Auto123.com - Helping you drive happy

2009 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Review (video)

Hyundai picks a fight with the big boys Automotive columnist: , Updated:

Talk about ambitious. Hyundai is picking a fight with the likes of Lexus, Mercedes and BMW with their new Genesis sedan. It's a cut-price flagship designed to offer customers the best of the premium sedan world for a lot less money.

It's no 7-Series, but Genesis certainly looks and feels exemplary for the price.

It sure is a handsome looker- proud, elegant, muscular and nicely adorned with LED taillamps, dual exhaust, chrome accents, mirror mounted turn signals and big, shiny wheels.

Inside, a Lexicon stereo, front and rear parking assist, reverse-camera, and radar guided cruise control were installed for a high-tech, high-class atmosphere.

Don't miss the push-button start, heated and cooled seats, leather-wrapped dash or motorized rear sunshade, either. Automatic climate control and a self-dimming rearview mirror were on board as well.

Instruments look clean and easy to read, and there's an unquestionable feel of solid and well bolted-down quality throughout. Leather is everywhere.

It's no 7-Series, but Genesis certainly looks and feels exemplary for the price.

Two engines are available to Genesis shoppers. The test car used a 3.8 litre V6 with 290 horsepower driving the rear axle. There's a six-speed automatic with manual mode, though it reacts to your shift requests at its own often leisurely pace.

Power output is more than adequate from the V6, if not even surprising. The engine is flexible, power delivery is mainly flat, and the mill sounds pleasing when opened up. I can't picture many shoppers thinking the Genesis 3.8 actually 'needs' any more power, though Hyundai's new 4.6 liter V8 is available if you do. It delivers a potent 375 ponies.

The ride and handling are expectedly quiet and smooth, though a touch of sportiness can be found in the steering and balance of the car. With the rear-drive setup and punchy engine, it's actually fun to drive- if you're so inclined.

The ride and handling are expectedly quiet and smooth.