Comparison: 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS vs. 2009 Hyundai Genesis 4.6

We were quite excited early last week to take delivery of a 2010 Buick Lacrosse. After all, when was the last time we've seen a truly new mid-size Buick? (Answer: 1988)

Buick hopes the LaCrosse will continue the success it has enjoyed with the Enclave crossover and establish the brand among younger, more affluent shoppers. With a base price ranging from about $27,000 to $34,000 and a choice of three engines (a four-cylinder and two V-6s), the LaCrosse, Buick says, will compete with everything from Chrysler 300s to the Lexus ES.

But as we perused the $39,325 sticker of our well-equipped CXS model, we couldn't help but think of our Four Seasons Hyundai Genesis 4.6, which has a similar price and a similar mission. Like Buick, Hyundai hopes to grab the attention of buyers who have historically snorted derisively at the idea of driving one of its cars. And although the two may differ in packaging - the LaCrosse relies on front/all-wheel drive and a direct-injection V-6 while the Genesis goes with rear-wheel drive and a V-8 - both come packed with technology and refinement in hopes of enticing near-luxury buyers.

We spent the better part of an afternoon driving - and being driven - through the finer parts of Ann Arbor to determine which of these sedans stands a better chance of capturing a slice of the luxury pie. Read on for our thoughts.

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