By on April 7, 2014

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When it comes to luxury cars, there are two factors, often mutually exclusive, that come into play: actual excellence and perceived prestige. Very often, the latter wins out. If you want to know why, ask anyone who bought a Maserati Quattroporte. Or a BMW 528i.

From 1997-2003 the BMW 5-series was the last word in four-door sedans. If you wanted the perceived prestige, then the big V8 cars were sure to impress bench racers and badge snobs. If you wanted actual excellence, you did not pass go, did not collect 282 horsepower, and you went right for the six cylinder cars.

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When I think of the quintessential 5-Series, I think of the E39 525i or 530i. Neither was particularly fast. The cabin did have sumptuous leather and slabs of wood, but by and large it was still full of old school BMW touches like displays with orange illumination and dot-matrix looking typography, a dearth of cupholders and even *gasp* hard black plastic. And yet, they were all things to all people – comfortable commuter, ersatz school bus, peerless long-distance cruiser and even an engaging backroad scalpel.

In roughly a decade, we’ve regressed. You can now spend over $70,000 on an entry level BMW that has a turbo-four engine, just like your insurance broker’s Fusion or a soccer mom’s Santa Fe. And when you drive it, you realize that the 528i is not The Ultimate Driving Machine anymore, nor is it a positional good like the E60 cars were when the end of their life-cycle coincided with the Great Financial Crisis. The F10 528i is, in many respects, a very expensive, longitudinally oriented Camry.

Not much else in the segment is thrilling, however. The Audi A6 and Cadillac CTS are both saddled with 2.0T engines unbecoming of their relative station in life. The Mercedes-Benz E350 has a proper V6, but is softer than a Buick Lacrosse. The Lexus GS and Infiniti M are non-entities.

Nobody would have ever thought that the 2015 Hyundai Genesis would be upholding the mantle of excellence in the large rear-drive segment, but then again, nobody in 2003 would have expected that Hyundai would introduce this car – badged as a Hyundai, sold through the Hyundai dealer network – either.

As with the previous Genesis, the styling is handsome but derivative. If the old car looks like a reasonable facsimile of a Lexus, the new one looks like a reasonable facsimile of an Audi, styled within the framework of today’s emissions and safety regulations. The lack of aesthetic imagination would be all the more damning if it weren’t for the homogenization of everything else on the road, in both looks and driving experience.

Well, almost everything. The two-point-oh-tee engines infesting nearly every car from the C-segment on up are very helpful with meeting all kinds of regulation: CAFE, European emissions standards, EPA fuel economy tests and world market displacement taxes.

With the Genesis, Hyundai is focusing on three major markets: the United States, Korea, and China. That means no boosted fours. Instead, you have the choice of a 3.8L V6 (311 horsepower, 293 lb-ft of torque) or a 5.0L V8 (420 horsepower, 383 lb-ft of torque). The V6 actually loses 22 horsepower, though it gains 2 lb-ft, while the V8 drops 9 horsepower and picks up 7 lb-ft. Not particularly encouraging stuff, given that curb weight is up by about 150 lbs on rear-drive models.

Any doubts about performance dissipate once you’re behind the wheel. Both cars feel much faster than their predecessors, with the 5.0 V8 providing serious forward thrust and an aggressive bellow at higher rpms that sounds like a muffled version of Chrysler’s Hemi V8. Like the old E39 540i, the V8 Genesis is at its best when cruising rapidly in a straight line, tracking perfectly straight without any hands on the wheel, cruising below 2000 rpm in near silence while eating up miles of blacktop.

If you never got a chance to drive the 3.8L V6, you wouldn’t have any qualms about the 5.0’s dynamics. The V8 car isn’t overly engaging, with relatively numb steering, a rather slow turn-in and a grudgingly competent way of taking turns . The V6 is an entirely different animal, as distinct in character as the I6 E39s were from the 540i.

With two fewer cylinders and the engine sitting a bit farther back, the V6 Genesis responds with far more enthusiasm than the 5.0 While the steering isn’t particularly big on feel, there’s a much greater level of feedback from the front tires. Turn-in is quicker, and the whole car responds to inputs in a more enthusiastic manner. The V6 isn’t as effortlessly powerful as the big 5.0 V8, but it responds with enthusiasm, and its own soundtrack is engaging and even raw at higher revs. Nobody would ever complain about the lack of power from the 3.8L engine either. V6 models will have an optional all-wheel drive system developed with Magna, but seat time in that car will have to wait for a later date.

The weak link in the powertrain is the in-house 8-speed automatic transmission, which is neither as sporting nor as refined as the 8-speed ZF gearbox that is near-ubiquitous in today’s premium car offerings. Kudos to Hyundai for making their own in-house design, but ZF has set a very high bar with what might be the best gearbox on the market. And even 8-speeds can’t help save the Genesis from less than stellar fuel economy ratings (18/29/22 mpg city/highway/combined for the V6, 16/25/19 for the AWD model and 15/23/18 for the V8).

But all of this talk of high performance driving is largely academic. The things that the Genesis needs to excel at – namely, a comfortable ride, minimal NVH and a premium interior – are all tasks at which the Genesis acquits itself. There’s a bit of noise around the wing mirrors when traveling at speed, but road and wind noise is largely isolated. The new car manages to strike the appropriate balance between ride and handling as well. Chassis tuning by Lotus (yes, that Lotus) was a big part of Hyundai’s PR push, but driving on bumpy desert access roads and poorly-maintained streets in outlying towns displayed a compliant, well-sorted ride as the primary characteristic. When pushed, the Genesis responds as well as a two-ton luxury sedan could be expected to – more than its European competition can say for themselves.

