Chris Miller road tests and reviews the 2015 Hyundai Genesis.
The new Genesis is Hyundai’s first foray in to the luxury car game and is quite a convincing one.
Beautifully executed, the big 2015 Hyundai Genesis delivers a premium experience in a stylish package.
About the size of a 7-Series BMW or S Class Mercedes Benz but at a price closer to a 3-Series or C Class, the Hyundai Genesis nails the value equation.
At $60,000 plus on roads, throw in a 5 year unlimited kilometre warranty, 5 years/75,000km of free servicing and a guaranteed buy back program and the deal becomes even sweeter.
It’s the first ever rear wheel drive Hyundai in Australia and it raises the bar for Korean cars in the handling stakes. Sure-footed and well balanced, the Hyundai Genesis is a pleasure to drive. The year long suspension tuning program by the Hyundai engineers on Australian roads is obvious…the Genesis soaks up the worst of tarmac (and gravel for that matter) with little to no disruption inside the cabin.
The ride is about as well sorted as you’ll find anywhere. Inside the lack of road or wind noise is almost unnerving…the Genesis is whisper quiet at all speeds with only a distant rumble on coarse-chip roads.
Powered by a super smooth 3.8 litre V6 that develops a healthy 232kW and 397Nm, the silky V6 is matched to Hyundai’s own 8-Speed automatic and has no problem hauling around the 1945kg Genesis. 100km/h flashes up in a very respectable 6.5 seconds. High speed overtaking maneuvers can be dispatched with the minimum of fuss and at 100km/h the engine is barely ticking over much above idle.
Fuel economy however is nothing to crow about. Hyundai claim 11.1 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, in the real world it was more like 13.6 litres per 100km, and the lack of a stop start system was obvious at the bowser. It is however the only area that the big Hyundai Genesis falls behind its European counterparts.
The styling is handsome yet conservative inside and out. Hyundai call it their Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, to my eyes I see elements of the Audi A8 & BMW 7 Series in the exterior design.
The LED daytime running lights give it a real road presence and the Genesis logo, with wings either side of the Genesis name, was regularly mistaken for that of an Aston Martin… it certainly got plenty of conversations started.
Inside the conservative yet elegant theme is continued, the quality of the materials is unmistakable. The architecture of the dash works beautifully and the driving position is just right with great all round visibility.
The interior space is very generous front and rear. There is plenty of head and shoulder room up front, and the back seats have certainly been designed with an executive in mind. You can control the audio & climate systems via controls in the rear central armrest. You can even move the front seats forward or in to a more upright position if you feel you don’t have enough room. Entry and exit is easy thanks to wide opening doors both front and rear.
The driver is treated to an enormous 9.2 inch central colour touch screen that really looks the part, and navigating through the various menus and settings is beautifully simple. Even if you struggle to use the self-serve check out at the supermarket, the Genesis is intuitive with plenty of animated graphics to explain what is going on.
The Genesis boasts an impressive list of standard features that includes a brilliant sounding Lexicon 17-speaker premium audio system, Proximity Smart Key with push-button start, Dual-zone climate control with auto defog function, 12-way Power driver’s and passengers seat, heated front seats, electronic park brake, 18-inch alloy wheels & 245/45 R18 Hankook tyres, Smart Boot function (hands-free power-open function), rain-sensing wipers, HID headlights, rear power blind, puddle lights (Genesis logo illumination) in side mirrors with courtesy lights in door handles, interior mood lights and solar control glass.
The $11,000 Sensory pack adds Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Head-Up Display, 360 degree Around-View Monitor, premium leather appointed interior, driver’s seat memory system, power tilt & telescopic steering, CO2 sensor and LED front fog lights.
The Ultimate pack adds $22,000 to the base price and includes everything above plus panoramic glass roof, power door latches (automatic soft-closing function), ventilated and heated front seats, noise reducing acoustic glass, power boot lid, 19-inch alloy wheels & Dunlop 245/40 R19 (front) & 275/35 R19 (rear). You’ll also get illuminated front scuff plates (with Genesis logo) and rear door side curtains.
The Hyundai Genesis can also claim the title of Australia’s safest car, scoring the highest points ever recorded by ANCAP – 36.88 out of 37. It’s thanks to 9 airbags, autonomous emergency braking, radar cruise control, auto high beam, lane departure warning, seatbelt pretensioners, ABS, Vehicle Stability Management with electronic stability control and traction control.
So is it as good as a 7-Series BMW or Mercedes Benz S Class?
Probably not. But it is close.
In terms of safety and driving enjoyment, and the value the Genesis represents, the big Hyundai is an admirable achievement. It’s an impressive piece of engineering that embodies luxury and the latest technology in a way we’ve never seen before from a Korean manufacturer.
It’s biggest hurdle? Sadly, it’s the Hyundai badge on the boot.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Hyundai Genesis
Engine: 3.8 litre V6 producing 232kW and 397Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Five years
Origin: South Korea
Price: From $60,000