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2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-spec Review by John Heilig +VIDEO

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2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec

European style luxury and performance without breaking the bank

By John Heilig

Specifications - Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-spec

Engine: 5.0-liter V8
Horsepower/Torque: 429 hp @ 6,400 rpm/376 lb.-ft. @ 5,000 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 115.6 in.
Length x Width x Height: 196.3 x 74.4 x 63.8 in.
Tires: P235/45R19
Cargo: 15.9 cu. ft.
Economy: 16 mpg city/25 mpg highway/15.5 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 20.3 gal.
Curb Weight: 4,100 lbs. (est.)
Sticker: $46,535 (includes $35 for iPod cable)

Top 5 Reasons to buy this car:
   1. Smooth, comfortable, quiet ride
   2. Korean Buick/Mercedes-Benz
   3. Powerful
   4. Spacious
   5. Elegant

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2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec

The Bottom Line: Hyundai’s Genesis is the antithesis of what you’d expect from Hyundai, at least compared to the company’s earliest years. In the beginning, the normal Hyundai was an econobox, noted more for its fuel economy and small size than anything else. But the Genesis breaks that mold. Not only is it a full-sized car by most standards, it also offers uncompromizing luxury and comfort.

Hyundai’s tag line for the Genesis is “Genesis offers an unprecedented combination of performance, luxury, efficiency & value.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Genesis is a full-sized car in all respects. It has a long 115.6-inch wheelbase, which accounts for the “unprecedented” ride quality. My initial impression was that here was a luxury-type car from a company not known for building luxury cars.

    • SEE ALSO: Hyundai Specs, Prices and Comparisons - Hyundai Buyers Guide

Step on the gas and feel the power from the 429 horsepower 5.0-liter V8 and understand the “unprecedented performance” side of the claim. The V8 offers plenty of power for all but the most performance-hungry of drivers. That power reaches the rear wheels through a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission (the “unprecedented luxury and efficiency side”).

If for no other reasons, these stamp the Genesis with a luxury tag that puts it in a class with Buick on the American side and Mercedes-Benz (yes, Mercedes-Benz) on the European side. I just pray that Hyundai doesn’t use the Genesis (and big brother Equus) as the basis for another brand, a la Honda/Acura and Toyota/Lexus.

But wait, there’s more. No luxury car worth its salt gets by on just power. Nestled inside its 115-inch wheelbase is a roomy cabin that offers power seats with memory up front. These seats also have good side support. The driver’s seat is heated and cooled; the passenger’s just heated.

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2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec

Driver amenities include automatic dimming and heated exterior rear view mirrors. It always annoys me when I can reduce the glare on my inside rearview mirror, only to have some fool sidle up behind me and shine his high beams in my side mirrors.

Luxury cars these days also have some sort of knob on the center console for controlling audio systems and others. Hyundai, too, has its magic knob for the audio systems, called a multimedia controller. You can cue on the main menu to get to the clear navigation screen as well.

Watch TACH's exclusive Genesis promo video

There are also the standard goodies, like a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, sunroof, pushbutton start/stop, and a front and rear parking assist system with a rearview camera.

The rear seats (also heated) offer excellent legroom. There’s a tall center hump back there, so the rear is only really adequate for two passengers, but they will ride in comfort. The rear seats also have their own set of HVAC controls. They’re basis, but at least the passengers back there don’t have to endure what the front passengers claim is comfort.

The large glass area for the rear doors give a feeling of spaciousness back there, reducing any feelings of claustrophobia.

Genesis styling is very much in the Mercedes-Benz mold, with a solid three-box design and good aerodynamics. For those who are dead-set on buying a Mercedes or BMW (and spending a lot more), the Genesis probably won't be considered. But establishes a new player in the luxury car market with a price that M and B just can't touch.

2011 The Auto Page