Hyundai Genesis Review | High-End Luxury At A Mid-Range Price
Hyundai Genesis Review
When you think Hyundai, you don’t exactly think ‘luxury’. Better known for their range of compact and family vehicles, the South Korean car manufacturer is now challenging the likes of BMW and Mercedes with the Genesis.
First launched locally only a few years ago, the Genesis marks Hyundai’s entry into the luxury sedan market. It’s proved to be so successful overseas that from next year, Genesis will be its own brand with a line of different vehicles under its name. We recently had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Hyundai Genesis to see whether it can truly rival the Europeans.
If Hyundai is attempting to take on the high-end sedan market with the Genesis, they’ve done pretty well with the first step, the car’s looks. Immediately you notice how sleek and refined it is. Our test model had a sophisticated black paint job that enhanced the feeling of class. Its commanding body looks classic and powerful, yet quite modern at the same time. Signature details like the big hexagonal grille are combined with slim LED fog lamps, and everything just works together.
A clear signal that the Genesis is in an entirely separate league to the brand’s other cars, Hyundai leave off their usual branding on the vehicle, except for a single badge on the rear. Instead, Genesis gets its own logo front-and-centre; an elegant, winged design. The ambiguity of who the car’s manufacturer is was pretty entertaining as we tested it. There were more than a few curious bystanders who were impressed by the car but couldn’t figure out what it was.
Quality interiors with close attention paid to details add to the premium feel of the Genesis. The big, comfortable seats feature leather upholstery that is resistant to wrinkling, thanks to the application of thermosetting technology. The simple luxuries we’re used to in high-end cars are present as standard like cooled and heated seats, with the option to have heated rear seats too in the Ultimate Pack. Another feature in this package is an adjustable seat cushion extension on the driver’s seat for additional comfort. This, as well as a spacious interior, makes it really pleasant to be inside the car, even on longer drives. Rear passengers will appreciate how much they can control from their centre console remote like heat settings as well as multimedia settings too. This is great for drivers who hate being the one in charge of music during road trips; now you can leave it all in your passenger’s capable hands!
The Genesis features a 9.2″ hi-resolution touchscreen embedded into the fascia. It sits in a nice position that makes it easy to use as a touchscreen, but it can also be controlled through physical switches and dials too. The dashboard is where the car gives away the fact that it is a Hyundai, but this isn’t to say that’s a bad thing at all. Numerous clear and simple buttons feature but they’re all ones that get used frequently enough to warrant them being there. I enjoyed the analogue clock, which adds to the car’s classic feel. The nicely sized sunroof was great for letting in light during the day. Inside with all windows closed it’s quiet and easy to enjoy the car’s 17-speaker Lexicon Sound System to its full potential.
Hyundai spent a year testing and tweaking the Genesis so it can perform properly on Australian surfaces. While we didn’t drive it on any outback roads or dirt tracks, it was a smooth ride on city streets. It’s not exactly a thrilling drive, especially compared to a 3 Series BMW, but that’s not really the point of it. Featuring a Lambda II 3.8L GDi V6 engine, the car delivers 232 kW of power at 6,000 rpm and 397Nm of torque at 5,000 rpm. It’s also host to a Hyundai-developed 8-speed automatic transmission system with paddle shifters if you want a bit more control.
The Genesis can boast scoring the highest ANCAP safety score, meaning this car is ultra safe. It has a plethora of features that make it so, with one being Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). This system uses radar and camera data collected by the vehicle to detect sudden braking from the car in front. If it does, then it activates the brakes of the Genesis, making it come to a complete stop. Lane Departure Warnings and Blind Spot Detection (available in the Ultimate Pack) also assist with making the car super safe to drive. Since the Genesis is quite a bit larger than my regular car, I found the Park Assist System really useful. This helped me get into tight spaces around the city with the aid of a rear camera and audible warnings of objects around the car I couldn’t see.
The Wrap-Up – Hyundai Genesis Review
While the Genesis isn’t the type of car you’d take to the track on the weekend, it is the perfect alternative if you want a reliable sedan with added luxury. It performs really well as an everyday vehicle with enough intelligent and useful features to make you feel like you’re driving something far more expensive.