2009 Hyundai Genesis

Base RWD 4-Dr Sedan V6

Base RWD 4-Dr Sedan V6

2009 hyundai genesis Reviews and News

0810 01 Pl+2009 Hyundai Genesis 4 6+front Three Quarter View
0810 01 Z+2009 Hyundai Genesis 4 6+front Three Quarter View
Once upon a time, a japanese giant pulled a bit of a sneaky move on the established German luxury-car market. Known best for its inexpensive, reliable economy cars, Toyota launched the 1990 Lexus LS400 - a big, rear-wheel-drive, V-8-powered luxury car. The LS was to compete with the top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz S-class, but it cost little more than the entry-level 190E. The Germans laughed (and laughed, and laughed), but it was the Japanese who laughed last. The LS400 was, in fact, a worthy rival to the S-class, and to remain competitive over the next decade and a half, Mercedes would slash the price of its S-class by almost twenty percent.
0810 03 Z+2009 Lexus GS460+side View
Now that Lexus's prices have crept up into Mercedes territory, Hyundai's pulling the same move. Just like the Japanese company did nineteen years ago, the Korean automaker has gathered a bunch of heavy-hitters, put them in a blender, and frappéd together a car that competes with all of them in one way or another. The new Genesis is almost as big as the luxurious Lexus LS460, can run with the sporty GS460, and is priced like the compact IS350. Or so says Hyundai. This time, no one's laughing. We chose the top-of-the-line Genesis to see how it compares with some of the V-8-powered, rear-wheel-drive cars it copies.
0810 04 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz E550+front View
In the German corner, we have the Mercedes-Benz E550, an old-school poster child for upright, refined Teutonic virtues. Fighting for the Japanese is the Lexus GS460, which received the LS460's larger V-8 and eight-speed automatic transmission for 2008. And because it's new, gorgeous, and priced similarly, we included the very English Jaguar XF in the mix. Lest you think the bargain-basement Hyundai is going to embarrass itself, keep in mind that when we pitted the Lexus LS400 against the European establishment back in 1989, it won outright.
0810 02 Z+2009 Jaguar XF+rear Three Quarter View
When you line up these four sedans, the first thing you notice is that the Mercedes, the Lexus, and the Jaguar each look like nothing else on the road, and the Hyundai looks like everything else. The Genesis is such a hodgepodge of shoplifted design cues that it resembles one of the nondescript, digitally rendered cars in an insurance advertisement, an impression not helped by the badgeless grille. Other than that homely schnoz, though, nothing about the Genesis's appearance looks cheap - our test car's metallic red paint is deep and lustrous, its panel gaps are the same as (or smaller than) all of the other cars here, and the overall proportions create a substantial stance. Even the LED taillights and the intricate headlights look expensive.
0810 08 Z+2009 Jaguar XF+interior View
Don't look too closely at the Jaguar's awkward headlights, or you'll forget to notice how gorgeous the rest of the car is. In contrast to the derivative Hyundai, the all-business Mercedes, and the introverted Lexus, the Jaguar is an epiphany of design. Every cutline, every detail, and every bulge is a triumphant piece of jewelry - and the longer you stare at it, the more you notice. Your eyes can fully digest the Mercedes in eight seconds, but it takes hours to truly appreciate the Jaguar's complex shape.
The Jaguar also has the most modern-looking interior, although it borders on kitschy, with rotating vents and a circular gear selector that rises slowly from the center console as the engine is started. At night, the dash illuminates in blue, with thin lines that remind us of the science-fiction movie Tron. Looking at - not touching - the Jaguar's interior is the best way to enjoy it, as the materials don't feel quite as nice as they appear. And the entire interior tends to creak and rattle while driving.
0810 05 Z+2009 Hyundai Genesis 4 6+interior View
This isn't true for the Hyundai's rock-solid interior, which is the richest of the group both in appearance and feel. Its swooping, two-tone, leather-covered dashboard mimics that of an S-class and is refreshingly clean and uncluttered. Its perforated leather seats are the warmest (visually - the seat cooler on the driver's seat will render your unmentionables frostbitten) and most inviting of the group, and the wood steering-wheel rim looks as though it were lifted straight out of a posh LS460. With the key comfortably in your pocket, press the START button, and the Hyundai's white-on-black gauges perform the same startup ritual we've become accustomed to in every Lexus, with luminescent needles glowing brightly as the numeric markings gradually become visible. Actually, the entire experience from behind the wheel of the Genesis leads you to believe you're in a Lexus.
The particular Lexus in this test, however, offers a more athletic-looking interior than the others. The GS460 has brushed-metal gauge faces and a three-spoke steering wheel that work in concert with a louder, if occasionally boomy, exhaust note to give a sporty impression. Our test car's monochromatic interior left us a little cold, though, and the LED cabin lighting must have been designed by a photophobic migraine sufferer - open the doors at night, and the interior is illuminated with all the lumens of a sickly glowworm.
