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2012 Hyundai Genesis

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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 395 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

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

great car, it replaced 5 prior town cars

By on Thursday, July 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun car, lots of trunk space"

Cons: "no backup alarm"

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

"original tires wore out too soon, too soft. otherwise, service cooling system, change synthetic oil every 7500 miles and DRIVE!"

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

AWESOME CAR!! RIDES GREAT, DRIVES GREAT !

By on Sunday, July 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "GREAT TO DRIVE, COMFORTABLE, ROOMY"

Cons: "NO HEATED STEERING WHEEL"

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

"THIS IS A CLASSY, SLEEK , AUTOMOBILE. RELIABLE, COMFORTABLE WITH PLENTY OF HORSEPOWER WHEN THE NEED ARISES OR JUST WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED FOR SPEED. LOVE ALL THE FEATURES ON THIS CAR AND THE COMFORT OF IT. PLENTY OF LEG ROOM FOR BACK SEAT PASSENGERS AND A LARGE ROOMY TRUNK."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Good car for the price

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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
6/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "back seat really too small for adults"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Had a gravel drive on a hill - not an off-roading car for sure always had trouble getting up this hill"

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

will be our last Hyundai

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "nice coffee mug"

Cons: "electronic nightmare"

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

"Car has "demons". After being turned off, car would start up again on it's own. The nav, radio, seats and mirrors have a mind of their own. Local dealership clueless and corporate Hyundai's solution to problem was to send us a coffee mug. Do not feel safe with car as there has been no "rhyme or reason" when the electronics do their quirks. Looking forward to getting our first Lexus."

1 person out of 6 found this review helpful

Affordable luxury

By on Friday, July 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfort. back up cam,hot cool seats,stereo awesome"

Cons: "cold passenger seat would be nice only heated"

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

"I have had the same brand/make for the past 17 years. I bought a 1998 Oldsmobile Aurora brand new. When it had to many miles 5 years later I looked for a new / something different car and was disappointed with what was a available so I bought a 1997 Aurora in 2003 from an older couple who used it rarely that had less than 20,000 miles on it. In 2009 I bought another low miles 1998 (big mistake) I threw tons of money into it constantly. Made my mechanic rich and on occasion I would test drive some vehicles on my days off and nothing compared to my Olds. Finally my mechanic said give up already. I looked at BMW's, Lexus, Cadillac and Infinity. I hated almost everything that was in my $40,000 or less range. My car was sitting in the mechanic lot and after 2 days of car shopping/test driving I stopped in and said go ahead order that part that you said was going to take awhile/cost a lot for my drivers window of my 17 year old that won't roll up. My mechanic told me to go try a Hyundai Genisis first. I said "are you out of your mind I want a comfortable luxury car I am not going to look at a Hyundai." He talked me into it and WOW it is as close to my old car in power, comfort and luxury than anything that I was looking at (that I could afford) I ended up with a used 2012 beautiful red, all the bells and whistles that I need with only 23,000 miles on it for only 28,000. I have not had a car payment for over 15 years and 407 a month with no money down feel like I stole it. It is super comfortable, looks good, powerful. It does not hug the road as my olds did and Hard winds and highway puddles at high speeds and taking the ramps at ridiculous speeds when I get out of work at 3:30 do not give me the same sense of confidence that the olds did. I am comparing a car that I had for 17 years to one that I have had for 7 weeks so perhaps I just need to get use to the difference. I tested and read tons of reviews on tons of cars before making this choice and unless you NEED to have a car with a prestigious name and are willing to pay a lot more or get something used with a lot more miles you will not find a better car for the $$. The 10 year, 10,000 mile warranty even for the used one could not be found on anything else I was looking at. I also like the fact that in Miami who does not have a BMW, Lexus or Infinity and since my vehicle does not say Hyundai but only genesis anywhere on it people are always asking me "what is that""

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Drove the big 3 (Audi, BMW, MB)

By on Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Electronics, power, comfort, fuel economy (22 mpg)"

Cons: "Handling, ride on rough pavement"

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

"After driving the majors, I drove the Genesis. Liked it almost as much as the others but bought it because it was 40% less expensive. After four years, I find it to be more reliable, more economical and very comfortable. I'd be in the market for a new car except that I don't care for the new Genesis and, frankly, I don't want to spend $80K for the Audi S6."

15 people out of 31 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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