Shopping for a new Hyundai Genesis?
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
The Genesis is no sport sedan
those looking for pure tactility will be disappointed
no ‘sport' mode to quicken shifting
tuned more for Lexus-like isolation
Car and Driver
The 2010 Genesis offers upscale shoppers a choice of two engines, both of which share ride and handling that's considerably softer than those of comparable German sedans.
The base engine is a 290-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6; a powerful 375-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 is the upgrade option. Car and Driver notes that the engine's output of 375 hp on premium fuel "puts the engine in a fairly exclusive crowd," but several other reviewers point out the lack of direct-injection technology in the V-8 engine, surprised by such an omission on a new engine. Even with the V-6, performance is swift-BusinessWeek says, "even the smaller engine is powerful enough to inspire confidence"-but the V-8 is truly quick, particularly for the price class. Car and Driver reports the Genesis's 5.6-second 0-60-mph time puts it "in with the lofty company it aspires to compare with." Hyundai states the V-6 car will run from 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds, and the V-8, in 5.7 seconds. The V-6 version can reach 130 mph, while the V-8 tops out at 155 mph.
A six-speed automatic shifts gears in both, but the different versions have different origins. Automobile clarifies that the Genesis actually gets two distinct automatic transmissions: an Aisin with the V-6 and a ZF with the V-8. Motor Trend reports "the Aisin gearbox isn't as smooth as the 4.6's ZF unit, however, and can be jerky when dropping through several gears when the accelerator is mashed to the floor." BusinessWeek observes a manual shift mode, but "there's no ‘sport' mode to quicken shifting response, a feature offered by many of the Hyundai's competitors." Several reviews notice the omission of steering-wheel paddle-shifters-now almost a requisite feature in sport sedans.
Both engines are reasonably frugal, with even the V-8 earning EPA ratings of 18/27 mpg. Popular Mechanics commends the V-8's fuel economy numbers, declaring them "right in line with the best of the segment."
The Genesis' independent suspension has multiple links and lightweight aluminum construction for nimbler response, but the big Hyundai sedan's tuned more toward the comfort zone. It doesn't have the steering crispness or the taut ride quality of a Benz or BMW, but it strikes a good balance of comfort and responsiveness. The suspension, according to Car and Driver, "is as sophisticated as they come," and produces "well-controlled drive motions" and "predictable handling." "Push it hard, though, and the front tires scrub into the pavement," warns Motor Trend, though they also note "the Genesis does handle quite well for its size." Car and Driver says "the Genesis is tuned more for Lexus-like isolation than BMW-like involvement," but Popular Mechanics bluntly states, the Genesis "felt like it was floating through a bucket of marshmallow fluff" when pushed hard. While the V-6 car has reasonably communicative steering, the V-8's electrohydraulic system has "a disappointing lack of steering feel," reports Automobile. They appeal for more sporting edge all around: "for a sedan that so unabashedly aims for the best from Germany, it still needs a more Teutonic tilt to the chassis tuning."
The 2010 Hyundai Genesis lacks the dancing skills that its specs imply, but it'll hustle.