A Brand With Something For Everyone, Hyundai Genesis Brings Its Best To Its Top-of-the Line Model
There’s a saying among luxury marketers: Surprise and delight your customer. The idea is that if you surprise your customer with something she didn’t expect, and delight her with offerings above and beyond the usual, she’ll be your customer forever.
Then, there’s the theory about luxury labels: that prominent labels are for customers whose egos need propping up, but customers with a strong sense of self don’t care about luxury labels. (I don’t know that I really believe that; certainly handbags plastered with designer logos have a lasting popularity, even among people who are very secure in who they are).
Luxury in the Hyundai DNA
These are the two theories at play in the Hyundai DNA: Surprise and delight, with a focus on value, not just labeling. This philosophy has helped Hyundai become known as the brand that gives you more wallop for your money. Its models are packed full of luxuries like leather seating, touch screens, and seat heaters, as well as thoughtful attention to detail and cutting edge technology. The automaker is also known for its best-in-the-business warranties: 10-year powertrain, 5-year roadside assistance and a lifetime warranty on its hybrid batteries.
This is all because Hyundai wants to be your car choice for life, so it offers a full line of cars that will suit your stage of life at the moment: from starter cars to family cars to luxury cars, all under one dealer roof.
Hyundai’s approach to the luxury car market is unlike most other automakers that put luxury offerings under one label and their mid- or -specialty market brands under another. Think Toyota and Lexus; Nissan and Infiniti; Volkswagen/Audi/Porsche. For the Hyundai customer, this can be a very good thing: $140 vs $250 an hour for labor when work has to be done outside of the warranty, and greater flexibility in having the car serviced—no need to find a specialty mechanic to do the work.
Rewards for the Driver Who Has Earned It
Hyundai introduced the Genesis in 2008 to take care of the customer who has earned a fine ride: its top quality interior, rich details and top-drawer amenities are typically only found on high-end luxury cars, but these carry Hyundai’s reliability, great warranty and more-for-your-money value. In the years since, Hyundai has been focused on refining the Genesis, and the 2015 model shows the effort.
On first glance, the Genesis has all the characteristics of a luxury sedan: LED lighting dots the head lamps, the “Fluidic” design philosophy sweeps the eye from one end of the car to the other (and air flows over the car effortlessly, too), and big, bossy wheels fill the wheel wells for a solid, macho feel.
Once inside, the Genesis surprises and delights. From the moment you get in, the Genesis snaps into action, its electronics coming to life to welcome you with lights and music; its finely crafted leather interior cradles you, and its safety, entertainment and convenience features keep you comfortably focused on the road ahead.
The Genesis comes in two engine types: a 3.8 liter 311 horsepower engine or a 5.0 liter 420 horsepower engine (and while, yes, the 5 liter engine was more powerful, to me the difference wasn’t hugely distinguishable). The 5.0 liter model adds about $5,000 to the price, uses premium fuel and doesn’t do as well on gas mileage as the 3.8 liter model.
The Best Part: Smart Technology
The Genesis is filled with safety and comfort features including a touch screen navigation system that displays the current speed limit (YAY!) and a heads up display that keeps your speed, speed limit and navigation information right in your line of sight by beaming the image onto the windshield where only you can see it. The Genesis incorporates adaptive cruise control, a crash prevention system, lane-departure warning system and blind spot detectors.
A Truly Smart Key
And, then there’s the really cool stuff that Hyundai developed for the Genesis. First, the ‘smart key’, which only needs to be in your pocket or handbag to open the door and start the engine, also opens the trunk if you’re standing behind the car. Very cool.
Smart Tech To Keep You Alert
Then, there’s the C02 detector: if, when on a long trip, the car senses too much carbon dioxide (C02) in the air, it will pump fresh air into the cabin. This can happen when you have a car full of people on a long trip; carbon dioxide can make the driver sleepy.
Smart Tech to Keep You Connected
Two other very cool features are the Aha app suite, which when downloaded to your phone allows hundreds of radio station choices and even will read you your Twitter messages, and Genesis Intelligent Assistance, which enhances Hyundai’s Blue Link connected customer service, which that allows you to speak to an agent for directions, emergency assistance or help with questions, and enhances the service for Genesis drivers. Blue Link also lets you track your car (great help if your car is stolen or your teen has broken curfew), start it remotely and tell you if something is wrong with the car or the engine. It will even make an appointment for you with a Hyundai service department
Luxury, But Not at a Price
Perhaps the best thing about the Genesis is the price. While its been a truism in the car market over the past few years that luxuries are everywhere and nearly every car comes in a no-luxury-spared edition, the luxury of the Genesis isn’t just a standard car retro-fitted for comfort. So it’s easy to imagine that this rethought from the ground up car would be pricey due to all its innovation.
But, no. Coming in at about $55,000 with nearly every feature imaginable and a few extras you hadn’t thought of, it’s still priced at $10,000-$20,000 less than its competitors and still offers expensive —and very worth it— features such as the very well done heads up display.
What We Loved
- Lights and magic that greet the driver
- Smart Key that opens the trunk, too!
- Heads up display
- Luxurious leather interior
- Aha App suite
- Adaptive cruise control
- Crash prevention
- Lane keeping assistance and blind spot detectors
- The price, starting at $38,000 and topping out at $55,000
- Blue Link
- The Hyundai warranty
What You Need to Know
- 5.0 liter engine requires premium fuel
- 5.0 liter engine adds $5000 to the price of the car
- 18 MPG city/29 MPG highway (18/23for the larger engine)
- Seating for five
Disclosure: I was Hyundai’s guest at a test drive event in Arizona for which Hyundai provided transportation and accommodations; I was not compensated for this review and opinions expressed here are all my own.