Saturday Road Test – 2015 Hyundai Genesis

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2015 Hyundai Genesis

Tough To Top for the $$$

By Ron Amadon

DAMASCUS, MD. – Hyundai gave the Genesis a complete redesign for 2015 and the lower priced end of the luxury market now has a tough new hot competitor.

The exterior design is the first to feature Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy and for my eyes it is a most attractive total makeover.

For the dough, you get a Genesis that is 196 inches long, 74.4 wide and 58.3 tall that rides on a 118.5 inch wheelbase with the three inch longer wheelbase adding to the comfort of rear seat passengers. In overall length, the Genesis is two inches longer than an Audi A6.

Here’s one way you can impress your neighbor. Find a safe place where you can make this Genesis do some deep breathing exercises, and watch the tach needle do a quick dance toward the red line of 6,500 rpm. Shifts are refined and smooth, your body gets more acquainted with the seat back, the engine emits a satisfying snarl, and your passenger’s first word should be “Wow.”

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Then tell them that this is not the 420 horsepower 5.0-liter V8 that Hyundai offers, but the 3.8-liter, 311 horsepower V6 with 293 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm that produces a 6.6 second run from a standing start to 60. OK, the big eight will cut 1.3 seconds off that but many will be very satisfied with its little brother.

The test Genesis came with All Wheel Drive, something that just might be worth considering now that the days are getting shorter, kids are heading back to school, and it won’t be long until we’re watching the NFL from the “frozen tundra” of some northern stadium. AWD is not offered with the V8.

Drivers can select Normal, Eco, Snow and Sport driving modes. Normal is about right for city driving, but Eco robs some of the power fun.

My fav, the Sport Mode, makes some changes to the steering, suspension, and transmission for more driving enjoyment and handling that was above what one might expect in a 4,295 pound luxury sedan. Yet it would not be wise to chase a Porsche Panamera down a country road.

EPA economy figures come to 16-25 mpg and I ended the week at 18.2 mpg on mostly country road and interstate travel. Hyundai said the six will run on regular fuel with only a small reduction in peak power and no negative driving effects.

The eight speed electronic automatic with manual shift mode was an excellent match and quick to kick down a gear of two when needed. If you are the DIY type, of course there are paddle shifts.

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Long drives will be something to look forward to with a more solid feel to the entire car partially through the use of high strength steel that results in a 16 percent stiffer torsional rigidity and 40 percent stiffer bending rigidity compared to the first generation model. If your eyes just glazed over, take it from me you will notice this out on the road.

There is also a new rear multi-link suspension and Lotus, of all firms, had a hand in designing the underpinnings.

If you really want to get tech minded, under the hood is a “triangular-pattern fuel injector” and a “variable-vane 2-stage oil pump for reduced parasitic losses.” Try that one around the old water cooler.

For long interstate travel occupants get to enjoy seats that are only seven light years ahead of any airline chair, and the Lexicon 17-speaker Logic 7 with 900 watts of power will almost make Willie Nelson sound younger.

The head up display can display almost an encyclopedia’s amount of facts. In addition to speed, there is cruise control status, navigation, Blind Spot Detection, Forward Collision Warning, and Speed Limit reminder. Coming next week, a reminder of when you are supposed to be home for dinner. Oops, nope. There’s already an app for that.

The car will send to your smartphone information on its “health status” and when maintenance is needed. In short, there is a seemingly endless list of information that the car and its computers can generate.

And then there is the matter of price. With $11,000 worth of options, the test car came in at a reasonable $52,400 including delivery.

That included three option packages. The $4,000 “Signature Package”, with sunroof, ventilated front seats, HD headlights, Blind Spot Detection with rear cross traffic alert, and power sunshades.

A 7” TFT LCD instrument cluster display, a too touchy lane departure warning, Smart Cruise Control with stop/start capability are some of the features in the included $3,500 Tech Package.

And for another $3,500 you get the “Ultimate Package” with Matte Finish wood and aluminum trim, head up display, power trunk lid, premium navigation with a 9.2 inch display, and the previously mentioned audio system.

In sum, there’s a lot to like here and for once that includes the price. Consumers looking for a luxury car that offers a driving experience somewhere between a BMW and a Lexus should absolutely take a new Genesis out for the test drive. If you take one home practice a good retort to this comment from passengers: “You said this is a Hyundai”?

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