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First Drive: 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 RWD

2015 Hyundai Genesis_01

When Hyundai first introduced the Genesis back in 2008, it was not just a statement of where Hyundai was heading, but was flattering the concept of what Hyundai was due to become. For 2015, Hyundai completely redesigned the Genesis from the ground, now showing the world who they are and what they’ve accomplished.

A lot of the automotive journalist compare this new Genesis to the BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes E-Class – after spending some time behind the wheel, we disagree. In terms of driving dynamics and interior comfort, we find the Genesis competes more so with the Lexus GS350, the Infiniti Q70, and perhaps even, the new Cadillac CTS.

The best way to describe the new Genesis, it’s a full size sedan that features ultimate first class amenities at a bargain basement price. Now yes, we realize that 50-grand is a quarter shy of being a bargain; however, compared to its opponents, it’s nearly 10-grand less – and that’s including the 11-grand in options fitted to our tester.

It’s no doubt that Hyundai did a superb job designing the new Genesis, it is certainly a handsome thing. Expressing clean lines, a brawny front fascia, and a business like attitude, this new look is bound to turn a few heads. Our sampled Montecito Blue was about as pretty as paint can get showcasing attractive 18-inch alloys that balanced out the Genesis quite well, even for being a large sedan. Naturally though, we feel in love with the rear halo LED taillights and integrated dual chrome exhaust as it gave an attractive finish to our rear end.

Our sampled Genesis had the base 3.8-liter V6 producing 311 horsepower and 293lb-ft of torque. Delivery of power through the rear-wheels, the Genesis simply ushers you to 60 mph in just under 6-second through a smooth shifting 8-speed auto. Even though we weren’t equipped with the drama making 5.0-liter V8, this 3.8-liter V6 will certainly put a grin on your face as it makes a disorderly growl at high rpms.

Hyundai’s engineers also did a remarkable job to the Genesis chassis – it is excellent – everything is tight and orderly. The suspension is utterly smooth and yet solid – you can hear you went over a bump but you don’t feel it. The steering system is astonishing, it’s light and agile providing a decent amount of road feel but advertising a high level of driving comfort. And topping it off, the Genesis is soundless – cruising at 80 mph, you can’t even hear the bugs smacking against the windshield.

Luxury sedans are all about the details and Hyundai spared no expense to its interior cabin refinement. Our fitted white leather interior was absolutely dreamy, full of supreme comfort – both the front seats are heated and ventilated with 12-way power adjustable features. Although the front gives you that full luxurious experience, the back seat is where we chose to be – the seats are true to as much comfort as the front, leg room is decent, head room is acceptable, but most importantly you cannot deny the view through the panoramic sunroof.

In terms of the dash design, it’s Hyundai typical falling similar to the mid-sized Hyundai Sonata. The layout is down to business in an orderly fashion – everything is design around the driver and is easily accessible. Our Genesis featured a gorgeous genuine matte wood finish that truly brought out its luxury side. The fantastic 9.2-inch high-definition navigation uses a BMW-inspired center knob, similar to the Kia K900 – which we like, making navigating the infotainment system easy. And the Heads-Up Display is top notch, crystal clear – one of the best in the business.

Now though, I bet you’re wondering what happened to that 11-grand in options? Ultimately there are three packages: Ultimate Package ($3,500), Tech Package ($3,500), and the Signature Package ($4,000). If you would like to know what each package includes, scroll down to the Featured Options and we’ll break it down for you.

We would though, like to touch base on the Tech Package just a tad, part of the Tech Package includes the Lane Departure Assist, Radar Guided Cruise Control and Emergency Braking Assist. The lane keeping assist was very smooth and nearly unnoticeable, in extreme cases the steering provided haptic feedback and graciously merged us back into the lane. The Radar Cruise Control is what surprised us the most – we put it to the test and engaged the system during rush hour traffic – we traveled the freeway for 10 miles without touch the gas or the brake pedal allowing the system to smoothly control the throttle and the brakes. Needless to say, it was a nerve-racking experience, but overall, we were very impressed with its capabilities.

Of course, like any large sedan, the Genesis is heavy weighting in nearly 4,600lbs (the glass roof, power seats, and wood trim aren’t exactly light weights) which expresses in fuel economy. EPA rates the Genesis at 18/29/22 (city/highway/combined), even with our level headed eco-friendly foot we barely pulled out 17 mpg in the city with an overall combined average of 24 mpg combined. Loaded up with regular grade fuel, the Genesis will properly do 490 miles on a single tank.

There really isn’t anything to complain about, we very much like the Genesis… but… at this price point, we were disappointed to not see options like a heated steering wheel or heated rear seats – which Hyundai is known for adding. But that is nothing to how excellent the Genesis is and nearly hitting that 50-grand mark, the Genesis, even fully optioned here is still 10-grand cheaper than some of its adversaries. For that value, this is one sedan that should not be overlooked.

Price (As Tested):
2015 Hyundai Genesis RWD 3.8: $38,000
Destination: $950
Featured Options:
Ultimate Package:
(Genuine Wood Trim, Heads-Up Display, Power Trunk Lid, 9.2” High-Def Navigation, 17-Speaker Audio system, & Dual-Mode Vent Control w/ CO2 Sensor)
Tech Package:
(Leather Trimmed Interior, 7” TFT digital cluster display, Power Drive Seat Cushion Extender and Side Bolsters, Lane Departure Warning & Lane Departure Assist, Smart Cruise Control with Stop/Start, Haptic Steering Wheel, Auto Emergency Braking, High Beam Assist, Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Hold, & Front and Rear Parking Sensors)
Signature Package:
(Panoramic Sunroof, Ventilated Front Seats, Power Tilt/Telescoping Steering Wheel, HID headlights, Blind Spot Detection, & Rear Power Sunshade)
Grand Total: $49,950

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