2012 Hyundai Genesis

3.8 RWD 4-Dr Sedan V6

2012 hyundai genesis Reviews and News

2011 Chrysler 300 Limited 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3 8 2011 Toyota Avalon Limited Front View Parked
If you’re looking for a car that can keep passengers comfortable, entertain the driver, and look sharp at the golf club, the best bet is a full-size, V-6-powered sedan like the three we’ve gathered here -- all priced at around $40,000
2011 Chrysler 300 Limited 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3 8 2011 Toyota Avalon Limited Front View 2
The Hyundai Genesis arrived on American shores for model year 2009, and just three years later has undergone a hefty refresh. The 2012 Genesis benefits from new fascias, restyled headlights, new wheels, larger brakes, and a revised suspension. Its base 3.8-liter V-6 gains 15 percent more power, for a total of 333 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque, thanks to the addition of direct injection. The new model year also brings Hyundai’s new eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Genesis 3.8 starts at $35,050. On top of that, our car had the $4000 Technology package, which adds a 17-speaker sound system, navigation, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, parking sensors, heated rear seats, and a cooled driver’s seat; and the $4800 Premium package, which includes a sunroof, power rear sunshade, power folding mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, a backup camera, and 18-inch wheels. Our tester’s final sticker price was thus $43,050.
Chrysler launched the second-generation 300 for 2011, and its basic recipe remains the same as when the 300 first debuted in 2004: a luxurious, all-American rear-wheel-drive sedan with a choice of thrifty V-6 and brawny V-8 engines. The new base engine is Chrysler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, offering 292 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission.
Our tester was a Chrysler 300 Limited V-6, which stickered for $31,195 before options, which included the $2795 SafetyTec package consisting of power folding mirrors, adaptive HID headlights, parking sensors, collision- and blind-spot warning systems, and adaptive cruise control; a $1295 panoramic sunroof; and the $795 UConnect touch-screen navigation and entertainment interface. Our 300 also had the $3250 Luxury group with niceties like leather seats, LED interior lighting, a power sunshade, heated and cooled front seats, and heated and cooled cup holders. With all its options, our tester’s sticker price climbed to $42,770.
The Toyota Avalon is the only front-wheel-drive sedan in this group. This iteration of the Avalon was introduced in model year 2005 and was refreshed for 2011. The update brought a new grille, rear bumper, revised interior trimmings, and restyled wheels. A 3.5-liter V-6 provides 268 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque, which is routed through a six-speed automatic transmission.
We opted for the $36,445 Avalon Limited with the $1450 Navigation and Premium Audio package, which includes a touch-screen navigation system, backup camera, 12-speaker sound system, plus iPod and Bluetooth connectivity; and the $393 Preferred Accessory package, which nets carpeted floor mats, a first-aid kit, and a glass-breakage sensor for the alarm. The as-tested price was $38,884 -- the cheapest of the bunch.
Which of these full-size V-6 sedans deserves your hard-earned paycheck? Read on to find out how the three cars stack up.
Curb Appeal
When it comes to sheer panache and visual presence, the Chrysler 300 wins hands-down. Its muscular lines, LED-accented headlights, and optional 20-inch wheels add up to a car that exudes far more presence than the Toyota and Hyundai. The front three-quarter view may be worth the price tag alone: a flashy chrome grille and squared-off headlights lead into broad shoulder lines than run the length of the bulky car.
Sitting in the Chrysler 300 can feel a bit dark and gloomy, as our tester was filled with dark leather and burled-wood trim. The dashboard and center console are upscale and attractive, showing that Chrysler really put effort into refreshing the 300 for 2011. Although the gauges are ornately trimmed in chrome and the cabin is swathed in blue LED lighting, many of us think the interior looks a bit overdone. Nice touches include heated-and-cooled cup holders and a big panoramic sunroof.
With the Genesis, Hyundai has taken a more European approach to luxury-car styling, producing a car that looks compact and taut next to the bloated Chrysler. Smart creases border the grille and run across the hood into the car’s A-pillars. Its profile is accented by subtle chrome strips, and head- and taillights that wrap onto the fenders. Some of our staff feel the exterior is too plain and that Hyundai could have gone a little further with the 2012 refresh.
Sitting inside the Hyundai Genesis reveals an interior following the same styling mantra as the outside: stylish and upscale. Leather and aluminum trim pieces mix with soft-touch plastics and smart switchgear. The cabin feels special and looks expensive without flashing its luxury pretentions in your face. Again, some of us think the interior is starting to look dated and deserved a more thorough freshening for 2012.
