2009 Hyundai Genesis Long Term Road Test - Comfort

2009 Hyundai Genesis Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
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2009 Hyundai Genesis: Which Options Would You Choose?

January 04, 2010


Back in May of last year, Editor in Chief Oldham wrote a "Would I Buy One?" post that listed his opinion of each car in our fleet at the time. For the answer to whether he'd buy a Hyundai Genesis, Scott wrote: "Faster than you can say great sedan." I'd put myself in this camp, too. But then the next question would be: "What kind of Genesis?"

Like most of the Edmunds/Edmunds.com editorial staff, I'd be happy with the V6. It's got respectable power, sounds throaty when you get on it and helps keep the Genesis' price pleasingly low. The trickier question to answer would be what kind of options I think are worth the money.

Hyundai has fiddled with the Genesis' options packages from 2009 to 2010, but I'll stick with 2010 since that's the car that's on sale now. Hyundai offers three 2010 packages: Premium ($2,500), Premium Navigation ($2,000) and Technology ($5,500). Premium basically gets you a sunroof, a 14-speaker Lexicon surround-sound audio system, upgraded leather trim, a power tilt/telescope steering wheel, driver seat memory settings and a power rear sunshade. So far, so good.

Premium Navigation gets you the navigation system, a back-up camera and 18-inch wheels. Interestingly, you couldn't get standalone navigation on the 2009 car (it was bundled with the Technology package), but I'd probably get it here given the more agreeable price.

But I'd pass on the 2010 Technology Package, which has adaptive xenon headlights, adaptive cruise control (new for 2010), parking sensors, a 17-speaker surround-sound audio system, Bluetooth, a bigger navigation screen, a ventilated driver seat and the multimedia controller wheel. Sure, I like our long-termer's Bluetooth and xenon headlights. But the rest is of debatable merit, and therefore I couldn't justify spending another $5,500. That would leave this 2010 Genesis with an MSRP of $38,300, which is quite reasonable to me for a large premium/luxury sedan as good as this one is.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 22,697 miles

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2009 Hyundai Genesis: Another Long Distance Trip

December 24, 2009


Like we've said in multiple past posts, our long-term 2009 Hyundai Genesis is a great highway cruiser thanks to its quiet interior, comfortable ride quality and solid V6 power. Yesterday I drove about five hours and 300 miles with my wife and two-year-old daughter to kick off our holiday break; the Genesis performed admirably. And even though we've complained about the latency in "real-time" traffic updates on navigation systems, I'll still take having the updates rather than none at all -- they helped me navigate though some of Los Angeles' slowest freeways.

I also packed the Genesis full of travel and holiday stuff -- you can fit a lot in a big sedan if you get creative, though I'd need something bigger (like the Flex) if we had another child. Even so, I'm quite pleased to have our Genesis over the holidays.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2009 Hyundai Genesis: Road Trip Review

November 27, 2009


On Tuesday morning at 6 AM, in the dark, I climbed behind the wheel of our long-term 2009 Hyundai Genesis and headed north to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I was to arrive by noon to watch Dodge's Viper Team attempt to break the track record for production cars, which they did.

I drove back the very next morning.

That's a 600 mile round trip of interstate in 24 hours. Not nuts. But not exactly the kind of trip you want to take in a Smart Fortwo. No, the right car is key.

I chose the Genesis very carefully.

This is the second road trip I've taken in our Genesis. The first was a family ski run to Mammoth Mountain last March. This one to Monterey was just as enjoyable.

I literally have no complains about this wonderful sedan. Good seat comfort, smooth ride, good mileage (nearly 26 mpg), long range (over 400 miles), an easy to use navigation system, excellent visibility and more than enough passing power, even on the truck heavy and hilly Route 46, the 50 miles stretch of two-lane that connects Interstate 5 with California Highway 101.

I chose the right car for the trip. And I'd choose it again without hesitation.

Scott Oldham, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief

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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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2009 Hyundai Genesis V6: Beats the Bus

September 20, 2009


Is that the most awesome bus you've ever seen?

Actually, the 2009 Hyundai Genesis is nice and big, too. And plenty roomy.

Its length is 195.9 inches overall on a 115.6-inch wheelbase.

