Hyundai Genesis in Person

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
hyundai genesis in person

One of the big car news events of the year has been the Hyundai Genesis. First, the details you need: RWD, three engine options (3.3 liter V6 from the Sonata with 240-ish hp, 3.8 liter V6 from the Azera with 270-ish hp, and the big boy 4.6 liter V8 with 380 horses). They still won't give any info on price other than "approximately what a 3-Series costs." And since that ranges from $32,000 to $50,000 (not counting the M3), that means about nothing. Now in terms of the vehicle itself, it has a general luxury-generic look, and the interior has well done parts (leather stitched on the dash) and some embarrassingly bad elements (fake wood a la 1994). The Hyundai PR flackers were totally tight lipped about a luxury brand in the US , and insisted they wanted to show people what Hyundai is capable of. Except that they aren't putting a logo on the front of the car, making it completely anonymous. It's hard to sell a "luxury" car alongside a 1.6 liter Hyundai Accent, and I think VW proved with the Phaeton that this kind of wild product diversity is a mess.

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  • 50merc 50merc on Mar 19, 2008

    Documents found under Funk & Wagnall's porch reveal the Generic Genesis is a clever plan. Note that "genesis" means "beginning"? There's no logo on the front because the cars won't be finished when they leave the factory. Badges, labels, owners manuals and window stickers will be added at the port of importation, just before cars are shipped to dealers. One that's bound for a Chrysler dealer will get Chrysler paraphernalia; one that goes to a Buick store gets a tri-shield badge, etc. Finally, a V8 rwd Grand Marquis designed in the 21st century! And all this without GM, Ford or Chrysler having the expense of R&D and manufacture. Korea can do that cheaper; what it can't do is quickly change perceptions. Heck, I'd have a lot more confidence in a "Chrysler" Genesis than one born and bred in Auburn Hills. Once I toured a big dairy processing plant. In the section where butter was packaged, the butter went into boxes with different brand names--dozens and dozens of brand names. Ever since I've bought whatever brand is cheapest at the time. I'm sure there are many people for whom their automobile's brand name is more important than what it's on. Bring on the Generic Genesis!

  • Coupdetat Coupdetat on Mar 19, 2008

    I think it's a daring move by Hyundai and I'm really excited to see where this goes. Why so negative? People act as if it will automatically be bland without ever sitting in or driving one. Anonymous is GOOD to most car buyers--a lot of people don't want the ridiculous scoops and vents of a Pontiac G8, drive a toy car like the Charger, or look like a rapper in a 300C. The CTS is gorgeous in my eyes but it is definitely polarizing. The last generation Accord was anonymous but that didn't stop it from being a sublime car to drive. I think the Genesis has the basics down. It has clean lines which is very important to a lot of car buyers. Judging by the Sonata and Azera, it should have solid dynamics and a good interior. Both V6 powerplants are well proven. I'd be interested to know how the V8 does. Never underestimate Hyundai. They have definitely been a player in the auto world for some time now despite stubborn enthusiasts' stigma.

  • Whatdoiknow1 Whatdoiknow1 on Mar 19, 2008

    Considering that Hyundai is a more popular brand than Pontiac is today and both have $30,000+ v6/v8 powered RWD cars coming to market it would be safe to say that this car believe it or not might compete with the G8. Both brands today actually do appeal to folks that are NOT loyal to any particular brand. Both of these cars will appeal to the "chance" takers amoung us that will go for a supposed "big value" at a bargin price. Or another car this thing might hurt would be the Buick Lacerne. Just like the Lacerne this is the type of car that appeals to that newly retired working-class stiff that will be buying his first new car at the age of 60+ with pension savings. I think I know where Hyundai wants to go with this thing and if they play their cards right they just might get there. Until the big 2.8 blinked this was what a traditional American car was all about. Yeap the wood is fake because in reality the folks that will buy this thing could careless about real wood in a car.

  • MPLS MPLS on Mar 19, 2008

    Hey, thats a Buick!