We're sitting across from a man named Skip. He's being interviewed as part of an effort to find out how people research cars, and after doing so himself, Skip has decided he will buy a 2012 Hyundai Genesis.
Now, this distinguished, white-haired gentleman in the black suit has the money to buy a BMW 7 Series or Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But after researching, driving, poking, prodding and stuffing his golf clubs into their trunks, he's found that not only is the Genesis a vastly better value, but it actually meets his needs better.
The fact that a Hyundai is being considered alongside flagship luxury cars at all is reason for the Korean company to pop open a few bottles of Soju and celebrate. But resting on such laurels is not in Hyundai's relentlessly self-improving makeup. Its midsize luxury sedan can be better and swing for farther fences, and to do so, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec has been created.
Hyundai Five-0 This new range-topping trim for the refreshed 2012 Genesis is the only way to get the equally new 5.0-liter version of Hyundai's Tau V8. It's a bored-out version of the 4.6-liter V8 bolstered by direct injection and a higher compression ratio. The result is a rating of 429 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque.
Not only does this make it the most powerful engine ever produced by Hyundai's car division (there's certainly some Korean-market bus with something beefier), it also boasts the most horsepower among a group of V8-powered luxury sedans that includes the BMW 550i and Infiniti M56.
However, when we strapped the R-Spec onto our friendly neighborhood dyno, the Hyundai didn't quite match its Japanese rival. While the M56 sends 380 hp to the wheels, the Hyundai manages "only" 364. Either Infiniti is being coy or Hyundai is being optimistic, but they can't both be right.
Infiniti scores another victory on our drag strip, besting the Hyundai by 0.3 second from zero to 60 thanks to its apparent power advantage and roughly 200 fewer pounds. Still, the R-Spec takes only 5.3 seconds to hit 60 (5.1 seconds with 1 foot of rollout as on a drag strip), which is on par with the 550i, Audi A6 3.0T and Mercedes-Benz E550. In other words, it may not be top dog, but it's still damned quick and holds its own against some very distinguished company.
It's also capable of a rather epic tire-scorching burnout, as well as the sort of spine-in-your-seat punch you expect from a big V8. Power delivery is absolutely effortless and buttery smooth, but without the sort of aural histrionics that'll weaken the knees of car-loving passersby. However, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec has an ability to shock fellow motorists like few other cars on the road — you just don't expect an anonymous Korean luxury sedan to take off in such an exuberant manner.
Eight Is Too Much On the highway, the 5.0 clearly has more than enough passing power, but it's let down by its eight-speed automatic transmission. Now standard throughout the Genesis lineup, this new eight-speed is said to improve acceleration, shift smoothness and fuel economy.
It may indeed do all that, but despite the more aggressive shift schedule and throttle mapping of the R-Spec, it also has a tendency to feel flummoxed by its multitude of gear choices when the time comes to downshift. You'll be cruising along in 8th, lay into the accelerator for a pass, then wait as the transmission realizes a drop to 7th or 6th isn't sufficient since both are also overdrive gears. You'll likely end up in 5th, but by then, your passing moment may have passed.
Sure, there's a manual option with the gated console shifter (no paddles), but shift response is absolutely glacial. It will also often overrule your judgment, swapping cogs long before redline.
Suspension Needs Some Work The soggy transmission is not the first indication that this 2012 Hyundai Genesis doesn't exactly live up to the sport sedan moniker. On relatively smooth highway blacktop, the sport-tuned suspension is firm, but within the realm of comfort.
Slow things down, however, and it starts to show the same sort of unsophisticated and unpleasantly firm feel on rough city pavement of other Hyundais and Kias with "sport tuning." Other cars in this class are firm, but they don't come with the relentless lateral bobbing and jostling that'll leave you pawing your forehead and declaring, "Enough, already!"
The 2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec's thicker rear stabilizer bars, higher front and rear spring rates and a 25-30 percent higher damping rate quite simply don't add up to a ride befitting a luxury car. The new hardware does generate better performance numbers, though.
Compared to the Genesis 4.6 (which will continue to be sold), the R-Spec gained 2.3 mph through the slalom for a speed of 64.9 mph, slightly slower than its main competition. With its optional summer tires, the R-Spec fared better on the skid pad, rounding the circle with 0.88g of grip. That's a fair bit better than the last 550i we tested, though not quite as sticky as the M56 and A6 3.0T. Its 112-foot stop from 60 mph is dead even for the class.
Indeed, the R-Spec shows that it has some skill around corners, whether at our track or tackling quick transitions on canyon roads. Yet that skill doesn't translate to an athleticism that inspires you to really drive it. The Genesis' sheer bulk is part of that, the flat seats are another. The biggest culprit, however, is the numb steering that still doesn't deliver much road feel despite an increase in effort that comes along with the R-Spec.
Perhaps it's too much to ask Hyundai to achieve the sort of optimized ride-handling balance that European automakers have spent decades perfecting, but there's not even an appreciable trade-off here as there is with the M56 (firm ride, athletic feel) or the Genesis 4.6 (plush ride, relaxed feel).
Genesis Models of Different Spec For better or worse, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec is only expected to constitute 5 percent of the Genesis sedans that leave Hyundai dealerships. So for the remaining 20 percent (4.6) and 75 percent (the 3.8-liter V6, with more power and direct injection for 2012) of potential Skips out there, there are a number of other enhancements and improvements for 2012.
