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The Dude
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From Ask.cars.com

Question: Is the Hyundai Genesis really good enough to be car of the year?

Answer:
We think so. Cars.com’s New Car of the Year award was given to the 2009 Hyundai Genesis. The Genesis was picked from 60 new or redesigned 2009 models; it was ultimately chosen because it made our editors step back and say “Wow.” Hyundai’s entry into the luxury game has made everyone do a double take because of the Genesis’ amazing value when compared to much more expensive luxury cars.

Cars.com’s editors explain:

Joe Wiesenfelder
The Genesis is an alternative for people accustomed to full-size luxury but no longer in the position to afford it. And, of course, the Genesis is the luxury car some of us thought we'd never own. The luxury aspect proved to be a plus, not a minus. In these sober, often somber times, it's nice to find a new car that isn't solely practical. The Genesis definitely is a practical choice, but it's also a car you can get excited about. In 2009, we need that.

David Thomas
How did I get beaten up to the point where I agreed with the others on the Genesis? Well, it really came down to how impressive the Genesis is not only as a value pick for its class but also how much it clearly won on its own merits as a terrific car to drive.

Mike Hanley
In the end, I chose the car I felt was flat-out the most impressive, and in my mind that car was the Genesis. Whether you're talking about performance, comfort, interior quality or features, the Genesis excels without breaking the bank. It's a combination that seems especially relevant today.

Kelsey Mays
The Genesis impressed me immediately. It represents more bang for the buck; cabin refinement ranks up there with $50,000-$60,000 cars’, and the 4.6-liter V-8 is hang-the-tail terrific. (The V-6 is no slowpoke, either, but for truly effortless gait, you must get the eight.) Many would argue this isn’t a car for the times, but consumers of all stripes are hurting, and Hyundai gives ’em flagship-car luxury for a lot less. That it’s from a company whose lineup produced the Excel last decade is even more remarkable. The Genesis is a winner in my book.
 
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