Hyundai Genesis: Let There Be Rear Wheel-Drive!

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

With Chrysler and Ford letting the last of the great rear wheel-drive American sedans slowly sink into a cesspit of mediocrity, Hyundai has stepped once more into the breach, dear Kim. The Korean automaker has unveiled the Genesis, saying that the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes C-Class and Lexus IS are nice cars and all, but Hyundai's rear wheel-drive sedan will be a hit because people are SOL poor nowadays they can't afford that fancy foreign shit [paraphrasing]. The Genesis, you see, puts luxury in the grasp of people "who deserve more" (as opposed to all those guilt-ridden people who feel they deserve less– but still manage to eat a lot of fattening food). You want more? The Genesis' creators (God?) benchmarked the Mercedes S-Class for interior space. It's got a more rigid chassis and superior (complex) 5-link suspension than the 5-series and E-class. Which is all well and good, but the Genesis has an invisible touch. While "real" luxury cars grab hold of your heart, the Genesis is like that lover you can't remember because, well, you just can't.

[Reported by Sajeev Mehta]

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
4 of 26 comments
  • Samir Syed Samir Syed on Jan 14, 2008

    This car reminds me of the first Infiniti RWD coupes. They were poor attempts at grabbing a slice of the BMW pie. But... they got real good real fast.

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Jan 15, 2008
    CarShark : Sajeev, I’m interested in knowing what cars you think are “boring” and which ones are “understated”. Well aside from the understated BMWs, I'd go with the 300E, the original (Pininfarina designed) Hyundai Excel, the first Infiniti Q45 (compare to the first LS400), the Acura TL, Honda Civics from the 1980s, the original Taurus, Lamborghini LP400...I could go on but there's no point in that. But there's another component to blandness: killing creativity by being overtly derivative. Asian home market cars are notorious for that. The Toyota Century, Nissan Cedric, Toyota Crown, Hyundai XG/Grandeurs...etc. So there you have it: my opinions. And the Genesis fits the bill for the bland category.
  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Jan 15, 2008
    Mj0lnir: Which class is that? The sub-$40k RWD V8 entry-lux sedan class? And it’s competitors are….? than this? Less warranty, less power, more torque steer are big selling points for you? You're taking the leap of faith that a significant number of buyers will overlook the "H" badge at this price point. I want to agree with you, but I don't see it happening.
  • Marcb Marcb on Apr 08, 2009

    I have driven the Genesis. I own an Azera which I like very very much, and went yesterday to drive the Genesis, expecting I wouldn't be able to resist trading. I loved the Azera from the first few corners I took in it. With the Genesis, I took it back to the lot after going around the block. I wouldn't have even gone to test-drive it if I had known it was rear-wheel drive before I went. The moment I drove it I asked the saleman why it cornered so funkie and in the answer I discovered it was rear-wheel drive. A hugh mistake in the 4-door, but a catastrophie in the Geneis coupe. I can't believe the decision was made to go rear-wheel drive in either version. Plus, to actually get all the luxery they are talking about, you have to spend $40k. With the phase out of Azera after this year, looks like they are phasing me out as a customer.