Infiniti Q50 2.0t GT 2014 review
Stuart Martin road tests and reviews the Infiniti Q50 2.0t petrol at its Australian launch.
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You get a lot in Hyundai's hero car, even in the $60K opener with its old-fashioned approach to luxury. Any way you look at it, the Hyundai Genesis makes a load of sense.
It's a full-size, fully loaded prestige car that starts from just $60,000, it comes with five years of free servicing, a guaranteed buyback price, and it has been tuned and tweaked for Australian roads and drivers.
What's the catch, I can hear you asking? It's the badge. Or the lack of a badge. Hyundai is only just idling into the top end of town, on roads that are already overcrowded by the badge brands.
It is, in short, surprisingly un-bad
The Genesis might be a good car - and it's massively better than the very ordinary Grandeur that once headed the South Korean company's line-up - but it's not an Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz.
Plenty of people are rusted tight to cars with the right names and the right history but, even among people who think German cars are best, the all-new Hyundai deserves a chance.
It's a car that's roomy and comfortable, quiet and lively, brilliant value and very well built.
It's also scored the best result in the history of ANCAP safety testing.
It is, in short, surprisingly un-bad. And I say that after driving every new Hyundai since 1996, when the company made throwaway cars.
The fuel economy is disappointing, there is a clunk in the rear suspension that local engineers did not totally fix and the cabin is a bit chintzy. Those are little things and you get a lot in the $60,000 starter car I'm driving - with even more in the two models that ramp the equipment and price up to $82,000.
The Genesis had its, er, genesis in the US, where every brand believes it needs an upscale hero model. America ignited the Lexus and Infiniti start-ups, as well as Honda's move to have Acura as its prestige contender.
So the Genesis is targeted at people who are buying beyond the brand and looking for class and confidence at the right price.
No fuss, no drama, just a hard worker
In Australia, the Genesis is an old-fashioned approach to luxury. It has a full-size five-seater cabin and a V6 with rear-wheel drive that puts me in mind of a Holden Caprice or (now departed) Ford Fairlane.
It's not remotely sporty to drive but it is quiet and cushy. It soaks up bumps in a way that proves the Hyundai people know about Australian roads. The steering feel is fine, the brakes are good and it corners without causing any dramas.
In some ways, the Genesis is like a Toyota. No fuss, no drama, just a hard worker for people who see their car as a tool. Perhaps a super Camry.
As I spend more time with the car, I like the giant multimedia screen and the fast response time of the satnav, as well as the easy way the Bluetooth hooks up to my phone.
The boot space is great, the lounging room in the back is enojyable - while someone else drives - and I appreciate quality that is a cut above any current Hyundai in the touch-and-feel work on the leather trim, dashboard plastics and even the boot.
Hyundai aims to sell only 1000 examples of the Genesis in the first year. It could struggle with private luxury buyers who are reluctant to take the drastic step into a Hyundai. But we already know it's a hit with hire car drivers - expect to see plenty of them parked outside Australia's airports.
By any measure, the Hyundai Genesis is a very good car and a great buy. It's not a great car, and it's got a way to go to match the German cars, but it's got a lot of class for the cash.
It's hard not to sound like a spruiker for the Genesis. It's a lovely car, a brilliant deal and well worth The Tick.
Hyundai wants us to believe its Genesis is a rival to an Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz.
Nah. Not yet, anyway.
Perhaps by someone who once might have bought a Honda Legend. The starting price is on top of the Caprice sticker of $54,490. It's bigger and better than the Lexus ES that opens at $64,900, and it is better value than a Lexus GS from $77,000 or an Infiniti Q70 from $68,900.
|(base)||3.8L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO||$17,900 – 24,860||2015 Hyundai Genesis 2015 (base) Pricing and Specs|
|(Sensory Pack)||3.8L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO||$19,400 – 27,060||2015 Hyundai Genesis 2015 (Sensory Pack) Pricing and Specs|
|(Ultimate Pack)||3.8L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO||$27,000 – 35,750||2015 Hyundai Genesis 2015 (Ultimate Pack) Pricing and Specs|