We drive the Hyundai Genesis 3.8 V6

2015 Hyundai Genesis
2015 Hyundai Genesis

The Hyundai Genesis was a significant car when it was introduced in 2009. It brought luxury to the masses by providing an alternative to the German brands at a significant discount. The 2015 Genesis brings some improvements to the second generation premium sedan.

The 2015 Genesis represents a bold step forward for Hyundai, continuing to build upon its successful strategy of marketing its premium models under the Hyundai brand umbrella, rather than a costly separate luxury brand sales channel. The new Genesis is incredibly well-equipped in every configuration, offering even more content than the first-generation Genesis. This additional content includes a generous suite of standard safety and convenience features. For the first time in a Hyundai sedan, an AWD system will be offered, known as HTRAC, significantly broadening Genesis appeal in Snowbelt regions.

The exterior of the new Genesis follows Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy. The all-new Genesis will be the first Hyundai to embody Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, the second-generation of this design theme. Overall, the exterior is similar to the old Genesis and does not look that much different. The new car has a long dash to axle length, longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs than its predecessor. The car is a bit more angular than the previous car which makes it look more aggressive.

A rather lavish interior
A rather lavish interior

The interior of the Genesis has always been a great place to be with lots of luxury features that pamper the occupants. The design team was given the task to redesign all primary controls to deliver maximum ease of use. The steering wheel design and grip has been improved as has some of the switchgear. Some of the switches that was originally in the center console area is now relocated. More effort has also been placed into reducing some of the reflections on some of the interior surfaces. All materials have been carefully gone through to make sure that they meet the standards set forth.

Under the hood of the Genesis is your choice of two engines. The top engine is the 5.0 liter V8 that produces 420 hp using direct injection and a very high 11.8:1 compression ratio. Our car came with the standard engine which is the 3.8 liter V6 which is also direct injected. This engine has been tuned for a flat torque curve at low rpm for better everyday driving. We immediately noticed that because the engine feels very strong when you pull away from a stop sign or want to get past a slower car. But we never stayed on it for long because this car is not a sports car and it worked great.

The engine tuning suits the personality of the car very well and we never found ourselves wishing that we had the V8 engine. The V6 engine produces 311 hp at 6000 rpm and will run on regular 87 octane fuel. The engine is mated to a super smooth 8 speed automatic transmission that also features paddle shifters for those wishing to change gears manually.

These days luxury means more than just leather interior. Buyers expect safety features as well and the Genesis has a lot of them. Hyundai offers Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) which tries to avoid collisions. With this system, Genesis will employ automatic braking whenever it detects another vehicle at an unsafe closing rate of speed. This system uses the smart cruise control system and the forward camera from the lane departure warning to provide this extra margin of safety.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]The system will provide full braking at speeds up to 50 mph and partial braking above that speed. Other features include a selectable Intelligent Drive Mode that the driver can select to alter transmission mapping, throttle response, stability control and suspension damping.

There are tons of other functions also included each with its own acronym such as Blind-Spot Detection system (BSD), which helps monitor traffic around the car, Lane Change Assist (LCA), Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA), High-beam Assist (HBA), and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS). These features are great but is it not the job of the driver to pay attention and do all of these functions?

When you finally get behind the wheel and are on the road, the first thing you will notice is the fantastic ride quality. The Genesis offers a fantastic ride on the worst roads so it is well suited to our well neglected roads. It is also supremely quiet even at speed. You can whisper to your passenger while you are cruising on the freeway. But chances are you will not be doing much talking and enjoying our favorite part of the Genesis which is the terrific audio system.

The Genesis has a very good sound system
The Genesis has a very good sound system

Genesis offers an ultra-premium, Lexicon Discrete Logic 7 Surround audio system with 17 speakers, Logic 7 Surround Sound processing and 12-channel digital amplifier with 900-watts of output. The system also includes SiriusXM radio, HD radio, and iPod/USB auxiliary media input jacks. The system is so good that it is very disappointing when you move from the Genesis to another car. Where the Genesis falls short is in handling. It is tuned to be comfortable but the price for that comfort is performance. Do not expect the Genesis to be a sports sedan because it does not like to be rushed.

The Genesis was a bargain back in 2009 and it is still a great deal. The base price for our entry level 3.8 liter V6 2WD sedan is $38,000. There are three major optional packages available. The first is the Signature package for $4000 which includes a panoramic moonroof, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, the aforementioned upgraded audio system, HID lights, and ventilated front seats.

The second package is the $3500 Technology package that includes ultra premium leather seats, smart cruise control, and all of the gadgets that do the driver’s job. The Ultimate package costs $3500 and includes the same audio system in the Signature package as well as wood and aluminum trim, full color heads up display, premium navigation system and more.

The Genesis is a great car that can challenge the best from anywhere in the world. It is not a performance car but it is a fantastic luxury car that will probably be more reliable that its European competition as well as significantly cheaper. It is roomy and comfortable and has tons of safety features. It is well worth considering and is a bargain at $38,000.

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