2009 Hyundai Genesis V6: Desert Blitz
May 04, 2009
I ran our long-term 2009 Hyundai Genesis sedan to Vegas and back from L.A. on Saturday for the final round of the Supercross championship. As a long distance machine, the Genny excels, happily eating freeway miles as the soft first portion of the suspension's travel makes for a cushy cruiseliner. This not-quite floaty ride combines with solid straight-line stability, light steering, amply adjustable seat/wheel, an impressively quiet cabin (even in severe desert crosswinds) and solid audio quality to form a mile-eating cocoon.
Though tuned for the masses and not enthusiasts, the Genesis doesn't embarrass itself when given the cane on desert backroads, and the V6 provides thoroughly adequate hustle. When pushed through its soft veneer, this big rear-wheel-drive sedan actually hunkers down reasonably well. The brake pedal is surprisingly firm, but it lacks a proper dead pedal. The light steering is accurate even if the wheel is a little thin, and the front seats feel more rubbery than leather-like, but overall the Genesis chassis provides a very livable compromise between ride quality (on the soft side) and control.
Before heading to Sin City, I had to reboot the a/v system (shut down, then restart the car), to get the Bluetooth to sync with my phone (Blackjack II), but it then synched up fine. Inbound audio quality on the phone is quite poor, though callers had no problem with intelligibility. The optional full-zoot "Lexicon" audio set-up has the wildly welcome feature of letting you make acoustics adjustments for each type of input (XM, MP3, CD, etc.), allowing tailoring of sound by source.
A savvy feature when reversing is the ability to flop the driver's side-mirror down into curb-view mode using the door-mounted adjustment switch. The nav-system failed to find a street address in Vegas (though the road was present and correctly labeled on the nav screen), but provided adequate detail across the remote Mojave.
As for the Supercross event, James Stewart charged into an early lead (that's his championship winning Yamaha on the right), before being run down by a possessed Ryan Villopoto and then later getting hacked by displaced champ Chad Reed. Stewart cruised to a third-place finish to secure the SX championship in front of a rowdy packed house at Sam Boyd Stadium. Near idyllic mid-70 temps meant fine conditions for fans, though some blustery winds made it interesting for the airborne racers.
Heading home, high beams with a long and even spread made it an easy decision to abandon the west-bound race transporters on the freeway, cutting south through Cima on deserted backroads while sailing through joshua trees backed by an amber sinking moon. Back in L.A. after a swift 700-mile day, our Genesis continued to impress, again making strong arguments for the V6 version.
Paul Seredynski, Executive Editor @ 7,246 miles