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Hyundai Genesis 2015 review

EXPERT RATING
8.6

Anybody who doubts that Hyundai is gunning for the number one in the world has rocks in their head. Big heavy ones. Korean companies do not settle for anything less than number one. The second-generation Genesis (our first taste here in the Antipodes as the gen-one had its steering wheel on the wrong side) is proof.

What's different about Hyundai's unstoppable rise is the way they're going about it. They've always done their own thing in Korea, reinventing themselves time and again when they strayed off the beaten path.

The Genesis is a gamble for a Korean company in foreign markets whose default setting for luxury is marked, Britain or Germany. If Hyundai gets the Genesis wrong there will be howls of derision, or at best patronising pats on the back - "Nice try, you'll get there one day". But if they get it right...

Hyundai Genesis 2015: (base)
Safety rating
Engine Type3.8L
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency11.2L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$17,900

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   9/10

The only way to describe the Genesis' pricing is aggressive - kicking off at $60,000, it's the most expensive Hyundai money can buy, but with a spec list like this, you won't feel at all short-changed.

Your sixty large buys you a huge cabin with a seventeen speaker stereo, auto headlights and wipers, LED ambient lighting inside and out, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, powered front seats which are heated and cooled, satnav, front and rear parking sensors, and plenty of other bits and pieces.

Our car had the $22,000 Ultimate package, adding 19-inch alloys, blind spot sensor, front and side cameras, around-view display, real leather, more adjustments for the driver's seat, ventilated seats in the front, heated rear seats, panoramic glass sunroof, acoustic glass, heads-up display, powered bootlid and LED foglamps.

The Genesis is like no other Hyundai

You can have a lot of the more useful features in the $11,000 Sensory Pack. It's a good middle ground that, for example, features the excellent heads-up display.

The 9.2-inch screen splits the asymmetric air-conditioning vents. The software is unique to the Genesis and a huge leap forward over the rest of the Hyundai range - classy, smooth graphics, a good responsive screen.

You control the seventeen speaker stereo from here, which kicks out a rich sound and an impressive Bluetooth performance - rear seat passengers can also run the stereo from their armrest. The satnav is detailed and chatty, while the excellent heads-up display shows a configurable information set in strong, clear graphics.

Is there anything interesting about its design?   8/10

The Genesis is like no other Hyundai. For a start, it's gigantic - it looks easily as big as a BMW 7 Series (it isn't) with the road presence to match. There's a lot of BMW from most directions, but with a sharper approach to the creasing and character of the sheet metal.

Towards the rear it's more BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe and is all the better for it. The style is understated and technocratic.

Inside is also very Germanic, but with a bit more of a Lexus feel

The big wheels from the Ultimate pack help make it look lower and sleeker, too.

Inside is also very Germanic, but with a bit more of a Lexus feel. Our car had the lighter leather which meant that the wood and the metal materials didn't necessarily work well together.

The interior is expertly put together and feels like it will last forever.

The only jarring moment is the gear selector is shared with our long-term Hyundai i30 - it looked a bit cheap in what is otherwise a beautifully executed cabin - it needs more heft.

On Australian-delivered cars there is just one Hyundai badge, sitting proudly on the boot - you get the feeling this was debated long and hard and when the decision was made to go for it, a big one was chosen.

However, the winged Genesis branding takes pride of place everywhere else. When you approach the car at night and the puddle lamps come on, the Genesis logo is projected on to the ground, crisp and clear.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   9/10

Nine airbags, traction and stability control, lane departure warning, forward collision control, ABS, brake force assist and distribution and traction and stability control bring the ANCAP count to five stars.

The Sensory and Ultimate packs add blind spot sensors and around view cameras.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

5 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

Verdict

The Genesis is not quite a match for cars twice its price but it makes you think what's possible. It doesn't have the dynamic brilliance of a BMW or the self-assured faultless execution of a Mercedes. Lexus ought to be worried, though - why would you have an LS when you could have this? The only answer is 'badge'.

The Genesis is an epoch-making car for the Korean manufacturer. As the company has got better, there are fewer excuses for overlooking it. While the Genesis is pitched into a shrinking market, it's not really meant for the average i30 buyer to buy, but to see.

It's bristling with tech and is not only a halo car but a shot across the bows of both Lexus and the Germans. Attached to that shot is a note: "We're coming for you." In other words, Hyundai got it right.

Pricing guides

$33,990
Based on 7 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$33,990
Highest Price
$40,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(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 $33,990 – 40,990 2015 Hyundai Genesis 2015 (Ultimate Pack) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8.6
Price and features9
Design8
Engine & trans9
Safety9
Driving8
Peter Anderson
Contributing journalist

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Pricing Guide

$25,990

Lowest price, based on 7 car listings in the last 6 months

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