Being a person who gets the chance to review new vehicles, I have noticed that many of the vehicles that I evaluate are loaded up models. It does put someone like myself in a odd position trying to do a review since I have to try and distill it down to the main items that will be found on the lower tiers as many buyers don’t go for the top models. So whenever I get a mid-level or base trim of a review vehicle, it’s like a breath of fresh air and allows me to focus on the important parts. Case in point is the 2015 Hyundai Genesis which arrived during the Christmas holiday. I wasn’t sure what I was getting, possibly a fully loaded 3.8 V6 model or even the 5.0 V8. But it was the base model 3.8 that was dropped off and I knew it would give me a chance to examine it without any of the gimmicks.
When the Genesis was introduced last year, I was unsure about the looks. It boasted a number of design cues from the HCD-14 shown at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show which in my eyes made it look somewhat comical. Then when I did a first drive last spring, I grew to like the looks aside from the grille. After spending a week, I became impressed with the overall design. Compared to the last Genesis which looked to be a generic sedan, the new model has style and presence all over. The Genesis boasts Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language which includes such details as the large hexagonal grille, LED lighting on the front lights, pronounced character line on the belt line, and the rear pillars flowing into the decklid.
As for comfort, the Genesis comes wrapped with supportive leather seats. Front seat passengers get heat, along with 12-way power seats to find a position that works for them. Meanwhile in the back, there is more the enough head and legroom for even the tallest of passengers. Now being it was the holidays when I was driving the Genesis, the trunk was an important part since it would be carrying a lot of stuff. The Genesis passed this with flying colors thanks to a trunk measuring 15.3 cubic feet. It was able to fit luggage for two people and some gifts, and still have enough space for other items.
Powertrain and Ride/Handling Thoughts Are On Page 2
Power for the Genesis 3.8 comes from a 3.8L GDI V6 with 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic that sends power to the rear-wheels or optional all-wheel drive. Despite what the numbers tell you, the V6 is quite a strong engine. Power is seemingly available through the rpm band and is ready to come on when needed. Helping matters is a smart eight-speed automatic which seemingly knew what gear was needed and was able to apply it without any notice from the driver or passenger. Fuel economy is rated at 18 City/29 Highway/22 Combined. During my week, I saw an average of 24.6 MPG. More surprising was on one stretch of our holiday trip, I saw fuel economy as high as 29.3 MPG.
Looking at the base model of any car can give you an idea of whether or not it is the real deal. In the case of the Genesis, this is truly the real deal. The automaker has made great strides in making the Genesis from a nobody into a somebody. With the looks, feel, and drive of a vehicle that costs thousands more, the Hyundai Genesis is not only a bargain, but a damn fine automobile.
Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Genesis 3.8, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Engine: 3.8 DOHC 24-valve V6 with CVVT
Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 311 @ 6,000
Torque @ RPM: 293 @ 5,000
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/29/22
Curb Weight: 4,138 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Asan, South Korea
Base Price: $38,000
As Tested Price: $38,950 (Includes $950.00 Destination Charge)