WSJ on Hyundai Genesis: "it Could Be Mistaken for a Lexus GS460"

wsj on hyundai genesis it could be mistaken for a lexus gs460

Interesting review of the new Hyundai Genesis luxury sedan in today's Wall Street Journal , which makes the inescapable point that the car is a Lexus GS460 for nearly $16,000 less ($53,785 versus $38,000). It has the second (to the way more expensive Mercedes E550) most powerful V8 engine in the class, runs on regular, sources its gearbox from ZF, has a warranty 10,000 miles better than Lexus's or BMW's, more front and rear legroom than either one, and an interior of equal quality and tastefulness. For better or worse, the Genesis even has a mock-BMW iDrive. (The reviewer, Jeff Sabatini, says it's better than BMW's, though, precisely because it does less.) The assessment comes to an unfortunate but inarguable conclusion: aside from whether or not a strong market still exists for cars of this size and cost, Hyundai has missed the point of why Lexus buyers pay an extra $15,785 "just for that badge on the hood… the fact remains that these cars are immensely popular precisely because they are symbols of money, power and success. The people who buy them aren't likely to spend their year-end bonuses on a Hyundai…" Sad.

Comments
Join the conversation
4 of 47 comments
  • Neurosonic Neurosonic on Aug 09, 2008

    Nobody can question Lexus' badge weight, but what really sucks is that no one is talking about the evolution - at least the exterior design - of the recent Toyota & Lexus models you'll find that, instead of introducing a new body design from top to bottom, it's the other way around. A body design taken from Daihatsu, applied to the Corolla and then the Camry and all the way up to the Lexus models. it is quite shameful that a company with such a reputation cannot come up with a design that clearly distinguishes its self from others in the Auto world, and no Lexus fanatic can deny how the first models of Lexus were mock ups of Mercedes'. I don't like auto companies that thrive only on reputation. Good Luck Hyundai !!

  • Cleek Cleek on Aug 09, 2008
    "just for that badge on the hood… the fact remains that these cars are immensely popular precisely because they are symbols of money, power and success. The people who buy them aren't likely to spend their year-end bonuses on a Hyundai…" Given that 2008 will be year of "no year-end bonus" in the financial services industry, I'll bet that, come January, the Hyundai Genesis won't look half bad.

  • Capeplates Capeplates on Aug 10, 2008

    No matter what a Hyundi is still a Hyundi - not for me this one

  • Cougar Red Cougar Red on Aug 10, 2008

    It appears to be a kick-ass vehicle for the price. However, how much longer is the public going to purchase 16 mpg cars of any label? Five years? Ten? RWD V8s have been the sporting sedan standard for Christmases Past and Present. In Christmas Future, we get to open more and more high performance presents whose cost to operate will make 16 mpg look silly. Accordingly, Hyundai's decision not to launch a new $2B brand around a 16 mpg sedan makes sense. But it will also surely hurt sales of the Genesis as others have noted.

Next