0810 11 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz E550+rear Three Quarter View
There are no LED gimmicks in the E550, and a quick look around the Benz's cabin will remind you that the traditional German concept of luxury comes from engineering excellence and attention to mechanical detail - not pillowy softness. For example, the perfectly machined door latches are practically works of art, yet your right elbow will become bruised by the rock-hard wood center console. In addition, the E550's infotainment system looks and feels like an old Tandy computer compared with the others' colorful and interactive screens.
0810 09 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz E550+interior View
On the road, though, the Mercedes feels as if it weighs six tons, isolating you so completely from the harsh unpleasantries of planet earth that you imagine every airspace under the dash, in the doors, and in the roof must be filled with sound- and shock-absorbing maple syrup. The E550's controls have a fluidity of motion and dampened responses that no other car here can match. By comparison, the Lexus and the Jaguar feel like they're made of harsh, unyielding Styrofoam. The Mercedes' upright, conservative shape delivers the best view out, the most comfortable back seats, and the most usable trunk. And yet when you floor the accelerator, the E550 leans back on its haunches and explodes forward like a muscle car. Its 382-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 is the largest and most powerful of our quartet, producing significantly more low-end torque than any of the other V-8s. It's brutally fast off the line, but it's the unrelenting acceleration at highway speeds (and double them) that serves as a clear reminder that the E-class is very much engineered to run flat-out on the autobahn.
0810 06 Z+2009 Jaguar XF+front Three Quarter View
The only engine that sounds better than the E550's is the XF's. At 4.2 liters, it's the smallest and least powerful, yet it's forced to cart around a heavy car. It's also quite soft at low rpm, which means that the transmission needs to downshift frequently to keep up with traffic, but that's a good thing, acoustically. Jaguar's engineers have muted much of the V-8's volume without diluting any of its fury. It may be the slowest of the four in a straight line, but it sounds wonderful while trying to keep up, and thanks to agile moves in the corners, it's easily the fastest on back roads.
0810 10 Z+2009 Lexus GS460+front Three Quarter View
There wasn't as much praise for the Lexus. Hampered by electronic brakes that are frustratingly difficult to modulate, electrically assisted power steering that offers almost no feedback, and electronically adjustable dampers that effectively control body motions at the price of ride comfort, the GS460 was our least favorite to drive. We've always wished that the GS would drive like a small luxury car - a miniature LS, if you will - soft, supple, and quiet. Instead, it seems as if Lexus engineers added contrived sportiness by dialing in arbitrary harshness without improving driver involvement. The GS is a very fast and very capable machine, but it's too compromised to be either a driver's car or a luxury sedan.
The Hyundai, on the other hand, doesn't even bother pretending to play sports car, and it drives around town in exactly the manner we think the GS should. Like the Jag, the Genesis uses a ZF six-speed automatic, but in the Hyundai, the transmission shifts like a Lexus - slowly and deliberately. Hyundai's new V-8 produces almost as many ponies as the Mercedes mill, and in a straight line, the Genesis feels almost as fast. On glass-smooth on-ramps, the big Hyundai takes a deliberate, slightly tail-out set, thanks in part to an enormous rear antiroll bar.
0810 07 Z+2009 Hyundai Genesis 4 6+rear Three Quarter View
But add a few bumps, and the Genesis takes a turn for the worse. Unlike any of the other sedans, the Hyundai falls completely to pieces on twisty, bumpy back roads. Push it hard, and pavement irregularities send the Genesis heaving and wallowing down the road with the traction control light flashing and the steering wheel shuddering. When you're hustling with a car full of passengers, its soft rear suspension crashes onto its bump stops over moderately rough roads.
Then again, we can't imagine Genesis drivers taking their cars on many back-road blasts. At everyday driving speeds, the Hyundai's only real flaw is a slightly busy ride, and for that we can probably blame the same big antiroll bars that help it corner neutrally. Otherwise, it's a superb daily driver. It has by far the biggest rear seat, the most interior room, and the best stereo - a seventeen-speaker, 528-watt Lexicon system that is one of the automotive world's very best. Its high-resolution LCD navigation screen is among the clearest we've laid our eyes upon, and the console-mounted controller is easier to use than any other system - touch-screen, controller, or otherwise. The iPod and Bluetooth telephone integration are flawless, the dashboard illumination is perfectly color-coordinated, and the climate-control system operates in virtual silence. The Genesis, like almost all luxury cars these days, also has keyless go, swiveling HID headlights, a reverse camera, turn signals in the mirrors, and automatically dimming rear- and sideview mirrors.
