2015 Hyundai Genesis Launch Report by Steve Purdy +VIDEO

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2015 Hyundai Genesis

Unpretentious but classy, with amazing content and solid, practical luxury

By Steve Purdy
Michigan Bureau

    • SEE ALSO: Hyundai Buyers Guide

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2015 Hyundai Genesis

We were fortunate to attend the regional launch event in suburban Detroit a couple weeks ago for the new Genesis and were impressed again with the full-size luxury sedan by upstart Korean carmaker Hyundai. Perhaps we shouldn’t be calling them an upstart anymore since they, and sister brand Kia, have proven themselves over the last 15 years, or so, to be contenders on the world stage. Hyundai cars and crossovers are equal to anything in the segments in which they compete, and they have earned a reputation for raising the bar in terms of value and content.

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2015 Hyundai Genesis

The redesigned Hyundai Genesis continues that trend into the car’s second generation.

Genesis slots between the nearly full-size Azera and the ultra-luxury Equus in the Hyundai family. All three of these can be considered in the luxury class, though a slot below the Germans and the premium Asians in terms of style and sophistication and cost. We’ll quickly add that’s a narrow slot, indeed. If you carefully compare content, space, materials, powertrains and overall ambiance you may not find much difference at all. So for a marginally lower price we usually find Hyundai products to offer good value. That applies to the new Genesis.

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2015 Hyundai Genesis

The criticism sometimes leveled is that the style and design lacks passion. Well, I suppose that’s a matter of perception and individual taste. The new Genesis presents a considerably bolder face with a larger, aggressive grille and distinctive fascia. The rear view also gets strengthened. The interior gets a variety of upgrades including a new center stack, larger navigation/multifunction screen and new, upscale materials. The analog clock, in this reporters view, is a must for any luxury car and the Genesis has one, though its design is less than impressive.

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2015 Hyundai Genesis

The cabin is remarkably quiet. We found the standard leather seating comfortable and new, fine materials surround the cabin. A variety of wood, metal and leather trims blend well together in the two examples we were able to evaluate. Nothing looked overthought or overdone. Controls were mostly sensible and easily managed, though we didn’t explore all the functions of the infotainment system. Those elements we did explore did not seem gimmicky as do some systems in this luxury category. A practical mix of knobs and buttons made the basic functions easy. We need to spend much more time with the non-basic functions to provide a more thorough assessment.

Under the hood the engine/transmission combinations are carried over from the previous generation – that is, a 420-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 and a 311-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 both mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The new rear-wheel drive platform -3 inches longer than the last one – allows for an all-wheel drive option for those of us who deal with winter conditions and those who just like the extra poise of having all the wheels in play when needed. Three driving modes change suspension settings, shift points and steering input, but on our short test drive I was unable to feel much difference. That will come with a more thorough review.

Our drive time was limited so we’ll save our more detailed review for our week-long test later - maybe even a big road trip if the timing is right. In the meantime, be assured that our brief drive through the lakes and rural areas of western Oakland County impressed us with the new Genesis’ competence on the road. We pushed it hard enough to get a sense of its capabilities and came away impressed.

Watch the complete introduction of the 2015 Genesis at the Detroit Auto Show

The question was asked by one of our colleagues, “Why opt for an Equus considering what you get with the Genesis?” Good question. You mostly get a bigger back seat and a bit more luxury with Equus but not a lot more.

A couple of innovations new to this new Genesis are: an air quality sensor that will detect sleep inducing CO2 in the cabin and automatically bring in fresh air, and a slick system of opening the trunk hands- and feet-free. Unlike Ford’s system that requires us to wave a foot under the bumper, this system just requires the drive to stand behind the car for three seconds with the fob in his/her pocket.

We liked the previous generation Genesis because of its unpretentious but classy style, amazing content and solid, practical luxury. We like the new one for the same reasons.

Steve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights Reserved

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