Hyundai recently introduced the second generation of its Genesis luxury sedan for model year 2015, with lots of new standard features and technology, new designs inside and out, and new dimensions.
Prices begin at $38,000 for the V-6 model and range as high as $54,750 for the V-8.
Its exterior continues Hyundai's "fluidic" design aesthetic, adding a single-frame hexagonal grille and sculpted rear design. The new design features semi-gloss chrome and three-dimensional sections front and rear. The sculptured, full-LED taillight design gives the rear end a wide visual stance.
The dynamic profile brings a long hood and wheelbase, with sleek rear door pillars and window trim. Genesis' wheelbase has increased 2.9 inches, while overall length is up 0.2 inches, resulting in reduced overhangs – 1.6 inches less in front and 1.2 inches less in the back, compared with the 2014 model.
Genesis' new interior design is sophisticated and high-class. Balanced proportions and horizontal design create a spacious atmosphere, and consistent button/switch details create ergonomic, intuitive operation.
New standard features include a driver's knee air bag, paddle shifters for the eight-speed automatic transmission, rain-sensing wipers for the auto-defog windshield, and power/folding outside mirrors with "Genesis" logo puddle lamps that project onto the ground.
Also included are a hands-free smart trunk opener; next-generation navigation with eight-inch display and rearview camera; 4.3-inch multi-info display; Blue Link infotainment system with Google access, HD radio and SiriusXM Travel Link (with three-year complimentary service); front passenger-seat power height and lumbar controls; tilt/telescopic steering wheel; rear one-touch up and down power windows; and hill hold control.
Hyundai also introduces an industry-first carbon dioxide sensor, available in the Ultimate package, which opens the cabin's fresh air vents if more than 2,000 parts per million CO2 is detected. This feature was conceived by an employee who struggled to stay alert on his long commute, a problem related to high levels of CO2.
The hands-free smart trunk opener operates if the proximity key is within 3 feet for longer than three seconds – a plus if your hands are full, a minus is you are casually standing nearby, as happened to us. The hazard lights blink and a buzzer sounds three times to indicate the key has been detected and to allow the operator to step away if trunk opening isn't desired. The system can be disabled from the center instrument cluster.
For 2015, Genesis will continue to offer two engine configurations, a 3.8-liter V-6 and 5.0-liter V-8, with 10 trim combinations possible using four options packages.
All 3.8-liter models will be available in rear- and all-wheel drive. The AWD package adds heated rear seats, heated steering wheel and headlamp washers, but is not available at least for now with the V-8 engine.
Rear-wheel drive models are expected to achieve 18 mpg in the city, 29 on the highway and 22 combined. All-wheel drive models should achieve 16/25/19.
All models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission with the Shiftronic paddle shifters and the new intelligent Drive Mode Select with Eco/Normal/Snow/Sport modes.
Genesis offers 10 premium exterior colors in pearl and metallic finishes, and four interior colors, with new gray and ivory for added luxury appeal. The standard leather interior is trimmed in either brown or gray wood grain, with optional matte-finish genuine walnut or ash available.
For this report, I drove the Genesis 3.8 RWD model in Pamplona Red with Beige interior. The Ultimate package added wood trim and the matte-finish aluminum highlights, a color heads-up display, a power trunk lid, premium driver-information/navigation system with 9.2 inch HD display, Lexicon 17-speaker Discrete Logic7 audio system and dual-mode vent control with the new CO2 sensor.
The heads-up display included vehicle speed and the local speed limit, turn-by-turn navigation, blind-spot detection warning, smart cruise control with forward collision warning, lane departure graphics and "welcome/goodbye" greetings. We were impressed with the content and function of the display, especially as it was easy to see and read even in bright light, and helped reduce driver distraction.
The driver information system is part of a communications/entertainment/navigation system introduced in 2009, consisting of the on-dash monitor and the center armrest joystick-style controller. The controller is conveniently located and easier to use than a touch screen. The system can also be voice-activated.
Power outlets and the auxiliary audio and USB ports are also conveniently located at the front of the center console. Center-stack buttons and knobs are old-school, well-labeled and easy to use. The cubby under the armrest is deep, with a removable tray.
A Tech Package upgraded the seats to ultra-leather, and also added 7-inch LCD cluster display, power driver's seat cushion extender and side bolsters, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, smart cruise control with stop/start capability, haptic steering wheel, automatic emergency braking, high-beam assist, electronic parking brake with vehicle hold, and front and rear parking assistance.
The haptic steering wheel provides vibrations for functions such as lane-departure warnings, along with the visual warning in the heads-up display, which are less startling than bells or buzzers.
Automatic emergency braking uses the forward camera and smart cruise control system to avoid a potential collision or reduce the impact by applying the brakes if another vehicle or object is detected at an unsafe approaching rate.
High-beam assist reduces blinding effects on other drivers by changing to low beams whenever it detects an oncoming vehicle or vehicle ahead in the same lane at night, and switches back to high beams when no vehicle is detected.
My Genesis also included a Signature package with a power tilt/slide panoramic sunroof, integrated memory system, cooled front seats, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, high-intensity-discharge headlights, auto-dimming outside mirrors, blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, parking guidelines, and power rear sunshade/manual rear side sunshades.
Hyundai also provides satellite radio, Assurance Connected Care (standard for three years), and a Bluetooth hands-free phone system with audio streaming.
2015 HYUNDAI GENESIS:
–Base price: $38,000
–Price as tested: $49,000
Prices exclude destination charge.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Emma Jayne Williams' auto reviews appear in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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