0810 12 Z+2009 Lexus GS460+interior View
Lexus figured out long ago that most American drivers don't care much about twisty-road performance in their everyday sedans; it's the luxury features that people want. Hyundai has obviously come to the same conclusion, and as a luxury car in the grand American tradition of luxury cars - plush, quiet, relatively inexpensive cruisers with loads of space, a big V-8, and all the gadgets to impress the neighbors - the Genesis wins this comparison hands down. But if you're looking for a car that you can drive with enthusiasm, you'll need to shell out some more money to get the real thing from Germany or England.
2009 HYUNDAI GENESIS 4.6
Price (base/as tested) $38,000/$42,000
Powertrain
engine DOHC 32-valve V-8
displacement 4.6 liters (282 cu in)
horsepower 375 hp @ 6500 rpm
torque 333 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
transmission type 6-speed automatic
drive Rear-wheelChassis
steering Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
suspension, front Control arms, coil springs
suspension, rear Multilink, coil springs
brakes F/R Vented discs/discs, ABS
tires Dunlop SP Sport 5000m
tire size 235/50VR-18
Measurements
L x W x H 195.9 x 74.4 x 58.3 in
wheelbase 115.6 in
track f/r 63.1/63.8 in
weight 4080 lb
city MPG 17
HWY MPG25
2009 JAGUAR XF
Price (base/as tested) $49,975/$63,125
Powertrain
engine DOHC 32-valve V-8
displacement 4.2 liters (256 cu in)
horsepower 300 hp @ 6000 rpm
torque 310 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm
transmission type 6-speed automatic
drive Rear-wheel
Chassis
steering Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
suspension, front Control arms, coil springs
suspension, rear Control arms, coil springs
brakes Vented discs, ABS
tires Dunlop SP Sport Maxx
tire size 235/35YR-20
Measurements
L x W x H 195.3 x 73.9 x 57.5 in
wheelbase 114.5 in
track f/r 61.4/63.2 in
weight 4080 lb
city MPG16
HWY MPG25
2008 LEXUS GS460
Price (base/as tested) $53,385/$59,318
Powertrain
engine DOHC 32-valve V-8
displacement 4.6 liters (281 cu in)
horsepower 342 hp @ 6200 rpm
torque 339 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
transmission type 8-speed automatic
drive Rear-wheel
Chassis
steering Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
suspension, front Control arms, coil springs
suspension, rear Multilink, coil springs
brakes Vented discs, ABS
tires Dunlop SP Sport 5000m DSST
tire size 245/40VR-18
Measurements
L x W x H 190.0 x 71.7 x 56.1 in
wheelbase 112.2 in
track f/r 60.4/60.6 in
weight 3960 lb
city MPG 17
HWY MPG 24
2008 MERCEDES-BENZ E550
Price (base/as tested) $60,175/$63,970
Powertrain
engine DOHC 32-valve V-8
displacement 5.5 liters (333 cu in)
horsepower 382 hp @ 6000 rpm
torque 391 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm
transmission type 7-speed automatic
drive Rear-wheel
Chassis
steering Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
suspension, front Multilink, air springs
suspension, rear Multilink, air springs
brakes Vented discs, ABS
tires Continental ContiProContact
tire size f, r 245/40VR-18, 265/35VR-18
Measurements
L x W x H 191.0 x 71.7 x 58.4 in
wheelbase 112.4 in
track f/r 62.1/61.9 in
weight 4020 lb
city MPG 15
HWY MPG 22
0808 03 Pl+2009 Hyundai Genesis 3 8+rear Three Quarter View
Is the six as impressive as the eight?
0808 03 Z+2009 Hyundai Genesis 3 8+rear Three Quarter View
We've walked away suitably impressed from the Genesis before - but that was when it was suitably kitted up in its top spec with a big ol' Korean V-8 under the hood. While the V-8 car may be enough to run with the big dogs, we were curious what the six-cylinder 2009 Hyundai Genesis 3.8-which Hyundai expects will be the best-seller-had to offer.
The list is long
Given today's gas prices, buyers might be looking to the V-6 for its economy, but its EPA ratings are only 1 or 2 mpg better than the V-8. At nearly $5000 less than the V-8 model, the 3.8 is poised to offer the best bang for the buck. Starting at $33,000, the base Genesis already carries an encyclopedic amount of standard equipment. Features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, traction and stability control, side- and side-curtain airbags, Bluetooth, and keyless ignition are all standard.
Shoppers can opt for one of two Premium Packages. Our test car was equipped with the Premium Package Plus, which adds a surround-sound audio system, leather-trimmed dash- and door panels, 18-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, and a power sunroof.
