2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Quick Take
With the latest Genesis sedan, Hyundai has its best case yet for taking on luxury rivals like the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Cadillac CTS. Yes, those executive midsize sedans have more inherent badge appeal, but Hyundai boasts its own bragging rights when it comes to features for the dollar and an excellent warranty that includes 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain.
We've already touched on this all-new model's sharp looks, V6 and V8 engine choices and overall manners in our 2015 Hyundai Genesis First Review. Before that, we went to South Korea to drive a pre-production version on tracks that included a high-speed oval and even saw how Hyundai creates the steel that goes into the Genesis. With a top-line 5.0-liter V8 Genesis in our test fleet, it was time to turn our attention to some of the finer details of this second-gen model. Here are three notable characteristics -- small things that can be a big deal if you were to live with the car day in and day out.
It's Beguilingly Quick
The 2015 Genesis may have slightly less horsepower than the outgoing model, but its big V8 still packs plenty of punch with 420 ponies (the 2014 model has 429 but slightly less torque, so it's kind of a wash). All this to say that it's quick, surprisingly so on the highway. But because the Genesis is a plush, comfortable car, it's easy to reach speeds that breach legal limits without realizing you're doing so. More than a few times I glanced at our model's optional heads-up display as it projected digits on the windshield that immediately had me easing the throttle. And this was in normal drive mode, never-mind the more aggressive "sport" setting.
It's Comfortable and Quiet -- And Still Rocks
The new Genesis may not feel as agile as the longtime athlete in this segment -- the BMW 5 Series -- but it definitely measures up in terms of cabin isolation and overall comfort. Lesser Hyundai models still have work to do regarding suspension harshness, but that job is mostly done here, and done well. Combine that with a well-insulated cabin, and the new Hyundai Genesis sedan is a seriously plush player. But it can also rock, thanks to a Lexicon audio system that's standard on 5.0-liter V8 models and optional on V6 versions. Ours packed even more sonic firepower thanks to the upgraded 17-speaker version (the other houses a mere 14 speakers). It's not the very best audio system my ears have heard, but it could be for yours.
Brakes That Give Your Foot a Break
This felt strange, literally. When I came to a stoplight and kept my foot on the brake, it felt like I needed to apply the slightest bit of extra pressure. I have no idea why, and some of my other colleagues didn't report noticing this when they drove the car. But then I discovered a nifty feature that made this a non-issue. It's called Automatic Vehicle Hold and comes standard on V8 models and is optional on V6 versions. Activated with the press of a button, this feature essentially applies the brakes for you after you come to a stop, allowing you to take your foot off the pedal. Press the accelerator, and the auto-hold feature disengages to allow you on your way. (Not to be confused with the other system, the Genesis also has an automatic braking feature that can apply the brakes if the vehicle senses an impending collision.
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