Thursday, January 8, 2015

A new beginning: Hyundai's reworked Genesis

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo reviews of the latest motor vehicle models also can be seen on The Sacramento Bee’s website at

This review originally appeared in the November 2014 edition of the Northern & Central California Cruisin’ News published out of Folsom, California – mg

Sacramento, California Way back when, the Hyundai Genesis was a car few – me included – believed the South Korean automaker could have built.

Luxury to the max.  Dripping with appealing comfort/convenience features.  Able to turn heads in a single parking lot.

And now, a new beginning.  The extensively reworked 2015 Genesis sedan is better in every way than the previous generation.

I did not need a press release to figure this out.  When I walked up to the tested 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8, it bore little resemblance to the Genesis cars of recent years past.  The grille seems to have doubled in size, now resembling something of Bentley-like proportions.  The design is also much smoother and aerodynamic over the top, a wind-cutting machine for sure.

Hyundai calls this “Fluidic Sculpture 2.0,” but my simple brain boiled it down to: “Wow, this Genesis looks sharp.”

The good feelings remained climbing into the cockpit, where I was greeted by a thoughtful layout of controls amid a cabin both luxurious and comfortable.  Some of the features blew me away: 12-way power front seats, a blizzard of high-tech safety features and puddle lamps that project the image of the Genesis logo on the street with you hit the key fob.

That last feature drew open-mouthed stares from passersby and curious neighbors in the twilight hours.

The tester was dressed up to tuxedo levels with plush, techy extras that brought the bottom line on the sticker to around $50,000.  Pricey, you say, but I’m telling you this reshaped Genesis sedan looks, smells and quacks like a Lexus of equivalent value.

Drives like one too.  Putting the rear-drive Genesis tester through its paces was not a chore, but a pleasure.  Acceleration from the 3.8-liter, 311-horsepower V-6 was forceful, but not a noisy experience.  High speed felt smooth and buttery.  A sport-tuned suspension was a road-hugging joy, and the sedan dug in and climbed steep hills with comparatively little effort.

Speaking of hill climbing, I saw multiple fellow motorists gawking at me as I blew past them on particularly challenging ascents.  That’s not unusual.  What is unusual that I was blazing along at maybe half-throttle.   I’m not into auto snobbery, but I confess: It felt really good.

I almost put a sign in the back window: “Follow me to see my puddle lights.”  Alas, I thought that would be a bit much.

Fuel mileage on the Genesis is fair at 18 miles per gallon in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

You can’t have too much good stuff, but personally, I would have taken this Genesis, sans extra goodies, for the starting price of $38,000 and been perfectly happy.  And yes, I’m a sucker for good looks, which this Genesis has.

Overall, a former “B-plus” car gets a solid “A” grade in its new skin.

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