The 2015 Hyundai Genesis has been completely redesigned and it throws down the gauntlet directly at the feet of its competitors, posing a solid challenge to all luxury comers.
There’s a choice of either a 3.8L V6 with 311 horsepower and 293 lb-ft of torque or a 5.0L V8 with 420 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. Both are paired to an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters and come with a long list of standard features.
Given the choice of those two engines, the assumption is that driving the V6 will make you feel like you really want to try the more powerful engine, but that simply isn’t the case in the 2015 Hyundai Genesis. The V6 proved itself more than capable, with the 8-speed automatic transmission shifting more smoothly during hard acceleration than in the V8.
The V6 managed to exceed expectations, easily powering the 2015 Hyundai Genesis through our Arizona drive route filled with smooth, twisting highways and plenty of hills. It had no problem passing even on steeper inclines and did so without excessive engine noise so there was no sense that it was working too hard. It was smooth, powerful, and unobtrusive.
Switching over to the V8 provides an equally quiet and powerful ride, but where the V6 did more than expected, the V8 simply didn’t impress on the same level. The additional horsepower and torque do make a difference if you’re all about the power, but not in that throw you back in the seat and make your heart stick in your chest way of comparable vehicles. Although, standing outside the vehicle, the V8 has a nice little rumble as it idles that you won’t hear in the V6.
What you do gain in the 5.0L V8 are optional features that become standard like a 7″ TFT LCD display instead of a 4.3″ display, ventilated front seats, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, blind-spot detection with rear traffic alert, a panoramic sunroof, 19″ alloy wheels, and HID headlights. Of course, you’re paying for all those standard features with a base price of $51,500 versus the more affordable $38,000 base of the 3.8L V6.
The other benefit to the smaller engine is improved fuel efficiency. Both models tested were rear-wheel drive with the V6 getting 18/29 city/highway for a combined 22 and the V8 getting 15/23 city/highway for 18 combined. There is also an all-wheel drive on the V6 that will set things right in line with the V8 at 19 combined. These numbers aren’t particularly bad, but they don’t make the 2015 Hyundai Genesis a standout in the fuel economy department.
Where it is a standout is in the interior. The leather seats, along with real wood trim and matte aluminum finishes reinforce the first impression when you open the door that this is a luxury sedan. These are standard on the V8 and optional on the V6. An analog clock sits below a standard 8″ touchscreen with an available 9.2″ high definition touchscreen. The interface itself is fantastic with the touchscreen and a large multifunction knob controlling it all and no frustrating haptic controls.
This is full-size sedan with a truly spacious and comfortable interior. Headroom is ample even with the sunroof and there is plenty of legroom even for the 6-foot crowd. The back is equally spacious, although the center hump is a bit on the high side and the roofline cuts low for taller passengers. The seating is supportive without being hard and the adjustability of the front seats can make them anywhere from board stiff to marshmallow soft.
The head-up display shows a variety of information from directions to speed limit and can be adjusted to suit a driver’s whim. If that driver happens to wear polarized sunglasses, however, the entire thing disappears completely.
There are some high-tech active safety features in the 2015 Hyundai Genesis that make the whole idea of autonomous driving that seem a little less like the future and a little more right now. The Lane Departure Warning system is one such feature, giving the steering a little nudge to keep the car from drifting in either direction. You can even see the wheel move and it will put the car back on track several times in a row before eventually warning you to make sure your hands are actually on the wheel.
The 2015 Hyundai Genesis is set to take on vehicles like the Cadillac CTS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5-Series, undercutting them all on pricing to make it very competitive. Those looking for plenty of luxury without the sticker shock of pricier badges will find the 2015 Hyundai Genesis a very appealing option.
Watch the 2015 Hyundai Genesis make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show…
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.