2013 Hyundai Genesis

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2013 Hyundai Genesis Review

By KBB.com Editors

KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

Hyundai has successfully created a line of high-end performance-luxury sedans that are gaining traction with the public. The 2013 Hyundai Genesis sedan is a powerful, well-equipped, mid-size luxury 4-door sedan that on paper is every bit the equal (and, in some cases, the better) of similar models from Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Acura and BMW. Yet the Genesis is priced against such not-quite-luxury sedans as the Chrysler 300, Nissan Maxima and Volkswagen CC, which fall well short of the Hyundai's content. With power supplied by a choice of frugal V6 (28 highway mpg) or potent V8 (429 horsepower), the upscale Genesis sedan is taking Hyundai to places the brand has never been.

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 high-status competition, you'll love the 2013 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 trunk lid probably won't excite you. But that Mercedes-Benz or Lexus badge commands a stiff premium.

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the fast, sporty and fully loaded 5.0 R-Spec model becomes the lone V8 alternative to the standard 3.8 V6. There is also a new 8-inch display with enhanced multi-media controller, and Blue Link telematics now accompany the navigation system (both standard on 5.0, optional on 3.8).

Driving the Genesis
Driving Impressions

Visually, there is little to distinguish the 2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 from the 5.0 R-Spec, mainly wheels, rear badging and some chrome trim. But from behind the wheel, the difference...

... is profound. Certainly, the 3.8's 333-horsepower V6 is more than enough to move the Genesis sedan with sufficient gusto, but the 5.0 R-Spec's 429-horsepower V8 changes everything. Not only does the car accelerate hard, it also rides and handles a lot more firmly. Suspension tuning is stiffer, front brakes are bigger, the power steering is different and the wheels are 19-inch alloys in place of the 3.8's 17s. In truth, the 3.8 will be the smarter choice for most customers, with its smoother ride and better fuel economy (and, of course, lower price of entry). But if you want driving dynamics like those associated with BMW or Audi sports sedans, the 2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec delivers the goods.

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 any vehicle at any price. Auxiliary USB and iPod inputs allow drivers to fully control and charge iPods directly from the head unit.

The interior of the 2013 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.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Details

The interior of the 2013 Hyundai Genesis sedan is exceptionally well done. The quality of materials and execution of design are better than in some premium brands. Leather-covered front seats are heated (and, for the driver, cooled), and the rear seat has abundant room for passengers' legs, hips and heads. The dash design is a simple, elegant layout that is easy to view. Hyundai emulated BMW and Audi with its console-mounted joystick to control the navigation and audio functions, and while the placement is convenient, its operation is not always intuitive. (Hyundai emulated that too.)

2013 Hyundai Genesis photo

The 2013 Hyundai Genesis sedan is conservatively styled yet thoroughly appealing. And, yes, rather derivative. From the front, the Genesis' grille and headlights pay tribute to Mercedes-Benz, while the LED daytime running lights are a nod to Audi. Around back, the trunk and taillights echo BMW and Lexus. Chrome trim adorns the grille, trunk, window surrounds, door handles and bumpers. Added all together, the 2013 Hyundai Genesis definitely looks more like several high-end luxury sedans than it does a Hyundai. That may help it break through to the premium-sedan shopper.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The "base" 3.8 model of the 2013 Hyundai Genesis 4-door sedan isn't very base at all, providing a rich assortment of standard features. These include the handy proximity key with alarm and entry system, power windows with front auto-up/down and pinch protection, heated leather seats, wood-grain-accented dash, 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, and roof-mounted side-curtain airbags for both front and rear outboard seat occupants.

Optional Equipment

Almost all the upgrades that enhance the top-line 5.0 R-Spec model are available as options on the base 3.8. And many of those are bundled into Premium and Technology Packages, including sunroof, leather-trimmed dash and door panels, power rear sunshade, navigation system, rearview camera, lane-departure warning system and adaptive headlights that swivel into corners. There is also the spectacular Lexicon audio system featuring LOGIC 7 technology. Rolls-Royce is the only other automaker to offer a Lexicon system, and the surround-sound, 11-channel, 17-speaker extravaganza produces more than 500 watts of superb sound.

Under the Hood

We have nothing but good things to say about both engines available in the 2013 Hyundai Genesis sedan. For most drivers the 333-horsepower direct-fuel-injection 3.8-liter V6 will be more than adequate. But for those who must have the most, the 5.0-liter V8 pumps out 429 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. Due to its high 11.5:1 compression ratio, the 5.0 requires premium fuel, though happily, the fuel-economy penalty is not extreme. An 8-speed automatic transmission built in-house by Hyundai is standard with both engines, with the R-Spec's running more sporting shift calibration and different gear ratios.

3.8-liter V6
333 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
291 lb-ft of torque @ 5,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg

5.0-liter V8
429 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
376 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25 mpg

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