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Auto Adventures! Hyundai Genesis First Impressions
Filed Under (Auto Adventures, Events, Features & Opinions, New Vehicles, Vehicle Reviews) by Dr_VW

Howdy Webriders! Dr. VW here with a San Diego Auto Show Update. As previously mentioned, one of the main attractions at this year’s show was the Hyundai Ride and Drive and event. Free of charge, anyone over the age of 18 could come out and take one of Hyundai’s latest models for a supervised spin down the road. While the actual course doesn’t allow you to really “test” the limits of the car and the ride was too short and too slow to really make any deep evaluations, it did allow me to glean some important first impressions. Hit the jump to read about my ride in the Hyundai Genesis!

First, I have to make a clarification. There is a catch 22 on the “anyone over the age of 18″ bit. They fail to mention that the aforementioned rule applies to every vehicle EXCEPT the Genesis. It was the only car (including the ones offered for testing by Ford and Toyota) that required you to be 21. Annoying? Yes. Necessary? Maybe. Despite the fact that I had a press pass and had called previously to make sure I could drive it, I was still denied the drivers seat. It ended up not being a problem, since my Old Man was with me and was able to drive in my stead. While not a huge deal, it bears mentioning.

Aside from that little annoyance, my initial impressions were all good. As I walked up to the car, I took notice of the exterior and its presentation. The ride height was just right for a luxury sports sedan. Not too high, but not scraping the ground either. The wheels on both the V6 and V8 were different, but both were tastefully sporty as opposed to the usually more refined looking choices by say, BMW or Mercedes. It was getting dark, I couldn’t really examine the black and dark blue paint schemes on the respective cars, but the build quality appeared exceptional; certainly equal to or better than any BMW or Mercedes. My only complaint was that the lights and body lines were too… generic. There was nothing specifically wrong or distasteful about them; they just didn’t really differentiate themselves from the other makes in any significant way. Safe maybe, but certainly not innovative.

The interior though, absolutely blew me away. I sat in both the front and rear seats and both were extremely comfortable, certainly equal to any of the upscale BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, or Infinity cars. The leather was soft and the cushioning just right. Nothing looked “cheap”. Even the plastic looked like it was upscale quality. The doors open and closed with a smooth precision that made the soft thump sound rich and sophisticated rather than cheap and clumsy. More importantly, once all the doors were closed and the V8 roared to life… I heard silence. Calming, muffled silence. It was like sitting in a cozy ski lodge or a very private library. Now in some cars, engine and road noise are preferable; but in a luxury sports sedan, it ought to be nearly silent. A small chapel of calm and tranquility removed from the usual racket going on outside. In this regard, the Genesis certainly outdid itself. The rest of the interior was equally good; the lighting was ambient and calming in an ice blue hue that neither blinded the eyes nor left the interior too dim. The Nav system was first rate, and the click wheel was intuitive. The back up camera was also easy to use and not grainy. As reported by my father, the steering was neither dead nor overly raw feeling, and it should be mentioned that for a sedan of its size had an impressively tight turning radius.

As for performance, we could only get some minor impressions, since the course didn’t allow for any freeway, or curvy stretches of open road. However we did test out the brakes, and they worked very well without any pedal chatter. The acceleration was free of dead spots and the torque curve was phenomenal, the 4.6L V8 easily and effortlessly bringing us up to cruising speed. The 6 speed automatic transmission was so smooth that my Dad initially thought it was a CVT!

In all, from our short trip we came away VERY impressed with the overall quality of the Genesis. For a first entry into the Luxury Sport segment, Hyundai really exceeded all expectations and shattered previously long held assumptions about the brand. Combined with the blanket 10 year 100,000 mile warranty and 5 years of unlimited roadside assistance that applies to ALL Hyundai models, the Genesis is more than a quality choice– its a steal and truly the best bang for the buck. Even better is the new Hyundai Assurance program, which is just icing on the cake. The Genesis certainly gets Dr. VW’s choice, once again, for San Diego Auto Show car of the year. Be sure to check out the galleries of both the Genesis and the Coupe that was on display at the show! This is Dr. VW– out.

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