. Seriously though, Detroit’s panic button is only bad because of their poorly executed luxury cars (300C’s interior) ,misguided platforms (Ford’s boring D3s) and the lack of a V8 in the CTS.

    That said, anyone who buys a non-sport package CTS without considering the Genesis 4.6 is doing himself or herself a disservice.

    ——————————-
    psarhjinian : Again, not so much game-changing as picking up an existing game that’s been abandoned.

    Bingo. Imagine if the CTS had the Impala SS’s small block V8. Or if Ford didn’t kill the Lincoln LS, and put their 4.6L cammer under the hood.

    ——————————-
    Gottleib : sometimes a fart in church is just what it takes to wake up the congregation during a boring sermon.

    And to have people laugh at you. Which could be the Genesis’ fate, if badge snobbery is what actually sells cars today.

    ——————————-
    jgholt : However I must bark editorially (NVH engineers are howling): please correct to four Sachs-controlled (and Magnaride-worthy) dampeners, lest someone get the impression that Sachs is in the vehicle irrigation market.

    D’oh!!!! Edit on its way. Thanks for keeping me in check.

    ——————————-
    ppellico : The fully loaded Genesis V8 is 43K.

    No it $42k with destination. And that’s fully loaded with a backup camera. The only flaw in the car (the car, not the dealership or the brand) is the lack of passenger seat heating/cooling.

    ——————————-
    Kyle Schellenberg : Once they get a foot in the door though, history proves they’re relentless so we can expect a respected luxury line from Hyundai in the next 10 to 15 years. By that time we won’t look back on the Genesis in the same light as we do the Pony.

    Granted I don’t live in Canada, but the Pony will be erased from most people’s memory once they get behind the wheel of a Genesis 4.6.

  • avatar
    ppellico

    Sajeev Mehta WOW!
    That was a lot of work and thanks.

    I will drive the V8 once it gets here later in November.
    Only giving up 1 MPG for the extra power seems worth it.
    But other reviews read have taken the V8 to task for its lack of and slow to react power.
    I will know later this month.
    But I gotta take you to task for your calling the leather in the ES Junk.
    Maybe you have more on this having seen and sat in the V8.
    Is the V8 given better leather?
    If not, you owe us all an appology for that remark.
    As a true TTAC reviewer, you need to stay somewhat on the truth path.
    You would be the first to ever say this about the leather in a Lexus.
    The TL, Genesis and most other cars have thicker, harder leather when compared to the soft and subtle leather in the ES.
    Thanks much for the reveiw and the long reply to all of us.
    Very much appreciated.
    Paul

    PS Is RWD not a problem in the North World?

  • avatar
    Taldan9

    The Genesis hasn’t been crash tested yet by the IIHS and I note the generally poor performance of Hyundai sedans to date. Has Hyundai cleaned up its act yet? Personally, as a former BMW 5 driver and current BMW 3 driver, as well as a 2007 Acura TL, I no longer consider cars that fail to get at least a good rating by the IIHS.

  • avatar

    ppellico: Thanks for entering in a dialogue with me. Yes the V8 has much, much better leather. I agree, the V6 leather is pretty bad, like most Hyundais. The V8′s leather alone is worth the price, and its far softer and fragrant than the ES.

    As a true TTAC reviewer, you need to stay somewhat on the truth path. You would be the first to ever say this about the leather in a Lexus.

    I stand by my remark. The ES test car I had was a Press unit, so it was either just as good or better than the one you bought: the 2007 model I had sported mediocre leather along with the other problems mentioned in the review.

    When you compare the ES’ leather to the fine stuff in the Genesis V8 and the Lincoln MKS (picking those two because they are new models that I’ve spent some time in) and its quite below average. I even thought the Lucerne’s leather was softer than the ES.

    Is RWD not a problem in the North World?

    Bridgestone Blizzacks on a second set of wheels and use the Genesis’ excellent traction control. If needed, buy a sandbag or two just in case.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    What is “dealer experience” and how can you tell whether you’ve had a good one?

    Is it a salesman in a suit as nice as yours (when you actually had to wear them) who is comfortable calling you by your first name?

    Is it a service manager in a logo golf shirt with a stunningly rich vocabulary who makes you a fresh latte’ while he charges you $250 for an oil change and $400 for a 4-wheel alignment?

    Is it great waiting room furniture and a big screen TV with the Bloomberg channel, WiFi and the entire Conde’ Nast publication collection arranged by month?

    I mean, Lexus aside (because they drive 60 miles each way to pick-up my Dad’s IS for an oil change), what the hell IS “dealer experience?”

    Why do I want one?

    Should I have one? I had a nice experience one summer with our local BMW dealer’s daughter (does that count)?

    I mean, I want a CAR that is really fun to drive – every day, not too expensive to maintain and good to look at. I am not joining a club or a social organization …am I?

    Why, unless the thing is a Veyron and in the shop every 1k, should I care about the “dealer experience?”

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    The “dealer experience” encompasses all your interactions with the dealer. From the sales staff to the service staff.

    On the sales side, a dealer experience is “good” if the salesman is knowledgeable about the car, isn’t trying to force you to buy it, and isn’t constantly trying to screw you over financially once you decide to buy.

    On the service side, you want service writers who have very good customer service skills, and who will not abandon you the minute you sign the work order. You want techs who are well trained and know how to execute a work order, and who are good at diagnosis. The service writer needs to be sure all the work was done correctly and completely. The SW really should be working as your advocate and quality control person with the tech side.

    Funny thing is, there’s no relation between the quality of your car and the quality of the dealer experience. My first car in LA was a Saturn, and very little ever went wrong with it. But I dreaded bringing it to the dealer, because they always wound up breaking something or lying to me. This was true of several Saturn dealers I went to, not just one.

    My next car was/is a SAAB 9-3 Aero. Dismal reliability, I have to say. The driving experience is great, but way too much has failed on this car (including the transmission – at 23k miles) for me to recommend one. And yet. The dealer experience has been fantastic. Especially the service writers and techs. They really do take care of me. I guess because they know they have to.

    As a result I may wind up buying another SAAB, believe it or not.

    It’s a cliche of customer service theory that if you buy a product and never have a problem with it, you will have *less* brand loyalty than if you buy a product, have a problem with is, and get it resolved satisfactorily by the manufacturer.

    I think that’s actually true.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    Gucci said: “Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten.”

  • avatar
    menno

    I read elsewhere that the V8 Genesis DOES get upgraded leather standard, ppellico, so Sajeev is’nt making stuff up. RWD is “do-able” even here in northwestern Michigan IF you a) are a competent driver (which leaves most Michigan drivers out, of late) and b) you bother buying four extra wheels and full snow tires (which I do on my FWD cars, as well) and c) you have enough short-term, medium-term and long-term memory to realize that once the snow / ice comes, you can’t drive as if it is summer time (no matter which end drives your car).

    Not forgetting that I’m old enough (51) to remember the day when a front wheel drive car was a total oddity (one guy had a Citroen DS in Escanaba Michigan – in da UP, eh?) – when I was a kid. Other than that and the (very) occasional car such as a two-stroke Saab, the only other FWD car was the 1966 and later Oldsmobile Toronado, until VW went with the Rabbit in 1974 and Chrysler introduced the Omni and Horizon in late 1977.

