Interior view of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan.
Not every car gets to be named “North American Car of the Year” in its debut, but that’s exactly what happened to the Hyundai Genesis when it was first introduced back in 2009. The award came at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, writes our automotive editor Sally Miller Wyatt.
When you get that kind of acknowledgement in your freshman year, the pressure could be on to do even better when the next generation is introduced. Well, that time would be now, as the Genesis — Hyundai’s top-of-the-line sedan – is all new for the 2015 model year.
So, it should be no surprise that this model is well equipped in every way. For the first time for Hyundai, an AWD system is available in a sedan. It also embodies Hyundai’s design theme – dubbed Fluidic Sculpture – that is also in its second-generation. It starts with a hexagon-shaped front grille with HID headlamps, LED indicators and fog lamps, continues on through an aerodynamic crease along the side of the car and ends with a distinctively dynamic rear design and jeweled LED tail lamps.
The car’s interior is definitely upscale, with a lot of attention paid to such touches as double stitching on the 12-way adjustable, heated and ventilated leather seats to the matte aluminum and wood accents on the dashboard that have been chosen specifically to cut down on sun glare. There are even manual sunshades available for your rear passengers.
The 2015 Hyundai Genesis has been built on a redesigned platform with advanced high-strength steel and all-new rear multi-link suspension that helps contribute to the car’s smooth ride over rough roads. Buyers can choose between either rear-wheel drive or the new HTRAC All-Wheel Drive configuration. They can also choose between a 3.8-liter V6 engine, or a very powerful 5.0-liter V8, that boasts an impressive 420 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 383 lb. ft. of torque. This engine has been named one of Ward’s Ten Best Engines three times. I would only be able to guess what that must feel like at full acceleration, because we had the 3.8-liter V6 engine, and it was mighty powerful enough, thank you.
As you would suspect, there were many creature comforts on board, including rain-sensing wipers, a navigation system with 8-inch display, and steering wheel-mounted controls for cruise and audio features.
Safety features included Electronic Stability Control with Traction Control, electronic brake force distribution and brake assist, and anti-whiplash front head restraints. The car was also equipped with an optional Tech Package for $3,500 that included Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist, Smart Cruise Control that senses if you’re moving in too close the car ahead of you, and Auto Emergency Braking. Front and Rear Parking Assist alerts you to obstacles too close to the front of the car, and a rear view camera in the navigation screen lets you see if pedestrians or other cars are behind you when you are backing out of driveways or parking spaces.
Other interesting touches include bright “puddle lamps” in the side view mirrors that not only illuminate the curb for you, but also include an image of the Genesis logo.
The trunk lid opens wide with a touch of a button on the key fob, and can be also be closed with a touch of a button, either on the key fob or on the trunk lid. The trunk is very good sized.
On the road, you’ll find the ride smooth and zesty, visibility to the front, rear and right side is clear, but obstructed to the left by a large side view mirror. Seats are firm, and very supportive, especially for front seat and rear outboard positions. The rear middle seatback includes a fold-down arm rest with built-in cup holders that when put back in the upright position may be a bit too firm for anyone who sits in that seat.
Overall, we found the 2015 Hyundai Genesis to be a nicely appointed, high-end vehicle that was fun to drive. You certainly get a lot of nice features on a car that has a base sticker price of $38,000. I suspect that the Genesis will be garnering many awards for its second generation.