Share This Article


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, Mar 15, 2009

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

By Roy Nakano To understand the significance of the Hyundai Genesis sedan, one must look at the evolution of another well-known Korean mark, Samsung. Once a me-to upstart, Samsung evolved into the maker of first-tier, top-rated electronics. Today, it's the most popular brand of high-definition flat screen monitors. Hyundai had similarly humble beginnings in this country. Lately, it's been known for very reliable, value-conscious vehicles. With the Genesis, however, we are talking breakthrough. In February, Consumer Reports said it's the best large upscale sedan they've ever tested, beating out such high-caliber offerings as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5-Series, the Lexus GS and ES, and the Acura RL and TL. And while some of these vehicles spiral upwards of $55-60,000, the Genesis carries a base price of a paltry $32,250.

Our test vehicle was fully loaded, having the benefit of an all-mighty 368-horsepower DOHC, 32-valve V8 and the Technology Package, which includes a 528-Watt, 17-speaker Lexicon Logic 7 Discrete 7.1 audio system with HD and satellite radio, six-DVD changer, integrated Bluetooth, rear backup camera, GPS navigation system, high-intensity discharge self-leveling headlights, an adaptive lighting system, front and rear parking assist sonar system, and air-conditioned seating. The 4.6 liter V8 Genesis has a number of standard features that are optional on the base model, including 18-inch wheels with P235/50R18 tires, chrome lower bodyside moldings, ultra-premium leather seating surfaces (as opposed to the non-ultra-premium variety), a beautifully stitched, leather-wrapped dash and door trim inserts, power glass sunroof with tilt and slide, a Lexicon® 14-speaker surround sound audio system with in-dash six-disc CD changer, illuminated door sill scuff plates, wood-trimmed leather steering wheel, electrochromic outside mirrors, a power rear sunshade, and rain-sensing wipers with an automatically defogging windshield. Having driven the base model, however, I can attest that the overall goodness of the Genesis shines through even on the least-expensive version. The 290-horsepower V6 on the base model is more than quick enough for virtually anyone other than quarter-mile drag racers (it is, in fact, as quick as the V8 from 0-to-60 mph). The six-speed Shiftronic provides the alternative of sequential manual shifting, offering sporty driving in all models if you so choose.

Even the base model comes with a cornucopia of standard features. In addition to the aforementioned Shiftronic automatic transmission, the standard equipment includes leather seating surfaces with heated and powered front seats, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel with audio controls an electroluminescent instrument cluster, proximity entry with electric push button start, dual front fully automatic HVAC, an interior electrochromic mirror with HomeLink® integrated transceiver and compass, AM/FM/CD/MP3/XM with iPod® / USB & Aux input jacks, a Bluetooth® hands-free phone system, Electronic Stability Control, front and rear seat-mounted side airbags, and roof-mounted side curtain airbags, electronic active front head restraints, fog lights, automatic headlights, acoustic laminated windshield and front side glass, and dual power heated body-colored side mirrors with turn signal indicators. The 17-speaker Lexicon discrete 7.1 surround sound system ranks as one of the best factory sound systems that money can buy. The premium Lexicon uses 11 channels to make the sound more life-like. Given the right source material, the Lexicon delivers a three-dimensionality that compares favorably to the best home theater systems. Even better than most movie theaters, the Lexicon uses its 17 speakers to keep the sound seamless as it moves from left to right or front to back. Lexicon uses what it calls Logic7 technology to make sure that a balanced sound stage can be heard in all seating positions.

There is very little in the way of criticism that can be thrown in the direction of the Genesis. One might accuse the design to be derivative, as there are body lines that remind one of Mercedes, BMW, and Infiniti. As a whole, however, it looks very balanced. And unlike some of its competitors, the front, sides, rear, and roof of the Genesis form a very cohesive design - as if it was all penned by the same artist. The driving experience of the Hyundai Genesis is also reminiscent of the global greats. While always comfortable, the car responds like the exemplary rear-wheel drive sport sedan that it is. Moreover, the car feels as solid as a rock and unusually quiet for a sedan with such sporting inclinations. Above all else, however, it's the quality of the car that shines through. The fit and finish of the interior surpasses anything near its price range. Inside and out, the hardware feels like its of the highest quality. At $32,250 for the base V6 and $37,250 for the V8, the Hyundai Genesis establishes a new benchmark for large, upscale sedans.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT After living with the Hyundai Genesis for the good part of a week, it's clear that this car company is going places - make room for another first-tier brand. For more information about Hyundai products, go to  For LA Car's review of the Lexicon discrete 7.1 premium audio system in the Genesis, click here

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: Hyundai Genesis sedan Price: $32,250 (V6 base model) $37,250 (V8 model) $41,250 (as tested, V8 with Technology Package) EPA mileage rating 18 mpg/city and 27 mpg/highway 17 mpg/city and 25 mpg/highway Engine: 4.6 liter 32-valve DOHC V8 with CVVT Horsepower: 368 at 6550 rpm (375 at 6550 rpm with premium fuel) Torque: 324 pound-feet at 4500 rpm (333 pound-feet at 4500 rpm with premium fuel) Transmission: 6-speed automatic with shift interlock and SHIFTRONIC® Drive configuration: Rear-wheel drive Suspension: Multi-link (5) independent front suspension Multi-link (5) independent rear suspension Brakes: Ventilated front disc / solid rear disc brakes Includes Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), four-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) Dimensions: Length: 195.9 inches Width: 73.4 inches Height: 58.3 inches Curb Weight: 4006 pounds

You Might Also Like These Articles:

image of Tesla factory

Top 4 Car Recalls in 2024

image of a person working on a car at a mechanic shop

The Risks to Your Tires When Shipping a Car

two cars on a road

Breaking Down the Statistics

the inside of an engine

Horsepower Meets Actual Horses

vintage car parked with the sundown in the background.

Vintage Cars, High Stakes