News Column

2009 Genesis 4.6: Affordability Takes Aim at Luxury

March 5, 2009

Ralph Gray, for

hyundai genesis, 2009 hyundai

A luxury Hyundai is not a contradiction. Witness the 2009 Genesis 4.6.

The numerals are for the 4.6L V-8 engine that drives the rear wheels in a package that rivals some more-established luxury cars, but at a lower price.

The reality is the Genesis plays with the Chrysler 300, Cadillac CTS, and Lexus ES350 at the start of the luxury segment. Its "image targets" aim higher to the Infiniti M35, Lexus GS 350, BMW 528i and Mercedes-Benz E350.

All are heady heights for a brand that starts out with a $10,000 Accent hatchback. The tested V-8 is base-priced at $38,000. A 3.8L V-6 is $33,000. Fuel economy is 17 city, 25 highway. The Accent gets 27/33 mpg.

The appeal to executives is a lot of luxury while holding the expenditure line. Hyundai holds the styling line too. The exterior appearance is innocuous to the point of generic.

Still, Genesis is a hit right out of the box. The 375 horsepower V-8 zips to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds or so. The ride is smooth without being floaty. There's not a lot of lean in curves or eagerness either.

It's quiet inside with plenty of room for the driver. Also on board is a six speed automatic transmission, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, power sunroof, leather seats and steering wheel, power rear sunshade.

Opt for the "technology package" and get a monster radio, navigation system, backup camera and a cooled drivers seat that raises the tab to $42,000.

That nav screen is large and readable. The radio works off the screen (boo) but there are exterior buttons for bands.

This is not a sports car ala BMW but a good, well-balanced sedan.

Hyundai Genesis 4.6

Engines 4.6L V-8
Dimensions 115.6" wheelbase; 195.9" length.
Base price $38,000/tested $42,000.
Fuel economy 17/25 mpg.

Source: (c) 2009. All rights reserved.

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