0808 04 Z+2009 Hyundai Genesis 3 8+controls
Ticking this option box costs $3000; a significant figure, certainly, but it renders the Genesis virtually loaded at just under $36,000. In fact, the only way we could have packed any more content would have been to tick the box for the Technology Package, which adds a more powerful surround-sound system, DVD-based navigation, HID headlamps, parking sensors, and an extra $4000 to the sticker price.
Haven't we seen this before?
0808 02 Z+2009 Hyundai Genesis 3 8+grille
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Lexus must be blushing. The long, smooth forms of the Genesis might not ape those of any one particular Lexus, but try and discern the Hyundai's front fascia from that of a recent ES or LS-it's no easy task.
Although the design language may be derivative, the Genesis presents a shape that's smooth, well-proportioned, and easy on the eyes. All except perhaps the waterfall grille. Although intended to give the car a ritzy look, it comes off as an awkward afterthought.
Interior
0808 05 Z+2009 Hyundai Genesis 3 8+interior
What carries a genuinely upscale feel, however, is the interior. The designers did a terrific job of crafting a contemporary and attractive interior that blows away any preconceptions of what a Hyundai can be (the aforementioned leather dash trim really helps in this regard). Open the doors, and you feel like you're stepping into the interior of a $60,000 vehicle. Fit and finish of interior panels is consistently tight, although some switchgear could stand some refinement.
If there was any complaint we had about the Genesis' cabin, it was the front two bucket seats. Although they were certainly comfortable (and as soft as a microwaved marshmallow), they were a little too flat. One tester noted you sit on them - not in them - and consequently they weren't supportive in spirited driving. But a car like this isn't only about those in front. Rear-seat passengers are treated to some of the best accommodations we've seen in car under $40,000.
Smooth but unhurried
0808 01 Z+2009 Hyundai Genesis 3 8+engine
Though the V-8 is an all-new engine (the 4.6-liter "Tau" DOHC V-8), the Genesis 3.8's V-6 is a carryover from other Hyundais. The "Lambda" engine, a 3.8-liter DOHC unit, produces 290 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque. That's down from the 375 ponies and 333 lb-ft of the V-8, but it proves more than capable of moving the 3700-lb Genesis without strain.
Helping the V-6 considerably is a standard six-speed automatic transmission. Shifts, for the most part, are smooth, if not deliberate. Hyundai lets drivers row their own gears with a requisite manumatic provision, but there's no sport mode. That's a shame, as we'd welcome quicker-shifting sport mode, given that the transmission doesn't like to be hurried into selecting a gear.
More luxe than sport
0808 06 Z+2009 Hyundai Genesis 3 8+iPod Connectivity
Though some cars in this comparison sliced through corners with ease, the Genesis was decidedly less sporty. Although Hyundai often compares the car's handling to a Lexus GS or Infiniti M, the ride is tuned more towards luxury.
Over back-roads flogging, some found the car too soft, but the independent suspension (a five-link setup at each wheel) kept things from turning to Jell-O in the corners. The Genesis exhibits some oversteer at its limits, but the stability control, which is always on guard, helps reign in the back end.
The soft suspension pays dividends with a comfortable low-speed ride. Unfortunately, some of that comfort disappears in highway driving, where the Genesis can be too stiff. Even moderate imperfections in the road surface are telegraphed through the steering column, making the car feel busy.
Will Six Get You Eight?
We'd argue the biggest question surrounding the Genesis V-6 is not how it fares against its immediate competition (quite favorably, thank you), but against itself. The V-8 car is an outstanding bargain for what it offers, but is it worth an extra $5000 over the six?
No, it probably isn't. Although those with a V-8 fixation will spring for the 4.6-liter (and love it), the rest of the world-especially those looking for a lavish lifestyle on a bohemian budget-will be more than content with the V-6.
2009 Hyundai Genesis 3.8
Base Price: $33,000
As Tested: $36,000
Powertrain
Engine: 3.8-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6
Horsepower: 290 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque: 264 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Rear-wheel
Measurements
L x W x H: 195.9 x 74.4 x 58.3 in
Legroom F/R: 44.3/38.6 in
Headroom F/R: 38.1/37.7 in
Cargo capacity: 15.9 cu ft
Curb Weight: 3748 lb
EPA Rating (city/highway): 18/27 mpg
0805 09pl+2009 Hyundai Genesis+front Three Quarter View
0805 02z+2009 Hyundai Genesis+front Three Quarter View
Unapologetically and unequivocally, Hyundai has taken off its gloves. Its new Genesis is a no-holds-barred assault on luxury and near-luxury sedans from Japan, America, and Europe. Seriously, folks. Oh, we know what you're thinking. You've heard that the second-generation Hyundai Santa Fe is a decent little competitor to the Honda CR-V, and you've read in these pages that the Hyundai Veracruz mid-size crossover introduced last year need not hide from the Toyota Highlander, the Honda Pilot, or even the Lexus RX350.
