The Hyundai Genesis is a sporty rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan that takes the top position in Hyundai's lineup, above the front-wheel-drive Azera. In its second year of production, the Genesis returns with an updated navigation system, a new adaptive cruise control option, and other minor trim adjustments. With a base price of about $33,000 for V-6 versions and $38,000 for the V-8 edition, the Genesis claims larger luxury sedans like the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5-Series as its competition-though it naturally lines up against such sedans as the Chrysler 300, Lexus GS, and Infiniti M as well.
With the Genesis, Hyundai approaches design from a new perspective. There's real sophistication in the sedan's flowing roofline and wide grille that's been missing from the company's cars. Edmunds notes, "This Hyundai looks and feels very much like a top-line Lexus." It's proportioned as smartly as most European and Japanese sport sedans from Europe or Japan. Car and Driver best sums up all the cues, pointing to "a bit of S-Class in the headlights, a hint of Lexus GS in the hood, some 5-series in the taillights, and a BMW- or Nissan-like kink in the C-pillars." Car and Driver says, "In contrast to the advanced engineering in the Genesis, the styling is more cautious,"
Automobile assesses the Genesis's overall effect as "at worst benign, the car assuming a kind of generic upscale visage." And though its styling cues seem more familiar than fresh, it does have it share of distinct pieces, like its bright, wide grille. Also distinct: a lack of "Hyundai" badges.
Inside, there's more experimentation-and it's successful. It's not as derivative, with gentle curves and a dashboard that lifts controls high, to leave a slimmer center console and more interior space. "The soft curves of the sweeping dashboard architecture are complemented by an elegantly adorned center stack," Edmunds reports; they add, "the instrument panel's white-on-black electroluminescent gauges look like they came straight out of a Lexus." Some trim levels offer leather-wrapped dash and door panels, and they're quite striking, though Motor Trend takes issue with the "unconvincing fake wood appliqués" on base versions. Most reviewers agree with Car and Driver, which asserts, "if the exterior sets modest expectations, the interior exceeds them."