Thursday, October 09, 2008 Hyundai Genesis Sedan Test Drive 2009

While you were out jockin' M-B's, Lexus's and BMW's, a little Korean company called Hyundai was creepin' on the come up. Bet you didn't know they're now the 7th best selling automotive brand in the U.S., did you? Turns out a lot of Americans love low priced cars--who knew?

To celebrate, the company best known for econo-boxes is looking to go head to head with the big boys by introducing their new rear-wheel drive Genesis platform. Their first Genesis offering touching down in the states will be the amazingly priced 4.6 and 3.8 Sedan, followed later by the coupe. Hyundai threw Complex the keys and we took this recession special for a ride. Read the full review and check out a gallery below.

PRICE: $37,250

Engine: 375hp, 4.6L V8
MPG: 17 city/25 mpg

RIDE: Hyundai may bill the Genesis as a luxury sport sedan, but once behind the wheel there wasn't much sportiness to be found. Although the peppy V8 made it easy to go up against any other big body sedan on the road not rocking an "AMG" or "M" badge, whipping it through corners wasn't very confidence inspiring. The steering was a little unresponsive and numb. But that's not what the Genesis was made for. If you wanna get your Nurburg' on, get a sports car. The Genesis aspires to be more luxe than sport. Cruising at any speed feels like you're floating. Hop in the back and you might think you were in something with a six figure price tag. All that's missing are curtains. And the Cristal.

INTERIOR: Sleek and sophisticated. Hyundai realized the real indicator of a luxury car is the interior and made sure to pay extra attention to detail, and for the most part they succeeded in providing a high class experience. The leather and wood grain that wrap the steering wheel and dash felt as high grade as any other luxury brand. But the aluminum looking panel around the shifter and entertainment system felt cheap, and an analog clock would have been a better fit than the bargain basement digital joint they put in there.

AUDIO: Our model had the Technology package with a 40 gig hard drive, navigation system, and the Lexicon surround system with 17 speakers and 11 channel digital external amplifier, that knocked pretty well. A little more bass would have been perfect. The iDrive-esque controller worked well too. The tech package is well-rounded and you don’t need to study the instruction manual to use it.

WHIP APPEAL: Take the Hyundai badges off of this and it could be anything from a Lexus to a Mercedes. We'd rather push this than a Chrysler 300 or even a BMW 3 series. Driving it around, you definitely don't feel like you're in a Hyundai, and most people on the street didn't know it either until they get closer.

ONE MORE THING: Of course, for the low-low price tag, somethings are missing. While most luxury brands are implementing next generation safety features, Hyundai just rocks with traction control. The heated and cooled seats are pretty dope and lets not forget Hyundai's 10 year/100,000 warranty.

SUMMARY: The Genesis accomplishes a lot with a little. There are some hiccups, but for those looking for an entry luxury car, this is it. Rear wheel drive, luxe interior, powerful engine, good looks. It's all there.



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