The Genesis is a premium-level, rear-wheel drive, full-sized luxury sedan and the impetus for Hyundai creating its own luxury brand using the Genesis name. The Genesis is now the flagship model (called the G80) of the luxury brand and is in its second generation.
The Hyundai Genesis was introduced in the 2009 model year and was touted as a big step forward for the automaker, which had previously made its name by offering lower-cost, high-quality vehicles in compact and small car and crossover segments. The Genesis has always been noted for its sporty underpinnings including speed-sensitive steering and excellent weight distribution to aid road dynamics.
The first-generation Genesis was powered by 3.8-liter V6 or a 4.6-liter V8 engine. A six-speed automatic transmission was standard and 0-60 mph times of under 6 seconds are do-able in the V6 and of under 5.5 seconds are realistic in the V8 model. The first-generation Genesis received top honors for its safety as well. In 2012, a new R-Spec model with a 5.0-liter V8 was introduced. The six-speed transmission was upgraded to an eight-speed in that year as well. The 4.6L V8 was discontinued in the 2013 model year.
The second-generation Hyundai Genesis was introduced for the 2013 model year. A 3.3-liter and 3.8-liter V6 were offered and the 5.0L V8 was updated for the R series. The eight-speed automatic was retained, but upgraded to include manual shift mode in all models. Rear-wheel drive is still standard in the Genesis, but all-wheel drive was added as an option in most trim levels.
In both generations, the Genesis has received numerous awards in recognition of its styling, power, build quality, and more. It's been chosen as a "best buy" by many outlets as well. The Genesis was also the first Hyundai to ever receive the coveted North American Car of the Year award.
The 2015 Genesis has received multiple consumer complaints for electrical failures, most of which are warranty fixes. Some brake failures for the 2009 model year were also reported, resulting in a voluntary recall. The Genesis otherwise enjoys a solid reputation for reliability.
Chief competition for the Hyundai Genesis is mainly European sports sedans such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the BMW 5 Series. The Cadillac CTS is also a chief competitor, as is the Lexus GS series. Among these, the Genesis is generally more well-rounded as a sports sedan.
Test Drive Reviews
2015 Hyundai Genesis
We did not laugh when the first Genesis sedan arrived in 2008.
Why would we laugh at such a thing? It is our image of Hyundai being a mainstream automaker that used to make low priced cars with less-than-desirable quality and tepid performance. Though the company has reconciled by improving quality and employing a warranty to back that up, the image of Hyundai being more than a low-priced car line has never been completely forgiven by the consumer.
As the products improved, Hyundai's ambitions were raised. Why not sell a luxury car in our most important market? Why not, indeed!
The first Genesis sedan was indeed luxurious. It had an optional V8 with power equal to the Europeans and the Japanese. But, it did not go far to win over those same customers. How do you win them over? What will it take for a luxury car buyer to say "Hyundai" in the same sentence as...you name it?
It is by making a completely new car.
Enter the second generation Hyundai Genesis sedan! By taking the latest Fluidic Sculpture design language, and upping the ante in terms of equipment levels, active and passive safety and driving dynamics, the new Genesis has found new friends and advocates. It stands out even more. That alone will get a luxury car buyer to notice.
Has Hyundai cracked the luxury car code with this Genesis?