Danielle Villeneuve

The Executive is in Town: 2013 Hyundai Genesis R-Spec

There is nothing quite like the combination of luxury and power. After seeing the Hyundai Genesis R-Spec commercial, I eagerly awaited the opportunity to drive this stately, well-appointed but “track-worthy” car. Like the window sticker says, the “Genesis offers an unprecedented combination of performance, luxury, efficiency, and value.” Hyundai touches on some of these elements more than others, but one thing you can count on is feeling like an executive in the Genesis R-Spec.

Hyundai Genesis 1

The Titanium Gray Metallic exterior color with black leather interior fits the stately personality of the Genesis perfectly, but it hides the chrome accents and added R-Spec detailing. Visual R-Spec cues are limited to the rear badging and carpeted floor mats. What’s missing? A sport steering wheel as well as sport seats which would be more appropriate and something one would expect from a sport line sedan. The steering wheel was far too luxurious for a car that is branded as a Porsche Panamera contender. However, the R-Spec does get a sport tuned multi-link suspension which proved to be useful and not hinder its comfort.  That also meant that it didn’t completely deliver on the performance front.

Our tester’s interior packed quite a punch—loaded with technology and top quality materials. Everything you came into contact with felt grade A. The majority of the interior surfaces are wrapped in leather, from the door panels to the large dashboard. The Lexicon 17-speaker audio system is by far one of the best I have come across. The audio interface is relatively easy to navigate after spending a little time with it. It is remarkably similar to BMW’s iDrive system.

Hyundai Genesis 3

Unlike the lesser trim Genesis 3.8, R-Spec gets all features included as standard. This lines the console with buttons that will do just about everything for you, except the driving. A feature that I found quite useful and that is becoming increasingly popular is the automatic vehicle hold. It is especially great for a fatigued leg after a long day in heels. In some cases it’s the small details that matter most and set a vehicle apart from the others.

The fuel economy is not exceptionally noteworthy, but it is to be expected from a 5.0L V8 engine, with an output of 429 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. We averaged about 19 miles per gallon for the week. It was also a relatively quiet engine; it wasn’t until I reached about 4500 RPMs that I could really hear the engine perk up and enter its true element. As with any V8 engine, it is next to impossible to make them sound “bad.” One major performance setback was the tires.  The entire team felt that the car was let down that the “performance model” wasn’t fitted with performance tires.  They weren’t nearly as effective as they should have been, largely because they were too eco-friendly.

Hyundai Genesis 2

All in all, the Genesis R-Spec opens Hyundai up to an audience looking for a sport performance feel while maintaining all the added creature comforts that many want in a luxury sedan. Hardcore sport sedan fans will be disappointed, especially since Hyundai themselves targeted Porsche in their advertising.  With some added sport line details, this is quite the contender in the luxury sedan market. With a few more tweaks, it could break into the luxury sport sedan marketplace.  It carries itself with authority and proves its executive title inside and out.

-Danielle Assenheimer

2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec
Destination Charge $875
As Tested MSRP $47,675


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