This car would’ve been unimaginable just 10 years ago, a large luxury sedan from Hyundai with rear wheel drive and a V8 option. Back in 1998, I was test driving a three-door Accent with the appeal of a holiday fruit cake. But since the Korean car makers have flipped all the right switches and pushed all the right buttons which leads us to the all-new 2009 Hyundai Genesis.
I've got the V6 model known as the Genesis 3.8, that V6 is as sophisticated as the rest of the Genesis with continuously variable valve timing and both the intake and exhaust valves and a variable intake system which allows the engine to breath more efficiently whether the revs the down or up.
Output is 290 horsepower and 264 pound feet of torque deliver through a six-speed auto. This is a more advanced version of the V6 found in than Veracruz and it's a refreshingly powerful motor which is also clean and fuel efficient. Acceleration to 60 miles per hour occurs in a very brisk 6.2 seconds, yet it garners ultra low emission vehicle status and an EPA rating of 18 city and 27 highway.
If there is one criticism here, it's that the sounds emanating from the engine bay are less than pleasing though the cabin while not Lexus quite is serene enough for effortless conversation. I did notice a lot of clicking noise from road debris in the wheel wells however.
The Genesis is a large car with generous interior proportions and a trunk car for family vacations that exudes quality and attention to detail with a gracious demeanor inviting lengthy travels. And as for the driver seat, it's the most comfortable point of command my backside has ever experienced. The contour of the backrest makes for unbeatable lumbar support. As part of the $3000.00 premium plus package, there is a choice leather wrap dash, a cool driver seat, a 14-speaker premium sound system with XM, sunroof, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, memory settings for the driver, rain sensing wipers, a power rear sun shade, front and rear park assist, HID headlamps with adaptive lighting and beautiful 18 inch alloy wheels.
It has all the modern luxury of coucher man’s, but I was surprised to open the door to this $36,000.00 car and not see a navi in here. You can't get one unless you opt for the $7000.00 technology package. Yikes! And the Bluetooth systems buttons are positioned awkwardly up here and it doesn’t mute the stereo on incoming calls. It feels like it was an afterthought.
But with those exceptions, Hyundai didn’t skimp on the Genesis. It's lavish and strikes a pose not unlike a BMW 5 series. The high-tech suspension again is a testament to Hyundai’s elite aspirations.
It provides a great ride quality with confident big car control but it's not going to carve up the road like a beamer, athletic maneuvers are still in the junior varsity realm. But the Genesis provides some new blood in the dawn of conspicuous consumption where consumers are spending less without downgrading their expectations.
It's an excellent car which will also spawn a Coupe for 2010.