But front-wheel-drive-based people movers are one thing, and rear-wheel-drive sedans that might actually quicken your pulse are another. After all, cars like that have never been the province of the Korean automakers.
0805 09z+2009 Hyundai Genesis+front Three Quarter View
But now they are. My heart rate was certainly above its normal level as I circled Hyundai's test track at 150 mph in a Genesis equipped with Hyundai's advanced new 375-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 engine. The big sedan was composed, predictable, and vigorous as the high banks dumped us onto the long straights and the scenery blurred. Yes, I was driving a Hyundai. What is this world coming to?
"We set a number of high development goals for ourselves," admits Bong-hwan Lee, executive vice president of Hyundai's Vehicle Development Center. "We wanted to achieve the same scores as other premium sedans, including Lexus, in the J. D. Power Initial Quality and Vehicle Dependability Surveys.
0805 08z+2009 Hyundai Genesis+rear Seat View
"Another priority was to attain the highest level of crash protection. We benchmarked the BMW 5-series, the Lexus GS and LS, and the Mercedes-Benz E-class." Although Hyundai says that the Genesis's body-in-white (the basic body structure, without paint, powertrain, suspension, or interior) is larger than those of the Lexus LS460 and the Mercedes S-class, the automaker claims that it is lighter than them and stiffer in torsion and bending properties.
In terms of size, the Genesis is bigger and roomier than most mid-size luxury sedans and, in fact, is classified by the EPA as a "large" sedan. Its wheelbase is 115.6 inches, compared with 113.7 inches for the BMW 5-series, 112.4 inches for the Mercedes E-class, and 113.4 inches for the Cadillac CTS. With an overall length of 195.9 inches, it's several inches longer than those three cars and only 2.5 inches shorter than a short-wheelbase 7-series. Although rear-seat room falls short of what you'd find in a long-wheelbase 7-series or a Lexus LS, the rear seats in the Genesis are still very accommodating, with plentiful legroom that outpaces the 5-series, the E-class, and the CTS.
0805 04z+2009 Hyundai Genesis+interior View
Design editor Robert Cumberford delivers his verdict on the Genesis's styling in the August issue of Automobile Magazine, but there is no question that the car has real road presence. If Hyundai's designers borrowed from the Mercedes S-class, the Infiniti M35/M45, and the 5-series-and they most certainly did-the net effect is at worst benign, the car assuming a kind of generic upscale visage. At the Namyang test track, jumping among V-6 and V-8 Genesis models and also among competitor cars, I would peer across the sprawling slalom course, trying to figure out which car I'd drive next, and would continually do double-takes as the Genesis test cars were wheeled back onto the course, because from fifty yards away I mistook them for Mercedes-Benz E-classes.
Inside, the Genesis also plays to widespread notions of luxury, with a big sweep of an S-class-inspired dash, pleasingly lit instruments, and substantial, cushy seats astride a center console with a BMW iDrive-style spinning knob sprouting from it. There are lots of hits in here, plus a few misses. Fit and finish and material quality are very good, both in the plastics and in the standard leather seating. The instrument panel can be fitted with stitched leather as an option or with standard faux wood, but the former would be more convincing if it were French stitched, with two rows of stitching rather than one, which leaves a tiny flap of folded-over hide that's ripe for collecting dirt.
0805 10z+2009 Hyundai Genesis+rear View
Tradition dominates in the Genesis cabin, as there is no aluminum or aluminum-look trim. The headliner, a familiar polyester-knit fabric, is largely inoffensive, but it's a long way from Alcantara. Double-glazing for the windows in the driver's and front-passenger's doors is a nice touch, though, as are fold-out map pockets in the doors and the available brown-and-black interior color scheme. The trunk is large, with a low liftover and sheathed hinges, but the interior grab handle for pulling the lid closed is mounted too far inward, making it awkward to use. And the cheap trunk lining is old-school Hyundai; surely they noticed the richly trimmed trunks in the cars they benchmarked?
Hyundai calls its iDrive-style controller DIS, or Driver Information System. The Koreans have had time to digest similar setups from BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Acura and presumably have integrated what they thought were the best features of those systems while avoiding many of their pitfalls. We'll have to wait until we have more street time in the Genesis to render a full verdict on DIS, but it seems intuitive, the knob feels good in the hand, if perhaps with not quite enough tension in it as one might like, and it's easy to scroll among menus to control navigation and the stereo. The iPod connection works well, and the touch-screen function is as good as anyone's. An optional 500-watt Lexicon stereo might not be the equal of the Mark Levinson system offered by Lexus, but it will meet the expectations of all but the pickiest audiophiles, and there's easy access to the equalizer function.
0805 03z+2009 Hyundai Genesis+v8 Engine View
Originally, Hyundai planned to offer the Genesis with both its 3.3-liter and 3.8-liter V-6s, which currently serve in the front-wheel-drive Azera, as well as the Tau V-8. But then it came to its senses and realized that the choice of three engines is a bit much for a vehicle with a modest annual sales goal of 30,000 units in the United States and only 80,000 units worldwide. (It's interesting to note that, although Hyundai eagerly apes European sedans with the Genesis, it is not offering the car in the hypercompetitive Western Europe market; it's already on sale in Korea and will be sold in China and Russia, among other markets.) And the 3.8-liter DOHC V-6 powertrain, no slouch with variable valve timing, 290 hp, and a six-speed automatic, handily allows Hyundai to boast that the Genesis offers more standard power than the Infiniti M35, the Pontiac G8, and the Chrysler 300C.
"We've tuned the Genesis to fall somewhere between the Lexus GS and the Infiniti M," explains Wendell Collins, Jr., engineering manager for the ride and handling group at Hyundai Motor America. "We definitely wanted it to be sportier than the GS, but not as brutal as the M." The suspension is by unequal-length control arms at the front, with a multi-link rear setup. V-6 models get seventeen-inch tires as standard, with eighteen-inchers optional; eighteens are standard with the V-8. The Genesis made pretty smooth work of lane-change and slalom courses at Namyang, with body control well in check, but the V-6 model is let down by a disappointing lack of steering feel, an old Korean-car bugaboo. Thankfully, V-8 models have electrohydraulic power steering, "which allowed us to define the steering curve for a very linear feel," claims Collins, and which we found to provide a far clearer line of communication between the front wheels and the palms of our hands. We're not talking BMW-like steering here, but it's a far cry from the Toyota Camry's or, for that matter, the Hyundai Sonata's.
. 0805 05z+2009 Hyundai Genesis+front View
Both engines are very refined, eager to rev, and work seamlessly with their respective transmissions (the V-6 unit is from the Japanese supplier Aisin, while the German company ZF supplies the V-8's six-speed box). There's a manual-mode shift gate for both, but there are no steering wheel paddles in sight. Hammer the V-8, and some pleasing induction and valvetrain resonances will drift back into the cockpit, but more impressive is the strong torque band and the nice whack of acceleration that the Tau provides. We'll wait until we can drive a Genesis stateside before running performance numbers, but Hyundai promises a 0-to-60-mph time of well under six seconds. And even the V-6 model stormed around the high-speed oval with little drama, the speedo needle swinging around to 100 mph in no time and then rising steadily to 135 mph.
Unfortunately, the Genesis has not shed that layer of isolation that so characterizes Lexus cars and, of course, most Hyundais. This car, especially in V-8 guise, has the power and the presence to hold its own with cars costing much more. But those looking for pure tactility will be disappointed, as I was reminded when I ran the 530i and the M35 through the same paces that I'd driven the Genesis. Especially around the handling track, those two cars were far more in tune with the driver's intentions and better at communicating what was happening at the tire's contact patches. We'll grant Hyundai that the Genesis is more involving to drive than the Lexus GS (and certainly more so than the ES350), but for a sedan that so unabashedly aims for the best from Germany, it still needs a more Teutonic tilt to the chassis tuning: more road feel and steering feel, please. And although the brakes in both V-6 and V-8 Genesis models were responsive and progressive, they could use a more positive-feeling pedal.
0805 06z+2009 Hyundai Genesis+rear Three Quarter View
Hyundai has a lot of irons in the fire. Between it and Kia, its subsidiary, it controls 75 percent of the Korean home market, and its sales are burgeoning in China, India, and other emerging markets. In fact, the United States comprises only 20 percent of Hyundai's worldwide sales, so it's little surprise that Hyundai decided, at least for now, not to launch a luxury sales channel here like Toyota and Nissan did two decades ago.
Instead, it is essentially dipping its toe into the luxury-car waters with the Genesis. If it is a success, more luxury products are likely to follow, and Hyundai co-chairman and CEO Dong-Jin Kim does not rule out the possibility of a luxury arm for the future: "Some day, when we are strong enough. But for now, we have concluded that a separate premium brand is premature."
This means that, at least for the time being, the Genesis does without some of the baubles of the luxury-car establishment. No optional all-wheel drive. No direct injection or variable valve lift for the engines, no air suspensions or dual-clutch gearboxes, and more than likely, no special dealer treatment, just "a special, well-decorated corner [of the showroom] to display the Genesis," says Kim. Hyundai Motor America will, however, take pains to ensure that salespeople more accustomed to pushing Elantras and Sonatas out the door are properly trained to sell the Genesis and to deal with its potential customer base.