We were least taken with the styling of the Toyota Avalon, which struck us as bland and generic. The Avalon's profile is the quintessential shape of a car: a hood, a passenger compartment, a trunk, and four wheels. Although it looks somewhat like the Genesis from the side, the Avalon's plain lighting designs, massive C-pillar, and protruding trunk aren't as pretty as the Hyundai. Colleagues noted that the Avalon vanished in their rear-view mirrors, a testament to the car's anonymity on the road. The Toyota's derivative looks mean it will never stand out from the crowd in a parking lot.
The Toyota Avalon has a spacious interior, but its dashboard layout looks the same as Toyotas from a decade earlier. In true Toyota fashion, the switchgear and gauges are arranged sensibly in a marvel of ergonomics. Perhaps to cater to the older generation known for buying the Avalon, the controls are labeled in a size-24 font.
Advantage: Chrysler 300
Power Brokers
The Hyundai Genesis’ drivetrain provides the best combination of speed and smoothness in this pack. The V-6, which for 2012 gained direct injection for more precise control of fuel delivery, is now more efficient and more powerful than the 2011 Genesis. The engine is quiet, and the eight-speed automatic provides quick yet smooth shifts. Yet the engine is remarkably responsive when pushed, providing dramatic performance and sporty exhaust note. The Genesis is by far the quickest sedan here, easily pulling away from the Toyota and Chrysler on a blast through the rural roads south of our office.
2011 Chrysler 300 Limited 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3 8 2011 Toyota Avalon Limited Front View
The 3.5-liter V-6 under the hood of the Toyota Avalon is perhaps the smoothest and most mellifluous of this test. Though the engine and transmission are tuned primarily for comfort, the Avalon is surprisingly quick. The front-wheel-drive chassis struggles with the engine’s power, so it’s easy to accidentally squeal the front tires from a stop. The automatic transmission is decently responsive in Sport -- and yes, were surprised that the pedestrian Avalon even has a Sport mode. Left in Drive, the transmission delivers gear changes gently and without fuss.
In spite of horsepower and torque ratings that are mid-pack, the Chrysler 300 is noticeably slower than the other two cars. This lethargy is due in part to the fact that the 300 is the heaviest car in this trio. The blame can also be attributed to the aging five-speed automatic transmission (although an eight-speed is coming for 2012). The tall gears are optimized for fuel economy at the expense of acceleration. The 300 feels lazy when pushed, especially so because its transmission is hesitant to downshift. Chrysler’s V-6 was also the only engine to transmit vibration to the driver at idle.
Fuel economy is comparable among all of the cars. The Genesis is EPA-rated at 19 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, while the Avalon receives scores of 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. The 300’s weight and transmission once again penalize it on the consumption front, as the Chrysler returns just 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
Advantage: Hyundai Genesis
Behind the Wheel
These sedans are far from sports cars, as they prioritize occupant comfort over corner carving. But the Hyundai Genesis still imparts some fun to the driver, and feels lithe when asked to navigate twisting roads. Upgrades for 2012 include beefier brakes and firmer anti-roll bars, making it a willing companion for enthusiastic driving. The Hyundai’s steering provides a decent amount of weight and feedback for this car’s class. The Genesis’ suspension strikes a balance between that of the Toyota and the Chrysler, providing more insulation than the 300 from road imperfections yet a slightly firmer ride than the Avalon.
The Chrysler 300 feels solid and composed on the road. Its firm suspension and wide tires (the widest of this trio) keep the car under control, along with strong brakes and decent feel from the chunky steering wheel. While its handling responses are respectable, the Chrysler’s weight precludes it from feeling as energetic as the Hyundai. Although the ride is generally pleasant, it can be jarring over severe bumps and doesn’t feel quite as settled as the Toyota. The 300 also admits the most road and wind noise to the cabin.
The Toyota Avalon’s chassis is tuned for comfort rather than sport, meaning the Toyota wobbles and rolls in sharp corners. It is ill-suited to enthusiastic driving: one staffer even got the front brakes smoking after a few high-speed stops. Still, these are meant to be luxury cars, and the Avalon’s creamy ride allows it to float over bumps of all shapes and sizes. The Toyota’s sloppy dynamics disappointed our lead-footed staffers, but it undeniably has the most cosseting ride in this group.
Advantage: Hyundai Genesis
Taking A Back Seat
If you’re going on a long trip, the Toyota Avalon is indubitably the car to choose. Three adults can sit comfortable in the back seat, where they will find themselves almost totally isolated from road and wind noise. The rear seatback even reclines a few degrees. Though on paper it has the smallest volume at 14.4 cubic feet, the Avalon’s trunk is still commodious enough to swallow several large suitcases. A generously sized interior and plush seats make this the most comfortable car in our comparison.
2011 Toyota Avalon Limited Front View
It’s the Chrysler 300, though, that can hold the most cargo, with a plentiful 16.3 cubic feet of trunk space on offer. Our tester’s leather bucket seats are exceptionally comfortable, and the rear seat offers cavernous leg and headroom. However, the rear seats are low compared to the high beltline, making some shorter passengers feel claustrophobic.
The Hyundai’s back seat is the tightest, although that’s a relative term as there is still plenty of space for six-foot passengers. A low beltline and large windows mean the Genesis feels light and airy in the back. At 15.9 cubic feet, trunk space in the Hyundai is midway between that of the Avalon and the 300.
Advantage: Toyota Avalon
The Digital Divide
Chrysler’s array of in-car technologies is the most comprehensive in this test. The optional eight-inch Uconnect touch-screen interface has clear, bright graphics and a logical control layout. The system can even operate the climate control, though many staffers prefer the physical HVAC knobs located on the center stack. The system’s one demerit is that the screen requires a firm push to register touches. The optional SafetyTec package includes adaptive cruise and lane-departure systems, like the Genesis, adding two other safety features. A blind-spot warning system chimes loudly if the driver signals while another vehicle is in the 300’s blind spot, and forward collision warning sounds an alarm if the driver is about to rear-end another vehicle.
Of our three sedans, the Avalon has the smallest selection of driver aids and in-car gadgets, likely due in part to the car’s age. Though it’s available with Bluetooth, a touch-screen navigation system, a backup camera, and push-button start, the Toyota lacks several modern safety and convenience toys found on the other cars. Its touch-screen audio and navigation interface has blocky graphics that look dated, but the menus are easy to use.
The Genesis’ Technology package bundles two new safety features, adaptive cruise control and a lane-departure warning system. The former uses radar to keep pace with other cars on the highway: if the car in front slows, the cruise control automatically decelerates. Lane-departure warning uses cameras to monitor lane markings, warning the driver if he or she accidentally drifts out of the lane. The Genesis’ audio and navigation system is controlled via a rotary dial and several buttons on the center console, rather than a touch screen. The interface already felt outdated when the car bowed in 2009, and still feels unnecessarily complex. Given that cars without the Technology package feature a touch screen instead of the control knob, we wish that our upgraded tester would offer both control methods.
Advantage: Chrysler 300
And The Winner Is...
In spite of their many similarities, each of these sedans excels in a different area. The Hyundai’s enthusiastic performance, precise handling, and understated exterior provide the best combination of sportiness and refinement. It’s our choice in this group. Think of the Genesis as a cut-price Mercedes-Benz or BMW.
The Chrysler 300 will satisfy the driver looking to make a big impression on others. The 300 emerges from the factory in Ontario with an all-American swagger that can and does turn heads in parking lots. The 300 is the car that will most impress your neighbors, with to its masculine styling and glitzy trimmings. Though the 300 is fun and luxurious, it never feels quite as refined or complete as the Hyundai Genesis. The driving experience may improve somewhat when the new eight-speed automatic arrives. It should yield improved fuel economy and livelier acceleration.
Driving the Toyota Avalon is like eating mashed potatoes: it reliably serves a purpose, but won’t hold your interest for very long. There is no denying that the Avalon is the most comfortable, roomiest, and most genteel of these three cars. It wafts along highways and provides an ideal conveyance in which to shuttle five adults and luggage. However, there is no excitement to be had behind the wheel of an Avalon. The next version of the Avalon will arrive for model year 2012 with a litany of revisions and upgrades. Perhaps the new model will appeal to our enthusiast side as much as the current car keeps us comfortable.
2011 Chrysler 300 Limited 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3 8 2011 Toyota Avalon Limited Front Right Side View
2011 Chrysler 300 Limited V-6
Base Price:
Price as Tested: $42,770
3.6-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6
Horsepower: 292 hp @ 6350 rpm
Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Drive: Rear-wheel
L x W x H:
198.6 x 75.0 x 58.7 in
Legroom F/R: 41.8/40.1 in
Headroom F/R: 36.9/36.9 in
Cargo capacity: 16.3 cu ft
Curb Weight: 4006 lb
EPA Rating (city/highway): 18/27 mpg
2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8
Base Price:
Price as Tested: $43,050
3.8-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6
Horsepower: 333 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 291 lb-ft at 5100 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drive: Rear-wheel
L x W x H:
196.3 x 74.4 x 58.3 in
Legroom F/R: 44.3/38.6 in
Headroom F/R: 40.4/37.7 in
Cargo capacity: 15.9 cu ft
Curb Weight: 3824 lb
EPA Rating (city/highway): 19/29 mpg
2011 Toyota Avalon Limited
Base Price:
Price as Tested: $38,884
3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6
Horsepower: 268 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque: 248 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Front-wheel
L x W x H:
197.6 x 72.8 x 58.5 in
Legroom F/R: 41.3/40.9 in
Headroom F/R: 38.9/37.5 in
Cargo capacity: 14.4 cu ft
Curb Weight: 3616 lb
EPA Rating (city/highway): 20/29 mpg
