Hyundai has done an outstanding job with the second generation Genesis sedan. When we first drove the Hyundai Equus Ultimate, we felt it was a good vehicle that needed more refinement to compete with the luxury marques. For Hyundai’s first attempt, the first generation rear wheel drive sedans weren't too bad, but more or less competed on value. We expected the company would learn and create something excellent with the second generation. It did not disappoint, and Hyundai has created a legitimate competitor to other luxury marques.
The fully-loaded Genesis sedan with the Ultimate package has a very nice interior. The real wood and aluminum with soft touch surfaces look and feel great. We reserve judgment on the lower trim models until we can experience them first-hand, but so far we like what we see inside the sedan. We wish Hyundai had the base model 8-inch Android-based system on hand for us to play with, but that'll have to wait for another day. The hardware specs and preliminary preview we saw at CES 2014 showed promise.
Stepping up to the DIS 2.0 9.2-inch system is an interesting upgrade. We usually enjoy control knob interfaces, but Hyundai’s ergonomics lag behind the Germans. At least it’s still a touch a screen. Nevertheless, when compared to say Jaguar, we definitely prefer Hyundai’s GUI and control interfaces. Performance of the Intel Atom E660T in the DIS 2.0 is quite respectable. We didn’t get a chance to run our usual benchmarks due to time constraints but felt it was comparable to the Hyundai Equus that we just reviewed.
In terms of driver assistance features, Hyundai has an excellent suite. Adaptive cruise control with lane keep assist makes the new Genesis a semi-autonomous vehicle that can steer and regulate its own speed, to a certain extent. The haptic feedback steering wheel provides subtle feedback for the blind spot monitor and lane assist system without obnoxious sounds. Hyundai’s full color HUD is still world’s ahead of what Lexus uses and is comparable to the German brands.
As for powertrains, the new ECU tuning on the Genesis makes the car much better to drive for a daily commute. It’s down on horsepower, but the power band shift to lower end power helps the heavy vehicle move better. If we had to pick between the V6 and V8, our choice would be the V6. The V8 is nice, but the V6 does the job, returns better gas mileage, and the lighter overall weight makes it more entertaining as well.
Overall, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan is fantastic. The company shows that it has what it takes to create a good luxury sedan that can compete with the big boys. Heck, I believe Hyundai has eliminated the need for the Lexus GS350 to exist, and can easily encroach into Mercedes-Benz territory. A loaded Genesis V6 sedan with the Ultimate Package rings in at $49,000. At that price you get a vehicle that drives well, is comfortable and quiet, features excellent interior materials with real wood and aluminum, has a smooth yet engaging motor, and semi-autonomous driving capabilities.
In comparison, the Lexus GS350 starts at $47,700 while Mercedes asks $51,400 for the E350, and that’s just the base model with a fraction of the features. Getting the Mercedes E350 up to the same content level as the Genesis brings the price quickly up to $65,475, which is nearly a $16,500 difference, or the equivalent cost of a subcompact car. The Lexus isn’t much better at $59,368 for the GS350 F-Sport that still doesn’t have comparable driver assist features or a HUD.
Unless you really care about the badge, Hyundai makes a very compelling reason to cross shop the new Genesis sedan. I used to be one of those buyers in my younger years, but Hyundai is doing a great job of swaying me with each new vehicle that I drive. Given the choice between a loaded Genesis V6 HTRAC with the Ultimate Package and an equivalent-equipped Mercedes E350 4Matic, Lexus GS350, Audi A6, or even BMW 535xi, I can’t think of a single compelling reason that couldn’t be solved with the purchase of a used Mazda Miata or Honda S2000 using the price difference. The 2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan is a truly solid car with a lot of useful tech goodies, and it has more performance than most people need for their daily commute.
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