I traveled out to the Hyundai America Technical Center in Michigan to drive the new 2012 Hyundai Genesis. The drive event took place on a beautiful summer day as you can see from the photos and I had the opportunity to drive a couple of different models of the new Genesis, mostly around the scenic country roads around Ann Arbor.
The Genesis has been a big hit for Hyundai, due in large part to its elegant styling and its impressive value proposition. The Genesis has experienced 24 months in a row of year-over-year sales increases. In their presentation to the media, Hyundai executives stressed how the Genesis appeals to affluent buyers who were also practical and frugal. The “millionaire next door” profile fit many buyers of this vehicle. They aren’t the aspiration-type buyers who stretched their budget to show off a BMW or a Mercedes. Rather, they want to show off how many luxury features they could get from a new Hyundai for thousands less than what one would pay for their German competitors.
The 2012 Genesis offers an aerodynamic yet elegant look that fits nicely in the luxury segment. It’s a refresh of the 2011 model, so the exterior styling has been updated without major changes. The new LED headlamp accents add a nice touch, and the front grille and front bumper have been updated to create a powerful and aggressive stance. New 17-inch and 19-inch wheel designs are also available, and I particularly liked the 19-inch wheels. You can see from the photos above why this vehicle is doing so well in the luxury market, particularly when you consider the costs savings versus its competitors.
The interior offered everything you would expect from a luxury sedan. The entire feel of the interior exudes comfort and luxury, and the leather seats were particularly soft. Many luxury features are standard in the 3.8 base model, while a Premium Package and Technology Package are available in the 3.8 and come included in the 4.6 and 5.0 models. The overall feel is a classic design with modern accents that will appeal to professionals and others looking for a luxury experience. I was also struck by how quiet the Genesis was as we cruised around.
With the 2012 model, Hyundai provided the Genesis with some impressive upgrades under the hood, introducing Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) for the 3.8-liter V6 and a new 5.0-liter V8, representing the most powerful Hyundai engine to date. The new Genesis also features a new 8-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic. At 333 HP, the new V6 has 43 more horsepower than the previous V6, with 291 lb-ft of torque and fuel mileage of 19 city/29 highway. The new V8 features 429 HP and 376 lb-ft of torque, with fuel mileage of 16 city/25 highway.
I drove the 3.8 V6 model first, followed by the 5.0 V8. Both offered solid power and a great ride. The V8 certainly offers more of a kick and it makes a great sound when you punch it on a straightway, but I suspect many buyers in the target market will be more than happy with the power and feel of the V6. I was able to test both of them on a wide variety of roads and my impression of the power and handling were consistently positive. The ride was very smooth even on bumpier country roads, while the suspension offered the level of grip you would expect from a luxury sedan.
The MSRP on the base 3.8 Genesis starts at $34,200, going to $39,000 with the Premium Package and $43,000 with the Technology Package. The 5.0 V8 has an MSRP of $46,500. This tells the story of the sales increases for the Genesis as it’s available for thousands less than other vehicles in its class. When you drive the vehicle you get an appreciation for the value proposition. Take it for a text drive and you might end up saving yourself a lot of money while getting all the luxury you need.