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HEELS ON WHEELS: 2015 HYUNDAI GENESIS REVIEW


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HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE GENESIS VEHICLE
Hyundai makes a bold step with the redesigned second-generation Genesis, a full-sized sedan loaded with more premium features than ever – some of them taken from the high-end Equus – and matched with true performance thanks to an upgraded 420-horsepower 5-liter Tau V8 engine and rear-wheel drive.

I drove a 2015 Hyundai Genesis featuring the Tau 5-liter with 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC paddle shifters. Available in two trims by engine – a 3.8-liter or 5-liter – standard highlights on my test drive included: sunroof; 12-way power driver’s seat; ultra leather upholstery; wood trim; power rear sunshade; navigation system with eight-inch touchscreen; rearview camera with park assist; Bluetooth connectivity; BlueLink powered by Google; Internet radio; nineteen-inch alloy wheels; high-performance gas shock absorbers; seven-inch multi-information instrument panel display; Land Departure Warning; Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Total price as described comes to $51,500.

The Genesis also offers a tamer 3.8-liter direct-injected Lambda V6 engine delivering 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. Competitors span into more luxurious nameplates such as the Lexus GS 350, Infiniti Q70, and Buick Regal.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: With the Genesis – as well as the Equus and Kia K900 – Hyundai is making quite a statement that opulence should not be limited to certain brands. Using a generous dose of their own unique design philosophy, the Genesis features more geometric elements like a hexagonal front grille and creased accents along the side flanks. Another notable is how the second-row passengers receive first-class treatment with plenty of leg and shoulder room, plus access to heat and audio controls. Seats are divine, with an available air-pressure pump and controller valve for unique bolster adjustment for the driver. Also, Hyundai’s BlueLink telematics system brings voice-command navigation, music and calls hands-free but also to an optional 9.2-inch high-resolution touchscreen display that serves as a backup camera. My test drive came with a $3,250 Ultimate Package that included the bigger screen, an upgraded seventeen-speaker Lexicon audio system, a power trunk lid, a better suspension system.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The National Highway and Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) gives the 2015 Hyundai Genesis an overall 5-Star rating – and that’s for every single crash-test category. The vehicle is a Top safety Pick with The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) with ratings of “Good” across the board. Standard safety equipment includes Vehicle Stability Management, Electronic Stability Control, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert, and an advanced airbag system.

Cost Issues: The Hyundai Genesis 3.8-liter starts at $38,000 with the bigger and more feature-rich 5-liter at $51,500. The Kia K900 Premium trim starts at $54,500 with the Luxury trim and optional packages reaching $65,500.

Activity & Performance Ability: Under the 5-liter engine, the Genesis’s acceleration is commanding with excellent handling due to a complex suspension system. An additional performance benefit is the rear-drive layout that encourages spirited driving, backed by a solid chassis consisting of ultra-high tensile strength steel for a body that displays exceptional strength and rigidity (the slightly more glamorous sister, the Kia K900, delivers the same results). Advanced safety technologies keep the sizable sedan experience serene.

The Green Concern: With 18-city/23-highway driving on the V8 engine, combined estimates are at 18 miles-per-gallon – this is typical with most large-size sedans and matching engines.

FINAL PARTING WORDS Advanced in every way, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis take the premium sedan territory by storm, using more progressive aerodynamics, extremely competent powertrains and cutting-edge technology to convince buyers the brand is just as impressive as more well-known models.

©2015 Katrina Ramser