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NOT JUST ANOTHER MANIC HYUNDAI
Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Sep 1, 2013

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

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A different kind of manic Hyundai

By Reed Berry As I think back to the first Hyundai automobiles to arrive in the United States in the 1980s, or the no-frills Hyundai Pony I rented on a trip to Canada about the same time, two words I never expected to use in the same sentence are “Hyundai” and “luxury.” Meaning no disrespect but, seriously, the original Hyundai products were to the automotive world what Timex is to wristwatches – a dependable product that sells well as a result of budget pricing but certainly not the gold standard. Nearly 30 years later, despite the fact that many people still can’t even pronounce the name of the company correctly (it rhymes with Monday), Hyundai has become one of the premier automotive brands in the U.S. I can honestly say that the car I’m currently driving does indeed allow me to use Hyundai and luxury in the same sentence, as well as the words bold, sporty and powerful. The 2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec is one great looking car.

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This price tag on this car is just under $50,000. I don’t claim to be a psychic but I know what you’re thinking: “$50,000 for a Hyundai?” Instead, think of it as $50K for a neatly dressed, fully loaded luxury sedan. When I road test any car, one of the first things I do is look at the list of standard features and then check to see how many bougie options have been added to impress me. Surprisingly, everything – and I mean everything – in this vehicle comes standard, including your first full tank of gas. No pricey additional equipment has been added. Okay, I’m impressed. So far. The bold, stylish exterior comes as no surprise. One area in which Hyundai now seems to shine is body styling. Over the years, they have graduated from boxy not-too-exciting little sedans to a “fluidic sculpture” design philosophy that results in vehicles with smooth, flowing lines that really catch one’s attention. This car is quite handsome from front to back, and the 19-inch alloy wheels help blend sportiness with luxury.

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As I enter the car, a good thing just got better. I love the interior of this car. Of course, everyone has their own taste, but I find the interior both comfortable and visually appealing. Nothing is more luxurious than rich, supple leather and there is certainly plenty of it in this car, from the seating surfaces and steering wheel to the dash and door trim. The seats are heated for comfort and the driver’s seat is cooled. The dash and center console have a stylish, sculpted appearance. As I press the car’s start button, a soft musical greeting plays which seems quite pleasant now but could become a little annoying if I owned this car and heard it regularly. Another thing that could get old fairly fast is a safe driving notice that appears on the 8-inch display to which you must agree each time you start the car. Pushing the multimedia controller button on the console clears the safety notice from the screen so you may avail yourself of other entertainment features and navigation functions.

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Speaking of entertainment, there’s no lack of it in this car. There is an awesome sounding 17-speaker Lexicon sound system with AM, FM, satellite radio (subscription required after three months) plus a CD / DVD player. Open the center console armrest and there is a power outlet as well as an auxiliary jack and iPod connectivity. The navigation system is acceptable, but I find this particular system a little more complicated to familiarize myself with and more cumbersome to use than those in other vehicles I’ve driven. I have no difficulty, however, navigating my finger to the start button. I want to see what this car can do. The car sounds quite impressive based on its specifications, but everything looks good on paper. I’m more interested in real world performance. Starting the vehicle, I hear the purr of a powerful engine. As I shift the car into reverse, an image appears on the video display from the vehicle’s back-up camera and the rear-view mirrors on each side of the vehicle automatically lower a bit for safe backing.

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As I shift into drive and press the gas pedal, I can certainly feel what’s under the hood. This car has a 5.0-liter 429-horsepower V8 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, an intelligent and efficient combination that results in hesitation-free acceleration and silky smooth shifting. Weighing in at around 4,100 pounds, one might think that this car would be a little unwieldy based on its size, but I’m actually quite impressed by its solid road feel and responsiveness. Like many new cars and most in its class, Genesis is equipped with electronic stability control with traction control and an anti-lock braking system. When you factor in sport tuned multi-link suspension, it’s easy to understand why the car handles as well as it does. As I make my way through Venice on the way to Santa Monica for a visit to my favorite chicken and waffle eatery, a number of inattentive drivers on the road have turned my pleasant drive into more of an obstacle course but the agility of this car allows me to safely maneuver around the texters and unsafe lane changers.

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As the sun sets and I turn on the lights, I notice another interesting feature of this car. Genesis has an Adaptive Front Lighting System for increased visibility and safety. What this means is that as you turn the car, this unique lighting system adjusts the path of the headlights to match your turning angle. Why didn’t anyone think of this sooner? Well, actually, they did. The 1948 Tucker Sedan had a similar feature. I guess it proves the saying ‘everything old is new again.’ As for safety, Genesis has you well covered. In addition to an array of air bags throughout, there is a lane departure warning system that alerts you with a light and chime if the vehicle starts to drift out of the lane without activation of the turn signal. Should you be rear-ended by an errant driver, Genesis has electronic active front head restraints that move forward instantly to provide protection against whiplash injuries. The 2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec is sporty, luxurious, fun, fast and spacious. This car really has a lot going for it, but one must wonder if it would attract the attention of someone with their heart set on a high-performance European luxury sedan. I doubt if someone loyal to the Mercedes or BMW brands would jump the fence to buy a Hyundai but, after some quality time behind the wheel, I can honestly say that this reasonably priced feature-packed luxury sedan is certainly worthy of their consideration. For more information on Hyundai vehicles: www.hyundaiusa.com

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SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec Price: MSRP: $46,800 EPA fuel economy ratings (miles per gallon): 16 city/ 25 highway Engine type: 5.0-liter V8 32-valve DOHC V8 Horsepower: 429 @ 6,400 rpm (premium fuel) 421 @ 6,400 rpm (regular fuel) Torque: 376 @ 5,000 rpm (premium fuel) 365 @ 5,000 (regular fuel)

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Transmission type: 8-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive Steering: Electro-hydraulic power steering Suspension: 5-link virtual kingpin axis with SACHS amplitude selective dampers Brakes: Ventilated front disc; solid rear disc; anti-lock brakes Wheels: 19-inch premium machine-finish alloy wheels Dimensions Overall length: 196.3 inches Overall width: 74.4 inches Overall height: 58.3 inches Curb weight: 4,046–4,154 pounds

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