2015 Hyundai Genesis Packs Luxury, Deceptive Power

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I may be dating myself by referencing a band in the Rock Hall of Fame, but I confess it’s hard not to make song puns when you’re writing about this car, if (follow) you follow me.

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis might leave some of your fellow drivers in a land of confusion. Outwardly, it’s a big, refined luxury car — with a technology-stuffed interior to match. But, it also packs a surprising amount of straight-line power — enough to leave some similarly priced luxury rides calling for their Mama.

The Genesis sits just one notch below the automaker’s halo car, the $60,000+ Equus – offering itself as a more affordable entry point into the luxury car world. With a price tag of $38,000, Hyundai looks to lure buyers considering a luxury buy with a more approachable cost and comparable technology to more expensive offers from Lexus, BMW, Audi, Acura and Mercedes-Benz. If you were asked to find a car in those German and Japanese lines with the same size, similar features at a matched price, there’d be No Reply at All.

As equipped, the high trim model I tested tops out at around $51,000. Just a few minutes behind the wheel, you realize this is a true grand touring car — built for maximum comfort and convenience with all of the technology modern drivers demand on the highway.

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The 3.8 liter V6 engine provides more than ample power with 311 horsepower. An ambitious eight speed automatic transmission communicates that power effortlessly to its adjustable suspension. There is a slight turbo lag when you hit the gas, but that’s not uncommon in cars of its class. The overall sensation is smooth, grounded and surprisingly sophisticated for a car potentially costing less than $40,000. If you spent your money on less car just to have a German badge, you’d be Throwing It All Away.

In even the most basic trim levels, Genesis packs an appealing collection of technology. The larger central column offers a bigger infotainment screen to run Hyundai’s entire suite of Blue Link functions. That adjustable suspension system and Sport Drive mode can be tightened up on demand for more aggressive driving from that same console. Try the sport mode on to see how this big girl corners, and you’ll be begging to Turn It on Again.

The full efficiency numbers are acceptable, if not great — even for its class. Scoring 29 MPG on the highway is manageable, though some of its Japanese and German rivals score north of 30. The 18 city is a more concerning number.

If the buyer can roll with those average fuel economy numbers, the Genesis is a prime alternative to mid-range luxury cars that sell for thousands of dollars above and beyond its less pretentious tag. That’s the reality that keeps the Genesis on the upscale sedan market’s radar every year.

That’s all.