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.
I'm the automotive editor of Conde Nast Traveler and a freelancer for a variety of other magazines as well. Go to amazon.com and read more about me than you ever wanted to know if you do a search for either of my current books, "The Gold-Plated Porsche" and "Man and Machine." Been a pilot since 1967 (single- and multi-engine land, single-engine sea, glider, instrument, Cessna Citation 500 type rating all on a commercial license) and I use the gold-plated Porsche, a much-modified and -lightened '83 911SC, as a track car.
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