From the Drivers Seat - 2009 Hyundai Genesis Long-Term Road Test

2009 Hyundai Genesis Long-Term Road Test

2009 Hyundai Genesis: From the Drivers Seat

November 17, 2009

2009 Hyundai Genesis cockpit.jpg

We ran the Genesis down to San Diego and back this weekend with a trunk loaded with gifts for babies both recently and soon to be born. The gaping trunk probably could have held a whole orphanage full of toys, something to note with holiday shopping season right around the corner. With nearly 20K on the clock, I was curious to see how the ride quality of the Genesis was holding up from the driver's perspective.

From the highly adjustable pilots seat, things remain pretty rosy. After our dog-years mileage run up, impact harshness has increased just perceptibly, which is common on any machine as bushings age. The Genesis still rolls down the superslab with the best of them, eating interstate for breakfast, and floating in the kind of muted aplomb that makes it easy to wander over the posted limit. Cruise-control is most useful as a license-friendly speed limiter.

Most impressive still is the sophisticated feel of the rear suspension. The Genesis loves long, fast sweepers, and rear-wheel-drive means undiluted feedback through the mildly over-boosted but accurate steering. The aft suspension cuts through a veneer of puff to reveal some deftly controlled travel, and like the best multi-link setups, you can sense the 18-inch wheels working in the wells with little disruption to your line or heading. After decades of front-wheel-drive proliferation, the Genesis is a sweet reminder of why we like rear-wheel drive so much.

The V6 continues to feel strong and is remarkably smooth while cruising. Just off idle around town, when ambling between stop signs, the V6 is starting to sound a little gruff, almost as if it was in need of better gas, but this is the sole aural clue to its rapidly advancing mileage. Though it does not pull up top as hard as the V8, most will be perfectly happy with this snappy V6.

One of my few early gripes with the Genesis when it was showroom new was the quality of the seat leather, which I found to be a bit rubbery, and poor for ventilation even by tanned-hide standards. I was impressed when I heard that one of the few updates for the 2010 Genesis was the "ultra-premium" leather on all V8 models and V6 trims with the premium, nav or tech packages. Having said that, now that we've thoroughly broken in the seats, they seem fine and are even wearing pretty well.

A bargain from the sales floor, as Genesis sedans starts hitting the used market with a fat chunk of a decade warranty intact, you'll be looking an even stronger value.

Paul Seredynski, Executive Editor @ 19,858 miles

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