When the first Genesis hit the road, Hyundai marketed it as a world-class sports sedan with a down-to-earth price, offering “the performance of a BMW 5-Series and the interior packaging of a 7-Series at the price of a 3-Series.” Yet despite managing to follow through on such lofty pronouncements, Hyundai’s outdated reputation as a bargain brand meant the Genesis competitive price-point has tended to overshadow its comfort and performance.
Perception may continue to skew in favor of Hyundai’s discount roots, but getting behind the wheel of the 2015 Genesis is more than enough to drive home the reality: the Genesis is a driver’s car, and a force to be reckoned with in its segment.
New to the second generation of Hyundai’s top-shelf offering is the Genesis’ bold styling, which has abandoned the stately-yet-understated body it debuted with in 2009 for swooping lines that are reminiscent of the German luxury incumbents it gives a run for their money.
The Genesis’ crowning achievement may be how deftly it navigates the divide between comfort and performance. Its interior is refined bordering on opulent, sporting premium leather, beautiful wood trim, heated seats, and a surprisingly intuitive infotainment center. Yet when the Genesis gets on the road, its more-than 300 horses hit full stride in a manner not typically associated with an outstandingly comfortable car. Want a car that feels palatial but sports incredible steering-feel? The Genesis may be for you.
We love many of the cars we test drive, but the Genesis we took for a spin is one of the few that sorely tempted us to “accidentally” miss our exit on the way home. By not creating a separate brand for its luxury division, Hyundai makes it clear that they are not emulating the Genesis’ European competitors in pretention; rather, the Genesis is designed to prove, once and for all, that a Korean car manufacturer has what it takes to make a vehicle that, like the heavyweights it puts itself in direct competition with, is an absolute joy to drive.