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2011 Hyundai Genesis

Overview
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2011 Hyundai Genesis Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

After entering the U.S. market with an inexpensive (some might say cheap) subcompact car more than 20 years ago, Hyundai has continued a climb upscale. Recently, the brand took its most ambitious step in that direction ever with the introduction of the Hyundai Genesis, a luxury sedan with the amenities of vehicles costing thousands of dollars more. Though intended to compete against the likes of the Chrysler 300C, Lexus ES 350 and the Volkswagen CC, the new Genesis actually channels attributes of even more expensive models, like the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Powered by either advanced V6 or V8 engines, the rear-drive Genesis is filled with upscale items like adaptive front lighting, proximity key with push-button start and a truly amazing Lexicon 7.1 surround-sound audio system.

You'll Like This Car If...

We think you'll like the Genesis if you are less concerned about brand prestige and more concerned about the driving experience and the vehicle's feature set.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you seek the razor-sharp handling of the best of the German luxury brands, you may not be satisfied with the Genesis despite the fact that in V8 form it mimics them well.

What's New for 2011

Changes for 2011 are limited to the 4.6 model, which gains an additional 10 horsepower, a faster zero to 60 time (5.3 seconds vs. 5.7 seconds) and the addition of last year's Technology Package – navigation, Lexicon 7.1 Discrete surround sound audio, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlamps, heated and cooled front seats, front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera – as standard equipment.

Driving the Genesis

Driving Impressions While hard to distinguish from the outside except for their different wheels, the V6-powered Genesis 3.8 and the V8-powered Genesis 4.6 have different characters. The 3.8 offers 290 horsepower, which...

is plenty, and feels softer over the road and in hard cornering than its 385-horsepower near-twin. Both accelerate smartly, but we prefer the extra horsepower, taut feel and more responsive electro-hydraulic steering of the 4.6. Stopping is swift and sure thanks to large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist and electronic brake distribution (EBD). The brakes on the 4.6 models are especially notable – four-piston fixed-caliper front brakes with larger front rotors. Hyundai calls the Genesis a sports sedan, and while the 3.8-liter version might be a little soft to justify that, the V8-powered car lives up to it. The interior quiet during all types of driving is praiseworthy, and a sophisticated rear backup camera plus eight ultrasonic sensors located on the front and rear bumpers help detect how close objects are when parking.

Lexicon Audio System
The sound from this 7.1 Discrete audio system is not only powerful, it is beautifully nuanced – one of the best factory sound systems we've ever heard in a vehicle of any price. Auxiliary USB and iPod inputs allow drivers to fully control and charge iPods directly from the head unit.

Overall Interior
As noted before, the interior of the Genesis is truly outstanding. The extravagant use of genuine leather and wood plus meticulous fit-and-finish make for an interior worthy of a top luxury brand.

2011 Hyundai Genesis Details
Interior

To our practiced eyes the interior of the Hyundai Genesis is almost shockingly good. The leather-wrapped dashboard and steering wheel show levels of design and execution that would put many luxury-brand interiors to shame. The front seats are not only covered with rich leather but can be both heated and cooled as well. The rear seat area is equally well-finished and has ample head-, hip-, shoulder- and legroom. The design of the dash is simple, which makes operation of the climate control system easy. (Of course, with automatic temperature control, it doesn't take much fooling with.) Hyundai decided to emulate the European brands by using a joystick-type controller for navigation and audio functions, and that is a mixed blessing. Yes, you need master only one interface, but that interface isn't all that intuitive.

Exterior

Attractive though conservative and largely derivative are ways to describe the Hyundai Genesis's exterior. Its light but torsionally stiff body structure echoes styling motifs from several luxury brand competitors. The grille and front end evoke Mercedes-Benz, while the rear quarters complete with LED taillights pay homage to both BMW and Lexus. The judicious use of polished metal for items like window surrounds, door handles and the attractive wheels add a decidedly upscale feel. The overall exterior look is handsome but without much hint that this sedan is a Hyundai. However, the architecture does facilitate a laudable 52-percent/48-percent front/rear weight bias that aids both handling and ride.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In the Hyundai tradition the Genesis provides a rich assortment of standard features per dollar spent, including the handy proximity key with alarm and entry system; power windows with front auto-up/down with pinch protection; remote fuel door, hood and trunk releases; one-touch power tilt-and-slide sunroof; leather seats; woodgrain accented dash; Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone interface and USB/iPod auxiliary inputs. The wealth of safety items includes electronic stability control (ESC), advanced dual front airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, roof-mounted side curtain airbags for both front and rear outboard seat occupants, and electronic active head restraints.