In its attempt to ape the leading European and Japanese luxury cars, the Genesis can be optioned up with all kinds of the latest cutting edge technology: a lane-keep assist system (that was overzealous and a bit of a nuisance), radar-guided cruise control, haptic feedback through the steering wheel and even a CO2 sensor (which supposedly helps keep drivers from getting too drowsy).

And you don’t need any of it. The best Genesis is the one we spent the most time with – a basic 3.8 V6, with the smaller 8″ display screen, 18″ wheels and only a couple of rows of neatly organized buttons (no iDrive-esque controller like the fully loaded Ultimate Package cars). At $38,000, it’s closer in price to a Honda Accord V6 Touring than a BMW 528i. Both the Honda and the Hyundai are better examples of actual excellence than the now neutered 5er, but in the real world, few have the courage to put character before image. What a shame.

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129 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2015 Hyundai Genesis...”


  • avatar
    tonycd

    If Hyundai really turned chassis tuning over to Lotus rather than just paying to use the name, it’s one of their smartest moves. An overly compromised steering/handling/ride compromise has emerged as the last real reason not to buy Hyundai products, including the previous Genesis. If they’ve solved that, they make a pretty compelling argument for themselves.

    Saw this car on the auto show circuit, BTW. I guess I did have one substantive reservation: The interior is a little generic-feeling. One of the car mags described it well when they said it felt like Hyundai was checking the boxes on a checklist rather than designing an organic whole that was emotionally pleasing. The wood, in particular, read beautifully in specification but in the flesh was overused and looked cheaper than its description.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      I agree that the dash/center stack design is too plain (a bit too bland for my taste), but I guess the positive from that is that all the controls are pretty intuitive and there are buttons and switches for easy access/control where there should be (and doesn’t have the learning curve of say, Cadillac’s CUE system).

      The one thing that the new Genesis does is upgrade the interior materials so that it is competitive (tho certainly not class leading) for the segment whereas the previous Genesis had that tacky silver painted plastic all over its center stack).

    • 0 avatar
      Eyeflyistheeye

      I agree. Hyundai should just make Proton an offer they can’t refuse and acquire Lotus. It is pitiful on the strides they have made with quality and styling but how they can’t get everything into one coherent package.

      I bought my Sonic Turbo in a bit of an impulse move and three days later, wanted to drive the competition to see if there was anything I liked better before the Sonic lost too much value. I drove the Veloster Turbo (even though it was about $5k more than I paid for the Sonic) and while the engine is world-class along with decent ergonomics, it felt like Hyundai subcontracted development of steering and suspension systems to Namco and the Ridge Racer team because while I’ve driven worse-handling cars, I have never driven a car that has felt more artificial with steering that tries to be sporty by being extremely firm on dead center but can’t hide the typical Korean-style overboosting when you turn it an inch, compared to the Sonic, which is made up of average parts but whose development was overseen by Corvette Racing engineer John Buttermore. Too bad Hyundai-KIa couldn’t have poached a VW/Audi suspension engineer as well when they got Peter Schreyer on board.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Kia actually has pretty good suspension/steering engineers in Australia, but don’t know why they just don’t use the Aussie calibration across the board.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “And yet, they were all things to all people – comfortable commuter, ersatz school bus, peerless long-distance cruiser and even an engaging backroad scalpel.”

    Assuming “all people” never have to visit a mechanic. And I say this as someone who’s called the E39 530i “Nature’s Most Nearly Perfect Car”.

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    Looks like a Ford Fusion.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I see a lot of nostalgic hand-waving and very few specifics in this review.

    What, exactly, is it that makes the current 5-series a “longitudinal Camry?” What does it do worse than the old one? It does a whole lot of things better: accelerate, brake, grip, ride, cruise long distances, coddle passengers. The only objective weaknesses I can see are a less interesting engine note and much worse steering feel.

    I think you are bound up with an outdated image of four-cylinder engines as plebeian, and can’t get past the image to any sort of objective reality. A 250 hp engine with an absolutely flat torque curve and real refinement is a good engine no matter how many cylinders it has.

    All that said… I’m looking forward to driving a new Genesis to see if the Lotus input actually helped them develop competitive suspension tuning. Until now that has been the Achilles’ heel of everything Hyundai and Kia have made, and it’s been particularly glaring on their cars with luxury or sporting ambitions.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      “It does a whole lot of things better: accelerate, brake, grip, ride, cruise long distances, coddle passengers.”

      Three for the burgerkingring, three more that the Camry also does a better job of.

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      Interestingly, you could make the same comparison between an E39-era Camry and a modern one, too.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      I can speak for the CTS 2.0 at least. I was very disappointed to drive such a heavy, solid car and experience turbo lag. The 2.0 was slow from a stop sign unless you stomped on it.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The torque curves in modern 2.0Ts are anything but flat.

      http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/imported/2012/02/328vsz4-1.jpg

      Bimmer N20 has about 2-3K worth of near peak torque before a 100lb-ft or 40% torque dropoff. And that’s just on paper. IRL you will also notice the downright agricultural exhaust note and general downgrade in NVH.

      Not to mention, on a 1 to 1 comparison, the 2.0Ts don’t really kill in fuel economy either. Check out the Camry and Accord V6’s ratings compared to their 2.0T competitors. The differences come down to what are essentially rounding errors.

      528i vs Camry V6 seems like a fair comparo as the N20 was supposed to replace the N52 6. Camry V6 stomps it out in a straight line, and in handling it’s a wash. Long distance cruising is also a wash. 528i coddles if you are willing to pay… Camry at least comes with real leather.

      15, 20 years ago the question of why a BMW 528i cost more than a Camry V6 was obvious. More power, better dynamics, higher feature content, more refinement, more luxury. What does the extra 20-25K a base 528i costs over a fully loaded Camry V6 get you today?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        “528i vs Camry V6 seems like a fair comparo as the N20 was supposed to replace the N52 6.”

        Not a fair comparison. Luxury cars are (and always have been) quite a lot heavier. There is about a 600-pound weight difference between a 528i and a Camry V6. And the N20 is a power class below the 2GR, in any case. It fits where 3.0L sixes used to.

        Handling is also far from a wash. Not that the F10 is perfect, but it’s quite a lot more capable than the waterbed-like Camry.

        “What does the extra 20-25K a base 528i costs over a fully loaded Camry V6 get you today?”

        Better handling, better brakes, far more secure feeling at speed, and quite a lot of refinement, particularly in interior materials and construction. While there are some dumb missing features, it also generally buys you more feature content.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Oh, and that BMW curve looks pretty flat to me, especially when you consider it would extend down to about 1500. These motors have never had spectacular high-end, but that’s not what people use 98% of the time. People drive from 1500-3000 when driving normally and may hit 4500 when trying to merge. That curve is the furthest thing from “peaky.”

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          And the N52 six that the N20 replaced was the very definition of peaky! 230hp AT the 7K redline. Admittedly Valvtronic helped flatten the toque curve, but there was still only 200lb-ft to work with. The N20 is superior in every rational way. It just doesn’t sound quite as nice. And frankly, unless you put an aftermarket or BMW Performance Exhaust on, the N52 doesn’t make any noise either – you can’t even really hear it below 4500 rpm, and that is the pretty much the same with the N20.

          As usual, Saab had it right 20 years before every one else caught on.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      When it comes to ride quality, Kia has done very well with the K900, Cadenza and the new Forte.

      Granted, none of them are particularly “sporty” – but that’s another thing altogether.

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      Erm, I don’t know if you’ve driven one, or if you own one, or whatever, but the current 5er is not like the old one. Enthusiasts don’t like it because although it’s quite fast, it doesn’t have the old BMW magic. I’m not quite sure how to explain this, except to say that where the new car dutifully executes your commands with technical excellence, the old ones invite you to play. The interior materials are detectably cheaper, and that 4-cylinder gets quite course when revved, as compared to the inline sixes of yore. You’re quite right that these are not objective weaknesses, but I don’t want to spend $70k because the spreasheet tells me so.

      I’m sure there’s a huge market for what BMW is peddling, and they’d be crazy not to pursue it. But their new cars feel a lot like Lexuses with a lower cylinder count and vinyl seats, and if fast, smooth-riding, and cosseting where what I was after, I’d just buy a Lexus.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Channeling the E39 is no faint praise. It’s a shame, then, that Hyundai aped the bad with the good and is charging $15,000 for two more cylinders.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The diff. in price btwn the V6 and V8 is less than $5k comparably equipped.

      The 3.8 Ultimate has a list price of $49k and the 5.0 Ultimate $54,750.

      And the 5.0 has a more sophisticated suspension set-up as well.

  • avatar
    carguy

    While I agree that the new 5 series is the perfect BMW for people looking to move up from a Lexus ES350, I have to differ on your view of 4 cylinder luxury. These engines have superior power delivery than their 6 cylinder counterparts and are also ahead on emissions and economy. Expect that nearly everything in the 300 HP/ 300 lbs or less ball park will be a turbo four in the years ahead. The only real problem with the current generation of engines is that their exhaust note is more economy than luxury. I am sure that can be fixed.

    The second problem is a perception problem and just like the example you give of the 540 and 530 (and there is some irony here). Buyers then incorrectly assumed that real sports sedans had V8s and not 6s. Times have not changed much as a whole bunch of buyers and the motoring press (including Derek) now think that real luxury cars have 6 cylinders and not 4. The truth is that the best engines in the CTS are the turbo 4 and the turbo 6 for much the same reason that 6s beat 8s 15 years ago: less weight up front makes for more agile handing with better economy and only negligible tradeoffs.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “The second problem is a perception problem and just like the example you give of the 540 and 530 (and there is some irony here). Buyers then incorrectly assumed that real sports sedans had V8s and not 6s…The truth is that the best engines in the CTS are the turbo 4 and the turbo 6 for much the same reason that 6s beat 8s 15 years ago: less weight up front makes for more agile handing with better economy and only negligible tradeoffs.”

      It’s not so much that the 540i had more weight on the nose–it did, but not by much, as that I6 wasn’t a lot lighter than the V8–it’s that the 540i had a recirculating-ball steering system. I can’t see why BMW did this, except for packaging reasons. I can’t imagine the V8 was that much larger than the I6 overall, and it was definitely shorter.

      Otherwise, the V8 E39s were definitely the sportier option, until you had to turn the wheel. Brakes, suspension, the whole works: everything but the steering rack.

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      @ carguy

      1) The perfect BMW to move up from a Camry based ES is …. any freaking BMW they make . The Lexus ES again being …. a badge engineered over priced Toyota … where as every BMW is ..a BMW .. period .

      2) A Six is always better than a 4 .. turbo or not … just as an Eight is always better than a Six .. a Ten better than an Eight … but best of all a Twelve being better than them all [ a Sixteen being a bit of overkill ] If you haven’t figured that out by now for yourself either A) Get your tail end into some quality iron and start doing some test driving [ rather than test reading ] toot suite cause you gotta lotta catching up to do … or B) Hand in your GearHead membership card at the desk and take up perhaps … Pottery ? Fly Fishing ? Knitting ?