2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan R Spec Front Left View Driving
The Hyundai Genesis launched for 2009, and it has done pretty well for itself, with some 29,000 units leaving dealer lots last year. That number is a ways off from the big boys (the Mercedes-Benz E-class and the BMW 5-series) but betters the entries from Infiniti and Lexus. That's not a bad performance, considering the Genesis is Hyundai's first-ever rear-wheel drive luxury sedan (in the U.S. market at least), and that the Genesis is sold in only two versions, the six-cylinder Genesis 3.8 and the V-8 Genesis 4.6.
2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan R Spec Front Right View Driving
Adding to the family
For 2012, Hyundai is addressing a key missing element in the Genesis family. No, it's not all-wheel drive -- that's still not available -- it's a sporty variant. The new 5.0 R-Spec endeavors to fill that role.
A Hyundai 5.0
To do so, Hyundai has given it a larger engine of, yes, 5.0 liters. Hyundai's biggest-ever V-8, it's part of the Tau engine family, and is essentially a stroked and direct-injected version of the 4.6-liter (which continues). The 5.0 makes an impressive 429 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque -- with over 330 pound feet available at only 2000 rpm.
The 5.0-liter is paired with a new eight-speed automatic (which replaces the six-speed box in the other Genesis models as well). Hyundai estimates a 0-to-60 time of 5.1 seconds. The engine is plenty responsive even if it doesn't have a whole lot of personality. And the eight-speed gearbox can be stirred manually with a plus/minus shift gate but there are no paddles.
Besides the bigger engine, the R-Spec boasts...uh, not a lot. The suspension is firmed up a bit -- the other Genesis models have been softened -- and the steering is recalibrated. Although the steering is firmer on center than the standard car's, the electro-hydraulic system is springy and artificial when you wind on more lock. And while the chassis tuning felt pretty good on our short drive, it didn't have quite the over-the-road solidity of the best competitors.
Where are the visuals?
Even more so than the mechanical changes, the R-Spec's visual differentiators amount to pretty thin gruel. Special nineteen-inch wheels replace the standard seventeens and the headlamps (with LED accents for 2012) have darker reflectors. That's it, unless you count the R-Spec badges. Inside, it's the same story. Don't look for new seats to replace the soft standard units, or any special trim. There's just a leather-wrapped steering wheel (in place of the standard wood rim) -- oh, and R-Spec floor mats.
2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan R Spec Left Side View Parked
With no visual pop and only the subtlest of changes in driving dynamics, the R-Spec ends up being just an engine upgrade. At $47,350 ($2000 over the Genesis 4.6), the R-Spec may be a good deal, but no more so than any other Genesis. And whereas value-for-money may have made the regular Genesis a success, a true sport sedan needs to try harder than this.
2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec
Base price: $47,350
Price as tested: $47,385
On sale: Now
Powertrain: 5.0-liter, 32-valve V-8
Horsepower: 429 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 376 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Rear-wheel
L x W x H
: 196.3 x 74.4 x 58.3 in
Wheelbase: 115.6 in
Cargo capacity: 15.9 cu ft
Curb weight: 4046 lbs
EPA rating (city/highway): 16/25 mpg
2012 Hyundai Genesis
2012 Hyundai Genesis
Hyundai's Genesis is the real deal: a world-class, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan that's not afraid to spar with the best that Lexus, Buick, and others have to offer. The three Trim Levels -- 3.8, 4.6, and 5.0 R-Spec -- denote their respective engine displacements. The 3.8-liter V-6 should please even more buyers this year, as it receives a 43-hp bump for 2012; a bit more cash buys the 4.6-liter V-8 and all its lovely trimmings and extra oomph. The 4.6-liter is no longer the top-dog trim level in the Genesis sedan, however, with the appearance of the 5.0 R-Spec, which offers 44 more horses and sportier chassis tuning for a premium of only $2000. For 2012, all sedans also get a cosmetic face-lift and a more efficient eight-speed automatic transmission. The coupe version of the Genesis looks far different from the sedan and is equipped with either a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder or the sedan's 3.8-liter V-6 (without direct injection). The two-door tries -- but mostly fails -- to compete with the Infiniti G37 and the BMW 3-series. Some say it's a shameless amalgam of several premier upscale cars, but the Genesis -- both in sport-coupe and luxury-sedan form -- is nonetheless an impressive effort, so if you're looking for a premium car that's relatively easy on your wallet, be sure to test-drive a Genesis. If you desire all-star large-car luxury at a cut rate, you might consider ponying up for the newer Equus, but that car's existence might conveniently help create some good deals on Genesis sedans.
2012 Hyundai Genesis 5 0 Front Left View
Although the Genesis sedan is less of a revelation than it was when it debuted three years ago, it's still a worthwhile option in the near-luxury segment. Its infotainment interface continues to be one of the most attractive and user-friendly systems and its cabin remains cosseting and unique without feeling stuffy or overwrought.

