Written by: Calvin Chan
Photography by: Calvin Chan
I'd buy one. Seriously, if I were in the market for a mid-size luxury sedan, the Hyundai dealership would be my first stop. I have a weak spot for sleeper cars - subtle but sharp vehicles where only the aficionado would spot the difference. I like cars that mask their true capabilities and make people question what it is and who it's made by. The Hyundai Genesis is one of those cars.
Throughout my week testing the 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Luxury, I've been bombarded with endless inquiries: "Whoa what car is that? It looks like an exotic. Aston Martin? Bentley?" - I've heard it all, and when I patiently reply with "Oh, it's a Hyundai," they laugh as if I'm making fun of their vehicular inadequacies. When I reassure them that it's not a joke, their once joyful facial expressions turn somber and grim. "You, you serious? That can't be. How much?" are the following questions that come out of their mouths. I tell them it starts at $43,000. Doubt and further interrogations ensue.
I don't blame them. What Hyundai is calling their "Fluidic Sculpture 2.0" design language on the new Genesis makes me swoon every time I see it. The styling cues and pleasing body shapes are so distinctive and refreshing that it feels more like a piece of art than an automobile. The front hexagonal grill screams Aston Martin and Ford Fusion but the Genny wears the copyright boldly and with enthusiasm. It's a shame that Ontario law requires vehicles to adorn a front license plate. The Genesis would look even better without one - let's move to Quebec?
The Genesis offers a fresh take on a modern interior - a sight for sore eyes that have begun to consider "regular" German styled interiors as stale and boring throughout their respective lineups. You sit nice and low in the Hyundai, the seats are incredibly well bolstered and comfortable, and the cabin is silent as a church. Hard buttons are tastefully arranged throughout the center console, and though there's a lack of a center rotary dial to control all the tech (only found in the higher trims), the touchscreen isn't all that hard to use. Besides, the driver has all the buttons he/she needs on the beautiful but lean four-spoke steering wheel.
I've said it in previous reviews but the Genesis has the best interior lighting in the business. Better than the Germans actually. The LEDs are vibrant but easy on the eyes, and they bring out the rich and creamy colour of the beige leather in the dark. Call me shallow, but I really enjoy the bare porous wood spread across the dashboard. It's better looking than veneer in my opinion and it feels nice when you run your hands along those tree line imperfections.
Even though our Genesis Luxury tester sits in on the lower-end of the spec sheet, it comes with a staggering amount of standard options: front and rear parking sensors, navigation, 12-way adjustable front seats, heated and power-folding side mirrors, push-button ignition, keyless entry, a 14-speaker Lexicon surround sound system, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a rear view camera, panoramic sunroof, man I could go on and on but I'll just link you to Hyundai's option page.
Now, you know when you're driving along to work and it starts raining. You're fumbling around with the steering-column mounted stalk to adjust the wipers but can't actually see what wiper setting you're on because the wheel is always blocking the way. Well, this happens to me all the time and to get the perfect wiper speed and adjustment, it takes me a few bouts of trial and error. One feature I love about the Genesis is that when you flick the wiper stalk, the driver's display will actually tell you what wiper mode you are on: Off, Auto, Low, or High. You might laugh and think that it's strangely trivial but it goes a long way in my book.
There are two engines available with the 2015 Genesis, a 3.8-litre V6 and a 5.0-litre V8. Our tester was equipped with the V6 and there was never a moment in time when I thought I would need more power. The six-pot delivers an output of 311 horsepower and 293 lb-ft - more than enough if you ask me, leaving the V8 obsolete and a waste of fuel. The engine's relationship with the 8-speed automatic transmission is chemical and smooth. You won't even notice when the gears change. HTRAC, Hyundai's all-wheel drive system, also comes standard on the Genesis no matter what trim you choose on the ladder.
Surprisingly, the engine sounds bigger than it really is and under heavy throttle, it feels more like a small displacement V8. Some colleagues of mine have found the steering a bit too numb and dissociated but I've experienced quite an exceptional amount of weight dialed in. For me, the steering feels nimble and on point especially in Sport Mode when the entire chassis stiffens up for a cleaner ride. The brakes are unfortunately on the pillowy side.
The looks are there, the ride quality is there, but the fuel efficiency is a bit of a weak point with the new Genesis. We've managed 12.8 L/100km with a mix of both highway and city driving. It's not terrible but it's not amazing either. That certainly makes us wonder how the Genesis would fare if it came with a 4-cylinder model slotted right below the six.
If you're in the market for a mid-size luxury sedan, chances are the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class are also in your crosshairs. It's just a shame that not many buyers are aware of Hyundai's hidden treasure trove of goodies found in their Genesis. They need to let more people sit in their cars because if they don't experience the "wow" and surprise factor that the Genesis undoubtedly provides, it's just going to be another Hyundai. The Genesis has so much potential but it's also up to the buyers to see that. It all comes down to sweet persuasion and detachment from brand name associations. Hyundai knows that, and that's the reason why you won't see any actual Hyundai badges on the car. They've all been replaced by the winged Genesis logo.
The dynamics, the ride quality, and the luxurious amenities are all on par with the Germans, but the Genesis is offered at a fraction of the price. If you brand names mean nothing to you and if you want the right amount of affluence in your vehicle without the flaunting that often follows, well let me tell you something: you're a click away from your nearest Hyundai dealership. Sit in it, drive it, and experience it. Even if you leave the showroom empty handed, I guarantee you'll have a new outlook on the Genesis. Here, I'll even Google it for you and meet ya' there.
型号 Model: 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Luxury
顏色 Paint Type: Manhattan Brown
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $48,000
試車售價 Price as Tested: $48,000
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 3,010
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,990 / 1,890 / 1,480
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,948
引擎 Engine: 3.8L GDI DOHC V6
最大馬力 Horsepower: 311 hp @ 6,000 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 293 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 8-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, HTRAC All-Wheel-Drive
前懸 Suspension-Front: Multi-link
後懸 Suspension-Rear: Multi-link
煞制-前 Brakes-Front: Vented disc
煞制-後 Brakes-Rear: Solid disc
油耗 Fuel Consumption (City/Highway/Combined)- L/100 km: 14.4 / 9.4 / 12.1
輪胎尺碼 Tires: P245/45R18