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A New Beginning And New Thinking For Luxury: Hyundai Genesis,

I was fortunate enough to be one of the drive team for the launch of a new entrant into the luxury car field, the Hyundai Genesis. Yes, Hyundai Genesis.  Don’t laugh because you’ve read Hyundai and luxury car in the same sentence, it is a remarkably well engineered, thought out and produced vehicle, topping out at just $82000. It’s a big car with a massive interior, thanks to a 5 metre length and 3 metre wheelbase. There’s design elements for the exterior reminiscent of some other brands, with the front being commented on most as being Aston Martin. That’s perhaps due to the winged emblem front and centre on the panel edge leading into the bonnet. There’s only one indication of who the maker is, with the Hyundai H on the bootlid. There’s three models in the range, starting in the mid $60K bracket, with the Sensory and Ultimate pack offerings being the trio.Genesis 1

The leading edge is an upright, bluff looking part of the car, sweeping over a long bonnet (housing the 3.8L V6, 232 kW/397 Nm powerplant) into an almost coupe like roofline before tapering off into a a short tail housing a good sized boot. It’s a cohesive and handsome design. The interior is a reflection of the outside, with deeply sculpted seats front and rear, with heating and cooling for the front, heating in the rear, full electric adjustment for driver and passenger plus memory seating, electric sunblind for the rear window, photochromatic glass for the sunroof Genesis 5and heated wing mirrors (which dip when reverse is selected). There’s adaptive cruise control to play with; Genesis 3think an extension of cruise control which merely has you travel at a preset speed, this uses a camera to track the vehicle in front to keep the Genesis at a set time gap (one to four seconds) behind the vehicle in front and will bring the Genesis to a stop at velocities up to 80 km/h. Over that, Genesis expects the human factor to come into play and steer the car out of trouble. There’s four other cameras as well; front, rear, with two in the side mirrors that will display a 360 degree view on the 9.2 inch 720p display screen, plus offer a choice of four angles front/side/rear. A downlight is the switchgear; although smartly and simply laid out, they lack the luxury look and feel expected, being of typical high quality but hard set Hyundai plastic; there’s also a harsh feeling pocket on the rear of the front seats, devoid of the same velour lining found in the door pockets and soft open/close clamshell centre console locker. The “entry level” Genesis gets plenty of tech such as Hill Start Assist, tyre pressure monitoring, the afore mentioned smart Genesis 4cruise control with the Sensory throwing in Head Up Display, rear cross traffic alert, the around view monitoring system and powered steering column whilst the Ultimate gets the panoramic glass sunroof, the sound proofed acoustic glass and more. A nice touch is a LED light that shines the Genesis logo from each wing mirror to the ground. There’s audio controls and front passenger seat controls in a fold down section in the rear seat, allowing those that prefer to be driven rather than drive themselves to move the seat for room and choose their own music. Both features are lockable via the menu system activated from the steering wheel buttons.

The eight speed transmission is Hyundai’s; smooth, fluid, seamless, imperceptible in gear changes unless the right foot is a heavy one. There’s a snarl from the front through the induction system but barely an exhaust note, thanks to the Genesis 8high level of exterior noise insulation. It will accelerate nicely, thank you muchly, with an almost double clutch feel to the changes when really pressed…again it’s a seamless transition with no sign of hesitation. On the roads chosen for the demonstration drives, a good mix of flat and straight roads versus speed humps and tight corners plus a few roundabouts, the Genesis is composed, compliant with a feel stopping short of sporty without compromising the comfort level of the ride. Variable ratio steering tightens up the turning, surprising many in the drive sessions with just how compact a turning circle the Genesis displays. Fuel consumption is quoted as 11.2L/100 km combined, with some urban legs about 13L/100 km. This is not unexpected and will trouble those only of the penny pinching persuasion. Hyundai says the target market is the affluent, professional style aged from 40 to 60; certainly the Genesis garnered plenty of attention, with Genesis 9the test cars in while, black, blue, silver and grey catching the eyes of many as we drove in convoy.

The hurdles Hyundai faces are not insurmountable, but they are well entrenched in the Australian automotive psyche. The mere mention of Hyundai still brings stifled giggles or remembrances of years gone by. Hyundai acknowledge this by offering a five year/unlimited kilometre warranty with service costs built into those five years. Hyundai will also offer a conditional buy back price (contact Hyundai for details). Naturally, the most criticism will come from those that Genesis 6haven’t and won’t drive it, as it’s “just a Hyundai”. That fact means there’s no great loss to Hyundai as they don’t need that clientele; what they will get are people willing to be open minded and see the Genesis for what it is. A New Beginning and New Thinking. Click here for details: http://www.hyundai.com.au/vehicles/genesis?gclid=COia6r6S78ECFQYwjgodRi0AmQ&gclsrc=ds#intro

A big thanks to Ian Luff’s Drive to Survive group for having me involved.

4 comments

  1. George G. Benjamin says:

    This sounds (and looks) like a break through from the other big 5
    I would like to see the ANCAP rating? and I would also like to receive a complete brochure
    AND
    Does the leather upholstery smell like leather ???

    November 27th, 2014 at 9:35 pm

  2. David says:

    One wonders if given Hyundai’s budget image, it wouldn’t have been better to market the car (and any other subsequent premium offerings it makes) under a different name, a la Lexus/Toyota and others. Maybe the name Genesis might have been suitable….

    November 28th, 2014 at 6:49 am

  3. Geoff Spackman says:

    It’ll be a while yet before the Korean cars get the recognition they deserve. Japanese cars suffered the same back in the sixties, but they didn’t have the opposition back then, it was easier.
    Hyundai and Kia now have been competing with all the Japanese cars and I think they are just about as good. I drive a Kia Sportage and it’s the best car I’ve ever owned.

    November 28th, 2014 at 7:21 am

  4. Evan Britten says:

    I concur with Geoff. I now own a Sportage SLI diesel after 3 Foresters. I wouldn’t go back. Great power, handling, no problems and everything you would want incl 5 yr warantee.(now 7 years!!) The sat nav is better than my partner’s top of range new Golf. Agree that another prestige brand name may be required for a 60K+ car

    November 30th, 2014 at 6:41 pm