Roseville, CA- Noticing my latest ride in a nearby parking space, a co-worker checked out the 2016 Hyundai Genesis and said – “What car is that? It’s really stylish.”
Stylish indeed! Although Hyundai doesn’t place the so-called “luxury” tag on its vehicles, there’s no doubt that the Genesis could legitimately slip into that category among midsize sedans.
There’s no question that established luxury brands like the BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A-6, and Lexus GS 350 are in an elite class. But thanks to its elegant, modern look, and ample performance, the Genesis is quite an impressive sedan and can definitely be considered a luxury vehicle.
Redesigned for 2015, the five-passenger Genesis features a roomier cabin, improved engines, better fuel economy, additional entertainment options, and offers all-wheel drive (V6 only) for the first time. The only thing new for 2016 are high intensity discharged headlights and LED daytime running lights are now standard features.
Sized between a midsize and full-size sedan, the Genesis has been compared to the Audi A-7 in the looks department. It possesses a sophisticated exterior with long lines that should make it appealing to young car buyers, which is exactly the Hyundai game plan. Added in the redesign were a new grille and the distinctive Genesis badge on the hood. The rear is virtually unchanged.
It’s not like the Genesis came out of nowhere. It debuted in 2008 as a very appealing sedan. However, the original Genesis engine was somewhat pokey and the handling mediocre. Even with its modest price tag and drivetrain (10 years/100,000 miles) guaranty, the Genesis needed improvements because sales weren’t very good.
2016 Hyundai Genesis
- Performance: 3.8-liter, V-6, 311 horsepower; 5.0-liter, V8, 420 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 23-29 mpg; 15-18 mpg
- Price: $38,750 to $53,850
- Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain 10 years/100,000 miles; corrosion 6 years/unlimited; roadside assistance 5 years/unlimited
Hyundai initially addressed the Genesis’ deficiencies in 2012 and added to its credentials a year ago. And the result now is a pretty cool car that provides a lot of bang for the buck, still a trademark of the South Korean auto manufacturer.
The Genesis offers that fun factor where tight turns can be taken much faster. Thanks to a retuned suspension and chassis, it’s quite adept on a challenging country road with S turns, or in highway situations.
Both Genesis engines have rear-wheel drive and are partnered with an 8-speed automatic transmission. It has two engines, one of them a high-powered 5.0-liter, V8 that produces 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque.
Despite the V8’s superior power, some industry experts prefer the more modest priced V6 version that was test driven here – 3.8-liter, that generates 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque – because it still provides impressive performance and is much better on gas mileage (23-29 vs. 15-18 mpg for the V8). Speaking of mileage, both versions of the Genesis come up short when compared to its luxury vehicle competition.
Inside, the Genesis provides a solid and smart instrumentation panel that won’t have its owners diving into the manual for instructions. A sprinkling of wood trim gives it an upscale look. The seating is comfortable and roomy for all five people. Trunk space is generous with 15.3 cubic feet and a wide opening that’s very accommodating.
Starting at approximately $39,000 and rising to a high of around $54,000, the Genesis remains a great buy. It doesn’t possess the cache of its high-end luxury competitors, but its appealing looks and terrific performances will have friends admiring your choice of vehicles.