The Hyundai Genesis sedan offers high value in a luxury car featuring rear-wheel drive and a choice of V6 or V8 power. Genesis seats five in a nicely appointed cabin, with chrome accents, wood and aluminum trim, and soft-touch materials.
The navigation system includes voice activation and a multimedia interface that is easier to use than those from most luxury manufacturers. An iPod interface is standard, and customers can choose a 17-speaker audio system that has 7.1 Surround Sound and cranks out great music.
Room in the front and rear seats is excellent, though the Genesis could use a little more storage space for small items, and some customers will be disappointed that the rear seats don't fold down.
The standard 3.8-liter V6 is rated at 290 horsepower, and we found it delivers enough pep for most peoples' driving needs while returning good fuel economy. We also like the 4.6-liter V8 with dual overhead cams producing 385 horsepower for 2011, a 10-hp increase over the 2010 version. The V8 provides plenty of smooth, willing power and gets quite decent fuel economy, particularly for its performance level. Both engines run quietly and are mated to smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmissions with manual shiftgates.
Hyundai Genesis benefits from a rigid structure, rear-wheel drive, and advanced five-link front and rear suspensions, the hallmarks of a sports sedan. On twisty roads it performs well, with a generally nimble feel and a fairly flat disposition through corners. Of the two models, the lighter V6 feels more responsive through turns. The V8 model, on the other hand, benefits from electrohydraulic steering that provides sure steering assist in the tightest corners.
The Genesis rides well, ironing out most bumps with little effect on passengers. It doesn't float or wallow like other Hyundais, but the ride can get bouncy over humps and ruts at highway speeds. On the whole, the Genesis is a legitimate sports sedan, but it's not as agile as the top performers, such as the BMW 5 Series.
The 2011 Hyundai Genesis 4.6, in addition to its more powerful V8 engine, now comes standard with the Technology Package, which includes Lexicon 7.1 Discrete surround-sound audio, Ultimate Navigation featuring a larger screen and intuitive Driver Information System (DIS), smart cruise control, electronic parking brake, cooled driver seat, adaptive front lighting with HID headlamps, and parking assistance. The 2011 Genesis 3.8 V6 model continues unchanged. The Genesis sedan was launched as a 2009 model.
The 2011 Hyundai Genesis sedan is offered in two models. Genesis 3.8 has a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque. Genesis 4.6 has Hyundai's 4.6-liter Tau V8, which makes 385 horsepower (with premium gasoline; 378 hp with regular) and 333 pound-feet of torque (324 lb-ft with regular gas). Both engines have 6-speed automatic transmissions with a manual shiftgate.
Genesis 3.8 ($33,000) comes standard with leather upholstery; dual-zone automatic climate control; tilt/telescoping, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls; cruise control; heated front seats; eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar adjustment; four-way power-adjustable passenger seat; heated power mirrors; power windows and door locks; remote keyless access and starting; seven-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo; XM Satellite Radio; auxiliary audio input jack; iPod interface; Bluetooth wireless cell phone link; auto-dimming rearview mirror; compass; universal garage door opener; automatic headlights; theft-deterrent system; fog lights; and P225/55R17 tires on alloy wheels.
Options for the 3.8 include a Premium Package ($2,500) that adds a sunroof; premium leather upholstery; leather-wrapped dash and door trim; power tilt/telescoping steering wheel; memory for the driver's seat, exterior mirrors and steering wheel; Lexicon 14-speaker audio system; six-disc CD changer; automatic windshield defogger; rain-sensing wipers; and a power rear sunshade. The Premium Navigation Package ($2,000) has P235/50R18 tires on alloy wheels with chrome inserts, navigation with a 40-gigabyte hard drive, XM NavTraffic with a 90-day subscription, and rearview camera. The Technology Package ($5,500) also comes with the larger wheels and tires; and includes front and rear park assist; Ultimate Navigation with hard drive; heated/cooled driver's seat; 17-speaker Lexicon audio system with 7.1 Surround Sound, HD radio, and XM NavTraffic; rearview camera; smart cruise control; electronic parking brake,; and adaptive, auto-leveling xenon headlights.
The Genesis 4.6 ($43,000) comes loaded with all of the standard and optional equipment from the Genesis 3.8, plus electro-hydraulic power steering, chrome bodyside moldings, illuminated door sill plates, woodgrain trim on the steering wheel, and auto-dimming outside mirrors. There are no options for the 4.6.
Safety features include dual front airbags, front and rear side airbags, curtain side airbags, tire-pressure monitor, electronic active front head restraints, antilock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, traction control, and electronic stability control. Front and rear park assist and a rearview camera are standard on the 4.6 and come with the Technology Package and the 3.8.