      3) Perception Problem .. as it relates to the H/K twins . There is no perception problem . Fact is … if H/K is charging you less than the competition …. they’re giving you a lot less as well . Again .. There IS No Free Lunch .. and you pays for what you gets

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        “A six is always better than a four”

        Nope. Compare the peaky GM 3.0 V6 (LF1/W) to the latest (LTG) 2.0 turbo four from the same maker. They have almost the same power rating; the LTG has *way* more torque; both are quiet and refined in operation; the LTG gets better real-world fuel economy in similarly sized cars (Equinox vs. Malibu); and the LTG feels a lot more tractable because it doesn’t have to rev to the moon to move the car with authority.

        “An Eight is always better than a Six”

        Again nope. Let’s use Ford as the example this time. Compare the 5.4 boat anchor in the Expedition with the 3.5 EcoBoost that’s replacing it. There is not one single way in which the 5.4 is better.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          If someone thinks the 5.4L is better than the 3.5EB, they have not driven the 3.5EB.

        • 0 avatar
          Carfan94

          Yes a six IS better than a four, I don’t care if it’s faster or gets better fuel economy. If i’m paying $50K I want a 6 cylinder or a V8 not a 4! Exhaust note is also important to a lot of buyers they don’t want their Luxury car to sound like a Honda Civic.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Exhaust notes in four-cylinder luxury cars are so quiet you can’t hear them.

            I think what you are saying is “I don’t think of four cylinders as luxurious because they weren’t in 1990.” Try a 528i or A6 2.0T with an open mind sometime.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        so

        much

        punctuation

      • 0 avatar
        akatsuki

        @gtrsingr,

        Sorry, but none of that is true now.

        1) BMWs are sad, sad imitations of the cars they used to be. From a driving engagement perspective, they are too soft, too heavy, and just too isolated (e.g., piping in fake engine noises being just the most obvious example).

        2) Untrue as well. There are plenty of crappy V6s out there that should be put out of their misery – case in point, would you really take a Mitsubishi V6 over the blown 4 in the Lancer Evo? Would anyone?

        3) That is now just pure myth land. I assume you think the market is perfect? There is no way that a Bentley Flying Spur is a better car than even a base Mercedes S class or BMW 7 series. But it costs quite a bit more because of “exclusivity”. Brand names command pricing premiums often based on past reps.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Nope… like I just pointed out above… turbo 4s are peakier, and when things are equalized (i.e. weight and transmission gears) don’t really do better than contemporary NA V6s on fuel economy. If you’ll notice, turbo 4 popularity was borne out of Europe, where their specific emissions rules and displacement taxes favor them. Here in the US, where we have no such restrictions, a Camry V6 gets the same EPA and real world gas mileage as a Fusion or Sonata 2.0T. That V6 is also less prone to failure and cheaper/simpler to make too (no DI, no turbos). C7 Vette is on its way to making 30 MPG on the highway with its auto and they have been getting close for a while with both transmissions. Not to mention the engine note ranging from wholly synthesized to agricultural and unbecoming of something selling for 40, 50, 60, 70K. Naw, turbo 4 superiority is a myth.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        Actually not quite: Turbo fours deliver a flat torque curve starting low in the rpm range much like larger capacity 6s. Google dyno charts for both the GM 2.0T and HF3.6 and the torque delivery is very similar. The na 6 has more of a top end but ther is very little difference in day to day driving situations. This can also be seen in acceleration comparisons where turbo 4s are within fractions of a second of larger 6s. As for the fuel economy – it all depends on how well the implementation is done and how the auto box is programmed. There are good examples of both but not much can touch the combination of the BMW 2.0T and the ZF 8 speed – if only the rest of their cars were this good.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    I like the scenery better than the car. Hyundais keep getting nicer though.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    I rented a Genesis several months ago and was very impressed. Probably too strong to call it a “poor mans Lexus or BMW”, but it seemed to check all the boxes without the much higher price. If the new model has been improved, I’d have to take a hard look.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a significant leap forward.

      • 0 avatar
        gtrslngr

        Yeah …. but in light of H/K’s past efforts . Could they of possibly gone any further backwards ?

        And come on DK . Face the music . H/K … as I just told someone else … is charging you less …. because you’re getting less … substantially less in fact when it come to the quality of manufacturing and materials . Reminding you good sir that manufacturing costs in S.Korea at present are as high if not higher than here in the US and Japan as well .

        Heck … just have a look at say a 2 year old top of the line well cared for Hyundai .. and compare it to even a decade old equally loved Camry or Lexus . The Hyundai’s paint and finish alone wearing more in 24 months than the complete Camry / Lexus has .

        So bargains ? Not unless accepting much lower actual quality with the pretense of quality can be considered .. a .. bargain

        Then again … in light of this ” NoBrow ” consumermania society we currently live in ……. well …. it probably is

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      I rented a V6 Genesis last summer in California and was also impressed. Sitting in horrible traffic surrounded by many Benzes, BMWs, Jaguars and Lexus I couldn’t help but think that at that moment there wasn’t another car that I’d rather be in than my pearl white rental Genesis.

      I wish there had been a Genesis sitting in the spot where the Toyota Avalon was that I ended up getting this week. With only 9,000 miles it drives like a car that has 109,000 miles that you marvel at how tight it feels, not like an almost new car.

      Hyundai still manages make every car it brings out better than the one it replaces; other manufacturers can’t always do that.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    > The Lexus GS and Infiniti M are non-entities.???
    This sentence serves to rebut the article. Without this unchallenged and unexplained assertion the whole premise falls apart. Maybe it should read: “Lexus and Infiniti haven’t loaned me either of these so I refuse to consider them”?

