The transformation from the previous generation to the all-new 2015 Hyundai Genesis is eye opening. Exactly a year ago, I had just completed a week in the 2013 Hyundai Genesis R-Spec. That Genesis, the first generation, was awash in luxury features but didn’t quite live up to the R-Spec badge. When this new car first arrived, I had to ask myself, “Is this really a Hyundai Genesis?” With a complete exterior and interior redesign, Hyundai has re-upped into the luxury sedan market. But they haven’t just improved the Genesis’ comfort and technology. For the first time, the Genesis is a sport sedan. And it is a good one.
For 2015, the overall dimensions of the Genesis has remained the same, but the wheelbase has been stretched almost 3 inches. Not only does this improve legroom for rear passengers, it lessens the car’s overhangs for better stability and an improved ride. All three factors are big advantages in the luxury mid-size segment. Compared to competitors like the Lexus GS and Cadillac CTS, the Hyundai is longer and wider. The added size means the Genesis is now rated as a large sedan according to EPA class. This mean’s best-in-class passenger volume and cargo volume only bested by the new Mercedes E-Class.
The interior of the Genesis is exceptional with an elegant yet simple design. The first thing I noticed was the natural wood trim – and unlike some vehicles, it was genuine wood. Our tester came fully loaded with the Ultimate Package. That means it contained a series of packages that add every feature and option imaginable. Part of the Tech Package, the upgraded leather with the contrast piping, made for a classy and comfortable interior. Heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, an integrated memory system, and a superb Lexicon Audio System are all included. The revised center stack is organized with a simple array of buttons to compliment the 9.2″ touchscreen display. These features run up the as-tested price, but the new Hyundai Genesis still rang in $10,000 cheaper than the equally-equipped Lexus GS350 AWD we tested.
The new Genesis has a more athletic appearance compared to the previous generation. It’s less bulbous, with better defined lines and more chiseled sides. As Chris mentioned when he first drove the new Hyundai Genesis in April, there’s definitely some Lexus and Audi in the design. Not to say that’s a bad thing – they make some great looking cars. The 3.8 HTRAC includes 18-inch alloy wheels and, with the Signature Package, a panoramic sunroof and auto-leveling HID headlights. Unfortunately, the 3.8 doesn’t get the LED running lights in the lower fascia.
One of the biggest introductions for 2015 is the Genesis’ optional all-wheel-drive system, available with only the V6. At last, the Genesis is a viable contender in all climates. The 3.8 liter V6 has an output of 311 hp and 293 lb-ft, which is quite sufficient. But if you’re all about the power and don’t mind losing the all-wheel drive, opt for the 5.0L V8. Hyundai has included a drive mode selector to adjust the steering, throttle and transmission settings. And for those that crave an ECO mode, it has one of those too. While some may harp on gas mileage, I find it to adequate for its size and weight. During the course of a week, we averaged just about 19 mpg, putting it right on target for combined city and highway driving.
The supreme comfort and ride quality is outstanding and quite possibly the best in its class. While the 3.8 models aren’t fitted with the adaptive suspension found in the 5.0 model, the Genesis is still an adept handler. The chassis and suspension tuning, with a little help from Lotus, is spot on. It’s a big, comfortable car that provides honest feedback and control. The change in demeanor from the previous generation is staggering. If you go back and read our original Genesis review, you’ll note that we didn’t spend a lot of time talking about handling. Frankly, that’s the old Genesis didn’t handle. It was soft and disconnected. This car is miles better. It may be the most improved car of 2015.
The 2015 Hyundai Genesis has grown up significantly. With the previous generation Genesis, Hyundai was kicking off a movement to change consumers’ perception of the brand. With this new Generation, they’ve refined the message. This isn’t a stodgy old sedan. It’s younger, more tech savy, more versatile, and definitely much more fun to drive. Luxury and sport, all dressed up in a unique and stylish exterior.
|2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 HTRAC
|3.8 Signature Package||$4,000|
|3.8 Tech Package||$3,500|
|3.8 Ultimate Package||$3,500|
|As Tested MSRP||$52,450|
Gallery from our First Drive: