2009 Hyundai Genesis V6: Lexus-like
March 31, 2009
The 2009 Hyundai Genesis V6 is a great car -- it's the best $32K sedan out there.
And loaded at $40K, one of the best, for sure.
But is it, as some have written, comparable to the 2009 BMW 750?
If I were a 13 year-old girl or United States Congressman, I would respond to that by text or tweet,
"OMG! LOL! Luv ya! Muuaaahh!!"
The Genesis does compare quite well to another luxury car: the Lexus GS350.
In a previous life, I had a lot of experience benchmarking Lexuses (Lexi?), including the GS.
For me, the Genesis is almost identical to it in driving dynamics.
When I first drove a Genesis, if I was blindfolded I'd swear that I couldn't tell the difference between the two. The similarities are remarkable!
The ride in particular is quite Lexus-like: super smooth and a bit cushy. Although the ride is flat, well-controlled, and slightly sporty, the Genesis can get a bit floaty over sinusoidal whoops. And while the Genesis has better impact isolation and attenuation than the GS, the overall suspension feeling is somewhat soft -- like a Lexus.
I personally prefer a firmer, more controlled ride (e.g., CTS, 750, TL) than the Genesis or GS. But that's me.
Where the Genesis stands out is in value. A 2009 Lexus GS350 RWD with Navi and premium Mark Levinson audio rings in at a rather expensive $52,000.
That's $12K more than the Genesis for very similar vehicles. The Genesis has similar high quality materials and assembly, and a lot more interior room than the GS.
Is the GS worth the difference? Up to you.
Lexus did recalibrate our luxury car dealership expectations to a higher level.
And Lexus reliability and durability are equalled by but a few.
Although Hyundai is manufacturing some very well-built vehicles today, even my terrible memory can still recall all the broken-down Excels littering the sides of the road when they first entered the U.S. market.
In the luxury car arena, image is important. It's difficult to re-build a reputation that you burned to the ground -- even if that was 20 years ago.
Oh, and good luck explaining your new car purchase to your non-enthusiast spouse:
"Honey, I just spent $40 grand -- on a Hyundai!"
Albert Austria, Sr Vehicle Eval Engineer @ 5454 miles
(photos by S.Jacobs)