2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Ultimate Review
2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Ultimate at a glance
BODY STYLE: full-size mid-luxury sport sedan
DRIVE METHOD: HTRAC permanent all-wheel-drive
ENGINE: 5.0-litre GDI DOHC V8 (420 hp, 383 lb/ft)
FUEL ECONOMY: 17.3/10.5L/100km (city/hwy); As tested 13L/100km (comb)
CARGO: 433 litres
Genesis: Chapter 2015
I was still trying to take in all that the Hyundai Genesis was – the sights, the sounds, the smells and sensations. There was the edgy contrast of quiet luxury and lithe athleticism. The upscale ambiance occasionally rocked by the muted background roar of real power.?
The Audi looming large in my rear view mirror was also distracting me.
I don’t think there was any aggressive intent to his hanging off my back bumper. It was probably just curiosity about what I was driving. Or maybe just impatience and the overly eager anticipation of the highway speeds about to come.
But I knew it wouldn’t be a problem for long.
I was turning onto one of my favourite on-ramps, a sinuous ‘S”-curved combination of twists and bends. Short but sweet, a respite from the regular grid-patterned road monotony.
I mashed the go-pedal hard enough to make the big V8 sing. There was that launching thrill of acceleration, the secure bite of all-wheel drive, g-forces shifting from side to side as the car squirted past the first bend to the left, rocked back to the right, scurried past the second apex, and danced through the lovely decreasing radius dimensions of the final curve before spitting out onto the freeway.
By the end of the ramp, I was well beyond highway speed, the eight-speed tranny catching up to the engine, the initial rush settling down, calm returning, but with the power still quietly humming in the background, giving you the feeling that the car wanted to carry on at silent speeds still quick enough for confiscation.
I backed off the throttle, easing down to the 100-110 km/h quasi-legal limit. The Audi that had diminished and all but disappeared from my mirror finally caught up and stormed past in a huff, the passenger craning his neck to look back with a ‘what-the-heck-was-that?’ look on his face.
It’s easy enough to understand the confusion, what with the mixed signals of the Hyundai brand logo out back, the muscular flanks, the premium design cues, the sleek sport sedan profile and a winged Genesis badge up front that looks like some kind of Bentley-styled knockoff.
But, yes, this is the all-new the all-new 2015 Genesis sedan that debuted earlier this year at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.
This second-generation version builds on a platform more rigid than a BMW 5 Series chassis and combines new, bolder styling, improved driving dynamics, tweaked engine power, a new standard all-wheel drive system and a long list of cutting-edge technologies.
The Genesis sedan has been slotted between the sporty Genesis Coupe and the full-size passenger-oriented Equus flagship, offering a combined mix of qualities and powertrain choices from both ends of that spectrum.
The Genesis sedan comes in three initial 3.8-litre V6 flavours with increasing content levels that bump up the trim level ladder in $5,000 price increments – the 3.8 Premium ($43,000), 3.8 Luxury ($48,000) and 3.8 Technology ($53,000).
But, as tested here, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Ultimate ($62,000) tops out the lineup list with muscular V8 power and a full suite of added luxuries and techno goodies.
Probably only one in five customers will opt for the V8 version but, promising top line power, Hyundai’s 5.0-litre Tau GDI V8 has been tweaked slightly for 2015, trading off a bit of top end horsepower for increased torque oomph across the rev range, now harnessing 420 hp and 383 lb/ft.
That engine power is translated seamlessly via Hyundai?s eight-speed automatic transmission or with the Shiftronic manual mode paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.
All 2015 Genesis sedans sold in Canada come standard with Hyundai?s all-new HTRAC, an active all-wheel drive (AWD) system that was developed and validated on Germany’s famed N?rburgring and the Yeongam Formula 1 racing circuit in Korea.
The HTRAC system varies power distribution through a variable torque split clutch with ratios determined by four mode choices – Normal, Eco, Snow or Sport – or according to traction conditions. ?
Dynamic technologies that complement the Genesis’s handling and control systems include Electric Power Steering (EPAS) and a Continuous Damping Control system (CDC) that automatically adjusts suspension damping according to road conditions and selected drive mode.
A long list of other standard and available technologies include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) along with three new Hyundai features – Lane Change Assist (LCA), a Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) that uses a forward camera and sensors to warn drivers of dangers, even providing full braking assistance.
And all this is wrapped up in the latest version of Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 exterior styling with an interior package that features comfortable seating courtesy of 12-way front power seats using six different densities of foam to optimize support.
Double stitching, quality textures and soft tactile finishes complement available Napa leather and natural open-pore wood trim pieces.
Interior touches include a suede headliner, full-colour Head Up Display (HUD), a 9.2-inch high-definition navigation display, and an upgraded 900-watt 17-speaker Lexicon surround-sound audio system.
And thoughtful additions include an industry-first CO2 sensor control system located under the glove box that monitors CO2 levels and adds fresh air as needed to keep occupants comfortable and alert.
And, if you wind up standing behind your car with grocery bags in hand, a new Smart Trunk feature automatically opens the trunk when the smart key is detected near the rear bumper for more than three seconds.
You know, when you browse Hyundai’s website and select the model comparison feature on Hyundai’s website, you see the nature of Hyundai’s competition in this segment – the Audi A6, BMW 550i xDrive and Mercedes E550 4MATIC, to name just a few and all pretty heady competition.
They might not be left in the dust like my one Audi buddy during this driving test, but the European premium sport sedans are no longer beyond the reach of a Genesis name that, in this case, symbolizes more than just a new beginning.
Rather, it marks a new and higher waypoint on the steady climb of Hyundai’s brand recognition and quality.