    • 0 avatar

      I think that implying that I have some kind of axe to grind due to not being loaned those cars is unfair and also false. I’ve driven them both, and they have their merits. But in the marketplace, they don’t get a lot of consideration. Last year, the M/Q70 sold just 5283 units. The Lexus sold 19,742. The E-Class, 5-Series, CTS and A6 all fared much better (E-Class did around 70k units, 5-Series around 56k, CTS 32k, A6 22k). Perhaps it may have been a stretch for the GS, but the Q70 is not a player in this segment.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        The A6 and the GS sold close to the same last year, and the GS is up 30+% over last year for the first qtr. Big stretch. I’m so ignorant I went looking for “M” numbers and gave up. I’ll take your word on the Q70.

        • 0 avatar

          I think you have a point regarding the A6 vs GS, but 3k units is still a decent margin. IMO, Q1 numbers for any car are too early to get a decent picture of its performance. For M/Q70

          http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2014/01/infiniti-q70-sales-figures-usa-canada.html

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I agree that not at least addressing the GS is a mistake. The new version has lit a bit of a fire under sales, and it has a very good V6, so anti-turbo-four prejudice doesn’t apply to it.

        That said, it has the same features-per-dollar deficit to the Genesis as the other major players.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Actually, the new version is selling WORSE than its predecessor at a similar juncture during its life cycle.

          In its 1st year, the previous GS sold 33,400 while the current GS sold a little over 22k.

          In its 2nd year, the previous GS sold 27,400 while the current GS didn’t break 20k.

          And in its last year of sale, the previous GS didn’t even break 4k in sales – we would never see sales of the 5 Series or E Class drop to those levels.

          The fact that Akio Toyoda wanted to cancel the GS due to poor sales would suggest that DK is not really off-base.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “The Lexus GS and Infiniti M are non-entities.”

    Right, so that’s two competitors* summarily dismissed because – they aren’t popular enough? Or were you just using hyperbole to make the Hyundai seem better?

    Everyone complains about lack of options and homogenization, but the auto journalists sure do their part to herd everyone into the same two or three cars.

    *It’s not called the M anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Good car bad car shows the GS outselling the Genesis YTD in the US, so it can’t be just popularity.

      • 0 avatar

        See my post above re: sales. I tend to use figures from the previous full year when I come to judgements on sales numbers. A year-to-date number is still a work in progress (of course, that’s my standard. Somebody is bound to disagree with me).

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        The whole Genesis line (coupe and sedan) moved around 30k units last year. Fourtwosay* that the coupe made up 2/3rds of those sales. That leaves the Genesis sedan with around 10k units.

        *Hopefully some other Trailer Park Boys fans in the crowd

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          Would combined IS/GS sales be a more fair comparo to Genesis coupe/sedan? Doesn’t matter, the GS isn’t irrelevant in this segment on its own feet if the Genesis is a contender. It doesn’t match the premise though. I can see drawing the relevance line on either side of the CTS, but this line was silly.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            Oh, I agree. The Genesis is more deserving of the “also ran” status than the GS is. The GS, with only a V6 and a niche hybrid, basically doubled the sales of the Genesis sedan that offers V6 and V8.

            The IS is a whole other playing field than the Genesis coupe other than engine size and vehicle size. I could maybe see some Gen Coupe V6 to IS350 comparisons, but you are looking at $10k to $15k difference in price.

            The IS is selling really well compared to the outgoing IS. The IS350 F sport doesn’t work in photos, but man that is a sharp car in the flesh. That little kick out on the side skirt heading to the back wheel and up to the tail lights is marvelous.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          NOPE.

          The Genesis sedan has always outsold the coupe and by a good margin as well.

          In 2012, the sedan (already past its mid-cycle) sold nearly 23k units which was more than the brand new GS and the Genesis sedan also outsold the GS last year as well.

          With the addition of AWD, Hyundai is looking to move around 30k of the sedan annually (which is 8k more than what the new GS has been able to do).

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            It was a wild guess since the numbers aren’t released independently. Either way, the GS is selling much better than it was before the redesign… 19k is considerably better than the 8000 it was selling before the redesign. I’m sure the redesigned IS swiped some GS sales. There is quite a difference in price between the GS and the Genesis sedan. For all practical purposes, they are in the same ballpark sales wise.

            The GC sales are interesting. The twins outsell the Genesis Coupe 3 to 1. Why isn’t the Genesis coupe considered a sales failure when it moves only 8k units a year (based on the numbers you quote)?

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      M or no M. I would purchase the Genesis over any overpriced nissan infiniti.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        The guy that hates anything Japanese would pick a non-Japanese car over a Japanese car? No wai!

        • 0 avatar
          alsorl

          Me no hate japanese cars. I just like to state the truth that they are no better then American products. Give or take a few junk GM products. Yes, I would take a Hyundai Genesis over any Nissan/Infiniti. They just look over hyped Nissans. Which is the lowest quality Japanese brand.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Really, Nissan is the lowest quality Japanese brand. You certainly are well informed, since Mitsubishi, Suzuki, and Isuzu still exist.

            You just lost any shred of credibility in opinion which you had prior.

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            Nissan has had some poor models out lately. Where can you purchase a new Isuzu? Mitsubishi and Suzuki are non factors. But yes your correct, Mitsubishi and Suzuki make some crappy cars probably worse then Nissan.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    This is still a Hyundai, wearing the badge of a company that made tacky, undesirable vehicles not so long ago. It’s going to take at least another couple of product cycles in order for Hyundai to jump over *that* hurdle. Fact is that many of your typical badge-snobs would sooner drive a base BMW than a loaded Genesis. To them, it’s a poseur-mobile. What better way to show that you can’t really play the game by getting a car that costs almost half as much as the cars it tries to compete with? For me, it’s the other way around. I like luxury cars that come from unlikely, or under-appreciated, sources (hence the reason that the Phaeton will always have a special place in my heart). And for more-discerning buyers, this looks like a smart choice. I’m glad that Hyundai has added the option for AWD to this generation. The previous-gen probably lost many customers just for lacking it.

    Also, I’m glad that Hyundai has decided to make full-use of the Genesis logo (from what I hear, there’s a dealer-option to install it on the decklid as well, in lieu of the corporate “H”). I remember that on the outgoing version, a lot of people would order the KDM steering wheel airbag, which had the Genesis logo, as well as Genesis-badged wheel caps and the logos for the outside of the car.

  • avatar

    Hey Derek! A question if you will. Like other commenters have mentioned above, if the suspension system on this car is really as good as, say, Ford’s it eliminates the last hurdle to owning a Hyundai. I disagree, besides the subpar suspensions on Hyundai-Kias, the engines always sounded gruff to my ears, unrefined, specially, but not only at higher RPMs. You mentioned the engine sounded raw at higher RRPMs. Does that mean it’s still a little coarse? Thanks.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Nice to hear that the 3.8L is getting some positive reviews as well. This is good news.

    I’ve been quite outspoken with my crush on the R-Spec, with the exception of the numb handling characteristics. A little feedback would be nice here… but let’s not forget this is a Korean car. Handling is not their forte.

    …”but in the real world, few have the courage to put character before image. What a shame.” The world we live in, unfortunately.

    Now the most important question… where’s the “Chassis By LOTUS” badge for the front fenders?

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    It seems to me the natural competition for the Genesis is not European luxury sedans, but a high spec Chrysler 300. They seem really similar on paper: Choice of NA V6 or V8 power, available 8AT, RWD, and a badge that won’t impress the neighbours.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      In a spec-sheet world that’s absolutely correct. (And in my opinion, if the suspension tuning is as good as advertised, the Genesis would be the easy choice over any non-SRT 300.) But the target buyers couldn’t possibly be more different.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        “But the target buyers couldn’t possibly be more different.”
        I can see that, it seems that Hyundai is trying to position the Genesis as a bargain alternative to Euro luxury cars, while the 300 is a big, brash “traditional” American car. Still, someone in the market for this sort of car would probably do well to consider both vehicles and see which works best for them.

        I can’t see many badge conscious Euro car intenders looking at a Genesis – a Mercedes CLA sells at or below this price point. The Genesis may be a more “premium” car, but the CLA has a saucer sized plastic Mercedes badge on its grill.

        Perhaps Hyundai are playing a very long game with the Genesis and hoping to improve their reputation for ten years from now.

        • 0 avatar
          gtrslngr

          PenguinBoy – The only thing more premium about the Hyundai over the CLA is in fact the marketing pretense of premium coming from H/K . Whereas the Mercedes comes by it naturally .

          Methinks perhaps H/K’s trying a little too hard to fight above its class as a heavy weight when in fact … soaking wet … with lead bricks in their pockets as well as magnets pulling them to the floor they’re barely coming in as Flyweights … and about to take it on the chin once again

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            “Taking it on the chin once more?”

            Last year was supposed to be a down year for Hyundai/Kia in America, and their US sales were still up 86% from just five years earlier. They seem to be doing something to remain standing.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            @gtrslngr – did you annoy a Hyundai person enough to get yourself slugged? I can’t figure out what your personal experience with Hyundai in the last 15 years was to cause such vitriol.

            They’re hardly on the ropes, though firing the respected US Prez shows Hyundai’s top execs can’t be an easy lot to work for.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            “…did you annoy a Hyundai person enough to get yourself slugged? I can’t figure out what your personal experience with Hyundai in the last 15 years was to cause such vitriol.”

            Vitriol? Heh. You should see what he has to say about GM.

        • 0 avatar
          bomberpete

          I sound like a broken record but THIS is where Lincoln should be — with center-pull doors, hybrid, V-6 and V-8 engines, and based on the new Mustang architecture.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            This fits the idea of what a proper Lincoln sedan should be. I would prefer a Mustang based Lincoln to be more squared off and not look like an Audi or Infiniti. The frustrating part is that Lincoln has a much better parts bin to sift through. I won’t disparage the Hyundai powertrain options, but an Ecoboost V6 or Coyote V8 would be my preferences.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The 300 is more in the price-range of the Azera.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Not if you load it up. Chrysler is actually using a rather BMW-like pricing strategy — base models that are mostly well-equipped but have a few *major* omissions, and higher-level models (300C) that rectify those omissions but cost quite a lot more.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          The 300 starts at $30.8k which is lower than an Azera and over $5k less than a Cadenza.

          The new Genesis starts at $38.9k (including delivery) and a loaded 5.0 is over $55k.

          The SRT-8 goes for $49k.

          Hyundai doesn’t have a proper performance trim yet, but if they do one, it’ll likely be close to the $60k threshold.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The SRT-8 only goes for $49k in stripped “Core” form, which lacks a lot of features that most buyers of large sedans take for granted. The normally equipped version is $56k.

            The Genesis 5.0 is between the regular Hemi 300 and the SRT in performance, and it’s loaded up like the $56k SRT.

            Like a $40k 3-series, the $31k 300 is a phantom. Any 300 on dealer lots is going to sticker for at least $34k (V6 300S with no options) and most of them will be in the upper 30s or low 40s.

  • avatar
    Dingleberrypiez_Returns

    There is an overwhelming obsession with other people’s perceptions on this webpage.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Does the BASE model come with a rear view camera?? I don’t want to spend $5K more to get what I consider a safety feature and which Honda includes on it’s bottom feeders to luxury models.
    Also where did the 22 hp on the V-6 go? Was it deleted to try to hit the mileage mark correctly in the ’15 MY?

  • avatar
    vvk

    Having recently driven a 528i xDrive as a loaner, I was very impressed. This article really makes me want to take a test drive in a V-6 Genesis. Can it really be EVEN BETTER?!