Optional Equipment

For everyday enjoyment, the prime option is the Lexicon-branded audio system featuring LOGIC 7 technology which is optional on the V6 trim and standard on the V8. Rolls-Royce is the only other automotive brand to offer a Lexicon system, and the surround-sound, 11-channel, 17-speaker extravaganza that produces more than 500 watts is certainly of super-luxury-brand quality. It features both HD and XM satellite radio, and in navigation-equipped models it includes a 40-gigabyte hard drive and XM NavTraffic. Another key option on the V6 is the automatic front lighting system that allows the Xenon high intensity discharge headlights to swivel automatically for better visibility when cornering.

Under the Hood

We have nothing but good things to say about both engines available in the Genesis Sedan. For most drivers we think the 290-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 will be more than adequate, while offering slightly better fuel economy. But we can't help preferring the intoxicating power of the 4.6 liter V8, which is ably abetted by its six-speed automatic transmission. Happily, the fuel economy penalty is small. Both engines are rated to run on regular fuel, but premium gas gives the V8 a slight power and torque boost.

3.8-liter V6
290 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
264 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27

4.6-liter V8
385 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
333 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25

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2011 Hyundai Genesis Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 358 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

I love driving this car!!

By on Monday, November 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Sleek look fun to drive"

Cons: "Rear wheel drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Love this car. Pick up getting on highways fab and the sound system is awesome..worth every penny if you are into music. Only negative is rear wheel drive. Awful in snow. But new models are all wheel drive. Will definitely buy again"

Love it, leased it, bought it out.

By on Saturday, November 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Acceleration like knife cutting through butter"

Cons: "Seat is for short person"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Leased new in 2009. Had soft brakes 5 or 6 times. Told dealer could not find issue. Lease was up, I still bought it out because I loved the car. Brake recall came 12/2013 at 73,000. Took it to another dealer who completed work and also had Hyundai replace my engine with new one because of click, click, click on start up. Car rides smooth as silk. Love it still."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

My video 

Genesis on Highway from inside my Genesis

Best car I've ever owned.

By on Monday, November 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great car for a great price."

Cons: "People are always asking for some Grey Poupon."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The perfect car for me. I bought it new, after it sat in the dealer's lot, for a year. Because of this, I was able to negotiate a killer deal. A $45,000 car, for $32,000. I plan to keep it at least 10 years, so the resale value doesn't bother me."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great vehicle at an attractive price

By on Friday, November 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, great car, great performance."

Cons: "Limited view when backing up."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"A friend in the auto industry drives this car more than I. He owns or has owned top of the line vehicles and rates the Genesis right up there. The only fault (???) he observed was bouncing when going over extremely rough pavement. There are few cars that do not exhibit this trait. I have owned over 25 new cars (most top of the line)and I am well pleased with the Genesis. An identical Genesis gave well over 30 MPG on a long trip averaging 70 MPH most of the time."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Resale value is terrible.

By on Thursday, October 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,300

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Lots of bells and whistles"

Cons: "Resale value"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Bought a new Genesis at $45,000,wanted to trade it in but found out it is only worth $20,000. LOST OVER $25,000 IN 1 YEAR. Nice car, but terrible resale value,"

24 people out of 37 found this review helpful

Plenty of power, great MPG

By on Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Quality, power, fuel economy, warranty"

Cons: "OEM tires, depreciation rate"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I would highly recommend this car to anyone were it not for the high rate of depreciation I've experienced. A comparably equipped Honda Accord with the same mileage is worth about $4K more on a trade. If I were to do it over again, I'd still get the car, but a certified used one. I've owned three Hyundais and they've been very good and reliable, but I suppose some people still have the belief that they're cheaply made "throw-away" cars like they were in the 80's. That's too bad, they're really good cars now, and a great value if you hold onto them for a few years. BTW, I do plan on doing that. As far as the tires that came on the car, they're useless in the snow and get noisy after about 15k miles. Hyundai has since used another tire brand."

19 people out of 24 found this review helpful

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