    In other words, EVERYBODY drove rear wheel drive cars in the northlands of America and Canada too.
    Usually with open rear axles. Locking rear axles didn’t even become available until Studebaker (and Packard) offered them in 1956 (first) “TT” (Twin Traction). AMC popularized them (and the Rambler make was 3rd best seller in 1961 behind Chevrolet and Ford but ahead of Plymouth). AMC called it Twin Grip.

    Nowadays, vehicle stability control, traction control, etc., do the same trick that limited slip differentials did to help you move along, but much more effectively.

    Your humble servant and member of the Society of Automotive Historians,

    Glenn

  • avatar
    menno

    Sajeev, Bridgestone Blizzaks are good but I think personally Hakkapalitta Nokians are a little better. Couldn’t get Hakkas for my Prius, got Blizzaks (on a 2nd set of generic alloys from tirerack.com) for my Prius. The generic alloys were cheaper than the steel wheels Toyota sells for snow tires. Even my salesman (Greg) said – get your 2nd set-up from tire-rack dot com, not his own service department… he’s a straight shooter.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    menno:

    I grew up in Alaska, and you’re right back in the day everyone drove rear-wheel drive cars. BUT: they all had monster studded snow tires. Which worked like a charm.

    People forget that, at least for driving in/on snow, the tire is far more important than how many driven wheels you have. Something more than a few SUV owners have learned to their everlasting dismay.

  • avatar

    The derivative styling is the only thing that is really a problem, that grill just screams Mercedes wanna-be.

    If Hyundai creates a nice sport package with perhaps a little more unique grill and a couple of other sporting changes, they should be ready to really shake up the sport sedan market.

    It would have been nice if they had decided to copy the Maserati QP instead of the standard Germans… More Italianate styling can never hurt.

  • avatar

    Despite all the e-hoopla and semi-glowing reviews I just can’t get excited about a car like this.

    Not only because of the brand, but also because it looks like it was styled for my grandparents and retirees. It would look the part with a wheelchair caddy out back and gold trim adorning various bits, parked at one of those all-you-can-eat retirement buffets around the retirement communities here in AZ.

    The coupe based on this car is the other end of the extreme. It’s made for high school kids to put oversized wings, Asian character stickers, gold wheels, and woofing foofing exhausts on.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    Part of the reason it’s cheaper than the competition is that they didn’t set up a new brand and dealership network… probably a few grand per car right there. I’ll probably take another several years; when they have one or two more luxury models I’m sure we’ll a new brand. If none of their vehicles are tarted-up Hyundais, that’ll be quite an accomplishment!

  • avatar
    dgduris

    The first round, here may not count. The real question, I think, is what will the sophomore effort look like. Everyone knows that you get cred in the market by visually placing your brand where you want it to be (like dress for success – I guess). Lexus did it at launch, Infinity didn’t. Enough said there.

    So, the test of the line will be in their second version – when they don’t need that faux Benz grill for cred in the neo-luxe segment.

    Or, maybe they will stay neo-luxe and keep visually aping Mercedes. Though that would end them up positioned much like the old VW Bugs with the Rolls Royce bonnets.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    Back when I had my GS400, I got a ride back to work in an ES350 while my GS was being serviced (I can’t say enough good things about the Lexus ‘dealership experience’, they were incredible, too bad Lexus doesn’t have one car right now that even remotely interests me). The interior of the ES350 was atrocious (for the price point) from what I remember, the leather was no better than what I was used to in my mother’s Camry, the wood looked fake (I’m not sure if it was or not, but it looked terrible) and nothing about the interior of that car was inviting. Even from pictures alone I can tell the the Genesis interior is on another level

  • avatar
    ppellico

    To Sajeev Mehta and all of you amazing dedicted car freaks!

    This is exactly why you gotta have Jay Leno’s money and garage.

    The point here, I guess, is once you do your footwork.
    Once you test drive every car as often as you think needed and then some, and THEN once you pull the trigger as I did…
    Enjoy your new car choice without the buyer’s remorse!

    As Sajeev points out, I don’t have the ability to compare the not as yet available V8 genesis, so my wife and I made the choice based upon today’s reality.
    And really…you can’t go wrong with any of these top notch cars.

    And the other problem is we each have our own subjective needs and wants.
    One person’s hard Euro leather is another’s sporty seating.

    This has been a lot of fun.
    Cubs or White Sox!?

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    The fully loaded Genesis V8 is 43K.

    According to Hyundai’s web site, it’s $41,250 plus $750 freight or $42,000.

    Now, for my Lexus ES350 pricing.
    The base is 32,024 at overstock.
    IF you do NOT order through a dealer AND you are willing to wait as I am the 3 or more months to get it from Japan you can order the base at 32K then add the 4,400 Ultra pack.
    Thus the 35,582.

    I couldn’t find a price for the ES on Overstock, but I have another issue with your pricing. In the post I was referencing, you said:

    For instance, I just ordered a Lexus ES350 with (only) the luxury package (has everything…Lev sound, panoramic roof) and it came out before taxes and other crap at 36K plus.

    There is a Nav/Mark Levinson package for $4,250 and an Ultra Luxury Package (Panoramic roof, heated/ventilated seats, etc.) for $5,380. The Ultra Luxury Package does not include the Levinson system. To get the equipment you said you got, you would need both packages.

    Therefore, even with a base of $32,024, you would still have to spend $41,654 to get what you listed. This information is on the Lexus web site.

    http://www.lexus.com/models/ES/features/pricing.html

  • avatar
    menno

    I guess I don’t consider the grill to be aping the Mercedes; they tried for “character” instead of “boring” without an outright derivative (copy of) the Mercedes grill (as Ford did on the 1975-1979 (American) Granada and Studebaker did from 1962-1963 on Larks and 1962-1964 on Hawks).

    A lot of premium automobiles had unique grills back in past days, and Hyundai were quite anal retentive about the grill on this car – leaving the decision to the last minute.

    Now if they want to start a new marque in future, the luxury car versions of Genesis will need to have a grill reminiscent of this one for continuity.

    Packard grills had continuity from 1904 through 1957. 54 years, except for 1943-1944, of course.

    Pierce-Arrow grills had continuity from 1904 through 1938.

    BMW grills have had continuity (double kidney) since at least 1933 to the present day.

    Mercedes-Benz non-sporting cars have had continuity since at least 1927 to the present day.

    So if Hyundai are smart (and I think they are), then this grill is “it” for the future Genesis marque, at least for the luxury cars (because, just as Mercedes do, they can always do a 2nd frontal “face” for sportier cars).

    I can “imagine” a slightly smaller, upscale RWD 3.3 Litre V6 Genesis priced about where the Hyundai Azera is now, but leaning more towards the sporty end of the market, alongside the turbo-four and V6 coupe now being seen in car shows and online. The Azera would could continue in much the same manner as the Toyota Avalon does alongside the similarly priced/sized Lexus.

    Dealers could sub-brand and sell Hyundai AND Genesis in much the same way that many Toyota dealers now sell Toyota and Scion…

    But Hyundai?! Please, NO SUV Genesis vehicles!!!!!! Good God…. we need more “luxury” SUV’s like a hole in the head.

  • avatar
    ppellico

    TexasAg03

    I really don’t know what to say.
    I gave the link directly to the Overstock ES sight.
    Simply do as I did.
    Edit Options.
    Scroll down to Ultra Lux pact.
    There you have it.

