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2015 Car Review: Hyundai Genesis 5.0 V8 By John Heilig +VIDEO

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2015 Hyundai Genesis

By John Heilig

Reviewed Model: 2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0

Engine: 5.0-liter DOHC V8
Horsepower/Torque: 420 hp @ 6,000 rpm/383 lb.-ft. @ 5,000 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 118.5 in.
Length x Width x Height: 196.5 x 74.4 x 58.3 in.
Tires: P245/40R19 (F)/P275/35R19 (R)
Cargo: 15.3 cu. ft.
Economy: 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway/23.7 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 20.3 gal.
Curb Weight: 4,541 lbs.
Sticker: $55,700 (Includes $950 destination, $3,250 options)

The Bottom Line: The 2015 Hyundai Genesis is a full-size luxury car able to compete on equal terms with the likes of the Lexus LS, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz E-Type.

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Is that a Hyundai? was the question I was asked most when I was driving the Genesis. Yes, folks, it’s a Hyundai, despite the almost absence of the Hyundai “H” on the car (there is one on the trunk lid, but Hyundai has chosen to use a different symbol up front and on the sides for its larger cars).

And yes, it has a hefty sticker, which may be a deterrent to many potential buyers. But the Genesis is worth the full sticker, especially considering that the cars it will be competing against have even heftier stickers.

Well, what do you get for your $55,700? Well, under the hood is a 420 horsepower 5.0-liter V8 that is the equal of anything else on the road (in a sedan). There is more than enough power to get the Genesis’s 4,541 pounds up and moving as a good pace. In addition, the engine is quiet, as befits a luxury car, and makes no fuss when asked to work.

I was particularly impressed by the fuel economy. On our test, which included a lot of around-town driving, we averaged 23.7 mpg, which is more than the EPA-estimate HIGHWAY economy.

As is to be expected, the Genesis offers a comfortable ride with a full menu of safety features – Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Active Cruise Control and a passel of others.

Let’s get into ride quality. This is a big heavy car, and Rolls-Royce proved that this combination is key to a great ride. Handling is very good, but certainly not sports car-like.

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The power, heated front seats are comfortable with decent side support. The sets can be adjusted to please the pickiest of drivers or passengers. The heated rear seats offer good side support as well as very good leg room. This would be a good car for an executive who wants to sit in the back and do some work on the way to work. And if this executive chooses to remain anonymous, there are shades on the rear and side windows for privacy.

I have commented favorably on the benefits of blind spot warning many times, as well as my arguments with lane departure warning systems. It’s the Active Cruise Control of the Genesis that I’d like to brag about this time. As with most ACC systems, this one slows you down when you approach another car that is going slower than your set speed. What I failed to realize was that is the car in front of you is STOPPED, the Genesis will also stop within about 15-20 feet of the other car’s rear bumper.

I first noticed this on a rather busy highway that had a red light-controlled left turn. The Genesis slowed more abruptly than usual, so I decided to keep my foot poised over the brake pedal, just in case, but the Genesis stopped safely with no input from me. Later, I tried not braking and not accelerating for a mile or two long stretch of highway and let the Genesis do all the work.

Granted, if you approach the car in front too fast, then you get lights and warnings that an accident is imminent, but safely approaching is fun.

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There are some interesting touches as well. For example, when you unlock the car with the key fob, “puddle lights” go on next to the front doors. There is a Genesis logo in the lights, just in case you forget which car you’re driving.

Hyundai has also added to the Genesis and Sonata an automatic trunk release. If you’re laden down with packages, all you have to do is have the key fob in your pocket and stand in front of the trunk and it will automatically open and rise to its full height. You can then put your packages in the 15 cubic foot trunk, push the power close button, and unlock the doors, etc.

If you get the impression that I’m impressed with the Hyundai Genesis, you’re correct. Hyundai has been amazing people over the past couple of years with their design and engineering. If you think of the Genesis as purely a Hyundai, then you might think it is overpriced, but get behind the wheel and drive it for a while and you’ll be as impressed as I was, I'm sure!

2014 The Auto Page