Is the all-new 2015 Hyundai Genesis an even better rival to models like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class than the first generation? Yes.
Ten years ago no one would have ever put the words luxury and Hyundai in the same sentence, but 30 years after the first Sonata rolled off the line, Hyundai has proven that it can build respectable luxury models with the Genesis and Equus. With the first generation Genesis sedan, Hyundai sought to prove that it could build a large, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan that could sit in the same ring as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. Now Hyundai has released an all-new second-generation Genesis, which Hyundai hopes will move the brand further away from the econocar status that it held for years.
Right from the start you’ll notice that the 2015 Genesis has a more sophisticated and grown up look than the outgoing model thanks to Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language. The sweeping lines from the first-generation have been replaced by crisper lines, while the front fascia is now dominated by a large grille that isn’t too far off from the grilles you’ll find over at Audi or Lexus.
Inside the 2015 Genesis comes standard with leather seats, higher quality materials and 8.0-inch display. The interior design is cleanly laid out and the seats are very comfortable.
The 2015 Genesis is offered with V6 and V8 engines, which are both carried over from the first Genesis, but with a few updates. The 3.8L V6 generates 311-hp and 293 lb-ft. of torque, while the 5.0L V8 packs 420-hp and 383 lb-ft. of torque. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and the V6 can also be equipped with all-wheel-drive. The V6 is rated at 18/ 29 mpg and the V6 AWD is rated at 16/25 mpg. The V8 drinks a bit more fuel at 15 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
How does it drive? Hyundai gave me the chance to spend some time with both the V6 rear wheel-drive and the V8 models. Both versions are incredibly comfortable and quiet and the interior materials are an improvement over the last Genesis. While Hyundai does have aspirations for the Genesis to be a real competitor to its German competition, it’s not quite there, but still closer than before.
Even with though the all-new chassis that did receive some tweaks from Lotus, the Genesis is more at home being a comfortable cruiser than a true sports sedan. The steering is still a bit too light and the suspension a bit too soft to inspire any spirited driving. Surprisingly I also preferred the V6 over the V8, since the V6 puts less weight over the front wheels and the V8’s performance advantage wasn’t really felt.
Pricing for the 2015 Genesis sedan starts at $38,000 for the 3.8L V6, while the entry price for the 5.0L V8 starts at $51,500.