By Allyson Harwood
KBB Expert Rating: 9.1
The 2015 Genesis sedan is Hyundai's 5-passenger competitor for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Lexus GS. With an elegant, modern look, more luxury and a new attitude, the all-new Genesis – now available with all-wheel drive on V6 models – is even better equipped to go up against these midsize luxury powerhouses than the first generation was. There is a strong emphasis on connectivity and infotainment, which should appeal to a younger affluent audience. What may be most impressive about the new Genesis, though, is the amount of standard equipment you get for a notably lower price than its competitors – and even if you check every options box, the car is still a relative bargain.
Shopping for a mid-level luxury car, but keeping an eye on value? You've come to the right place. Comparably equipped – and that is easy to do with the Genesis – the Hyundai sedan offers great value without making you feel deprived of anything its competitors can offer.
KBB Expert Ratings
The 2015 Genesis sedan is all-new, inside and out. The cabin is roomier, and there are new infotainment options and an easier way to use them. Also, the engines have been updated for better low-end torque and improved fuel economy. All-wheel drive is available for the first time.
The all-new Genesis feels agile and responsive, thanks to the midsize sedan's new chassis and highly revised, retuned suspension, yet it's still comfortable on the highway. It doesn't have the...
... same handling prowess as a BMW 5 Series, but its response to driver input makes the Genesis feel like a more legitimate luxury car than in the past. The 5.0-liter V8 is excellent, even though its 420 horsepower is less than in the 2014 model. The 3.8-liter V6, also down on horsepower from last year, enjoys revisions and a slight increase in torque. Essentially, the V6 isn't a huge step down from the V8, especially since both are partnered with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Its shifts are smooth, but noticeably more aggressive in Sport mode. Paddle shifters are standard equipment. Between the quiet cabin, cushy ride in Normal and Eco mode, and the comfortable seats, this 4-door is a pleasure on the open road.
HANDS-FREE SMART TRUNK OPENER
If you need to open the trunk and your hands are full, there's no need to wave your hands or feet – the Smart Trunk senses if the key fob is within three feet of the back of the car for three seconds, and the trunk automatically opens.
IN-CABIN CO2 SENSOR
High CO2 levels can cause a driver to feel fatigued or drowsy. Hyundai is the only manufacturer that offers this sensor, which measures the amount of CO2 in the cabin. The system will bring in fresh air to get the CO2 levels back to normal.
Hyundai wants to appeal to a younger audience, and the design and amenities inside help the 2015 Genesis meet that goal. The cabin is stylish and sophisticated. It uses real wood and metal accents in some models, and the overall look is clean and airy. There are soft-touch materials and excellent attention to detail throughout, and the color combinations are pleasing to the eye. Significantly, the all-new Genesis sedan uses an intuitive, centrally located scroll wheel and push buttons, similar to Audi's MMI system, to toggle through the navigation system, phone and more.
As is the case in the interior, the Genesis' body lines are clean and elegant. Up front, the new Genesis sports an imposing grille. From there, the midsize-sedan body has long, attractive lines that convey a sense of quality and refinement. The trunk line finishes in an aerodynamic sloping design that is reminiscent of the Audi A7 and Toyota Avalon.
Navigation and Bluetooth come standard, as do nine airbags, the hands-free Smart Trunk opener, the Blue Link infotainment system, and paddle shifters. Heated front seats (plus a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat), push-button start and tire-pressure monitoring are also included at the base price.
If you want to add some cool options to your new Genesis sedan, Hyundai offers a head-up display, a 16-way power-adjustable driver's seat, 17-speaker Lexicon surround sound audio, a 9.2-inch high-definition navigation screen, rearview camera, front and rear parking assist, and headlight washers. Other nice available features: all-wheel drive on the V6 version, a power rear sunshade, and the Lane Departure Warning system with Lane Keep Assist and the ability to vibrate through the steering wheel if the Genesis senses you drifting out of your lane.
The V6 and V8 engines both use direct injection, and are highly revised versions of the engines that were offered in the 2014 Genesis. For 2015, the focus was on drivability, and in the case of both engines, that meant improving low-end torque and reducing noise, vibration and harshness. Off-the-line response has improved with both engines, and fuel economy has gone up by two mpg on the highway with the V6. Both engines are backed by an 8-speed automatic transmission, designed and built by Hyundai, with different gear ratios for the V6 and V8.
311 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
293 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/29 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 16/25 mpg (all-wheel drive)
420 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
383 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 mpg
When equipped with the V6, the all-new 2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan starts at $38,950 including destination. All-wheel drive adds $2,500, and a fully loaded V6 Genesis tops out at just under $53,000. The V8-powered Genesis, which starts at $52,450, climbs to a hair over $56,000 with all the boxes checked on the 5.0 Ultimate. Compared with the base Cadillac CTS, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series sedans, the 3.8-liter Hyundai Genesis is priced significantly lower. As the Genesis continues to improve the brand's image, we expect to see resale values go up, but that is something that will be determined over time.