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2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan First Drive Impressions

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Last week Hyundai invited the Automotive Addicts team to Greenville, SC to embark on a journey to explore the local views and twisty back roads behind the wheel of the all-new 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan. On this trip, the completely redesigned 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan took me by surprise. Hyundai’s latest iteration of the Genesis proved to be a competent competitor amongst the well-established branding of midsized luxury Sedans on the road today.

Offered with two engine choices, a 3.8-liter V6 or 5.0-liter V8, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan has recognized its position in the midsized luxury Sedan running and it performs up to our enthusiastic demands for such a highly competitive segment.

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We began our expedition on an early Wednesday morning, a bit of dew settling on the vast aluminum hoods of several 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan test vehicles. They gleamed with a multitude of colors in the Greenville, SC rising sun, getting a careful once-over from attending caretakers.

We spent the first 60 miles of the trip behind the wheel of the 3.8 V6 rear-wheel-drive variant, one of three drivetrains (3.8 RWD, 3.8 AWD, 5.0 RWD) offered for the new Genesis Sedan. Initial perceptions of the new Genesis were that car produced a calming effect; Hyundai’s midsize luxury car has one of the quietest cabins I have experienced in a while.

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Inside of the cabin you will find a full range of premium qualities of the all-new 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan. Making up most of the dashboard, are many soft-touches and the trim of optional genuine matte finished wood. The perforated leather seats are supportive and comfortable enough for long trips without setting-in fatigue. Ventilated and heated front seats on both of our test vehicles for the day aided to keep us comfortable on 40 mile stints carving up the back mountain roads. Adding an extra bit of luxury to the rear occupants are heated rear seats, a standard feature exclusive on the 3.8 AWD model.

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Cruising down local highways before hitting the twisty mountain roads gave us time to “play” with several luxury amenities, which the Genesis didn’t lack. Our 2015 Genesis Sedan 3.8 was loaded up with advanced safety features such as adaptive radar cruise control (Smart Cruise Control with Full stop/start), blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change assist, lane keep assist, lane departure warning – all fed through the haptic steering warning system to alert you of each system chiming in for action to be taken by the driver. Of course those active safety features are to keep the nine standard airbags from greeting you in the event of an unfortunate circumstance.

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Powered by the 3.8-liter V6 engine producing 311 horsepower and 293 lb-ft of torque, the Genesis Sedan in its base trim was never a slouch. Mated to a new standard 8-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission, the formula helped the V6 engine’s power output keep the rpm sweet spots within close reach to extract every bit of available power to the rear wheels. The transmission shifted smoothly and automatically locked up from 2nd gear all the way up to 8th, providing a more direct feel. Utilizing the steering wheel-mounted shift paddles proved to be a necessity while spritely enjoying the curvy roads. Entering a twisty road area showcased an astonishing attribute of the new Genesis; the car remained stable and balanced, easily controlled while braking into turns and powering out of them. Much of the driving character was comparable to the BMW 5 series and new Benz E class due to the chassis having body rigidity higher than either German competitor. Breaking the speed down with each rev-matched downshift brought smiles to our faces; grinning ear to ear as the rear end delightfully trails the front through each turn. The Genesis Sedan emitted slight understeer, but could easily be counteracted with oversteer, a firm press of the gas pedal, quickly followed up with stability control stepping in, but never overly intrusive.

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Later in our journey jumping into the 5.0-liter V8 rear-wheel-drive Genesis Sedan, producing 420 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, it immediately gave us an extra confidence in its wider-patched tires’ connection to the road mostly due to the adaptive dampers and better acceleration over the 3.8 trim. The steering also felt a bit more connected with a slight extra weight in each drive mode. Drive modes, including Eco, Normal and Sport, all had the separate mapping for engine management, transmission shifting and the adaptive suspension dampers when properly equipped such as in our 5.0-liter RWD trimmed test vehicle. Utilizing Eco mode will allow you to easily obtain the EPA estimated 15 mpg city and 23 mpg highway for the 5.0-liter V8 RWD trim or 18 mpg city and 29 mpg highway figure for the 3.8-liter RWD trim (16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy 3.8 AWD).

Hopping into the V8 Genesis brought our attention to other notable features included on our 5.0-liter V8 rear-wheel-drive trimmed test vehicle including high beam assist (auto switched highbeam to low when approaching vehicles are detected), color heads-up display (displays speed, navigation turn-by-turn, smart cruise, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, traffic info and blind spot detection), a 7-inch color center cluster LCD information screen and the 9.2-inch 720p HD resolution infotainment system display (also featured on the 3.8 trim RWD trim). Hyundai’s standard next-generation cloud-connected Blue Link 2.0 telematics caps off the connectivity with always-available assistance for emergency assistance, collision notification, car care information, remote vehicle starts, point of interest searches and other vehicle-specific services.

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Hyundai opened up the entry-level 3.8 trims to most available options and luxury amenities across the new Genesis Sedan line with the exception of the few exclusive 5.0-liter features, such as LED fog lamps, quad exhaust tips, illuminated door sill plates, and 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in staggered 245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear tires.

Overall, the all-new 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan makes a prominent statement visually and deep within its powertrain and amenities it fortifies its character to be a worthy contender with the segment it deserves to have a front seat beside the likings of the new Cadillac CTS, Lexus GS, Infiniti Q70, Benz E class and BMW 5 series. As far as value perception goes, the Genesis wins the battle with a starting price of just $38,000, which is about $7,000 less than its closes priced competitor. Still, tacking on a full range of available option packages will still yield a price several thousands less than a comparably optioned competitor. If you are willing to sacrifice the essence of a badge on your quest to find a premium midsized luxury sedan and save some money in the process, then the all-new 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan deserves a close look.

From Senior Editor, Chris Brewer:

I was able to spend some time behind the wheel of all three versions of the Genesis and while they all share the same luxury DNA and build quality, I found each example to have unique strengths. I enjoyed the relentless tire spinning power and suspension dampening capabilities of the V8. The cornering of the AWD V6 was second to none, but lacked a little of the drama that I enjoy when I really push a RWD sports sedan. Surprisingly, my personal favorite is the base rear-wheel-drive V6. I felt that the power was more than adequate and the driving experience was almost as exhilarating as the V8, but the four additional miles per gallon and the incredible price to value ratio of the RWD V6 tipped the scales in the least expensive models favor.

Copyright: 2014 AutomotiveAddicts.com

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Genesis Sedan 3.8 $38,000 / As-Tested estimate Genesis 3.8 Tech Package $51,000 / As-Tested estimate Genesis 5.0 Ultimate $54,000
  • Engine: 3.8-liter V6 DOHC 311 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm  293 ft-lbs of torque @ 5,000 rpm / 5.0-liter V8 DOHC 420 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm  383 ft-lbs. of torque @ 5,000 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 118.5 in.
  • Total length: 196.5 in.
  • Total width: 74.4 in.
  • Total height: 58.3 in.
  • Track: f/r-63.8/64.3 in.
  • Headroom: f/r-39.4/38.2 in.
  • Legroom: f/r-45.7/35.0 in.
  • Turning circle: 36.2 ft.
  • Fuel tank: 20.3 gallons
  • Curb weight: 3.8 – 4,138 lbs. / 5.0 – 4,541 lbs.
  • EPA Fuel mileage estimates: 3.8 – 18 mpg city 29 mpg highway / 5.0 – 15 mpg city 23 mpg highway

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