Hyundai is ushering in a new era of vehicles with the 2015 Hyundai Sonata and with seven new models to introduce through 2016. That’s kind of a big deal, and all on the wings of the Genesis and it’s new design language and premium quality.
Hyundai’s biggest obstacle? Their own name. The Genesis is a premium car, with the price tag to match, but will the buying public see past the Flying H?
What is a Hyundai Genesis?
The Genesis was Hyundai’s alternative to the likes of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. With a few different engine options and rear-wheel drive, this was meant to be both a sporty and luxurious vehicle.
Only in its second generation, the Hyundai Genesis still has lots to prove in the luxury sedan segment, but they are on the right path and have made the right choices in terms of design, materials and even chassis configurations.
2015 Hyundai Genesis Price & Specs
Don’t be alarmed at the $3k price increase on the base 2015 Hyundai Genesis (which now starts at $43,000) over the previous model year version, there’s a good reason for the jump. Standard equipment on a base 3.8 Premium HTRAC includes such niceties as an 8” nav screen, rearview camera, and HID headlights.
Jump to the top of the lineup to the 2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0L Ultimate and you’re also jumping into a starting price of $62,000. The standard equipment, other than the V8 engine include a 9.2” screen, Continuous Damping Control, and a Lexicon sound system.
Two engines are available for the 2015 Hyundai Genesis; a 3.8L V6 that’s good for 311 horsepower and 293 lb-ft of torque, and a 5.0L V8 that pushes out 420 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are down in horsepower and up in torque by minimal amounts, all in the name of fuel saving. Both use an 8-speed automatic, and all models are equipped with an HTRAC all-wheel drive system as standard.
Of note, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis has a few nifty little segment-first features including a CO2 sensor and a power trunk lid with proximity-activated automatic opening. The C02 sensor reads how much CO2 is being filtered into the cabin and keeps it at bay to keep you alert on the road.
Driving the 2015 Hyundai Genesis
Navigating the mountain-hugging highways and side streets of British Columbia was easy behind the wheel of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis. Starting the day in the 3.8L V6 was a good decision, as the engine and suspension set-up proved more than capable and perfectly suited to the car. Power is readily available, especially when the Drive Mode is set to “Sport”. Steering and throttle response are sharpened in the V6, and suspension and damping also tightens (barely noticeable) in the V8.
For a big vehicle (bigger than the previous generation and, in fact, longer and wider than all its competitors in the segment), the 2015 Hyundai Genesis is surprisingly nimble and agile. Weight transfers are handled exceptionally well, and the transmission is happy to play with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters (that are a tad too far back for my stunted fingers to reach and required hand movement for me to change gears).
The all-wheel drive system isn’t invasive or noticeable, until put in the right situation like a wet skid-pad. Hyundai provided such a scenario and we lined up the previous gen with the 2015 Hyundai Genesis and had a go. The difference is immediately evident, and the new generation Genesis handles itself with poise despite the loss in grip and stability.
I spent the afternoon behind the wheel of the 5.0L Hyundai Genesis,I wasn’t as blown away with the V8 as I’d hoped to be. I wanted the price difference to be justified, but the truth is the V6 is more than adequate.
Inside and Out of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis
The auto industry is an incestuous bunch. Everyone looks like everyone else, and the new Hyundai Genesis is no exception. Lexus? A bit of BMW? It’s all there, but the result is a handsome, stately luxury sedan. The bold new front grille is both aggressive and sophisticated.
Inside the class continues. Hyundai really stepped it up in terms of quality for the buttons and materials used. Knobs and controls work with a satisfactory feedback, and the exposed grain wood trim is quite attractive.
Seats in the 2015 Hyundai Genesis are comfortable and supportive enough. Rear-seat room is plentiful, and trunk space is the most in the segment at 433 litres.
Comparing the 2015 Hyundai Genesis
Here’s where things get a bit dicey; the Genesis’ main competition is a bunch of Germans with a whole lot of clout, a whole lot of brand recognition, and whole lot of history that Hyundai just doesn’t have. Can they overcome the A6s, E-Classes and 5 Series? Hyundai is confident they can, and I think if they just get people behind the wheel of the 2015 Genesis, that confidence will be well-placed and pay off in spades in the end.