I had a BLAST with the new 2009 Hyundai Genesis. Frankly, I did not know what to expect. I know Hyundai is a GREAT car, but a luxury car? I just was not sure about that. I drove out to Hyundai’s Texas and Oklahoma headquarters in Irving a week ago yesterday to get the car and meet the nice folks that run the operation. It was a terrific experience not having been to a manufacturer’s office in a couple of years. Usually, they bring the cars to me, but I was getting a treat…a drive in the new 4.6 liter V8 version that dealers are clamoring for.
The exterior is BEAUTIFUL and distinctive, yet elegant. So much so that people remarked on the car everywhere I have had it. The fun part became watching their faces when I said “it’s a Hyundai”. When I had it on the First in Prime News last Friday, we were about to tease my segment and I had the video shooter come in tight on the beautiful front end, tempting the audience with a guess of what car this was. Unlike any car I have ever seen, the Genesis has no identifying emblems from the front.
The big 4.6 liter V8 with a rear-wheel drive configuration put out an impressive 375 horses that are VERY smooth under heavy acceleration. The sports sedan comes standard with a 6-speed automatic that can be shifted manually and is ultra-responsive.
This car is a joy to drive and its performance is nothing short of shocking. Equally surprising, pushing this car hard at times, I was able to get 18 miles per gallon in town and 24 on the highway at 75 miles per hour on average…what I call “real world driving”.
Other notable surprises include a terrific navigation system, an unbelievable stereo system that is also standard equipment on Rolls Royce vehicles, and the best automotive paint job I have ever seen. My test car was black and in the sunlight looks like it has diamonds embedded in it. The interior is very clean and rivals cars that cost 30 to 40% more than this one and also has more room. I will not be ready to give it up Monday when it is due back.
My test car had a rear backup camera that was terrific, heated and air conditioned seats, and a power moonroof. The wheels are gorgeous and the lines impressive.
By now you know I loved this car. But it’s still a Hyundai and this loaded version is north of $40,000 so could it possibly be worth it? The answer is YES. It’s worth every penny of it. Is it a Lexus? Not quite, but it performs as well and is a lot less money. But the fact that I compared this car to a Lexus is compelling in itself.
Webster defines the word genesis as “the origin or coming into being of something” and I can tell you, Hyundai IS INDEED coming into something big. This car is a winner.