    The package does include the Lev sound:
    ULTRA LUXURY PKG (UL) -inc: front seat memory, steering wheel memory, electrochromic exterior mirror w/reverse tilt & memory, perforated leather seat upholstery, heated & ventilated front seats, pwr driver seat cushion extender, rain-sensing wipers, panorama glass roof, pwr rear sunshade, wood & leather-wrapped steering wheel, wood & leather-wrapped shift knob, rear side airbags, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights w/adaptive front lighting system (AFS), 17″ graphite-finish alloy wheels, P215/55R17 tires, full-size spare (REQ: NV Lexus Premium Audio w/Navigation or VN Navigation System w/Mark Levinson Premium Audio)

    Hope this helps…

  • avatar
    ppellico

    TexasAg03

    Ooops…you may be right!
    It says REQ: next to it.
    Maybe I had to have added it in an earlier package.
    But no big deal, really.
    What I did want was the panoramic roof.
    I might have to live with the Lexus premium sound system when listening to my talk radio stuff.

  • avatar
    MBella

    I think the up-scale brand will come later. It will probably be easier to sell the concept to potential dealers with a real world proven car. Also I think they will wait until they have a couple models ready, not just one.

  • avatar

    The NHTSA just released their crash test results for the Genesis. 5-Stars all around!
    http://www.safercar.gov

  • avatar
    Qusus

    Awesome awesome review Sajeev. This car sounds like a real winner, even though the V6 and V8 are pricier than Hyundai initially stated when the car was a concept.

    My only trepidation is the somewhat… pedestrian acceleration numbers put down by the V8. With 8 cylinders making 375 HP motivating a 3800-poundish car it seems like a 5.7 0-60 time is a bit slow. Of course, I realize 0-60 numbers isn’t by any means the complete picture on the acceleration power of a car, but still… a lot of cars in that price range will be around the same time with a V6 making a lot less power.

    Of course, I doubt that Genesis buyers will really care, I’m just wondering why given it’s excellent HP-weight ratio.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    With 8 cylinders making 375 HP motivating a 3800-poundish car it seems like a 5.7 0-60 time is a bit slow

    Gearing?

    Anyone know the ratios, final drive and fuel economy on this thing?

  • avatar
    Russell

    to Taldan9

    I don’t know what you’ve been reading. Hyundai has excellent crash test record.

    It’s been a while since Hyundai had a poor crash test record.

  • avatar

    For psarhjinian…

    V-8 Fuel economy: 17 city/25 highway
    V-6 Fuel economy: 18 city/27 highway

    Gear ratios (:1) Column 1 (V-6) Column 2 (V-8)
    1st 3.520 4.171
    2nd 2.042 2.340
    3rd 1.400 1.521
    4th 1.000 1.143
    5th 0.716 0.867
    6th 0.586 0.691
    Reverse 3.224 3.403
    Final gear ratio 3.909 3.133

  • avatar
    volvo

    Great review. I just went to the Hyundai web site and the only option the V8 has over the V6 that I would want is the better quality leather seat. Unless the leather on the V6 is low quality the stock V6 would be fine for me. Will be interesting to see how many non-optioned V6′s are available for purchase on the lot.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Wow, pop the rear gearset from the V6 in the V8 car (3.90:1 vs 3.13), get it retuned for less torque management, and that thing should be good for a tire smoking 4.9 sec 0-60 and a mid 13 sec quarter mile easily.

  • avatar
    Taldan9

    In answer to the comments about my posting about Hyundai’s poor crash test record for sedans, I rely on the IIHS(iihs.org) site, which is the more meaningful one to me, rather than the NHTSA. Generally, NHTSA is a good test of seat belts and bags, i.e. car safety equipment. If you want to deal with a car’s ability to “be like a tank” and protect its people, the IIHS is a better test…and I’m in the insurance industry, anyway.

    Ideally, a car should be perfect on both NHTSA, IIHS and other country’s tests.

    On the IIHS site, the Accent has a poor rating for side impact; the Azera has an Acceptable rating, but, unfortunately, I only accept ‘Good’ ratings, since if you read what the difference between the two means, you will find it to be profound; Elantra has a poor rating; Sonata is only acceptable on the side impact; the XG300/XG350 has not been tested on side impact, which means it is unacceptable to me.

    Perhaps people are thinking of the better crash tests for the Hyundai SUVs, but as a fleet of sedans these results are unacceptable to me and indicates a lack of concern for crash testing on the part of Hyundai. Oh and the Genesis has not been tested by the IIHS to my knowledge – which means it is unacceptable to me. By the way, the best crash worthiness site is crashtest.com, which attempts to correlate all crash tests in every country in the world that does them.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Score one against branding!

    The nerve of li’l old Hyundai to sell a high-performance luxury sedan.

  • avatar

    Another good site is…
    http://www.informedforlife.org

    They combine the NHTSA and IIHS results to come up with 1 combined score.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    I might have to live with the Lexus premium sound system when listening to my talk radio stuff.

    Ha! I have been wanting to upgrade my stereo for a while, but since I have a short drive to work and usually listen to talk radio, I just can’t make myself spend the money…

    Assuming Lexus is charging about $2,000 for the Nav system, that means the Levinson system in the ES costs $2,250!!! It’s a good system, but I don’t know if it’s that good…

  • avatar
    agroal

    Michael Karesh
    “True, at the $40,000 price point there simply is not a comparable car.”
    I bought an’08 Chrysler 300C AWD for $39k. Thanks to it being based on the previous MB E-class it has some amazing features for that price. First, the modern Hemi is kind of like a Ferrari(don’t laugh!)in that the engine defines the car. Pushrods, smushrods, it’s refined, smooth, and sounds great. You either love or hate the look but in it’s 4th. year the styling still looks like something priced way higher. Power everything, including pedals, tilt-telescoping steering wheel, nav,dual CC,heated seats front/rear,rear park assist, adaptive cruise control,electronic stability control,traction control,brake assist,eight airbags, Mercedes 4Matic AWD along with their 5sp.auto. The cheap interior was the only thing keeping me from buying one. Although not a complete redo it’s alot nicer for’08. All the controls are simple and straightfoward. No complexity for complexity’s sake. Hyundai’s cars are improving with every redesign but the Genesis’ styling will be invisible on the road. It still offers alot of car for the money just like the 300C.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    I just(an hour ago)test drove one. I have no actual money to buy, but the sales woman didn’t know that. I liked it. Quite a bit. Nicer than my old bosses STS. Nicer than a friends 535. Great seats. Stereo was ok. Not as good as the Bose in my Altima actually.
    Great engine. Very smooth, very strong.

    A huge leap for Hyundai. Wonder if they will have good lease deals on these in a say…a year or so?

  • avatar
    ppellico

    Hey all…
    Guess what?
    Maybe my Lexus 350 with prefered options isn’t.

    I am starting to get calls from Lexus people telling me the car ordered, well…it doesn’t exist!
    It doesn’t exist, I asked.
    So, then build it.

    Well, they tell me perhaps its built for other areas like California but in the mid-west they don’t offer this car.

    I said…so what if I order it as explained by Lexus…if I am willing to wait the 3 months, I can get it. Not my suggestion, theirs.

    Hmmm….she doesn’t think so.
    And it might not be 30 days or more before Lexus replies to my order.
    30 days before you get a reply on a placed order?
    I have been to Japan. They have better cell phones and electronic office equipent than we do! I think you can download porn walking and talking on their cell phones!
    Why don’t we try using some of this tech for my order?

    They left working on getting my car and will get back to me very soon.

    Don’t you love car salepeople!?

