2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan Review By Larry Nutson

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2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan

2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan
All new. Fully redesigned.

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, New York Bureau
The Auto Channel

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I remember when the first Hyundai cars started to arrive in the U.S. back in 1986. One look and they had me scratching my head. How would this brand succeed and satisfy its customers?

Today Hyundai cars and SUVs are sold through a dealer network that is 820 strong. For any of you reading this review and considering your first Hyundai it is important to consider that a nearby dealer is a necessity to provide convenient service when needed and a pleasant ownership experience.

As a buyer it’s nice to know that Hyundai was ranked Number One in customer loyalty by Brand Keys 2014 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index. Brand Keys, a New York-based brand, customer loyalty and engagement consultancy, publishes an annually-syndicated study that examines customers’ relationships with 555 different brands in 64 categories.

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Annual Hyundai sales last year totaled 720,783 units, up 2.5 percent over a record setting 2012. The original Genesis was first introduced in 2008 and it was honored in being named the 2009 North American Car of the Year. That’s saying something about this car already. Annual sales have been around 32,000 to 33,000 per year and noteworthy is that sales growth has exceeded the segment growth. “The first generation Genesis established Hyundai luxury credibility,” according to Brandon Ramirez, Senior Group Manager, Product Planning. And, Hyundai expects sales to increase with the all-new 2015 Genesis, and I tend to agree they will.

Hyundai’s all-new 2015 Genesis sedan fits in to the midsize luxury segment and was launched in January at the North American International Auto Show. It is designed to compete against German mid-luxury sedans. Having hit showroom floors in April, Genesis is priced starting at $38,000 for the 3.8L V6 and $51,500 for the 5.0L V8 model. Also the new Genesis is Hyundai’s first all-wheel-drive sedan, priced at $40,500 and available only as a 3.8L V6.

Compared to the 2014 model, the 2015 Genesis delivers significantly more standard content. This includes an all-new interior and exterior design, 8-inch navigation with rearview camera, paddle shifters, hill hold control, power folding outside mirrors, driver knee airbag, power height adjustable passenger seat, power lumbar passenger seat, HD radio, 4.3-inch TFT LCD cluster display, Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, SiriusXM Travel Link, a telescoping steering wheel, rear 1-touch up power windows and rain sensing wipers.

On the invitation of Hyundai a group of auto writers met in lower Manhattan for a product briefing and an opportunity to drive the all-new Genesis. You may think driving in Manhattan is not a good way to experience a new car. However, we quickly exited NYC driving up the west side and across the GW Bridge. We headed north in New Jersey along the steep cliffs of the Hudson Palisades that were formed 200 million years ago and rise up from a low of 300 feet to about 540 feet from the edge of the Hudson River.

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The new exterior design of the Genesis is more luxurious and stylish. Hyundai calls it Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. It’s designed to be a sports sedan.
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On the inside the interior is lounge-type with a smart layout and lots of buttons. The Genesis is also quite roomy and is classified as a large car based on interior volume by the EPA. The interior cabin is very serene and quiet. Ingress and egress are very easy. For our three hours on the road the seats proved to be comfortable and supportive. The longer wheelbase of the new Genesis is a boon for rear seat passengers providing lots of legroom.

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My driving partner and I drove both V6 models, namely rear drive and HTRAC AWD. On two recent auto media association events I also drove the 420 HP V8. The 311 HP and lots of torque from the V6 provides very good performance, with rapid acceleration, good highway merging and overtaking while also being very quiet. The AWD V6 is targeted at the winter-weather snow-belt states and is equipped with that in mind. The two V6 models will make up about 80% of sales with the V8 the balance. A V8 with AWD is being looked at for the future and might just be equipped more in the sport direction.

Both the V6 and V8 are mated to eight-speed automatics that provided smooth and comfortable shifts. The eight speeds help to keep the engine operating in its most efficient RPM range. EPA ratings for the V6 rear drive model are 22 mpg combined, with 18 city mpg and 29 highway mpg test ratings. I’d like to see these ratings a bit higher. Perhaps some long distance real world driving would prove them to be low. On a note, Hyundai says they continue to study the diesel engine for their cars.

A couple cool “world’s first” new innovations on the Genesis are a hands-free “smart trunk” opening system that pops the trunk lid if the driver stands next to it for 3 seconds, and a CO2 sensor that will automatically open the vents to bring in fresh air if interior CO2 levels get too high which can cause drowsiness. The haptic steering wheel vibrates to tell you that you are drifting out of your lane and, the blind spot warning appears in the head up display.

Hyundai’s 2015 Genesis sedan is the first and only rear-wheel drive vehicle in its class to receive the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) highest honor as a 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK+ when equipped with optional front crash prevention. Genesis is also the first rear-wheel drive luxury sedan to earn a Good rating in the small overlap crash test.

Hyundai’s all-new 2015 Genesis was named Top Family Choice by the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association (GAAMA) during their second-annual signature event, the Family Choice Challenge. And, the Genesis has been named the 2014 “Car of Texas” by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), one of the largest and most respected media associations in the U.S.

The all-new 2015 Hyundai Genesis is a candidate for the Midwest Automotive Media Associations (MAMA) Family Vehicle of the Year Award which will be presented at the Chicago Auto Show next February.

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If you are interested to compare the 2015 Hyundai Genesis to other midsize luxury sedans you can do that right here on TheAutoChannel.com. There’s a lot more information and detailed specifications on the 2015 Hyundai Genesis just a mouse click away at www.hyundaiusa.com.

If you like, download the free TheAutoChannel smartphone app. The “My Test Drives” app for both the iPad and iPhone is available for free on The Auto Channel app found in the Apple App Store. The Auto Channel's free "My Test Drives" app gives serious car shoppers the help they need to make test drive evaluations accurate, effective and meaningful.

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis: New Thinking and New Possibilities. My how times have changed!

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