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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 415 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

Best sports car I've ever owned for the money!

By on Sunday, June 26, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

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: "Fast, Fun, Handling."

Cons: "A little stiff for a big soft guy like me."

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

Love this car!

"I bought this car used about four months ago and it's awesome for the money I paid (about 16k). It had about 53k miles on the odometer and was in basically mint condition. I love this car. It's fast and luxury all wrapped up in one. I never owned a Hyundai before, but I'm sold on this brand now. Don't hesitate, buy this car!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love this car!

Finest vehicle we have ever owned

By on Saturday, June 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,188

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Flawless car, very nimble, really fun to drive"

Cons: "Outside temp guage is not displayed full time."

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

"We initially leased the 3.8 Genesis (black pearl ext & cashmere leather int) with Premium Package as a trial. We have owned seven new Cadillac (only) automobiles from 1986 through 2013. Not one of them would compare to the quality form, fit, and function of the 2013 Genesis sedan. The 3.8 engine delivered astonishing gas mileage on our trips (up to 31 mpg @ 80 mph); while performing like a muscular V-8 at all times. It came with 4 manuals which must be reviewed in detail to completely enjoy all of the features available. For the first 3 years of use, and through today, absolutely nothing has failed or required attention. On the road, the only real sound is your breathing, or the 14 speakers playing! We were so pleased with the car, we purchased it. No more Cadillac cars for us."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Would buy it again tomorrow!

By on Friday, May 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Looks, V6 power, handling, grip, and reliability"

Cons: "Shifter is vague, stability control too intrusive"

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

"Two years and 16K miles and I would still buy this car again. My 3.8 Rspec has everything I need, (although it lacks cruise control), and really nothing that I miss. Audio is great for a factory piece, the ride is firm enough when it needs to be but not jarring. The handling and grip is terrific when the stability control is turned off. Otherwise, the stability control is too intrusive. Power is fantastic across the rev range, and pulls well from low revs. The 6spd shifter is a bit vague but the gearing is very good for spirited driving. The V6 exhaust note is very nice, which I improved a bit w/ a Magnaflow cat back system. Reliability has been perfect, no issues. Mobil 1 oil changes every 5K, and that's all I've spent on the car. Couldn't ask for a better daily driver, especially one that I can still take to the track on the weekends. Highly recommend."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Love it, but left me stranded twice

By on Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,750

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "price, fun to drive, comfort"

Cons: "not reliable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I love this car for so many reasons. The saddle leather is to die for. The stereo is great. It handles very well and is quite comfortable on long hauls. It also passes trucks on a 6% incline like few others on the road. My one major problem is that it has left me stranded twice. The first happened in June 2015. The car had about 12,000 miles on it. That time it just would not start. It had some power but everything else was locked down. The dealer replaced the engine control module (the engine's computer). It took over three weeks because they had to ship it from Korea. This time (May 2016), it did not even have power. Not only would it not start, there was no power at all. I could not even open the trunk (there is a secret physical lock that the service dept. had to show me. It's not the battery and they have to bring an expert in because they can't even run a diagnostic. It makes me so sad because I love so much about the car, but I don't trust it anymore. It's also sad because our 1972 Chevy truck has only left us stranded twice (44 years old vs 2 years old0."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

WHY BUY A MERCEDES BENZ

By on Monday, March 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfort, handling and overall quality."

Cons: "Slow transmission shifts."

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

"The Hyundai Genesis is an outstanding value and in my opinion is comparable with Mercedes Benz, BMW and a much better value than Lexus. I own the R-Spec 229 HP model and the power output is absolutely outstanding. The interior is leather and is wearing well. The sound system is exceptionally good and the navigation system works well but entering destinations requires some patience due to the manner in which addresses are entered. For a large, heavy sedan handling and cornering are outstanding. The only complaint that I have with this car is that the automatic 8 speed is slower than I like in selecting a gear under heavy acceleration. Basically everything considered, I love this car."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Actually better than expected

By on Friday, February 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fast for 3.8 --great handling vehicle-"

Cons: "noisy tyres on cetain pavement"

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

"There was actually one problem I noticed about this vehicle, the window sticker stated 24mpg hwy and I actually get closer to 27mpg at 75mph. Even my city mpg is higher than the 19mpg shown. I just wish I could get traffic information on my GPS."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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