2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0

2012 Hyundai Geneis Front Three Quarter
What’s in a badge? Don’t answer that question, because Hyundai’s about to do so: we hear the automaker is working on making the Genesis name a sub-brand in the vein of Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti.
2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan Side Shot
Hyundai recently introduced its new eight-speed automatic transmission in the Genesis sedan, but apparently it’s not enough -- and neither is nine.
2012 Hyundai Genesis 3 8 Front Left Side View
The Hyundai Genesis just feels right. The steering has enough weight and precision to interest a driving enthusiast, while remaining light enough to appease the casual commuter. The engine and transmission are smooth and restrained, but can usher up performance if you mash the go pedal. All the buttons, gauges, and screens are legible and easy to use. The headlights now have a cool curved LED accent strip, which looks fantastic at night. In short, every part of the Genesis feels taut, precise, and elegant.
2012 Hyundai Genesis 3 8 Front Left View
2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8
2012 Hyundai Genesis 3 8 Left Side View
2012 Hyundai Genesis 5 0 R Spec Front Right View
If you are simply trying to get the most for your $50,000, the Genesis 5.0 R-Spec makes a ton of sense -- more power than a BMW 550i or Infiniti M56 for the price of a 535i or M37. The ten-spoke wheels add a welcome touch of menace to the quiet exterior, and the hushed 5.0-liter V-8 sounds pretty good when you really wail on it. Even at full throttle, though, it can't drown out the sound of Hyundai knocking a glass ceiling. The automaker has hit many homeruns over the past two years -- including the Genesis -- but it still has something to learn when it comes to getting people to spend close to $50,000. The 5.0 R-Spec is nice, of course. It's fast, luxurious, and well put together. So is the $35,000 Genesis 3.8. The important difference is that the 3.8 competes in a price range where many buyers really want a practical, luxurious, nondescript looking sedan. For $45,000 to $50,000, I think people want to feel a bit special.
2012 Hyundai Genesis 5 0 R Spec Rear Left Side View
2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec
2012 Hyundai Genesis 5 0 R Spec Left Side View

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2012 Hyundai Genesis Specifications

Quick Glance:
3.8L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
18 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
28 MPG
333 hp @ 6400rpm
291 ft lb of torque @ 5100rpm
  • 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)
60,000 miles / 60 months
100,000 miles / 120 months
Unlimited miles / 84 months
Unlimited miles / 60 months
Recall Date
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).
If the module corrodes, reduced brake effectiveness may result, increasing the risk of a crash.
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
Hyundai Motor Company

NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2012 Hyundai Genesis

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $34,977 What's This?
Value Rating: Above Average