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2012 Hyundai Genesis

Overview
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2012 Hyundai Genesis Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

Defying the critics, Hyundai has successfully created a line of high-end performance luxury sedans that are gaining traction with the public. A prime example is the 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan, a powerful, well-equipped, midsize luxury 4-door sedan. On paper it is every bit the equal (and, in some cases, the better) of similar models from Mercedes Benz, Lexus, Acura and BMW. However, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan is priced more in line with vehicles such as the Chrysler 300, Nissan Maxima and Volkswagen CC. Many owners consider the 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan more upscale than these near-luxury makes. A look at the standard and available content might convince you they're right. With power supplied by a choice of frugal V6 or two potent V8s, including a new 5.0-liter model with 429 horsepower, the rear-wheel drive Hyundai Genesis sedan is set to drive Hyundai to places the brand has never been, and consumers to savings they've rarely known before.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you don't care about brand image, but you do care about getting lots of cool stuff in a potent sedan costing thousands less than the competition, you'll love the 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Some people wear their cars like they wear Prada or Gucci. If this applies to you, having a Hyundai logo on your new luxury car's grille probably won't excite you. However, a BMW, Mercedes Benz, Lexus or Acura badge commands a high premium.

What's New for 2012

The big news for the 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan is the introduction of the 429-horsepower 5.0 R-Spec sport sedan. The Genesis R-Spec features a sport suspension, transmission and steering calibrations, as well as unique 19-inch alloy wheels and dark chrome headlamp inserts. Also new is an 8-speed automatic transmission, which is standard on all trims. All Genesis sedans receive a mild exterior freshening. The 3.8-liter V6 engine gains direct fuel injection, which helps give it 333 horsepower, up from last year's 290.

Driving the Genesis

Driving Impressions While there is visually little to distinguish the 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 from the 4.6 model, save for the wheels and rear badging, there is a definite difference felt from...

behind the steering wheel. Where the 3.8's 333-horsepower V6 is more than enough to move the 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan with sufficient gusto, it's the 385-horsepower afforded by the 4.6's V8 that we think is the real value deal. The 4.6's suspension and springs seem stiffer to us, allowing it less lean in the corners and a firmer ride. The V8 cars' electro-hydraulic power steering also feels more responsive. Stopping is swift and sure thanks to large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) with brake assist and electronic brake distribution (EBD). The four-piston fixed-caliper front brakes on the 4.6 models are especially notable. If performance is what you seek first and foremost, then the 429 horses released by the new 5.0-liter V8 in the 5.0 R-Spec is the way to go. Costing only a few thousand more than the 4.6, the R-Spec delivers up the kind of driving dynamics more commonly associated with BMW or Audi sedans.

Lexicon Audio System
The sound from this 7.1 Discrete audio system is not only powerful, it is beautifully nuanced. It's one of the best factory sound systems we've 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
The interior of the 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan is truly outstanding. Extravagant use of genuine leather and wood plus meticulous fit-and-finish make for an interior worthy of a top luxury brand.

2012 Hyundai Genesis Details
2012 Hyundai Genesis photo Interior

We've driving a lot of premium luxury sedans and to our well-trained eyes the interior of the 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan is exceptionally well done. With leather covering not only the steering wheel but the dash as well, the quality of materials and execution of design is better than some premium brands we've driven. Leather-covered front seats can be heated or cooled, and the rear seating space is equally as appealing, with abundant room for passengers' legs, hips and heads. Where Hyundai could have gone overboard with the dash design, they instead choose a simple, elegant layout that is easy to view. Unfortunately, Hyundai decided to emulate the BMW and Audi model of using a console-mounted joystick controller to operate the navigation and audio functions. While the placement of the controller is convenient to the driver, its operation is not always intuitive.

Exterior
2012 Hyundai Genesis photo

The 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan is conservatively styled yet thoroughly appealing. The 2012 Genesis sedan's styling mimics a number of luxury brands. From the front, the Hyundai Genesis' grille and headlamps clearly pay tribute to Mercedes Benz, while the LED daytime running lamps are a nod to Audi. Around back, the Hyundai Genesis' trunk and tail lamps echo of BMW and Lexus. There is no shortage of chrome trim, which adorns the grille, trunk, window surrounds, door handles and bumpers. New for 2012 are power-folding side mirrors with integrated turn signals, new wheel designs and dual asymmetrical exhaust tips. Added all together, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan looks similar to high-end luxury brands, and it definitely doesn't look like a Hyundai. That may be the one thing that helps it break through to the premium sedan shopper.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In the Hyundai tradition the 2012 Hyundai Genesis four-door sedan provides a rich assortment of standard features. These include the handy proximity key with alarm and entry system, power windows with front auto-up/down with pinch protection and remote fuel door, hood and trunk releases. Other standards include 1-touch power tilt-and-slide sunroof, leather seats, woodgrain accented dash and 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. Unlike the other safety features, the 2012 Genesis' electronic active head restraints are not required by government regulations.

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 and R-Spec. 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 Satellite Radio, and in navigation-equipped models it includes a 40-gigabyte hard drive. 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. The 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan is available in three trim levels: 3.8, 4.6 and 5.0 R-Spec. The names come from its available engines: the 333-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6; the 385-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8; and the 429-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8.

Under the Hood

We have nothing but good things to say about all three engines available in the 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan. For most drivers we think the 333-horsepower direct fuel injection 3.8-liter V6 will be more than adequate. It also offers slightly better fuel economy. We can't help preferring the intoxicating power of the 4.6 liter V8, which is ably abetted by its 8-speed automatic transmission. Of course, the ultimate powerhouse is the new 5.0-liter direct fuel injection V8 that pumps out 429 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. Due to its high 11.5:1 compression ratio, the 5.0-liter V8 requires premium fuel. Happily, the fuel economy penalty is small for the V8s. An all-new 8-speed automatic transmission built in-house by Hyundai is standard on all three trims, with the R-Spec receiving a special sport-tuned version.

3.8-liter V6
333 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
291 lb-ft of torque @ 5,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28

4.6-liter V8
385 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
333 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25

5.0-liter V8
429 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
376 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25

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2012 Hyundai Genesis Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 356 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

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 3 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."

3 people out of 3 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 23 found this review helpful

Sold a Porsche to get a Hyundai?

By on Thursday, August 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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."

44 people out of 71 found this review helpful

8 spd auto matched to the 4cyl turbo is a disaster

By on Saturday, August 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

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."

4 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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