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    At 42k, get a new E350. They’re being cleared out at every MB dealer in our area, 12k off MRSP, though you’ll get maybe 8k off a base model. Still, they changed the brake-by-wire system and the final production years will always be more reliable than first runs like the Genesis.

  • avatar

    ———————
    Qusus : My only trepidation is the somewhat… pedestrian acceleration numbers put down by the V8.

    It’ll do much better with a retune with 100% throttle input off of idle.

    ———————
    doctorv8 : Wow, pop the rear gearset from the V6 in the V8 car (3.90:1 vs 3.13), get it retuned for less torque management, and that thing should be good for a tire smoking 4.9 sec 0-60 and a mid 13 sec quarter mile easily.

    Even better!

    ———————
    seanx37 : I just(an hour ago)test drove one. I have no actual money to buy, but the sales woman didn’t know that. I liked it. Quite a bit. Nicer than my old bosses STS.

    How ironic. You’re gonna love Friday’s review.

    ———————
    ppellico : And it might not be 30 days or more before Lexus replies to my order.

    Its time to drive the Genesis 4.6…and you’re gonna see a big difference between the V6 model, and the ES.

    ———————
    romanjetfighter : At 42k, get a new E350.

    MB’s reliability is still in the air, and I’d rather have a V8 with power everything. And standard leather, not MBtex. A comparable E350 is priced on their website for $60k…and its still a V6.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    @Sajeev: Okay, you got a point, but I still think Hyundai needs to differentiate the V8 more visually than the V6. Boot script that says V8 4.6L, unique wheels, different front valence, etc. No sensible person is going to pay an extra 2k for simply .5 faster 0-60 times. They need to feel their car is special.

    I also want to point out buying a Genesis now means paying list price and above, vs. a traditional luxury make for tens of thousands off. Once the discounts of the latter are taken into account, it’s not that big of a value. It’s what I tried to say in my first post.

    TTAC should do a comparo, STAT! E350 vs. Genesis V8?? :)

  • avatar
    ppellico

    Sajeev Mehta your the best.
    Really.
    Lotta work and love for the sight and its participants with the replies.

    You know, this new car thing can get numbingly (is this a word) confusing.
    My wife got sort of angry (well, I think that look was anger. Hard to tell, its always there) when I said you convinced me to ONCE AGAIN visit the Hyundai dealer (one that doesn’t know us) and try the 6…as well as the 8.
    But I gotta tell you…this leather better be good.
    My wife and I thought we’d died and gone to The Jefferson heaven with the Lexus.
    We are really movin on up!
    At least the Lexus people tried to sell us.
    Unlike the Mercedes salesperson who took one look at my unshaven face and my wife’s SIU T Shirt and snobishly asked if we really knew about these cars.
    We knew enough to get the hell out.
    But OK.
    We will discuss this with Lexus and then revisit Hyudai and maybe the 2009 TL will be in by then.
    Thanks again for your touch and reaching out.
    Paul

  • avatar
    p00ch

    What about Equus? It was my impression that this was Hyundai’s upmarket brand in Korea and some other markets. Perhaps they didn’t want to pull a Toyota and end up with 3 brands in North America.

  • avatar
    escapenguin

    The interior on this thing looks fantastic. First time in a while I’ve said “Wow” looking at an interior since the Miata first came out. Shame about the switchgear. Otherwise, not really my kind of car, but kudos to Hyundai for bucking up.

    Now, if they really want my respect they’ll fix the snout on the upcoming Tiburon. I don’t like how they changed it from the concept…

  • avatar
    ohsnap

    Wow.

    What a TERRIBLE review.

    I’ve driven the V6 version of this faux-pseudo ‘Teutonic slaying awesomeness,’ and all I will say is it is so much further away than $30,000 or even $15,000 from its chief competition at Audi, BMW or Mercedes, than this article would ever lead one to believe.

    So I guess I must have missed the secret metamorphosis whereby installing a V8 instead of the V6 magically transforms and magestically transforms the car’s atrociously numb steering, industrial grade plastics, feeling-like-a-schizoid-affective-disorder-patient suspension on badly broken pavement at speed, and boring as hell design, both inside and out, as well as personality.

    This car is an epic failure of trying to repeat the 1989 Lexus miracle in any way shape or form.

    If it rode as many harshly over broken pavement, I’d swear it was a 350Z, and if it bounded any more like a porpoise over undulating highway, I’d wear a sea-sickness patch.

    To give this car 5 stars must be an early April Fool’s joke (it’s just so early for that).

    Here’s an idea: Everyone that bothered to read this article, go and test drive a Genesis. If you think the author isn’t even in the ballpark with this review, request 10 minutes of your life back.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    ohsnap,

    You put in quotations ‘Teutonic slaying awesomeness,’

    There is no such quote in the article.

    In fact, Sajeev clearly stated “Pistonhead-worthy versions of Germany’s finest are safe.”

    Sounds to me like you are hearing what you want to hear.

    I’ll be the first one to take your “challenge.” In fact, I already did. And I drove both versions…along with an E550 and CTS V6 back to back. While the E550′s motor is clearly superior, the Tau V8 more than held its own, and the upgraded leather vs the V6 Genesis was noticeable. Overall, the interior was well finished, and the back seat was very comfortable, not suffering from the low seat bottom/lack of thigh support that plagues the CTS and many other competitors.

    Bottom line, the car is no $70k Benz or Bimmer, but it’s a very respectable entry, and the review above is very fair.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    ohsnap:

    faux-pseudo? So it’s fake fake?

    I’ve read reviews in every enthusiast magazine, website, and now TTAC.

    They’ve been unanimous in their praise of the Genesis. They’ve also been critical of the spongy ride vs. BMW/Mercedes; the not-quite-Lexus level of interior fit and finish, and the generic styling.

    The Genesis is not a BMW. Nor is it aimed to be. What it is is a traditional luxury car. Strong, silent, well-appointed, able to eat long interstates in a single bound.

    If you look, there are many here who have driven the car as well, and they seem to validate Sajeev’s review.

    If Hyundai can deliver on it’s promise, and if (a BIG if) they can provide an ownership experience that buyers of $40K cars expect, this thing is going to be a success. A runaway game changer like the LS400? Probably not, but it will put a hurtin’ on Lincoln, Cadillac, Buick, and others.

  • avatar
    plunk10

    as with doctorv8, I also participated in the “challenge”. http://www.drivegenesis.com (I did the event at FedEx Field). It blew me away how much better the V6 and V8 versions were better than the Cadillac. The Merc E550 was a better handler, and slightly faster in a straight line, but with the tradeoff of a much harsher ride.

    If I were to hit the lottery tomorrow, I would buy a Hyundai Genesis V8. If the V6 were much cheaper, I’d go that route, but the difference between a fully loaded V6 and V8 is only $4,000. The V8 including destination, fully loaded is exactly $40,000 (per hyundai website).

  • avatar
    BEAT

    To tell you frankly the Navigation screen on this CAR IS THE BIGGEST I HAVE SEEN.

    It looks like 15 inch LCD screen or monitor

  • avatar
    msowers1

    I sat in the car yesterday at their National HQ. I hope the PT and suspension are as described because the interior reminded of a first year 90′s Lincoln. The silver plastic parts were of various finishes and colors ala a second rate getto blaster

    The styling is that god awful Bangle stuff toned down in typical Koren copy-cat fashion. The grill reminds me of of my dads TV antenna atop our house that will not be working apparently sometime next year.

    I expect to see this vehicle sometime soon in the National rental lot. The question is, will it be in the premium or regular pool

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The Hyundai brand has no business selling $40,000 sedans.

    The poor residuals will make this a poor value for most people. The entry price is too high, and anyone who wishes to sell the car or has an insurance total, particularly during the first several years of ownership, will pay dearly for having made the choice.

    On that basis alone, I wouldn’t recommend except if there was a lease that was heavily subsidized, or unless you are prepared to drive it until it is dead. It will be a costly choice otherwise.

  • avatar
    plunk10

    Pch101- $40,000 is the MOST you can possibly spend on this car. The entry V6 model is $33,000 including freight, while the most basic option package adds $2,000 to this. So $35,000 for a reasonably equipped Genesis.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    This car just received 5-stars all around from NHTSA. In my mind, that gives it more gravitas in the luxe segment than I had given it before.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    Is it just me, or does the Genesis look Cylon-ish from the front? Like those headlamps are about to light up red?

    Just a thought.

  • avatar
    Taldan9

    dgdiris
    Perhaps a half load of gravitas…the rest when it schedules with IIHS (some manufacturers avoid IIHS testing as much as they can) and gets a front/side ‘good’ rating. Hopefully, the NHTSA rating on the Genesis marks a changed priority at Hyundai.

    Hyundaiboy
    informedforlife is a great site that I had missed…crashtest.com is so good because of its international scope and the fact that it considers the weight of vehicles in its over all ratings of each car.

  • avatar
    beseto

    hyundaigenesis.com

  • avatar
    mlexcert

    I haven’t read in any of these posts the big problem with Hyundai is RESALE. A 2007 Azzera Limited is worth wholesale half what a 2007 Lexus ES
    350 is so in reality it’s cheaper to buy the Lexus.
    When you can buy a 2009 V-8 Genesis in 2011 for $15000, now your talking. These cars will,have heavy incentives in a few short months and for the rest of their existence for a number of reasons. Mainly the experience when the customer gets to the showroom. The only chance they had to succeed is with a separate brand. They make a good car @ good value but they should leave off the Hyundai name like Lexus did. I’ve been in the automobile business for almost 40 years currently at one of the largest Lexus dealers since day 1 of Lexus and trust me,wait before you buy and you’ll get a great car for very little money.

  • avatar
    MagMax

    I saw and sat in my first Genesis yesterday and was impressed except the front seat doesn’t adjust back far enough (nor does the steering wheel adjust in toward the dash enough) and the seat bottoms are too short to provide any support under the thighs. That’s a common problem with cars nowadays because I guess short seats make the interior look roomier. They should have included extenders, like BMW and Lexus do. But the rest of the car was quite impressive. Unfortunately the only interior colour I saw was black, which doesn’t show up the nicer details the way a light grey or beige would. A test drive is coming up.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I haven’t read in any of these posts the big problem with Hyundai is RESALE.

    This was the point that I made. The rapid depreciation rates make this a risky choice as a new purchase. I’d only want a new one if it was a highly subsidized lease based upon a high residual. As a used car 1-2 years from now, it might make more sense.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    That’s a common problem with cars nowadays because I guess short seats make the interior look roomier.

    This is a huge pet peeve of mine. It’s partially for photographic trickery, and partially because big cars are built for short** people.

    Bless BMW, Saab and Volkswagen, because they seem to get the idea of thigh support, even if no one else does.

    (** I consider anyone under six foot four to be short)

  • avatar

    +1 for the depreciation factor. I didn’t want to consider it in the review for a few reasons:

    1. The product is stellar, and its a shame to knock the car (and the people who made it) for something that’s out of the product’s control.

    2. I didn’t take depreciation into account (though I did mention it) in my CL65 AMG review.

    3. The Genesis hasn’t officially hit the Hyundai depreciation curve. Maybe this time the product can speak out and bring buyers in, and supply/demand will work more harmoniously.

    Ok, I’ll stop living in a dream world.

    But the fact remains, this is a lot of luxury/power/handling/gadgets for $42,000. And you can’t top all of this anywhere else.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    But the fact remains, this is a lot of luxury/power/handling/gadgets for $42,000. And you can’t top all of this anywhere else.

    cough….G8….cough…. ;-)

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The product is stellar, and its a shame to knock the car (and the people who made it) for something that’s out of the product’s control.

    In my opinion, it’s not the reviewers’ job to worry about the economics of ownership. It’s really the buyer’s role to figure out whether the cost of depreciation, insurance, maintenance and repairs are part of the value for money equation.

  • avatar

    Sajeev – I expect if you took time to do the research, one would find many of the same comments were directed at the original LS400. Mercedes and BMW were smart enough to take it seriously although each have stubbed their toes in response. You can bet that all are taking a very serious look at this car.

    Hyundai’s turnaround has been remarkable and focused. To take a brand despised nearly as much as the Yugo and radically change its identity within ten years is amazing. I wish that GM and Ford were so focused.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    The comparison with Lexus really isn’t valid, since Lexus was a completely new brand, with a completely new dealer network and a markedly higher end service experience. Lexus was also launched from a brand – Toyota – whose cars already enjoyed very high resale values. None of that is true in the case of the Genesis.

    At the time, people in fact had every reason to believe that Lexus vehicles would have good reliability, service and resale values. Not so in the case of Hyundai.

    That’s the difference.

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    My 2 Cents would be that since the car received such enthusiastic reviews here I would estimate that the general public will go in the opposite direction and the car will not be very successful at least initially.

    This view squares with the Korean business history or karma where they are never highly successful from the beginning but eventually do achieve success through their perseverance, focus, incremental improvements to their products.

    As a side note the claim of 385 hp from this engine is highly dubious. Hyundai has very limited experience with engines so I don’t think that number is realistic and I wouldn’t be surprized if the engine experienced serious issues 60 or so k into its life. I used to own the (recent) first generation BMW v8 from 1995. That engine had so many problems it still hurts to even think about it. And that was from the best engine builder in the world. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear horror stories 3-4 years from now about the Genesis power trains, electronics, interior quality etc.

  • avatar
    ppellico

    Hey…
    Your review has been run on AutoSpies.
    Their listening out there!!!

  • avatar
    thoots

    I’ve got three viewpoints regarding the car and the comments so far.

    1. Agreed with Consumer Reports data being really quite off the mark these days. Good/bad/whatever — a lot of it “just doesn’t seem to add up” anymore.

    2. Really agreed with the concept that this is a segment which has been abandoned. And presumably for good reason — i.e., “abysmal sales.”

    3. I’m sorry, but I think Genesis will sit on Hyundai lots like rocks. See “Azera.” You just have to be crazy to pony up that kind of dough for something that’ll drop in value like, well, “more rocks.” If you really want one of these things, wait a year and buy a lightly used one for half-price.

  • avatar
    BlindOne

    You can’t compare the G8 to this car, you can’t even get Navigation on the car. How lame is that? It’s definitely no luxo car.

    Anyway, Genesis might not make them money or sell well initially but you have to start somewhere. Let’s see how Hyundai looks in 10 years. I’m sure that’s where they are looking.

    ‘This quarter’ mentality is the Detroit way, not the Asian way.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    I think this car is intriguing and a huge step up for Hyundai. But COME ON now. I’ve been in one and, while it’s an exciting and unexpected new entry into the marketplace by a lo-rent brand, that’s where the story ends. This certainly isn’t a car that compares to a 5 series, E class or even the (staid) MKS in terms of exterior style or interior appointments. Maybe I need to fling it around Limerock to understand the nuances of its “superior” chassis. But that’s not how this car is going to succeed at this price. This is strictly generic Avalon territory, and with that positioning it’s not a good value. I suspect that the 6 cyl will sell okay but sales of the 8cyl are going to suck wind big-time. For as good as this car is, it’s not good enough yet. Perhaps the expectations of Hyundai are so low that this is what qualifies as groundbreaking. I would take almost anything else before giving this car any further consideration. But that’s just me.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    thoots,

    Why buy a slightly used one – there will be plenty of unused ones that you can snap up. Just like the Phaeton.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    You can’t compare the G8 to this car, you can’t even get Navigation on the car. How lame is that? It’s definitely no luxo car.

    Add a competitive aftermarket ICE system to the G8….and then it matches up rather well. And it caters to the enthusiast in a way that the Genesis never will, at least in its upcoming GXP trim with a 6 speed.

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    I don’t understand this preoccupation with navigation systems. The factory NAVs have only one advantage, they are integrated into the car. But they cost several times as much as non-factory NAVs and are more limited functionally, in other words are not as good.

  • avatar
    jerry weber

    I am 6’4″ tall and we length challenged people know what to compare a car to. Three quarters of the so called luxury sedans are really coupes. Yes, they get 40+” in the front seats, but no one is going to want to take a trip in the rear. This car (genesis) with 109 cubic feet of interior, equals the S Mercedes and bests the BMW 7. As for the entry level (ES and GS) Lexus it is a tiny interior along with just about every entry level luxury car out there. THe genesis is bigger inside than the short wheelbase LS lexus.This genesis car is large and comfortable. Here is a better comparison. A toyota Avalon with all of the bells and whistles is about $39,000 and the Huyndai 6 cylinder is comparable to that loaded. They both have cavernous interiors of 109 cubic feet. The Avalon goes one step further and has a flat rear floor and reclining back seats. But, the Huyndai is a better driver and has a much more up scaled interior. The MPG are close with the avalon ahead buy 1 or 2MPG. There is nothing in the price range that comes close to a comparison. The Avalon is not overproduced and they are never on sale. I doubt you will see these Huyndais laying around on the dealers lots, as they are not going to be built in those quantities. So take your choice in large interior near luxury cars, there just aren’t many out there. If there is no interest in this car, why are there over 100 responses so far?

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    But the fact remains, this is a lot of luxury/power/handling/gadgets for $42,000. And you can’t top all of this anywhere else.

    cough….G8….cough…. ;-)

    The G8 does out-handle the Genesis and has equivalent power (with slightly quicker acceleration). However, the G8 can’t compete in the luxury and gadget areas.

    Of course, the G8 is cheaper, so it’s about what priorities you have. Personally, I won’t own a car with an all black or mostly black interior. It’s just too hot in Texas for it. That’s the main reason that, as much as I like the car, I wouldn’t buy a G8.

    The depreciation factor has been mentioned as well concerning the Genesis, but I would say the G8 will be as bad, if not worse.

  • avatar
    ohsnap

    I might pick up one of these used, maybe 18 months old, with around 15,000 miles, for $15,000.

    Yeah, Hyundai’s resale value is that bad.

  • avatar
    thoots

    Hehehehe.

    jerry weber :

    I am 6′4″ tall and we length challenged people….

    Damn tall people. We little short runts get kicked where it hurts throughout our entire lives, except when it comes to one thing:

    Fitting into motor vehicles.

    Sweet justice! :-)

    If there is no interest in this car, why are there over 100 responses so far?

    Probably because the review rated the car so high. I think we see quite a bit of “considerably over-rated” being argued in the responses….

  • avatar
    Cougar Red

    $42K for a new, 5-star 2009 Hyundai V8? Or $35K +/- for a low miles, 5-star 2006-08 Jag 4.2L S-Type?

    Justin wrote the review of the S-Type, giving it 5 stars. See http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/jaguar-s-type-review/

    I’d be interested in hearing how Justin thinks the Genesis compares.

    Clearly, if they are similar in performance, the slightly used Jag offers much greater name cache.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Cougar, that’s a very intelligent comparison. Unfortunately 90+% of the buying public will never make it.

    On the flip side though, you can still use the very same comparison for virtually any other luxury vehicle and the very same rationalizations will hold. However when you do the same with exceptional sports cars in the $45k+ price range (Corvette, 911, name your Ferrari) it becomes much harder to say, “Aaahhh!!! There’s the better deal!”.

    Sports cars have a distinctively emotional side to their design and performance that luxury vehicles like the Genesis and S-Class simply can not register. The involvement and ‘viscerality’ of the driving experience is so much more personal that you can’t help to feel that the designer put his very soul into it’s design and performance. When the rubber hits the road, a sports car enthusiast will usually identify themselves with the brand, and the model, in a way that most luxury car owners simply will not.

    That is where the true values lie… new and used.
    A car like the Genesis is truly a very good car. But it will never be great for the simple fact that it, like most other luxury cars, has no soul.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    Name cache is for what WFB once called “wobbly-WASPS” and folks whose eye-wear has dominant logo placement.

    Jags and Quattroportes are the only luxe cars which still have soul – though they are blanching Jag as quickly as they can. Sad to say.

  • avatar
    bmilner

    @ TexasAg03 : You are wondering whether the Mark Levinson stereo is worth >$2000? I can tell you that it is. As an audiophile and general lover of music, the ML stereo in my Stepmom’s lexus 460 is simply the best sounding stereo I’ve ever heard in a car, period.

    I seriously considered buying a Lexus JUST to get that stereo in the car. I do all my primary listening to music in the car and having a nice quiet environment with decent (not boomy) bass built in, with the controls on the steering wheel, under factory warranty is pretty compelling to me.

    I haven’t heard the Lexicon one, but I’d be curious.

  • avatar

    I didn’t pop a reference CD in the Genesis, but Lexicon is a stellar system. Considering all the stuff you get for $4k in the Technology package, its a bargain too.

    I’ll admit it, after having a ML-equipped GS Hybrid (press car) for a week I was forced to upgrade the cheapy stopgap 10″ sub in my daily driver to make me feel better. That’s how quickly and completely the Levinson system spoils you.

  • avatar

    Just saw this on blog.fasttie.com – looks like sales are strong, Lexus GS levels and previous comments were correct in that costs and time were the reason there was not a luxury brand name created.

  • avatar
    ohsnap

    Okay, either there are some seriously disingenuous posters here (maybe HYundai salesmen?), or has the absolutely terrible suspension escaped the collective mention for an actual legitimate reason?

    From Automobile Magazine:

    “But add a few bumps and the Genesis takes a turn for the worse. Unlike any of the other sedans, the Hyundai falls completely to pieces on twisty,bumpy back roads. Push it hard and pavement irregularities send the Genesis heaving and wallowing down the road with the traction control light flashing and the steering wheel shuddering. When you’re hustling with a car full of passengers, its soft rear suspension crashes onto its bump stops over moderately rough roads.” Automobile Magazine October,2008

    So, after my test drive of the Genesis V6, by which I completely agree with the above assessment, how could something so fundamental as a deeply flawed suspension (a Hyundai trademark?) escape any mention in any review that pretends to take itself seriously?

  • avatar

    ohsnap: So, after my test drive of the Genesis V6, by which I completely agree with the above assessment, how could something so fundamental as a deeply flawed suspension (a Hyundai trademark?) escape any mention in any review that pretends to take itself seriously?

