2015 Hyundai Genesis Take Two in the Second City
2015 Hyundai Genesis Review
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
Yes, take two. That is, this is my second opportunity to drive the all-new 2015 Genesis within about six months.
Last May I drove the new-for-2015 Genesis (as opposed to the Genesis Coupe) on the invitation of Hyundai at an auto writers product briefing held in New York City. My driving partner and I had about three hours of shared time behind the wheel as we exited NYC driving up the west side and across the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River. We headed north through 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 river.
Since May the Genesis has been well received and garnered a number of accolades. The North American Car of the Year is one of the most prestigious automotive awards in the industry and the all-new Hyundai Genesis was named to its short list. As a matter of fact, Hyundai Motor America was the only brand with two vehicles among the 10 selected – the all-new Hyundai Genesis and all-new Hyundai Sonata.
Additionally, the new 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.
And, the 2015 Genesis also was named “Best Luxury Sedan” by Ruedas ESPN, the leading Spanish automotive radio show in the U.S.
The original Genesis was first introduced in 2008 and it was honored in being named the 2009 North American Car of the Year. Hyundai’s all-new 2015 Genesis sedan fits in to the midsize luxury segment and is designed to compete against German mid-luxury sedans.
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. Hyundai expects a significant rise in Genesis sales in snowy winter regions of the country with the availability now of all-wheel-drive. Although nice to have when the going gets tough, I’m hoping for a not too snowy winter in Chicagoland.
My driver-for-a-week was the $38,000, rear drive, 3.8L V6 model that was also outfitted with $11,000 in options bringing the total, with freight and handling to $49,950. A tidy sum, yes, but not bad for a competitive luxury sedan.
A $4,000 Signature Package added a power tilt and slide sunroof, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert and a few more goodies. The $3,500 Tech Package brought ultra leather seats, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, smart cruise control, and more.
The “lane keep assist” is a very interesting feature. It works in conjunction with the steering to keep you in your lane buy actually applying light input to steer the car left or right as needed to maintain your lane. Autonomous driving! (but please don't rely on this at home)
And finally the $3,500 Ultimate Package provides a head-up display, power trunk lid, a larger 9.2 inch navigation display, 17-speaker audio system, and dual-mode vent control with CO2 sensor. The CO2 sensor will automatically open the vents to bring in fresh air if interior CO2 levels get too high which can cause drowsiness.
The Genesis has a hands-free “smart trunk” opening system that pops the trunk lid if the driver stands next to it for 3 seconds.
The new exterior design of the 2015 Genesis sedan is more luxurious
and stylish. Hyundai calls it Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. It’s designed to
be a sports sedan. 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 3.8L V6 with 311 HP develops lots of torque and provides very good performance, with rapid acceleration, good highway merging and overtaking while also being very quiet. 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 test ratings for the V6 rear drive model are 22 mpg combined, or 4.5 gallons per 100 miles, with 18 city mpg and 29 highway mpg test ratings.
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.
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.
Whether it be in Chicago or New York City my take on the new 2015 Genesis sedan hasn’t changed. It’s a very worthy entry in the luxury sedan market.
© 2014 Larry Nutson, Chicago Car Guy