    By the way, a base 528i is $46k, which includes maintenance, brakes, wiper blades, etc. That means the price is largely equivalent.

    Do Hyundai dealers provide free loaners? I hope they do at this price.

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      Not only is this Hyundai NOT better [ than any BMW or Mercedes ] …. but in the long run its a whole lot worse as well . And free loaners ? At this price ? What with Hyundais [ and KIAs ] legendary lack of customer service ?

      Heck … from H/K you consider yourself lucky that you get free air for your tires …

      You wanting a bit of dark horse luxury bargain perhaps ? Have a look at a car that in fact stunned me [ though I won’t be buying one ] The Mercedes Benz CLA .

      • 0 avatar
        Wscott97

        @ gtrslngr, you don’t know what you’re talking about. We have a 2010 Genesis that has 68,000 miles and still looks and rides like new. It’s been a great car and I would recommend it to anyone. You shouldn’t comment on a car that you clearly know nothing about.
        Yes Hyundai/Kia has had it’s rocky past and they still still have a lot that they can refine but you shouldn’t always base a car off its reputation a decade ago.
        @ VVK, The Hyundai dealership that we go to doesn’t give us the an in-house loaner car but they give us rentals from the hertz next door. Once a Genesis, and last time we got a 300. Their customer service has been great but just like any company, it depends on the dealership.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Our Hyundai dealership gives loaners for any car that’s under the original factory warranty (a month ago, we temporarily swapped our 2012 Sonata Limited for a well-equipped Tucson), and I’m sure the company is going to try and improve the sales-experience for Genesis and Equus owners.

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            If your own a equus Hyundai will pick up the car and leave you another equus for all service. You pretty much never have to go to the dealer. Atleast that’s what happens to a coworker that owns a equus, which is also a former BMW owner.

      • 0 avatar

        The CLA is a joke. Looks like an Accent from too many angles, no foglamps – just huge fake diffuser pockets on the front, and – worse yet – all the wrong people i.e. dumpy middle-class housewives and the eldery are buying them. Why? ‘Cause at $30k and overly-aggressive lease programs THEY CAN.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          The CLA is the biggest POS relative to its sticker price that I’ve driven in many, many years. Even if price weren’t a consideration, I’d buy an Accord, Fusion, etc., before I’d buy a CLA.

          I won’t believe the Genesis Sedan is a good car until I drive it over less than billiard table smooth roads.

          Every Genesis Sedan I’ve driven or driven in, including a 2 week rental back in 2011, had horrid suspensions, aspiring to be sporty yet comfortable, yet managing to be harsh, jittery and schizophrenic in disposition, with very odd attributes.

          If Hyundai could manage to design class competitive suspensions, many of their offerings would be far more compelling. It’s always been a mystery to me that Hyundai can’t or won’t design/fabricate class competitive suspensions, with the exception of the Sonata.

          Maybe they resolved this with the 2015 redesign, and if they did, they stand a much better chance of stealing sales from more expensive European vehicles, IMO, especially now that BMW & MB are essentially gutting many of the best former attributes of their vehicles (e.g. BMW with its girth, softer suspensions and 4 banger overpriced piles of $hit).

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        The CLA is a SUBCOMPACT and the Genesis is a midsize (that really is bordering on full-size).

        And pretty much every review has criticized the CLA for its jittery ride and cheap, hard plastics.

        Now if you had stated the new C Class (despite the still sizable size difference) – you would actually be getting somewhere since the new C Class has been getting rave reviews.

        And if one wants even better customer service than the typical Benz dealer, one just needs to “upgrade” (the new Genesis is better than the Equus in many respects) to the Equus and never have to step foot into a dealership.

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        The BMW will be at dealer for repairs about 2-3 weeks a year if he is lucky.
        Hyundai on the other hand will only be at the dealer for oil changes and tire rotations.
        The BMW owners in Orlando are at the dealer so much they have a free diner attached. Free breakfast and lunch to try and make up for all the hours spent waiting for your ultimate driving machine.
        If you want the BMW experience. Just purchase the Genesis and stop by your local BMW dealer for a free German breakfast and talk to all the pissed off BMW owners. Its a hoot.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    Everything about the new Genesis’ mug says the grill should’ve stopped two slats higher than where it droops down now.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    Completely unrelated to the substance of the review, but can TTAC splurge on a decent camera for reviews? iPhone shots are great for rental and real-world reviews, but this looks like it was a press junket planned in advance and better photos would be appreciated.

    • 0 avatar

      Is it something that requires a better camera or a skills upgrade on my part?

      • 0 avatar
        Nick 2012

        My untrained eye thinks the composition is great and a better camera would show off the the vehicle and landscape. Also, would it be possible to add some interior shots? A few shots of the small vs large screen and rows of buttons would help me at least understand the difference between the two versions.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          I don’t see any reason why a better camera would help; the composition is, as you say, fine, and I see no lack of detail or focus in the zoomed-in shots.

          Lack of interior shots is a more relevant thing, for sure.

          • 0 avatar
            Nick 2012

            To me, you can always ID a cell phone photo – the lens is just too small to let in enough light. The gorgeous background doesn’t have the depth or color that TK got in his Camaro review. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/rental-car-review-2013-chevrolet-camaro-ss/

            A bigger lens camera will help take interior shots in sub-optimal lighting conditions, too.

        • 0 avatar

          I need to learn how to take interior shots properly. Thank you for the compliments regarding composition. I’ll requisition a DSLR next time.

          • 0 avatar
            Nick 2012

            I think you’re first request to TTAC management needs to be for 5 DSLRs, a few full time photography assistants/porters/fixers, a couple $20k lenses, and a personal masseuse to make sure you’re relaxed and refreshed before taking photos. THEN back down to just one measly DSLR and a new set of tires for the Aventador.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Btw, where were these pictures taken? I want to say Arizona, but I can’t place the spot. Its a big state….