    Well to start off, I didn’t drive the Genesis with passengers in the back. Pretty simple answer, hmm?

    The suspension never hit its bump stops, and if I wanted to move fast with more than one passenger in a car this size on a regular basis, I would get a BMW 7-series.

    Fact is, the Genesis is a big car with a touring suspension. I can imagine that driving it back to back (a la C/D) with a BMW 528i will show its flaws, but the BMW will also crash over the potholes that the Hyundai glides over. And it has a wussy V6 with little grunt above 50mph…which is where the 4.6 really shines.

    You seem to wanna hate the Genesis at all costs, pulling a part of a comprehensive review (that also mentioned that oversteer happens at it limits, try doing THAT in its FWD competition) and expecting us to change our tune.

    Whatever floats your boat.

  • avatar
    Jim H

    Great review…but based on the * system, isn’t this really a 4 star or 4 & 1/2 star instead of a 5? I could see one or two 4 stars to keep this in 5 star arena…but this scores considerably less. :)

    P.S. I didn’t read all 13 pages…sorry if I duplicated a response already.

  • avatar

    Great review…but based on the * system, isn’t this really a 4 star or 4 & 1/2 star instead of a 5? I could see one or two 4 stars to keep this in 5 star arena…but this scores considerably less. :)

    The last star isn’t an average of the other ones. The debate between 4 and 5 stars raged on for a while in my mind, but then I stuck with the product: its a stellar product for cheap, and that’s something amazing.

    Which is something I explained if you read all 13 pages. :)

  • avatar
    don1967

    One of the most balanced automotive reviews I’ve ever read. It’s good to see writers who aren’t afraid to fart in church.

    Hyundai is one of the most interesting car companies these days. We recently leased a new Santa Fe after many years of Nissan and Honda, and honestly feel that we traded up. As for the resale value issue, we received a 5-year guaranteed residual of 42%.

  • avatar
    ohsnap

    I test drove the 6 banger Genesis for a 2nd time, just to make sure there wasn’t a defect or one-off mistake in the first demo I drove.

    Nope. The 2nd test drive revealed the exact same wallow and porpoising over uneven pavement, along with what only can be described as a ‘confused’ suspension over broken concrete.

    Additionally, the steering was as numb and anesthetic as the first tester, also.

    Sure, this car has attributes: A reasonably powerful motor, decent fit and finish and an okay price point (assuming it doesn’t suffer Hyundai’s infamously bad depreciation).

    But the bland interior styling, suspension deficiencies, and light and numb steering place this car no where near the alleged benchmarks Hyundai bragged it approached – rather, it’s simply a rough facsimile.

    This just reinforces my original comment that this was a very bad TTAC review, and will not serve the uninformed reader well.

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    Hyundai? Thanks, but no thanks.

  • avatar
    jacksonian

    Just a few comments from a regular guy/potential customer. I drive a Lexus GX currently, previous car was a BMW 525i.

    As for folks saying Lexus/BMW/Benz drivers wouldn’t shop this car, I disagree, I would. I don’t think any of the big 3 have done anything interesting in a while and I’m certainly willing to look at this car. I’ve actually recommended it to my in-laws (coming from a Volvo S70) who have driven the Genesis V-8, loved it, and ordered it over the new Acura TL.

    I’m actually intrigued and interested in the Genesis BECAUSE it’s not one of the traditional status symbols. I didn’t buy my BMW or Lexus because of the brand. I bought them because I wanted all the nice stuff. But you have to make a choice, look like a snob or settle for utilitarianism. The Genesis offers folks a chance to have a nice car without the snobbery.

    As for someone criticizing Hyundai’s ad campaign, I think they’ve actually done a great job of focusing on performance, pointing out how they’ve compared to the big 3 in acceleration and bested Lexus on noise level. The commercials make me (a Lexus/BMW guy) want one. Mission accomplished.

    As for styling, that’s so subjective and so easy for people to bash. I think they did a great job of staying safe and attractive. It looks like a nice car and you can’t really call it ugly. I believe that was the point. I like it because it’s understated and fits with the niche of this car.

    As for the review, I think it was well done and certainly 5 stars is warranted based on what the Genesis offers for the price. Most luxury makers like BMW will charge you $1000 just for push-button start.

    As for the “dealer experience”, well, I take my Lexus to the Toyota dealership for service. It’s closer and cheaper than my Lexus dealer. Yeah, the fancy waiting room is nice, and it’s better than being in the cattle herd at the Toyota dealership, but I just take it on Saturday when we can drop it. They run it through the wash just like they do at the Lexus dealership. As long as Hyundai services the vehicle well (timely and accurately), I don’t need a fancy waiting room.

    As for depreciation, only time will tell, but I agree that it will be much more so than the big boys, purely on brand cache alone.

    My ONLY complaint right now is that the passenger seat isn’t heated/cooled. That may be a deal breaker for the wife. She LOVES a seat heater. I wish they hadn’t left that one thing out.

  • avatar
    jacksonian

    I’m confused as I read this review and then the Genesis specs on their website. It says, “Heated Power Front SeatS as standard on the V8 and “Cooled Driver’s Seat” under the optional package. So both front seats are heated but only the driver’s seat is cooled? Is that correct?

  • avatar

    jacksonian: if I remember correctly (on a fully loaded Genesis) both seats are heated but only the driver is cooled. Which is a total bummer if you live in Texas like me.

  • avatar
    jacksonian

    That is a bummer in the hot states. But it’s still one more cooled seat than I have in my $50k Lexus GX470.

  • avatar
    hal4uk

    Hey Sajeev…

    Thanks for the detailed review. I’m very interested in the Genesis, and I have read many reviews. Some say the V8 is a waste of money, yet you seem to think it’s the only way to go. I guess I’ll have to see how much better the leather is for one thing. The other thing that concerns me — I read in another review, and noted in the comments here — the suspension can “bottom out”? Were those reviewers just driving like complete maniacs across some heavily cratered moon surface, or is this a serious concern?

  • avatar

    Thanks for writing, hal4uk.

    The V6 leather smells rubbery and feels cheap, like many (if not all) cheaper Hyundais. Not to mention the V8 is what really makes the car so special at this price point. If you don’t need/want a V8, I don’t see the Genesis as leagues ahead of its competition. It would be a 4 star car like Justin said in his review.

    I didn’t have anyone in the backseat like Automobile Magazine, and I didn’t get the car for a full week of driving because I didn’t have a press car. Maybe it crashes over bumps, but the choppy pavement and speed bumps I took with it were no match for the Genesis’ super supple ride.

    I’d recommend you drive one on YOUR daily commute and see whose impressions resonate with you.

  • avatar
    hal4uk

    Yep, I checked it out last night – You’re right; the V8 leather is smooth as silk. No so impressive on the V6. They had a loaded 4.6 by the front door. I sat in it and played with it, but didn’t drive it because they were about to close. I adjusted the seat up a couple of inches when I sat in it, but when he got the key, and I started it, of course it went back to memory settings. As such, the seat was back further than I liked it (I’m 5’10″); probably about right for a six-footer. With seat in that position, I got out and sat in the back. It was very comfortable and spacious. Real human beings can be comfortable in the back seat. Up front, the NAV screen was large and sharp. I played with the “knob” thingie and found it confusing at first, but easily started to figure it out without any instruction. The stereo sounded excellent. I had to adjust the fader because I couldn’t hear any sound from the back. It had been set at the “even” mark, but with it favoring the rear a couple of notches, I was surrounded by great sound. When I finally heard a song that I knew very well, I could really appreciate it. Overall, the materials, workmanship, and ergonomics were very impressive. The ONLY thing I didn’t like was the leaning “H” on the trunklid. The salesman said they just sold one, and they took the H off for the customer. Said they got it off clean as a whistle. Hmmm.