Front legroom is a roomy 44.3 inches with headroom of 40.4 inches. Lots of room for tall guys.

Rear passengers gets lots of space, too, with rear legroom at a generous 38.6 inches and 37.7 inches of headroom.

More comfortable that the bus, I think.

Our 2009 Hyundai Genesis V6 is car of the week.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2009 Hyundai Genesis V6: Help, I Can't See

September 14, 2009


Some cars have the driver-side mirror positioned too high.

Combined with the large airbag-stuffed A-pillar, it blocks much of my view when making a left turn.

I like when the side mirrors are lower. Otherwise, I feel like a hobbit trying to drive a big boy car.

How is the view from your driver seat?

Click through to see the dramatic sky I saw on my way home on Friday...

...plenty of visibility out the front window.

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2009 Hyundai Genesis V6: Cool Customer on a Vegas Cruise

August 27, 2009

genesis at 15k.jpg

The girlfriend and I decided to hit Las Vegas for a quick, 24-hour get-away from L.A. And no, we didn't get married. Having heard that the Genesis was a great road trip car and not yet having any substantial seat time in it, the Hyundai was requested.

During the ride back the Genesis hit 15,000 miles, but I must confess I had the display on the tripmeter function (the "ODO" display only shows either total miles or trip miles) and realized it after I arrived back in L.A., hence the 15,268 miles shown. I gave the Genesis a belated happy anniversary card and a bath at the car wash, so we're copasetic now.

Follow the jump for my random observations of the Genesis, as well as how to count cards like Rainman and win big in Sin City.

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2009 Hyundai Genesis V6: The One Thing That Feels Downright Cheap

July 22, 2009


I'm not against corporate parts-bin sharing. It's a reality. There are a finite number of suppliers (and the ranks will probably get really finite until sales pick up). And once you get a head unit you like, you're going to use it in more than one vehicle in your lineup. I get that.

But I've never liked the power mirror adjustor Hyundai has used in recent years. I don't like it in less expensive Hyundais and I really don't like it in our long-term 2009 Hyundai Genesis V6. The left/right slider nub is kind of sharp and unpleasant to the touch.

You could argue that I wouldn't have to adjust the mirrors as much if I wasn't sharing the Genesis with 20 other drivers. But maybe I would. This isn't the kind of car I'd own by myself. More likely, I'd share it with a spouse. And although the Genesis has memory for its driver seat and steering wheel, it doesn't have it for the mirrors -- in which case I'd be fiddling with the adjustor several times a week.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor

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2009 Hyundai Genesis V6: Is Hyundai the New Lincoln?

July 20, 2009


As I was driving into work this morning, I spotted a Hyundai Genesis in the lane next to me that was being used as a livery cab.

Usually, the sedan of choice for these companies is a Lincoln Town Car.

So, limo companies think the Hyundai Genesis is luxurious enough to shuttle around their clients. Interesting.

It definitely has one of the most comfortable back seats in the business.

And it is surely less expensive to outfit a fleet with Hyundais.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2009 Hyundai Genesis V6: 4th of July

July 06, 2009


Saturday night, I piled a bunch of friends into the Hyundai Genesis and took off toward the fireworks.

With a backseat that has 38.6 inches of leg room and 54.3 inches of hip room, we had three people back there with no problem. Of course, we were only driving about a half mile, so I'm not sure how they would feel about the backseat on a long trip. But those seats sure are cushiony.

Click through to see a picture of a firework that looks like the Death Star...and a picture of the Genesis back seat.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2009 Hyundai Genesis: Seat Hotters

June 01, 2009


The seat heaters in our long-term Genesis might have three levels, but the lowest setting is all I can stand. Now I grant you that I have a low seat heater BTU tolerance, but putting that sucker on high is like sitting on open flame. My wife likes it of course, but she would be cold on the surface of the sun.

And they warm up quickly too.

Scott Oldham, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief

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2009 Hyundai Genesis or 2009 BMW 750i? Part II

May 29, 2009


I understand if you think nobody would ever choose our long-term Hyundai Genesis V6 over our long-term BMW 750i. But in the words of the great Bob Falfa, "I ain't nobody dork."

