SINGAPORE - Being one of the first to test drive Hyundai’s brash new luxury challenger, we’re trying out a new review format for CarBuyer.com.sg: the five-question, five-minute ‘flash review’, in that it has only five questions, and should only take you five-minutes to read.
What is this? The Genesis is Hyundai’s first truly global luxury sedan - the first-gen car was primarily sold in left-hand drive markets and even garnered a few awards. This one is made in both right and left-hand drive, and it’s a big executive sedan meant to go up against the likes of the BMW 5 Series.
It looks like... a BMW 5 Series? There’s no denying it’s been modelled after a BMW (or all of them?) but the five-metre long car has a considerable road presence of its own. If it drove past, you might find it familiar looking, but surely wouldn’t think of it as a budget car of any sort.
It probably helps there’s no Hyundai badging visible - the only one is on the engine cover - and bears its own Genesis winged-badge on the outside.
How does it drive? Remarkably well. It rides and handles properly - better than an entry-level 5 Series. It feels plush and correctly damped in all the right areas but not lazy, and it handles precisely too - Lotus was consulted in the car’s suspension tuning, and the car itself has adaptive dampers.
The 3.8-litre V6 and eight speed gearbox is also a near Lexus-worthy pairing: smooth and seamless, but also able to deliver its 315bhp to the rear wheels for generous pace when needed. Our only gripes are that the tiny greenhouse makes it hard to see out of, and the big engine is a bit thirsty.
So does it really have the (luxury) goods? The interior doesn’t seem totally coherent in terms of colour scheme and design - it should match better - but there’s no doubting the quality or the feature set.
It’s specced like a mid-grade German, with auto parking/lights/wipers, panoramic cameras, rear cross traffic alert, soft close doors, adaptive cruise control and a spiffy, touch-screen TFT display, front air-con seats...there’s very little not to like here.
But would you buy one? The Genesis goes for $229,999 for the most basic model and $236,999 for the higher-spec Grand edition. The latter is well worth the premium. In German terms, it’d get you an entry-level big sedan (BMW 520i) or a mid-level small executive sedan (Mercedes C 200), both with a less generous feature set.
As a product, the Genesis is right there. If you’re a not-so brand conscious buyer and want a proper, big, rear-wheel drive sedan, you could do much worse.
Bonus Question: Where’s the coupe? I know we said five questions, but this one always pops up whenever the car is mentioned. There’s been no news of a new coupe at this time, and neither is the old one ever coming here. Boo. But if you buy a Genesis you could prove to Hyundai that there’s a market for upscale Koreans and not just Girls’ Generation.
Hyundai Genesis Grand
NEED TO KNOW
Engine 3,778cc, 24V, V6 Power 315bhp at 6000rpm Torque 397Nm at 5000rpm Gearbox 8-speed automatic Top Speed 240km/h 0-100kmh 6.5 seconds Fuel efficiency 11.2L/100km CO2 261g/km
Price $236,999 with COE
PLG_AUTHORINFOBOX_FRONTEND_AUTHOR: Derryn Wong
Derryn Wong is currently editor-in-chief of CarBuyer and he enjoys probing all aspects of the motoring industry, ranging from bizarre holes in the upholstery to the engineered insanity of the COE system. No, not those kinds of holes.