Highlight: An all-wheel drive has been added to the lineup for 2015 model year, making this vehicle available to conqueror harsh, cold weather climates.
Test vehicle’s MSRP: $55,700 (Base Model starts at $38,950)
Seating Capacity: 5
Standard Safety Features: airbags (driver, front passenger, driver-knee and side impact); ABS; daytime running lights; a rearview camera; electronic stability control; traction control; hood bulking creases and safety stops; side turn signal indicators; rain sensing wipers and a tire pressure monitoring system
Standard Equipment: 18-inch wheels; an 8-speed transmission; a push-button keyless starter; keyless entry; a cargo net; a leather wrapped shift knob; leather seats; power heated front seats; dual temperature control ventilation system; rear seat with pass through to the rear trunk; and duplicated audio steering wheel control
Front-Multi-link with stabilizer bar and high performance gas shock absorber
ar- Multi-link with stabilizer bar and high performance gas shock absorber
Standard Audio: a 7-speaker AM/FM/CD/XM audio system
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes
3.8-liter, 6-cylinder/311-horsepower (base and all-wheel drive)
5.0-liter, 8-cylinder/420-horsepower (rear wheel drive)
Recommended Fuel: Regular
Standard Fuel Mileage: 15-city/23-hwy (base model)
Other Trim Levels:
Base Model 3.8-liter (sedan)
Base Model AWD 3.8-liter (sedan)
iPod and USB ports: Yes
What’s New: The second-generation Genesis sedan has been reworked inside out, making this a true head turning luxury vehicle. Hyundai refers to the new design as Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. In addition to the elegant, upscale design, Hyundai also offers a number of new high-tech features, too.
Pros: While the first-generation Genesis sedan resembles that of Lexus’ first LS sedan, the 2015 model, which is obviously longer, looks like a sculpted piece of art on wheels. The new design has distanced itself from the Japanese luxury makes emulating the more established German luxury makes. In every sense of the word, the 2015 Genesis sedan has evolved into a true luxury car both inside and out, embodying the influence of makes such as Aston Martin, Audi, BMW and Bentley.
In fact, the prominent grille resembles that of the Aston Martin, Audi or a BMW, while the rear taillights showcase the likes of its little sister the 2014 Sonata and the Lexus GS. And the side profile of the vehicle can be easily mistaken for anything in the luxury arena, but a Hyundai. Yes, it’s hard for many to believe this is a Hyundai.
While the sculpted upscale exterior design and the stately dimensions are sure to catch one’s eye, Hyundai’s interior designers literally put their best foot forward with the interior. It’s hard to believe that this is not the brand’s flagship.
There was no attention to detail that seemed to have been overlooked. Our vehicle was fitted with 12-way power front seats that seemed as if they were pulled out of a Bentley. The gauges were appropriately placed and there were no complicated smartphone-like screens to access the audio or ventilation system. Hyundai’s interior designers refined their BMW-like iDrive system, making it user friendly even for those who consider themselves to be non technical. Hyundai seemingly benchmarked many of its competitors, incorporating many must-have features.
Our 5.0-liter, 8-cylinder quiet-tuned engine pushed out 420 horses. The Hyundai Genesis sedan shares the same quiet-tuned engine that is available in both the Equus, the brand’s flagship, and their sibling Kia’s brand-new flagship, the K900.
The vehicle we reviewed was outfitted with 19-inch wheels, a 9.2-inch center screen, the brand’s symphony-like 17-speaker crystal clear audio system, HID headlights, power folding side view mirrors, a power rear sunshade, manual rear side window sunshades, a navigation system, a rear camera with cross wind audible alerts, a lane departure warning system, a blind spot system, a radar activated cruise control system, a heads up display system, a power trunk lid for both opening and closing, dual vent controls with a C02 sensor, a power panoramic sunroof and real genuine matted wood trim.
Moreover, Hyundai has designed the world’s first hands free radar activated trunk. Basically, Hyundai perfected Ford’s trunk (or cargo system) that opens with the swipe of a foot, as long as the keyfob is on the person. Hyundai’s system co-signs that they are in the luxury arena. No swiping of the foot is required to open the trunk. With Hyundai’s more refined trunk system, the keyfob must be on the person in order for the trunk to open.
The new Genesis sedan also offers three driving modes: economy, normal and sport. This allowed us to find the right balance without the driving experience being too firm like a number of imports or too loose, as in the case of the Lincolns from the past. The engineers managed to find the perfect harmony with the suspension system, creating an engaging driving experience for a luxury vehicle.
Cons: Yes, the Koreans borrowed styling cues from some of the best super luxury makes in the industry: Bentley and Aston Martin. The wing-like badging was lifted from Bentley, while the elongated front grille looks like it was taken directly from Aston Martin, although the designers would totally disagree with us. We always say if you can’t beat them, join them. Wasn’t this Lexus philosophy when they joined the luxury arena over two decades ago? Yes, we thought it was!
Besides the styling, Hyundai’s engineers should consider offering an 8-cylinder all-wheel drive model. Currently, the all-wheel drive configuration is reserved for the 6-cylinder model only.
Moreover, the previous generation Genesis sedan offered heated rear seats. To our surprise, the 2015 Genesis sedan lacks this feature. Ironically, as high-tech and evolved as this new Genesis sedan is, at what point did the engineers realize that this luxury feature was not a part of the packaging. Furthermore, with the keyless remote within close proximity, the rear doors should open with the same ease as that of a Ford Fusion (or the front doors of the Genesis sedan).
Lastly, we wish Hyundai consider finding another name for the Genesis coupe. It’s confusing to both consumers and us. Although Hyundai’s product planners intentions are to move the coupe upscale, in no way is it worthy of wearing the same the name as the refined, more sophisticated Genesis sedan.
The Verdict: The Hyundai Genesis sedan is arguably one of the best new vehicles to the hit the streets today. It’s refined, distinctive styling shows an air of sophistication which the previous generation lacked. Besides the Kia K900, the new Genesis sedan is priced well below the competition and it offers one of the best new-car warranties in the segment.
If folks haven’t taken Hyundai serious before in the luxury arena, the redesigned Genesis sedan is sure to remove all doubt. With the exception of the top of the line Equus offering living room-like power reclining seats, this could and in our opinion should be the brand’s flagship vehicle. Yes, this is truly a world class automobile that is ready to go head-to-head with the German and Japanese luxury makes.
Competition: Acura RLX, Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti M-Series, Kia K900, Lexus GS and Mercedes E-Class
About The Reviewer
Jeff Fortson runs an educational car-buying website for women and minorities. For more details visit, JeffCars.com or follow him at twitter/JeffCars.