As the first take on a luxury sedan, the Hyundai Genesis changed America's perception of the brand, in part due to its rear-drive chassis, but in equal measure due to its luxurious cabin and upscale appointments. The premium finishes inside the Genesis are a clear step up from even today's much finer Azera sedan, and the subdued, spacious Genesis could pass for an Infiniti or a Lexus, were it missing a few very minor details that give away its newbie status.
The Genesis is a long, wide car, and it doesn't lack in leg or head room. Five adults can fit inside, without too much fuss. The front seats aren't as firm as the ones in the German sedans in this price class--or even in cars like the new Ford Fusion--and in truth, they could use more bolstering if Hyundai wants to bolster the Genesis' sporty-sedan credentials. But if it's luxury you're after, they're coddlers, with excellent knee room and plush cushions. On most models you'll find in showrooms, the front seats are heated; all are upholstered in leather; and many of them will come with a ventilated driver seat, though we're puzzled why both front seats don't have that increasingly popular option.
Build quality and refinement in the Hyundai Genesis light years ahead of Hyundai appointments even five to ten years ago, and truly competitive with premium Japanese brands. There's leather, tightly grained plastic, laminated glass to damp noise, and plenty of handsome detailing. The leather-trimmed dash on some cars we've tested has shown an imperfection or two, but it's such a high-end treatment, it's almost forgivable--especially at the under-$40,000 price.