It’s like deja vu all over again. Five years ago I picked up my parents from Los Angeles International Airport in a Hyundai Genesis sedan. Flash-forward to 2016 and I was doing it again.

That first time, in the still-fresh first-gen Genesis, my retired parents couldn't believe the big, luxurious sedan was a Hyundai. This was especially true coming from my father, who owned dozens of cars in his life and fixed and flipped many of them for a profit, ranging from the mainstream (Chevys, Fords and Jeeps) to the esoteric (early 1970s Rover sedan, anyone?). As a self-trained electro-mechanical technician, he has a brilliant mind and the God-given ability to fix anything. He also has an appreciation for value and practicality.

And those were among just a couple of the traits we as a family came to appreciate of Hyundai's big premium sedan. This time I was picking them up in the second-generation Hyundai Genesis sedan that is part of KBB's fleet of long-term test cars. I would end up playing the part of chauffer for the next several days, whisking them hundreds of miles around Los Angeles and Orange County. 

"This is a Hyundai?"

This time, their first impression was again much like the last. It's a refrain similar to what so many others exclaim when they see the latest version of this premium sedan: "This is a Hyundai?" Take one look at this long, sleek silhouette, and you, too, may ask the same.

But for this update of our long-term Genesis, we're focusing on how it behaves on the practical side of the equation. Quite well, it turns out, thanks to the little things.

A big trunk, with a trick

Not so little is the Hyundai Genesis trunk. At over 15 cubic feet, it easily swallowed multiple suitcases for their weeklong visit from out of state.

Space isn't the only functional thing about the Hyundai's trunk that we came to like over days of schlepping ourselves and stuff. As we've come to expect from premium cars, this one has a power trunk. What I'd forgotten is that this one is equipped with Hyundai's hands-free operation. To open, all you need to do is stand behind the trunk with the key in your pocket or purse. Wait a few seconds, the trunk beeps to let you know it senses your presence, and ta-dah -- the trunk opens.

This couldn't have worked out better, since in several instances I would otherwise have literally been stuck standing behind the car with my hands full, cursing myself for lack of preparation while trying to figure out how finagle the key out of my pocket. The Hands-Free smart trunk feature is standard across the line, which means you get it even with a "base" Genesis 3.8 that starts at the crazy-good value of $39,700 for the 2016 model.

Our Genesis sedan is loaded with the Ultimate package that also includes the Power Trunk Lid. With this option, there's a supplementary motor for power-assisted opening and closing, rather than the standard spring-loaded system. My father still had the desire to want to close it manually, though. Old habits die hard.

The net effect is positive

Lastly, this trunk has a net tied to the floor as standard equipment. This may seem trivial, but its usefulness can't be overstated when you have bags of loose items like a beverage or fruit. After an impromptu visit to a little ethnic market, we were bursting with bottles of exotic juices and fruits whose names I'm still learning to pronounce. Without the net, these would have risked breaking/turning to pulp under moderate acceleration and braking.

On another trip, to a local Goodwill thrift store, I scored a beautiful painting covered in glass and in a custom frame. That, too, found safety under the net. These items all survived the battlefield we call Southern California roadways just fine.

In the end, so did we. In fact, we were far more than fine. Over our dozen-odd trips around SoCal, our 2015 Genesis sedan excelled as a quiet and comfortable cruiser, and also proved it has a practical side and the space to accommodate a grown family and their stuff.

See past reports on our 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8...


Long-Term Update: Design

Long-Term Update: Comfort is king

Long-Term Update: Drivability

Long-Term Update: Road Trip 

More 2015 Hyundai Genesis...

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