Two Smooth Powertrains
Powertrains for the 2015 Genesis sedan remain the same as the previous generation. The 3.8-liter Lambda V6 returns as the base engine with different ECU tuning. While the previous generation Genesis sedan made 333 HP and 291 lb-ft, the second generation is down to 311 HP and 293 lb-ft. However, don’t let the numbers deceive you, the new Genesis makes peak torque at an earlier 5,000 RPM instead of 5,100 RPM and peak horsepower at 6,000 RPM versus 6,400 RPM. Hyundai’s tuning for low-end grunt of the 2015 Genesis helps move the 4,138lb heft smoothly.
New to the 2015 Genesis is the availability of AWD, which Hyundai calls HTRAC. The system enables Hyundai to appeal to buyers living in areas with heavy seasonal snow. HTRAC can send up to 90 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels. AWD power distribution also changes with the selected drive mode as well, with the Sport setting having more rear bias for greater driving enjoyment. Adding AWD only increases the curb weight by 165 lbs, which isn’t too bad if you need it for your winter commute. Opting for AWD also adds exclusive features such as heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, and headlamp washers to make cold winters more bearable for the driver and family.
Performance-minded drivers can go for the 5.0-liter Tau V8, which is carried over from the previous generation. Hyundai gives the Tau V8 different tuning to deliver more torque at the sacrifice of peak horsepower to reach 383 lb-ft and 420 HP.
Both powertrains are mated with Hyundai’s in-house designed 8-speed automatic. The final drive ratios are different for the differing amounts of power, but as with the Equus, the transmission is quite good with quick and smooth shifts. For those who prefer to shift yourself, paddle shifters are standard on all 2015 Genesis sedans.
Unlike the previous generation, where you could only get every option with the V8, the new Genesis lets buyers have the same equipment on V6 and V8 models. So for those who want the Ultimate Package features but not the fuel economy hit of the V8, Hyundai will let you have it your way.
Speaking of fuel economy, the V6 RWD Genesis sedan is rated for 18/29/22MPG for city/highway/combined, while adding AWD drops the rating down to 16/25/19MPG. V8 buyers should see 15/23/18MPG, which is typical of gas guzzling V8s.
So at this point you’re probably wondering how it drives. We’re happy to report that at legal speed limits without too much speeding, it drives well. Hyundai has done a great job keeping NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) down for a quiet cabin. Steering and road feel are also excellent, you feel connected, and the car responds very well. The Lotus-tuned suspension is excellent and aggressively tackled the windy roads competently.
As for the V6 versus the V8, we enjoyed the smoothness and power of the bigger motor, but it wasn’t a compelling sell for us. Despite having more power, the V8 adds an extra 403lbs, which you can definitely feel on the road. It’s not as spritely as the V6, nor does the throttle respond as well. We noticed a little delay in the throttle response in the V8 that wasn’t present in the V6. The V6 Genesis sedan is perfectly capable at moving the vehicle’s 4,138lb heft smoothly. It’s a smooth motor, but it's still able to gently throw you back in your seat when you punch the gas.
Overall, it’s a car that rides comfortably, responds well, and delivers power smoothly. Sure, you could probably criticize its performance around the track, but luxury car buyers rarely, if ever, take their cars on the track. As a daily driver, the Genesis sedan will surely please.