            It could also be some other southwestern state.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Make sure to rent a wide angle lens for the interior shots. Won’t hurt to have someone fix the curvature in post processing either…

            Also better to get shots when the sun isn’t directly overhead. There are a few little tricks that can go a long way… cant find a link but there are DIY articles out there.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            >> I’ll requisition a DSLR next time.
            Henry’s has some decent used DSLRs.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Count me in on loving the composition in these pics. Once the crazy wears off / TTAC says no, buy a nice-reasonable refurbished DSLR and call it a buisness expense.

        • 0 avatar

          Thanks guys. I really like the challenge of composition. I can get my hands on a Nikon D3100 at the very least.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            That would be great. The image quality difference between a Nikon with even a basic kit zoom and the iPhone camera is dramatic.

          • 0 avatar
            pdieten

            A D3100 is more than adequate for the job. It will come with an 18-55mm lens that you should be able to use for reasonable wide-angle interior shots. You might like to get the matching 55-200mm zoom lens, and make sure you get UV and polarizing filters for the lenses so that you don’t get that sun glare on the car windows. That will improve your pictures 1000% right off the bat.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “And even 8-speeds can’t help save the Genesis from less than stellar fuel economy ratings (18/29/22 mpg city/highway/combined for the V6, 16/25/19 for the AWD model and 15/23/18 for the V8).”

    Because what people care about in this segment is “can I get better than 29mpg on the freeway in my luxury cruiser with 300 horsepower”, right?

    And, well, it sure looks like those numbers are close enough to the E350 to not matter.

    The $15-20k you save getting the Genesis will buy a *lot* of fuel.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I love the sexy roof line, but it makes me wonder about rear seat head room. A lux or near lux 4 door needs a real back seat. Anyone have experience with it?

  • avatar
    bd2

    Seems like Hyundai has addressed most if not all of the issues with the previous model but overall, the design is a bit lacking.

    Supposedly Hyundai may do an actual “4-door coupe” which likely would have more exciting sheetmetal, but if they don’t, I guess there’s always Kia with the GT.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    Derek have you driven and reviewed the cars that you say suck now (IE 528i)? I would be interested in a point by point comparison if you have, and so would plenty of German car owners who are curious about the Genesis.

  • avatar
    stickmaster

    The Genesis strikes me as a genuinely good sedan. But I will say the following:
    I don’t think it can seriously compete against the big players, I think it’s too late. I wouldn’t have said that 20 years ago, and the Japanese made their move at the right time.

    There are at least six very good cars in this space (CTS, GS, Q70, E class, 5 series, A6) and you can even include the FWD Acura TLX.

    I don’t see the reason for the Genesis.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    I wouldn’t spend someone else’s money on BMW’s turbo four 5 series. They are gorgeous cars, inside and out (when optioned right), but I wouldn’t even bother to get one that didn’t have the V8–which is pushing above and beyond 70-80 grand. I don’t give a damn about the hype, if I’m spending serious cash I want a proper V8 German muscle car.

    The price and power of the V6 model is compelling, and I’m pretty sure it blows comparable 5’s out of the water. What would matter is what does the V8 cost compared to a 550, and will it be as comparable of a bargain.

    Hyundai’s “value” starts to evaporate as this derivative and awkwardly styled (inside and out) car starts to cross the 55k price barrier.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Excuse me but haven’t I seen your styling before?

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    It’s funny you compare the F10 528 to a Camry because I rented them back to back (had the Camry one day, and a 528 the next), and that was my exact thought on the BMW “This is the nicest Camry I’ve ever driven”. The Camry’s 3 best features – it’s refinement, fuel economy, and infotainment system were also the BMW’s best features.

    It’s good to see that Hyundai is not chasing the Germans into mediocrity. The F10 truly is a disgrace to the “ultimate driving machine” moniker, much less the 5 series legacy it inherited from the E39. Very happy to see the lack of a 4 cylinder as well. I realize that the 2.0t engines out there can be made to be very refined – BMW certainly accomplished that with the N20 in the 528, but they did so at the expense of all it’s character and personality. It could’ve passed for an electric car. I’m among those who bemoan the prevalence of 4 cylinders in luxury cars. It used to be that part of the magic of buying a BMW was that straight six. So refreshing to see Hyundai actually trying to engage the driver in the mechanical nature of the car. How does this compare to the Chrysler 300? i’ve always thought of that as being the most direct competitor. I’m guessing this is much more engaging to drive?

  • avatar

    (whistle sound effect) Stop thief, you stole the fusion’s grill.

  • avatar
    jrasero23

    This is what the 1st gen Genesis should have been.

    Wish this had come out sooner just bought a Lincoln which I love, but this would have been killer

    Three biggest complaints about the 1st gen was handling, plain looks, and terrible console from 1990. I haven’t driven the car but if they teamed up with Lotus the car has to be improved. The 1st gen looked like 5th gen Sonata and had the console to match. The new grill looks Audi meets Aston Martin and the inside has the luxury and tech to compete with any of Japanese and most of the Germans.

    Overall on looks and stats alone this car gets my early award for the most improved.

    3 years from now this will be my CPO vehicle of choice

  • avatar

    I drove the 3.8 Genesis.
    The new Genesis – although UGLY and too much like a ripoff of Audi’s A8 – has reached “luxury car” status.

    It is the South Korea equivalent of a Lexus.

    Thing is, although they give you options for V8’s and S-class level technology packages…

    …would you spend your $45,000 on a Hyundai?

    when it all comes down to it, perceived value is EVERYTHING.

    The Genesis is a better overall car than many German cars dollar-for-dollar.


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