0805 10z+2009 Hyundai Genesis+rear View
That customer base, if Hyundai's research proves accurate, will be a disparate group. "We will get people who normally graduate from an Accord type of car and make the leap to a luxury brand," says Joel Ewanick, Hyundai Motor America's vice-president of marketing, "but we'll also get people coming down from the luxury brands. We already get buyers like that for the Azera, people who do a lot of research on cars who then realize, 'this [a Hyundai] is a car that hasn't been on my radar screen, but should have been.'" As for pricing, Hyundai is positioning the Genesis squarely on top of the BMW 3-series and the Mercedes C-class, meaning the V-6 model starts at about $33,000 and stretches up near the V-8 model's starting price of $38,000. Fully optioned, the V-8 will be priced in the mid-$40,000s. Bold strokes, these, since in reality the Genesis is also going to be cross-shopped with the Pontiac G8 and the 3.5-liter Chrysler 300C, which start at $27,595 and $29,290, respectively, and since Hyundai has yet to prove itself over the long haul in J. D. Power surveys and in resale values, although there has been recent progress on those fronts.
Hyundai might not be entering the luxury-car world with a new brand and shiny new dealerships, but there is nothing tentative about the Genesis itself, a car that represents the most ambitious engineering undertaking ever for the Korean automaker. Hyundai is a company that is very much looking forward but is also keenly aware of how far it has come. It didn't even have the wherewithal to build its own engine until 1991, when it introduced its Alpha four-cylinder and no longer had to license engines from Mitsubishi. Now, here it is making its own, high-powered V-8 engine. The company insists that it will make money on every Genesis it sells, unlike Toyota, which sold its first Lexus cars at a loss to establish its luxury-car bona fides. In Hyundai's case, it's clear that, while the Genesis is a commodity product that will increase the bottom line, it's also an emotional milestone for the company, a way to mark its place in the world. And there's no need to apologize for that.
1006 01+2009 Hyundai Genesis 4 6+front Three Quarter View
In 1986, Hyundai entered the American marketplace with the subcompact, $4995 Excel, which was based on a Mitsubishi Mirage and was so far below the radar that it was deemed unworthy of mention by a fledgling Automobile Magazine. It wasn't until 1995 that the company sold a U.S.-market car - the new Accent - that was all-Hyundai and didn't have a Mitsubishi engine or underpinnings.
1006 01+2009 Hyundai Genesis 4 6+front Three Quarter View
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More good news for Hyundai: The South Korean automaker has leapfrogged Ford to become the fourth largest automaker in terms of global sales.

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Certified Pre-Owned 2009 Hyundai Genesis Pricing

Certified Pre Owned Price
$16,575

Used 2009 Hyundai Genesis Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$32,250

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2009 Hyundai Genesis
2009 Hyundai Genesis
Base RWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
18 MPG City | 27 MPG Hwy
Top Ranking Vehicles - MPG
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1
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2
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3
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4
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5
2009 Audi A4
Base FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
23 MPG City | 30 MPG Hwy
rank
40
2009 Hyundai Genesis
2009 Hyundai Genesis
Base RWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
$32,250
Top Ranking Vehicles - Price
rank
8
2009 Hyundai Genesis
2009 Hyundai Genesis
Base RWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
290hp
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower

2009 Hyundai Genesis Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
3.8L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
18 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
27 MPG
Horsepower:
290 hp @ 6200rpm
Torque:
264 ft lb of torque @ 4500rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
Vehicle
60,000 miles / 60 months
Powertrain
100,000 miles / 120 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 84 months
Roadside
Unlimited miles / 60 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:30
Component
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:SWITCHES:BRAKE LIGHT
Summary
Hyundai Motor Company (Hyundai) is recalling certain model year 2006-2009 Accent, model year 2007-2011 Azera, Sonata and Sante Fe,2006-2011 Tucson, 2009-2011 Elantra Touring, 2007-2010 Elantra, 2008-2011 Veracruz, 2009-2011 Genesis, 2010-2011 Genesis Coupe, 2007-2008 Entourage, and 2006-2008 Tiburon vehicles. Originally, in April 2013, Hyundai recalled 1,059,824 model year 2007-2009 Accent and Tucson, model year 2007-2010 Elantra, model year 2007-2011 Santa Fe, model year 2008-2009 Veracruz, model year 2010-2011 Genesis Coupe, and model year 2011 Sonata vehicles. In September 2013, Hyundai informed the agency that it was adding more vehicles to this campaign, representing an additional 652,512 units. The total number of vehicles being recalled is now 1,712,336. In the affected vehicles, the stop lamp switch may malfunction. A malfunctioning stop lamp switch may cause the brake lights to not illuminate when the brake pedal is depressed or may cause an inability to deactivate the cruise control by depressing the brake pedal. Additionally, a malfunctioning stop lamp switch may also result in intermittent operation of the push-button start feature, affect the operation of the brake transmission shift interlock feature, preventing the shifter from being moved out of the PARK position and cause the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) malfunction light to illuminate.
