2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Long-Term Update: Road Trip
There was a work event (driving the Volkswagen Beetle Dune) in Las Vegas, a destination that's close enough that choosing between dealing with the airport and getting in a car and driving is basically a coin toss. So I chose tails, and picked the Hyundai Genesis for the drive.
When I first planned the trip, weather wasn't going to be much of an issue, but as the departure date got closer, the forecasts got more serious and the clouds in the sky noticeably darker. But the Genesis has a spacious interior, comfortable seats and a generous trunk -- its 15.3 cubic feet of luggage space edges out what's available in the Lexus ES and is about half a cubic foot less than the Toyota Avalon's trunk. All in all, it would still be the ideal vehicle for the trip, even if the Weather Channel was calling for rain and maybe even snow.
The Road Warrior
Luggage in the trunk, cheese puffs and bottled water within easy reach, phone connected to Bluetooth (both for safe calls and music for the drive), and I was on my way. It wasn't just that the skies were gray -- the weather was cold and windy, and the Genesis served as a toasty warm haven. The heated steering wheel, seat heaters and excellent climate control system kept me somewhat oblivious to the cold outside -- that is, until I stopped for gas or to take photos of the Genesis along the way. I used the rain-sensing wipers to keep the windshield clear, and never had worried about the windshield fogging up.
As the elevation went up, and there is a decent climb between Los Angeles and Las Vegas near Baker (home of the world's tallest thermometer), it threatened to snow, but it never got quite cold enough for that. There was some traffic on the major Interstate I was on (I-15), but it wasn't due to snow; Sirius Travel Link showed there was an accident, so I made a detour through Baker and got back on I-15 past the accident. And despite the traffic, I got into town in plenty of time.
Soft ride, but not too soft
After the event, the Genesis proved just as welcoming and comfortable on the drive back. The ride is soft, but not too soft, and the engine provides excellent acceleration. It was easy to stay at the same speed as traffic, and the transmission shifted smoothly and subtly when driving on the grade. The car's smart cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keep assist were welcome additions, as even though I didn’t test out the last two, it's good to know they're there.
By the time I got back from the trip, the weather had cleared up and I could turn off the seat heaters. It turns out the Genesis is just as pleasant to drive when Southern California is its typical sunny self. While the drive to and from Las Vegas was only about 540 miles round trip, with some around-town driving I covered well over 900 miles in five days. During that time, fuel economy ranged from just under 18 mpg (around town miles), to a peak of nearly 24 mpg on the open road. The low number lines up well with the Hyundai’s EPA-rated 18 mpg city fuel economy, but brisk driving on the Interstate doesn’t get you fuel economy that’s quite as good as the EPA-rated 29 mpg highway fuel economy.
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