  • avatar

    The difference in leather is night and day, that’s for sure. Tell us how the test drive went. Maybe get three people in the back and see if it bottoms out.

  • avatar
    Taldan9

    No IIHS testing on the Genesis yet…if anyone is interested. Looks like Hyundai is avoiding/delaying the test, doesn’t it?

    Most car companies have a pretty good idea about how well they will do. They also know that most people just do not care enough about safety to change their buying decisions.

  • avatar
    ohsnap

    Not that CR is the be-all-end-all authority, but their review sure seems to reinforce my opinion of the major suspension deficiencies present in the Genesis.

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/first-drives/hyundai-genesis-first-drive/overview/hyundai-genesis-first-drive.htm

    In fact, their description of said deficiency is downright scary in comparison to my earlier, rather tame remarks:

    Handling is sound but not sporty. The steering is quick but slightly lacking in feedback. While the ride is quiet and generally well isolated, rough pavement can provoke sharp nervous pitches that are out of place in a car of this class.

    In summary, they conclude:

    Though it handles soundly and rides well, it lacks the final polish that sets true luxury cars apart.

    Oh Snap!

  • avatar
    Mr. Gray

    I don’t get why Hyundai keeps trying to lure consumers with knock-off designs and last year’s tchnology. It must be working, though, because they’re still in business.

    That being said, why the hell would anyone want this dumb-looking, style-deficient, lump of a car when they could have a Mustang GT? You don’t take a fire-breathing V8 and put it in a car that is in no way appealing or exciting. You just don’t do that. But then, I also think that connecting an explosively powerful engine of any type to an automatic transmission is automotive sacrilige. And what’s with the fake Bentley logo? Who do they think they’re fooling?

    Hyundai/Kia will catch my attention when they make a solid, fast, good-looking, reasonably priced fun machine. I will never buy one of their cars as long as they insist on producing lame knock-offs of better luxury cars.

  • avatar
    jstnspin82

    I’m finding it hillarious how Hundai copies everyone on there designs for cars then persists on talking shit about auto manufactures that were in business some 50 years before they even produced there first automobile. The Genesis has styling cues copying the BMW 5 series, the Lexus LS and the Front looks like a Mercedes. The car is simply overrated. If you want a quality sedan purchase a BMW, Audi, Mercedes, or Lexus. Until they have been in business as long as these other companies they should not be trash talking. Notice these other companies especially BMW don’t have to talk shit in there ads and commercials, they let the performance, engineering, and the test of time do the talking. It’s nice Hundai built a well car but how will it stand the test of time. Engineers build cars like the four above to outlast and outperform, they have been doing it for over 50 years and before that they build engines for planes and such, so hundai should take a back seat and has a lot of catching up to do to compete with the likes of BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and Lexus!

  • avatar
    Cougar Red

    The IIHS has now completed its tests. Ranks the Genesis a Top Safety Pick. Earlier, NHTSA gave it 5 Stars.

    As a result, Informed for Life now scores Genesis #2 in safety of all 2009 autos. See:

    http://www.informedforlife.org/demos/FCKeditor/UserFiles/File/1MasterSCOREr.pdf

  • avatar
    Quackledork

    People really seem to want to hate this car. I can understand that. I mean it is HYUNDAI!!! How could they challenge BMW or Mercedes.

    I have owned Mercedes, Lexus and Acuras. I have driven plenty of BMWs. Yes, they are all nice cars. BMWs handle great. Mercedes is built like a tank. Acura’s handle great as well.

    But the fact is, this car does many of those same things and costs a LOT less. Yes, its only about 85-90% of what BMW is. Yes, A BMW handles better. No disagreement.

    But a BMW costs 30K more. I am not sure I am willing to pay that premium anymore.

    Once upon a time in my life, status was important to me. And I would have scoffed at anybody who even considered a HYUNDAI! But as I grow up (I am just shy of 40 now), I realize how stupid that is. Sure, I like having nice things. But, I don’t need a $65,000 car. Its a waste of money. I’d rather have 80% of a BMW and save 20K. And money isn’t the problem. Its just sensibility. I can’t justify spending 65K on a car anymore.

  • avatar
    Cougar Red

    Interesting US sales numbers through March 2009:

    Genesis – 1626 for the month, 3945 for the year;
    Lexus GS – 625 for the month, 2118 for the year;
    Infiniti M – 886 for the month, 3169 for the year;
    Acura RL – 161 for the month, 555 for the year.

    That said,

    Avalon – 2175 for the month, 6394 for the year;
    Chrysler 300 – 4729 for the month, 9757 for the year.

    So, is the Genesis a sales success?

  • avatar

    I’ve had a change of heart about the Genesis.

    Originaly I thought it was spectacular. Now I realize the only thing Hyundai did was launch a successful marketing campaign for a vehicle that isn’t innovative – its just cheaper than most other vehicles in its class.

    The Genesis is not as large inside as an S-class or an A8L. Its more on par inside with a 5 Series.

    I’m on the fence till LONG TERM RELIABILITY ratings are released in 3 years.

  • avatar
    Chiburb

    Well, I’ve had mine since November (thanks in no small part to this review) and I’m loving it. The “dealer experience” is exactly the same as with my Passat because it’s the same dealer, the car is a dream to drive, and while Sajeev mentioned the Lexicon it’s the real reason I’m posting here: you haven’t experienced surround sound (DVD or DVD-A) until hearing through 17 speakers!

    Long term? Don’t care, 27 month lease. Affordable luxury without pretention.

  • avatar
    manny

    They should spin-off GENESIS as a separate upscale line, like the major Japanese automakers.

  • avatar

    Chiburb

    I own an S550.
    Test drive one and then tell me how you like the Genesis

  • avatar
    Chiburb

    Flashpoint:

    I’m happy that you can afford the S550. I just priced one to match what the Genesis offers (options) and it lists for $89K. Invoice is $81K.
    My Gen listed at $42K, with invoice of $39K.

    Whatever imperfections, perceived or real, are
    certainly tolerable for $40K saved.

    Once again, this car is great value.

  • avatar
    Cougar Red

    Chiburb

    It’s not a party until Flashpoint lets you know he owns an S550.

  • avatar
    MIKLO

    I have had a new Genesis since 2009 and like most ppl I have had many cars,but the Genesis is the best car I have ever owned. I have the V6 with 300 horsepower which is plenty 4me, but one of the best things about this car is its reliability,I have had only one problem when the car was about a year old and an Accelerator module had a problem which my dealer fixed for free OFC. When I drive normal I get about 21 MPG in the city and 25 on the Hwy,now in my opinion for a large car that’s pretty good and as long as I don’t “floor it” I doo all right.I removed all the Hyundai emblems when the car was new and I still get ppl asking what kind of car is that.One of the best rides I have ever experienced in a car and its very comfortable,its got most anything you would want and more and after 5 years I still haven’t even had to replace the original battery.My one gripe was with the orginial tires (Dunlop)they really SUX,not only the ride but I had to replace at 17,000 miles,the only good thing is my dealer paid for 2 of the new Pirelli tires.Anyone interested or thinking about buying this car would be making a good choice IMO>
    MIKLO


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