2012 Hyundai Genesis Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Hyundai Genesis

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Hyundai Genesis Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.8 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 8-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 333 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Hyundai Genesis

  • With handsome styling, generous luxury features and engine power to match, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis takes its rightful place among established luxury sedan rivals.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfortable ride in non R-Spec models; smooth and powerful engines; luxurious cabin; generous warranty coverage; sensational Lexicon sound system.

  • Cons

    Missing all-wheel-drive option; rear seat does not fold down; disappointing braking with 3.8 and 4.6; rough ride in R-Spec.

  • What's New for 2012

    Hyundai adds a 5.0-liter V8-powered model to the lineup, increases horsepower for the base V6 and makes an eight-speed automatic transmission standard across the board. The 3.8 and 4.6 models also gain new low-rolling-resistance tires.

Full 2012 Hyundai Genesis Review

What's New for 2012

Hyundai adds a 5.0-liter V8-powered model to the lineup, increases horsepower for the base V6 and makes an eight-speed automatic transmission standard across the board. The 3.8 and 4.6 models also gain new low-rolling-resistance tires.


The Hyundai Genesis is aptly named. Although the Korean automaker's luxury sedan isn't creating a new segment from scratch, it has created a category in which performance, power, luxury and comfort exist in balance with incredible value. Simply put, no other car offers so much for so little as the 2012 Hyundai Genesis.

For 2012, an already strong engine lineup is bolstered by a 429-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 (included with the new R-Spec model), while direct-injection technology now catapults the base V6 well past 300 hp. A new eight-speed automatic transmission also helps the Genesis achieve better fuel economy. Outside, the Genesis receives some styling tucks, with tighter, more sporting looks front and rear.

Inside the silent and spacious cabin, high-quality leather covers the dash, doors, consoles and most other points that you'll come in contact with. Soft, pliant seats will keep driver and passengers alike cradled in comfort for short hops and road trips. And when the hushed and muffled sound of the road becomes too much to bear, the two available Lexicon audio systems will liven the cabin with full, rich surround sound. The 17-speaker version is truly one of the best stereos in any car at any price.

Its price and humble lineage might make the 2012 Hyundai Genesis seem more of a competitor to the likes of the Buick LaCrosse, Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus or Toyota Avalon. But it's actually more of a bargain-priced rival to premium striders like the Infiniti M or even German midsize sedans.

In this company the Genesis shows only minor deficiencies. It lacks an all-wheel-drive option and its braking distances are a bit long, for example. The new R-Spec model also lacks a degree of ride and handling sophistication you'd find in the European models it's targeting. But these are minor problems compared to what is likely the largest obstacle the Genesis faces in the marketplace: whether or not buyers will embrace the badge on its trunk lid.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Hyundai Genesis is a full-size, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan available in 3.8, 4.6, 5.0 and 5.0 R-Spec trim levels (the numbers denote engine displacement).

The Genesis 3.8 comes standard with 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, heated mirrors, a sunroof, keyless ignition/entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat (includes power lumbar), a four-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a tilt steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth and a seven-speaker sound system with CD player, satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB interface.

The Premium package adds 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, automatic wipers, power-folding side mirrors, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather dash and door trim, driver memory functions, a power rear sunshade, a rearview camera, a navigation system with real-time traffic, a 7-inch touchscreen interface and a 14-speaker Lexicon surround-sound system with a CD/DVD player.

The Technology package adds or supplements Premium package equipment with adaptive HID headlights, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, a lane-departure warning system, an electronic parking brake, upgraded leather upholstery, a ventilated driver seat, heated rear seats, an enhanced Bluetooth system, a rotary-knob based multimedia interface with 8-inch display, and a 17-speaker Lexicon audio system with HD radio and an in-dash six-CD/DVD changer.

The Genesis 4.6 includes Premium and Technology features as standard equipment but substitutes a wood-trimmed steering wheel for a leather-wrapped piece. The Genesis 5.0 is identically appointed, with the exception of the more powerful engine. The Genesis 5.0 R-Spec incorporates all Premium and Technology package features, plus 19-inch wheels and sport-tuned transmission, suspension and steering. High-performance summer tires are optional on the R-Spec.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 gets a 3.8-liter direct-injected V6 that produces 333 hp and 291 pound-feet of torque. Like every Genesis, rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control are standard. In Edmunds performance testing, this engine took the Genesis from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.

The Hyundai Genesis 4.6 features a 4.6-liter V8 good for 378 hp and 324 lb-ft of torque with regular gas, and 385 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque with premium. Estimated fuel economy is 16/25/19.

The Hyundai Genesis 5.0 and R-Spec join the lineup with a 5.0-liter direct-injected V8 making 429 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, the R-Spec hit 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 16/25/18.


The 2012 Hyundai Genesis comes standard with antilock brakes with brake assist, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front and rear side airbags and side curtain airbags. Parking sensors, lane-departure warning and a rearview camera are optional on the 3.8 and standard on the 4.6 and 5.0 R-Spec. In Edmunds brake testing, the Genesis 3.8 came to a stop from 60 mph in 117 feet, while the 4.6 stopped in 124. Both are average distances, but the R-Spec's 112-foot stop with its optional summer tires is excellent.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, meanwhile, awarded the Genesis the best possible score of "Good" in its frontal offset, side and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

If not for the sweeping "H" logo on the Genesis' steering wheel, most people would likely think they're driving a Lexus. This is especially true of the fully loaded model, which offers a full complement of modern comforts and conveniences wrapped in interior materials that feel rich and well-built. The Genesis cabin clearly takes aim at the Japanese luxury standard-bearer, as even the crisp, bright electroluminescent gauges have a Lexus-like appearance.