Consequences
Failure to illuminate the stop lamps during braking or inability to disengage the cruise control could increase the risk of a crash. Additionally, when the ignition is in the 'ON' position, the transmission shifter may be able to be moved out of Park without first applying the brake. This may lead to unintentional movement of the car which may increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will replace the stop lamp switch, free of charge. The safety recall began on April 22, 2013. Owners may contact Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151. Hyundai's recall campaign number is 110.
Potential Units Affected
1,712,336
Notes
Hyundai Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:30
Component
EXTERIOR LIGHTING:BRAKE LIGHTS:SWITCH
Summary
Hyundai Motor Company (Hyundai) is recalling certain model year 2006-2009 Accent, model year 2007-2011 Azera, Sonata and Sante Fe,2006-2011 Tucson, 2009-2011 Elantra Touring, 2007-2010 Elantra, 2008-2011 Veracruz, 2009-2011 Genesis, 2010-2011 Genesis Coupe, 2007-2008 Entourage, and 2006-2008 Tiburon vehicles. Originally, in April 2013, Hyundai recalled 1,059,824 model year 2007-2009 Accent and Tucson, model year 2007-2010 Elantra, model year 2007-2011 Santa Fe, model year 2008-2009 Veracruz, model year 2010-2011 Genesis Coupe, and model year 2011 Sonata vehicles. In September 2013, Hyundai informed the agency that it was adding more vehicles to this campaign, representing an additional 652,512 units. The total number of vehicles being recalled is now 1,712,336. In the affected vehicles, the stop lamp switch may malfunction. A malfunctioning stop lamp switch may cause the brake lights to not illuminate when the brake pedal is depressed or may cause an inability to deactivate the cruise control by depressing the brake pedal. Additionally, a malfunctioning stop lamp switch may also result in intermittent operation of the push-button start feature, affect the operation of the brake transmission shift interlock feature, preventing the shifter from being moved out of the PARK position and cause the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) malfunction light to illuminate.
Consequences
Failure to illuminate the stop lamps during braking or inability to disengage the cruise control could increase the risk of a crash. Additionally, when the ignition is in the 'ON' position, the transmission shifter may be able to be moved out of Park without first applying the brake. This may lead to unintentional movement of the car which may increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will replace the stop lamp switch, free of charge. The safety recall began on April 22, 2013. Owners may contact Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151. Hyundai's recall campaign number is 110.
Potential Units Affected
1,712,336
Notes
Hyundai Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:31
Component
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:FLUID
Summary
Hyundai is recalling certain model year 2009-2012 Genesis vehicles manufactured April 30, 2008, through March 28, 2012. The vehicles may contain brake fluid which does not protect against corrosion of the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU).
Consequences
If the module corrodes, reduced brake effectiveness may result, increasing the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Hyundai will notify owners and instruct them to bring their vehicle to a dealer for service. Hyundai will inspect the HECU module for proper operation, and will replace the modules as necessary. Hyundai will replace the factory brake fluid in those vehicles that have not previously had the factory brake fluid replaced. These repairs will be done free of charge. The recall began on December 24, 2013. Owners may contact Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151 or by email at consumeraffairs@hmausa.com. Hyundai's recall number is 114.
Potential Units Affected
43,500
Notes
Hyundai Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:41
Component
EXTERIOR LIGHTING:BRAKE LIGHTS:SWITCH
Summary
Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai) is recalling certain 2009-2011 Hyundai Genesis vehicles manufactured April 30, 2008, to November 21, 2010, and 2011 Hyundai Equus vehicles manufactured July 31, 2010, to November 21, 2010. Due to a circuit failure, the stop lamps in the affected vehicles may not illuminate.
Consequences
A following vehicle may not recognize that the vehicle is slowing or coming to a stop if the stop lamps on the vehicle do not illuminate as expected. There is an increased risk of a rear-end crash as a result.
Remedy
Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will repair the stop lamp switch circuit, free of charge. Hyundai issued an interim notification to owners on January 6, 2015. The recall began on March 23, 2015. Owners may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-671-3059. Hyundai's number for this recall is 125.
Potential Units Affected
42,925
Notes
Hyundai Motor America


NHTSA Rating Front Driver
5
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
5
NHTSA Rating Front Side
5
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
5
NHTSA Rating Rollover
5
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
Good
IIHS Overall Side Crash
Good
IIHS Rear Crash
Good
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Applicable
IIHS Best Pick
1

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