Though it's frankly tough to tell without side-by-side photos, the exterior has been given a subtle but successful tweaking. The nondescript grille has been redone to look a little less like a Klingon's forehead, while the airdam has been widened for a more aggressive appearance and to conceal the adaptive cruise control emitter. The headlights also get a tasteful LED running light treatment. Though the lower side skirts and rear valance with integrated twin pipes may look like they belong solely to the sport-tuned R-Spec, they are actually applied to every Genesis. Indeed, besides the 5.0 R-Spec badge and 19-inch graphite wheels, it's hard to differentiate the top-of-the-line model.
Inside, changes are restricted to the addition of heated rear seats, which is just fine. Though the cabin of the Genesis doesn't quite measure up to its vastly more expensive luxury-branded competitors, it's still a lovely place to spend time. Everything's screwed together well, the materials are appropriately plush for its price point, features are abundant and its 17-speaker Lexicon sound system (standard on the R-Spec) makes virtually every other stereo sound like the AM radio buzzing into Grandma's left ear. Add in an enormous backseat and it's hard to imagine why someone would bother with an Equus.
Is It Right for Skip? So do we like the Genesis? Yes. Do we like the new Tau 5.0 V8? (Um, did you see that burnout up there?) Do they work together? Absolutely, but a big engine does not make a sport sedan and Hyundai has a ways to go in the steering and suspension departments before it can truly be placed on the same pedestal as those cars that bear traditional luxury badges.
Still, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis R-Spec's price tag of $48,750 still undercuts the M56 by about $12,000 and the Germans by thousands more — even if it seems awfully steep for a Hyundai. That's just the sort of value proposition that has made guys like Skip think twice about the traditional names in luxury. If he also digs massive V8 power and lives in a land of pristine pavement, then the R-Spec may do a similar trick. Otherwise, he'd better stick with a Genesis of regular spec.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of this evaluation.
2012 Hyundai Genesis Overview
The 2012 Hyundai Genesis is offered in the following submodels: 5.0 R-Spec, Sedan. Available styles include 3.8 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 8A), 4.6 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 8A), and 5.0 R-Spec 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl 8A). Genesis models are available with a 3.8 l-liter gas engine or a 4.6 l-liter gas engine or a 5.0 l-liter gas engine, with output up to 429 hp, depending on engine type. The 2012 Genesis comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic. The 2012 Genesis comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a used 2012 Hyundai Genesis?
Save up to $300 on one of 36 used 2012 Hyundai Genesiss for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $10200 as of Nov 23, 2017, based on data from 18 dealers and 81 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 1 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 2012 Hyundai Genesis trim styles:
The 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 is priced around $13097 with average odometer reading of 83147 miles.
The 2012 Hyundai Genesis 4.6 is priced around $13497 with average odometer reading of 92864 miles.
The 2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec is priced around $14495 with average odometer reading of 105552 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, Virginia. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Is the 2012 Hyundai Genesis a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2012 Hyundai Genesis and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2012 Genesis featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process All of our reviews are written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
How do people like the 2012 Hyundai Genesis? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2012 Hyundai Genesis and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2012 Genesis 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2012 Genesis.
Review I haven't been this excited with a new car in a very, very long time. I feel similarly about the Genesis as I did with my first car back when I was 16. It was an '83 Buick Skylark which required me to pour gasoline into its carb to get it started haha. Those were the best times. I'm by no means comparing the two, just the lovely feeling I had with my first car and how excited I was every time I had a chance to drive it. This is how I feel with the Genesis. I like nice things, but love saving money. This car fits the bill and provides me with a great feeling when I get settled into its wonderful seats. I find myself making up reasons just to drive it. Really, the experience is terrific.
How can Edmunds help? Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
What options are available on the 2012 Hyundai Genesis?
Available Hyundai Genesis 2012 Submodel Types: Sedan, 5.0 R-Spec
Available Trims: 3.8, 4.6, 5.0 R-Spec, 5.0
Exterior Colors: Caspian Black, Parisian Gray, Casablanca White, Black Noir Pearl, Santiago Silver, Empire State Gray, Pamplona Red, Titanium Gray Metallic, Montecito Blue, Platinum Metallic, Sapphire Blue Pearl, White Satin Pearl, Manhattan Brown, Night Shadow Brown, Twilight Blue Pearl, Champagne Beige Metallic, Sterling Blue Metallic, Cabernet Red Pearl
Interior Colors: Black premium leather, Cashmere leather, Jet Black premium leather, Beige premium leather, Cashmere premium leather, Gray premium leather, Jet Black leather, Beige leather, Ivory premium leather, Black leather, Saddle leather, Saddle premium leather
Popular Features: Post-collision safety system, AWD/4WD, Alarm, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Auto Climate Control, Aux Audio Inputs, Bluetooth, Heated seats, Leather Seats, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Power Driver Seat, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Tire Pressure Warning, Trip Computer, USB Inputs, Pre-collision safety system, Adaptive Cruise Control, Back-up camera, Cooled Seats, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Lane Departure Warning, Navigation, Parking sensors, Sunroof/Moonroof, Upgraded Headlights, Blind Spot Monitoring, Automatic Emergency Braking, Keyless Entry/Start, Power Liftgate/Trunk, Upgraded Stereo