Yesterday I posted that I had gladly swapped our 750i for our Genesis. Man, did it bring out the haters. I was called crazy, unreasonable and accused of writing something untrue just to get a rise out of our readers.

Thank you to those that came to my defense and the defense of the Genesis.

The truth is I really do prefer the Hyundai. I've spent quite a bit of time in the 750i now (not to mention that a 2001 740iL with the sport package is one of my dream cars), and the more I drive it the less I want to. It's hard to explain, but I'm just not in sync with the machine. It has several combinations of tune that the driver can choose; Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+. And I don't seem to like any of them. I find myself constantly changing modes looking for a sweet spot that never comes.

It's like Goldilocks. This one is too firm. This one is too soft. But "this one is just right" just ain't there.

I have a hunch the Sport Package and 19-inch runflat Goodyears on our test car have quite a bit to do with this, but it's just a hunch. The car's overall damping doesn't seem to be the problem, it's the intrusion of the road's surface into the driver's seat and steering wheel that trouble me.

Somehow the 750's steering is missing that magical combination of road feel and isolation I've enjoyed in BMWs for years, including our two long-term M3s and our 135i. There's just too much noise in the wheel and it adds a crude quality to the mix that is out of character for a BMW or any luxury sedan at this price point.

Sure it outperforms the Genesis. And everytime I nail the throttle in the twin-turbocharged BMW all is forgiven for the few seconds my head is pinned to the back window, but I've never been in the Hyundai and felt like it needed more power. Plus, I prefer its steering and its suspension tuning in the real world. My world, where there are rippled concrete freeways and constantly changing road surfaces.

Of course the 750i will leave the Genesis for dead on a mountain road, but I don't drive to work in the twisties. So some of you might think I've lost it, but the reality of it is that the most expensive car with the most prestigious nameplate isn't always the one you prefer to drive.

In fact I did not regret my decision last night, as the Genesis and I cut through the rush hour traffic. And so I'm spending the weekend in the Hyundai. I'll let you know how it goes on Monday. Personally, I think it looks pretty cool in my driveway.

Scott Oldham, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief @ 7,786 miles

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2009 Hyundai Genesis: Little Things That Make You Feel Like Home

May 06, 2009

2009 genesis wheel-door.jpg

I'm in a rush to get somewhere, pretty much all the time. So on those occasions when I get to drive one of our long-termers, I don't usually have time to study the nuances of the car's functionality. Controls that aren't backlit properly, aren't where you expect them, or cryptic symbols drive me batty. I want adjustments to be straightforward: seat, mirrors, radio settings -- you know, the little things that make a car feel more like home.

And it's there where the Genesis started to impress me. As a chronic channel surfer, I liked that controls for volume up/down and radio station selection were all part of one button on the left of the wheel. Simple as it sounds, I also appreciated that the mirrors were controlled quite easily from one button on the armrest. (I don't enjoy mirror or window controls on the door or on the console between the front seats.) Ever been in a car and reach to lower the front window, only to lower the back window instead -- every time you do it? I have. None of this is an issue in the Genesis. Even the nav system was pretty straightforward.

The Genesis isn't trying to dazzle me with electronics that take a graduate degree to figure out. So despite the fact that Hyundai is going for the upscale market, it appears to be remembering its humble roots and not get all high-falutin' about it. It would be that much harder to take the Genesis seriously if it did.

Does this mean I'd buy the car? Maybe, but not necessarily. Sure, the leather seats are great (really!), the ride is super comfortable, the handling plenty sufficient for my gotta-get-there-now maneuvering. The thin, chrome trim around the vents is a nice touch and the paint is, well, sparkly. But there's nothing in the design -- inside or out -- that I found particularly inspiring or that blew me away with its luxury. It's a good car. It's a good value. Often, that's more than good enough.

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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.

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2009 Hyundai Genesis V6: Back Seat Better Than the Front

April 03, 2009


As Jay mentioned in an earlier post, the front seats in our Genesis long-termer have short thigh cushions. Even with my length-lacking legs, I still find the seats don't fit right under my thigh.

But the back seat area in the Genesis is truly magnificent. With 38.6 inches of legroom, an over-six-footer can sit comfortably behind another tall guy.

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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

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