Controls are well laid out throughout the Genesis price and trim range, while the task of commanding the more complicated available electronic systems -- included with navigation -- is accomplished with either a touchscreen or control knob and visual display. We wish there were stereo preset buttons with the latter setup, however, as it can take awhile to click and turn your way to the radio station you want. The multi-speaker Lexicon sound systems are also very impressive, with the 17-speaker version being one of the best systems found in any car at any price.

Befitting a luxury touring car, the front seats of the Genesis provide plenty of comfort for both driver and passenger on longer trips. The same can be said of the rear seats, which offer optional heaters, in addition to the ample head- and legroom afforded backseat passengers. The rear seats don't fold down for additional cargo space, but a pass-through feature accommodates longer items that won't fit in the 15.9-cubic-foot trunk.

Driving Impressions

The soft ride of most 2012 Hyundai Genesis models is a good indicator of the car's luxury intentions, and thankfully it lacks the disconnected float that characterizes some other sleepy cruisers. When called upon, the Genesis can perform evasive maneuvers predictably and with little drama. Steering doesn't provide much feedback, but it's reasonably precise and suits the car's purpose. Thanks to extensive sound insulation, the Genesis is also a remarkably quiet car.

Engine power also more evenly matches other premium brands, with Genesis V6 and V8 models delivering smooth and linear acceleration. The new 5.0 models are just downright fast, matching the acceleration potential of V8-powered sport sedans that cost thousands more. However, unlike its regular Genesis counterparts, the R-Spec suffers a firm ride over broken pavement that sets it apart in a bad way from those aforementioned sport sedans.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Nice car - but quality

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Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 8A)

I want to really like my Genesis but it is not happening. It has many good things going for it - nice stereo, great gas mileage, peppy engine, nice ride. The down side is the quality and reliability disappoints. The windshield wiper blades went bad within14 months. The windshield wipers then failed and had to be replaced. It has a sturctural / noise issue with the unidbody which took Hyundai two years to find. Stuff that should not happen. I now notice the resale is not too hot so I guess I am stuck with it. Wish I had purchased an established brand llike Toyota or Honda while someone else worked out Hyundai start up problems. If the problems would go away, I could love it again.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Won't buy another hyundai

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 8A)

I have 33k on my 2012 Genesis. Since purchase in 8/2011 I have had the navigation replaced, the fuel injectors had to be cleaned because they were so dirty the car would stall in the middle of driving and now the oxygen sensor had to be replaced....stalling again, but this time the engine light went on so they could find the problem easier. Last time when it was stalling they couldn't find the problem until after keeping the car for 5 days. Now they recommend I buy fuel injector cleaner and put that in the tank every time I get an oil change in order to keep it from happening again. Even doing this, the car still has a rough idle at the start of the day.

Nice car for the money

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 8A)

I can honestly say I'm glad I stopped at the dealership to test drive this car. I test drove the Azera, but once you're in a Genesis, there is no going back. Besides being dead silent on the hwy, it has an amazing stereo (I have the tech package), and plenty of other features that make this car a joy to drive. The cooled seats are a must in the summer, and ride is very smooth and comfortable. The tech is a little behind, but if you plug in your iPod or put a CD in, you will not hear a better sound in any other vehicle on the road. I would stick with the 3.6. It is plenty fast, and the super smooth transmission doesn't shift quickly enough to significantly improve your 0-60 time.

Deadly accelarating delay from a

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 8A)

I have the 6 cyl sedan and the deadly delay from when you hit the gas pedal till the car moves is about 1-2 seconds from a rolling stop. That's long enough to get someone killed not to mention every time you go over a speed bump and hit the gas it takes a whole second or two before the car moves. That's not positive reaction by any means. It's deadly when you are trying to turn across traffic. Love the car otherwise but will not get another one if this issue isn't fixed. I guess there is no throttle cable and it's an electronic accelarater for the deadly delay I gave it a 2 for reliability because the ac compressor stopped working at 3000 miles and it took them a week to fix it

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

2012 genesis r-spec 5.0

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Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl 8A)

Great car, blast to drive! Good looking car, most of the time no-one can figure out who makes the car. When I tell them it's a Hyundai they're dumbfounded. Took it to a 4th of July car show and won 3rd place in the Import Car class! Not bad for a 4 door.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Genesis 4.6 rocks my world

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Genesis 4.6 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 8A)

Third Hyundai I have bought. First a Sonata GLS, then a Santa Fe Limited for the wife, now it was time to upgrade to the Genesis 4.6L. This car is what I call an "upper-middle class" luxury car. It has all the options that the top German and Japanese automakers offer, but for much, much less. Granted, I have only had the car for 12 days, but it is everything I dreamed it would be. I look for excuses to go out of the house just so I can drive it. Great power, great interior features, looks like a million bucks and will turn some heads. Had four State Troopers stop and check it out in the parking lot at lunch last week. I don't think they knew what it was.

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Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Identifix Reliability Ratings

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