2015 Hyundai Genesis – Real Deal, or Korean Pretender?

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When Hyundai first launched its RWD “Genesis” line of coupes and sedans a few years ago, they gave off the same kind of vibe that Hyundais have always given off. Which is to say that Hyundais offered lots of features and seemed like nice cars “for the money”, but fared poorly in more subjective evaluations- feeling cheaper and less “put together” than their competition from Honda and Toyota. The new for 2014 Hyundai Genesis 3.8, however, is a nice car.

See what I did there?

 

2015 Hyundai Genesis | It’s Really Good


The 2015 Hyundai Genesis is a good car. One that is capable of being lined up alongside cars wearing Lexus or Acura badges, even, and going toe-to-toe with them in subjective terms like “niceness” and “how it drives”.

Having driven the last generation Hyundai Genesis sedans and coupes, I can tell you that Hyundai has made a massive, almost inconceivable leap forward in terms of understanding how to build subjective value into its new cars. The difference between Hyundai’s previous Genesis and this one is nothing short of staggering.

Which, come to think of it, sounds a little familiar.

Looking through my notes from last summer’s Hyundai Sonata preview, I find many of the feelings I had about the Genesis echoed during my preview drive of its little brother, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco.

I loved the little Eco’s honesty. The low price mated to rubber and plastic bits that weren’t afraid to be rubber and plastic bits won me over totally, and the driving dynamics of the car impressed both me and my co-driver from Victory and Reseda, who said “this car would make a great long-distance road tripper” at least three times during our adventure across the Indiana dunes and deep into Michigan Wolverine territory.

The Genesis, also, lacks pretense. It also lacks a Hyundai badge on its nose (which may or may not be pretentious), leading one of my car-curious neighbors to ask if it was, one by one, an Audi, a Buick, or an Aston Martin. Not bad for a car that was, twelve months ago, a stylistic also-ran. At best.

 

2015 Hyundai Genesis | It Really Does Have Lots of Features


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That’s not just a press photo up there- that’s what really happens when you hit the Genesis’ key fob. It really does project an image of the Hyundai Genesis logo onto the ground next to the car. Really. I s*** you, not. Now, exactly why anyone in their right mind would want their car to beam its logo onto the ground alongside their car is totally beyond me (maybe the arguments “for” such a thing make sense in Korean?), but this ridiculous feature does serve to highlight another aspect of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata’s personality: it has all the features.

Did I say “all” the features? Because, I really meant ALL the features.

This car has power adjustable heated and cooled seats front and rear, a heated steering wheel, nav, panoramic sunroof, basic auto-drive functionality, excellent app and phone integration- even Hyundai’s own version of OnStar. I honestly can’t think of a consumer feature another car has that you can’t at least get on the 2015 Hyundai Genesis, and I probably wouldn’t want it, anyway.

Also, it’s fast, you guys. Way faster than you think it’ll be and way faster than any 3.8 liter V6 that’s not in a Buick GNX has any right to be (or, at least, feel), especially when you consider that this big, heavy, luxurious sedan is also getting back 29 MPG highway on a bad day (I averaged just over 30 MPG, when I tried). So, feel free to add both “fast” and “frugal” to the list of features on Hyundai’s already imposing laundry list of features- and don’t forget that 10 year “Assurance” warranty, either.

 

2015 Hyundai Genesis | Final Thoughts


What we have in the 2015 Hyundai Genesis, then, is a fast, capable luxury sedan that is content with being a luxury sedan. It doesn’t try to be a sports car, like BMWs do. It doesn’t try to be a muscle car, like Mercedes do. It doesn’t even really try to be a cushy pseudo-limo in the spirit of the old Lincoln Town Cars.

Instead, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis occupies a niche once owned by upmarket brands like Buick and Oldsmobile, before Olds went away and dimwits like Bob Lutz decided that every car ever made had to have sportinng ambitions. It’s just trying to be a nice car, in other words … and it’s very, very good at being a nice car.

 

Original content from Gas 2, with images provided by Hyundai.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.