A couple months back, we looked at the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, and we were impressed to say the least. The small but powerful sports car will give a Ford Mustang a run for its money, and the turbocharged four-cylinder model starts at just $22,750. While the coupe was designed to compete with Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros, and the like, the 2009 Hyundai Genesis Sedan was designed to compete with models like the Chrysler 300C, the Mercedes-Benz E550, and the Lexus GS 460. Heady company to say the least, but can it keep up?
Under the hood of the 2009 Genesis sedan is a 4.6-liter V8. This is on par with the aforementioned Lexus, but the Chrysler 300C and the Mercedes E550 have V8s of 5.7 and 5.5 liters respectively. But, that doesn’t really matter. The Hyundai’s V8 pumps out 35 more horsepower than the Chrysler’s 340 and only trails the Mercedes by 7 ponies. These engines do have more torque, but not enough to make a huge performance difference. Also, the Genesis gets an impressive fuel economy rating of 17 mpg city and 25 highway. So, performance wise, the Genesis sedan isn’t an industry leader, but it isn’t a slouch by any means.
The ride of the Genesis sedan is of the relaxed luxury variety. Other luxury automakers, particularly BMW, imbue their cars with sporty and nimble turning abilities. The Genesis sedan is not one of these. However, while the Genesis would lose against a BMW in an obstacle course, the Genesis does provide a smoother ride that would fare better than its German rival on a pot-holed road. If you like the feel of a sporty car that can handle some heavy twists and turns, the Genesis isn’t it. If, however, you’re looking for a smooth-riding luxury car, the Genesis can do it.
The interior of the Genesis is well-appointed and borrows heavily from the Lexus LS. This is a good thing for drivers, as the LS’ interior is spacious and modern, and the Genesis follows suit. One of the only problems with the interior is the front seats. If you’re tall, then you’re in for a bit of a hassle. The seats are, for some unfathomable reason, mounted fairly high up when they could easily be an inch or so lower, giving more headroom. Also, the runners that the seat is on don’t extend very far back, so long legs may get a bit cramped on anything more than a drive about town.
Bottom line is that the 2009 Hyundai Genesis Sedan is an incredible addition to the luxury sedan segment. It starts at $38,000, which is toward the low end of the price spectrum (the Chrysler 300C does start a bit lower at $36,915), and there is a V6 option that starts at $32,250. Although, the V8 is more than worth the extra money. And, when comparable models from Lexus, Mercedes, and BMW cost in the neighborhood of $50,000+, the Genesis seems all the more appealing. Yes, the Hyundai is not as good as those models when you look at the details, and since the model is fairly new we don’t know what its long-term reliability is like, but for the money it is one of the best sedans on the market right now.