TTAC - Hyundai Genesis Review

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Handsome, in a generic kind of way

    By Justin Berkowitz
    July 18, 2008

    In 2002, my friend Patrick O’Melveny threw a glass ashtray at me in a bar in Boston. “Berzerkowitz!” he barked, celebrating the successful hit right in the middle of my forehead. That’s how he said hi. The next morning, once he sobered up, and my face still hurt like a sonofabitch, we went for a ride in the car he rented for the weekend. “It’s the most generic car I have ever driven,” Pat told me from the driver’s seat of a Hyundai XG350L.

    That was when entry level-luxury Infinitis, Acuras, and Lexuses were front wheel drive, and packed just north of 200 horsepower. It didn’t matter that the Hyundai’s wood trim was horrible or that the seats were dirty pleather. It was a Hyundai, and nobody was going to take it seriously even if, on paper, it toed-up with the competition for close to ten grand less.

    And now that Hyundai’s overall rep has transitioned from punch line to resolute not-that-bad-ness, the Korean brand will again try to sell you a cut-price luxury car in the form of the Genesis, a name that reveals a marketing department with way too much power and/or a blinding amount of engineering arrogance. The problem is that neither the arrogance nor the marketing department has done a very good job.

    The Genesis looks like a luxury car. I think. It’s big, it has luxury car lines. As it should, thanks to a rear wheel-drive (RWD) chassis and RWD proportions. But what’s stopping the Genesis from looking like an Infiniti M35? A Lexus GS? An E-Class? An Acura I forget the letters? Nothing at all. Nothing makes it any different, either. There isn’t even a logo on the front– just a Merc-Benzian chrome grill. Usually, people looking for a safe luxury buy don’t just want the look; they want the badge and the brand. Hence the reason Lexus does so well, in spite of selling Lexuses.

    There’s very little in the appearance, inside or out, that gives away the Genesis's ruse as a big luxury car. The fit and finish of the interior is top shelf. The materials, including a leather-covered dash with de rigeur exposed stitching looks contemporary - even beautiful. Gadgets and toys abound, I suppose, although such niceties have never attracted me to any car. Only some very tacky, shit-class wood trim on the doors reminds that you’re in a Hyundai, which is supposed to be a knock off of “better” cars.

    The Genesis doesn’t drive as you’d suppose. With Hyundai’s (probably self-perpetuated) reputation of knocking-off Toyotas (so to speak), I was expecting nothing short of a cushy, neo-Cadillac ride. But it’s not. Isolating, yes, and extremely quiet. But the Genesis’ suspension is more Germanic sportster than Japanese recliner. Steering feedback, brisk handling and tight turning capabilities combine to make this a surprisingly sharp drive.

    Pistonheads are all abuzz about the Korean’s V8 (a review for which you’ll have to wait). Meanwhile, the Genesis’ destined-to-be-default 3.8-liter V6 is rated at some 290 horsepower. That makes for some quick acceleration from a standstill. But like so many of these “overboosted” V6 engines shooting for high horsepower bragging rights, the 3700lbs. four-door runs out of puff once in motion (i.e. 264 ft-lb of torque at 4,500 rpm). It would certainly be an error to call the Genesis V6 a slow car, but it ain’t quick neither.

    Hyundai’s Superbowl ads said it offered the size and power of a 7-Series for the price of a 3-Series. If we all bought cars on paper descriptions, that might be an enticing argument. But when push comes to your bank account, how in good faith can you choose the V6 Genesis over one of its stellar competitors? Because it’s bigger? Or because it might be a few grand less to buy?

    Even with a fairly strong residual estimate (around 50 percent), you’re going to take an acid rain shower when resale time comes. And Hyundai’s “aggressive” 24 month lease program– $399/month with about 2200 down– is barely better than a deal on a well loaded Benz C300. And unlike the Mercedes, which reeks of permanence in its badge and solid construction, I cannot come up with a way to call the Genesis interesting.

    I’m sure the 375 horsepower V8 will liven things up when it goes on sale next month (though I’d rather forego the luxury, get a Pontiac G8 GT, and pocket several thousand bucks). But in the meantime, Hyundai has reprised its role as the firm that can build the most generic car on the road. Just like the XG350 that my ashtray-throwing friend lambasted, this is without doubt Hyundai’s best car yet. But it’s not special. Without the right or indeed any luxury brand logo, it will make for a tough sell. And a questionable buy.

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    Review Summary

    PERFORMANCE:
    Brisk, but no hot rod.
    RIDE:
    America's big rimmed conspiracy continues to deny perfection.
    HANDLING:
    Rear wheel-drive and tight steering create a slightly-better-than-average fun factor.
    EXTERIOR:
    Clean and contemporary yet totally boring.
    INTERIOR:
    A few bits of bad trim easily forgotten in the best Korean effort ever.
    FIT AND FINISH:
    You have to admit, it's getting better. It's getting better all the time.
    TOYS:
    Brand-faithful value; meets and greets the competition for less scratch.
    DESIRABILITY:
    It's the penny-pincher's luxury car. How great is that?
    MILEAGE:
    17/25
    PRICE AS TESTED:
    $36k
    OVERALL:
    Decent car with no character.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/hyundai-genesis-38-v6/
     
  2. art_VW_shark

    art_VW_shark OT Supporter

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    :bowrofl:
     
  3. Ozner

    Ozner Offical TSL OP Leghumper

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    It looks like a BMW, Toyota, and Acura.

    :eek3:
     
  4. art_VW_shark

    art_VW_shark OT Supporter

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    it looks 100x better than any car acura makes as of 09 MY
     
  5. Original

    Original OT Supporter

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    ill agree, who the fuck did they hire :ugh:
     
  6. Virality

    Virality New Member

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    +11ty

    I Just saw a commercial for the 09 RL :ugh:
     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Maybe they hired the dude who used to work for Hyundai.
     
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    It looks good. I'd be more likely to buy an Azera, though, but either way, a big-engined big car is not in my hand of cards until it doesn't burn gasoline anymore.
     
  9. art_VW_shark

    art_VW_shark OT Supporter

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    dude you have got to be kidding me :bowrofl:
     
  10. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Kidding about what?
     
  11. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    bloody passat owners
     
  12. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir WHM6D > *

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    I read that when it was posted on TTAC and I thought the review sucked.

    In the commentary, however, the reviewer (Berkowitz, I believe) explained himself a little better and it all made sense.

    Not very flattering for the Hyundai. Much like the G8 V6 review from Edmunds, it damned with faint praise.
     
  13. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    The gensis is much more expensive then i anticipated.

    I was expecting to see it sell for 30 grand.
     
  14. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    What? What does that have to do with anything?

    I didn't say I liked the Azera more, just that I'd be more likely to buy it. It costs 10 grand less and it won't kill me in snow.
     
  15. Yail Bloor

    Yail Bloor OT Supporter

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    this will be a great used buy in a few years
     
  16. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir WHM6D > *

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    That should be Hyundai's corporate slogan.
     
  17. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Honestly, I think Hyundai get shat upon a little too much. They've come a long way in the past ten years -- they can't compete with BMW, but that's probably because they haven't been around for a century yet.
     
  18. art_VW_shark

    art_VW_shark OT Supporter

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    and they're looking for more downmarket cars. but the new Kia Borrego, I guarantee you that thing can outcrawl a stock Explorer. Air suspension, son. (not sarcastic, it's also nicer than the explorer)
     

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