By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
290 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
264 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27
385 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
333 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25
By Sharkfan on Thursday, August 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, fast, surprising"
Cons: "No brand cache. "You sold a Porsche for a Hyundai"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Sold my Porsche Boxster S and Porsche Cayenne Turbo and bought Genesis. To heck with brand cache. I loved the Boxster and had problems with the Cayenne. Friends asked if I was in financial difficuly. No, I just needed a better car for new job with much driving. Genesis has been awesome and truly a surprise. My first Asian car and it has been great to drive, no issues, fast, comfortable and great driving for bargain price."
26 people out of 47 found this review helpful
By KevinM on Saturday, August 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Words can't express how disappointed I am with this car. Vehicle is always in the wrong gear when power is needed and has to downshift a couple of gears to find power, then the car simply lurches forward as the engine roars. The engineers must have been snickering when the bosses said build an 8speed auto in a 4 cylinder laggy turbo. The only way to really drive this car is with the paddle shifters. Also Hyundai overstated EPA estimates by 14%, reducing mileage on the 2.0 Premium down to 17 mpg from 21 mpg. This car is a joke."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By Will on Thursday, July 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Base Price, Fun level, Beautiful, Torque"
Cons: "Maintenance Cost, Plastic Interior Parts, Tires"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Purchased the vehicle brand new in Spring 2013 and have had it for 15 months. Don't want to let this car go but starting a family. Great handling and engine reliability. No issues whatsoever mechanically. It does have a turbo charger so top shelf parts and synthetic oils etc are a must. The base/stock purchase still has many bells and whistles including bluetooth and usb hookups for smartphones etc, pretty rims, dual exhaust. Almost all controls are on the steering wheel and it has a paddle shift option on the steering wheel as well with an option to go manual on the shifter. Well rounded safety with airbags everywhere. There is a small delay when applying throttle due to the turbo winding up, and there is a small turbo lag, but the care jumps up to speed when needed and the low center of gravity allows it to turn on a dime. Goes through tires every 30000 miles for the average motorist. If you drive it hard you get around 20 miles to the gallon and if you are light on the throttle you'll get close to 30 miles to the gallon. Fantastic car and turns heads as well. Priced fairly in the mid 20k range for brand new. This car won't break the bank, and if someone in a Ferrari pulls up next to you at a red light, they will do a double take."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By GWA on Thursday, July 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "price/value ratio is great"
Cons: "Blue Link, remote start, on-board Map are poor!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The 2013 Genesis Coupe 2.0T (274hp/automatic) is dynamic when you put your foot down. Rides flat on the corners and pushes you back in the seat from the git-go. I can ride on the Interstate all day at 80mph and still get 28 mpg."
12 people out of 23 found this review helpful
By Kanetruck on Wednesday, July 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,625overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price and all that you get with that price"
Cons: "back seat best for kids."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0t Premium in Parabolica Blue Metallic Just a awesome car to drive. No issues at all. Dealer has been great. Fun car to drive."
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By arj104 on Wednesday, July 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks, power, comfort, features, value"
Cons: "Handling, Suspension, what others may think"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Me= 40's middle of the road family man. I was trying to find a family friendly sports car cheap and end up stumbling on the Genesis Sedan as my commuter. It's very family friendly (except non folding rear seats) and the 3.8 is powerful enough to move! Quick take offs are easy with this car. Maneuverability is lacking when compared to my 08 Passat that is on the selling block due to a 4th failed water pump @ 68k mi. & uncooperative dealer. The Genesis is heavier, but larger and faster. Suspension is softer in general but more harsh on big dips. Otherwise the car is so smooth and comfy that I don't really drive aggressively much anymore but still love every second! The regular unleaded fuel mitigates the Passat's better mpg and Premium fuel. Transmission is not as precise and is missing a sports mode. Manual mode is too slow to shift for sports driving though it is the only way to lock into a gear to stay in the power band. My kids love the roomy back seat and were cramped in the VW. The performance it lacks are more than made up for by the features. I now know why some buy luxury instead of all out speed. Ultimate car? No. Ultimate deal? Yes!"
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful