2014 Hyundai Genesis Review

Are you a badge snob, then look away now. If not read on. It’s pricey for a Hyundai, but cheap for a luxury saloon

By Shahzad Sheikh

2014 Hyundai Genesis V6 saloon

The Hyundai Genesis. A compact coupe with a tacky interior but oodles of V6 go under the bonnet, rear-wheel drive through an eight-speed and a tendency to go way-hay at the back. All for less than AED125k. Would I like to borrow it for a bit? Sure.

Oh. You didn’t mean the coupe, you meant it’s much bigger, more mature brother – the one that went to Harvard (or at least did a online distant-learning course from there) and is more interested in pursuing sophistication, than frivolities such as burnouts and sideways antics.

2014 Hyundai Genesis V6 saloon

If the last Genesis was an astonishing segment and a class apart from its coupe namesake, the all-new 2015 Hyundai Genesis is an entire world apart. This has moved closer to, and is actually in danger of, overshadowing the Korean car-maker’s Lexus LS impersonator, the grandish self-proclaimed Centennial luxury superbarge.

Styling

The manufacturer itself seems to acknowledge this. As such, and similarly to the Centennial, you won’t find a Hyundai badge anywhere on this car until you work your way around to the tastefully tapered rump. Instead they’ve come up with a whole new emblem which is a cross between an Aston Martin wing and something out of Pacific Rim the movie.

2014 Hyundai Genesis V6 saloon

Just ever so slightly too big and blocky and spilling a little over onto the wrong side of childish and trying-too-hard, it sort of sets the tone for the styling of the car. The Koreanised faux VAG group front almost gets away with successfully understudying Audi and Bentley, but the mixture of angles and straight lines is overly complex.

Shame really, as Hyundai had been doing so well on the styling front recently, it was almost as if they couldn’t pen even an average, never mind a badly styled car. I almost wonder if their resident design guru, Peter Schreyer was on vacation when someone deemed fit to sign off on this one.

2014 Hyundai Genesis V6 saloon

There aren’t even any of the surprisingly successful curves and slashes that make cars like the Hyundai Sonata so captivating. The profile of the Genesis is average and the rear, whilst smart, is old skool Korean – that is to say it simply apes the Japanese.

Interior

The cabin is more successful and I would even go as far as suggesting that it betters the desperate flagship Centennial. I would also the suggest that the fit, finish and trim is cleaner and more substantive than its bigger bro. It’s spacious and comfortable up front and the rear is positively cavernous with a higher seating position to avoid claustrophobia, usually a feature found on SUVs.

2014 Hyundai Genesis V6 saloon

The buttons are all clean, crisp and logical with the style of the infotainment interface clearly borrowed from Audi’s MMI controls. And this thing is loaded with kit. It’s easier to tell you what it hasn’t got – massage seats.

Really you want to know more about what it does have? Deep breath, lane keeping, blind spot, active cruise, full colour heads-up display, twin rear seat entertainment, reclining rear seats, heated and cooled front and rear seats, 360 degrees birds-eye view cameras, a brilliant sound system, sat nav, full connectivity, loads more and even a button marked ‘Qibla’ to tell you which way to pray thanks for the multitude of bounties found in your Hyundai. (Note the car we had on test was the full option V6).

2014 Hyundai Genesis V6 saloon

How it drives

The 2014 Hyundai Genesis drives well. That’s about all I really have to say about it. It’s smooth, reasonably serene, of course an easy cruiser with loads of gubbins to make the whole chore of driving a piece of cake actually – that is of course for those who feel it is a chore.

It bings and bongs and beeps you around safely and the heads-up display is excellent. The Genesis serves up decent enough, if hardly startling, performance, and the handling is nothing like the coupe – this thing does not want to be hurled about. If there is a single actual criticism it’s that the ride is a little too firm and jittery for what you’d rightfully expect in this sort of vehicle.

2014 Hyundai Genesis V6 saloon

Verdict

It’s a lot of money for a Hyundai. Even at AED152,800 ($42k) it seems a bit steep considering you can pick up a Sonata for around AED60k ($16k), and the top of the range Genesis with the 5.0 V8 is AED205,000 ($56k) which is surely something of a psychological barrier.

Having said that, a Lexus ES250 with a smaller engine and less equipment starts at AED155k, and the ES350 starts at AED180k. Put it into that context and it looks like excellent value if you’re looking for a big comfy cruiser with all the toys and don’t give a damn about badge snobbery – or indeed the actual act of driving.

2014 Hyundai Genesis V6 saloon

2014 Hyundai Genesis – The Specs

How much? AED152,800-188,800 ($42k-$51k) for the V6 – V8 is AED205,000 ($56k)
Engine: 3.8-litre V6, 311hp @6000rpm, 293lb ft @ 5000rpm
Transmission: 8-speed auto, rear wheel drive
Fuel economy: 10.7L/100km
Performance: 0-100kph 6.5sec (Est) Top speed 210kph
Weight: 1905kg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *