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2015 Hyundai Genesis REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/3/2017

Con: Rear seat headroom is a little tight for this class.

Interior: An all-new body and chassis for the 2015 Genesis brings an almost 3-inch increase in wheelbase, giving it a significant bump in legroom for those in the rear seats. Despite all its stretch-out room, headroom in the rear seat remains at a bit of a premium, one of the only criticisms we can level at this palpably high-class cabin.

Hyundai designers took a minimalist approach to the dashboard and center console, and we like how it brings a distinct airiness to the cabin. The center stack and center console are not overwrought with buttons, controls or busy shapes. There's everything you need, but it's never in your way and never cluttering. We particularly like the simplicity and straightforward operation of the rotary-dial input for the optional, upgraded navigation system.

The cabin is further improved by better materials on the dash, doors and seats for 2015. Before, the Genesis wasn't quite up to the class leaders in this area. This is no longer, as there's nary a visible interior piece or panel that has even a whiff of cost-cutting. The gauges are clear and concise and free from extraneous and distracting details, although you can, of course, dial up all manner of extra information if you desire. Even the base Genesis comes with appealing leather for the seats and steering wheel, and the standard navigation system and its 7-inch screen is more than acceptable. Capping it off is a meticulous level of assembly: Every panel and piece inside the Genesis fits with intense precision that matches just about any premium sedan you'd care to compare from Germany or Japan.

Like the cabin, the 2015 Genesis' trunk is expansive, even if its actual volume, at 15.3 cubic feet, is slightly reduced from the previous generation.

Body: The 2015 Hyundai Genesis is a full-size, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan available in 3.8 (V6) and 5.0 (V8) models, with all-wheel drive as an option for the Genesis 3.8. There is a Genesis coupe, but it's a very different vehicle and is covered in a separate review.

Standard features for the Genesis 3.8 include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, heated mirrors, automatic wipers, cruise control, automatic climate control, keyless ignition and entry, heated eight-way power front seats with four-way power lumbar, leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a touchscreen interface, a navigation system, real-time traffic, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Hyundai's Blue Link emergency telematics system, and a seven-speaker audio system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB/iPod interface, HD radio and satellite radio.

The Genesis 3.8 can be equipped with three option packages: Signature, Tech and Ultimate.

The Signature package adds a panoramic sunroof, auto-leveling HID headlights, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, high-intensity headlights, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert systems, ventilated front seats, driver memory functions, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a power rear sunshade, manual side window shades and a premium Lexicon 14-speaker surround-sound audio system.

The Tech package requires the Signature package, and adds automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, a lane-departure warning system with lane-keeping assist, front and rear parking sensors, an automatic emergency braking system, an electronic parking brake, automatic vehicle hold function (allows a driver to remove their foot from the brake while stopped), upgraded leather upholstery, additional driver seat adjustments (cushion extension and side bolsters) and an upgraded 7-inch display for the gauge cluster.

The Ultimate package requires both the Signature and Tech packages. It adds a power trunk lid, dual-zone automatic climate control, a color head-up windshield display, an upgraded navigation system with a center console multifunction controller and a bigger display, matte-finish wood and aluminum trim, a carbon dioxide sensor for the climate-control system and a Lexicon 17-speaker surround-sound audio system.

All-wheel drive can be added to any Genesis 3.8 and with it comes headlight washers, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.

The Genesis 5.0 has all the content of the Signature and Technology packages and adds a 5.0-liter V8, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED foglamps, illuminated door-sill plates and the matte wood and aluminum trim. The Ultimate package for the Genesis 5.0 takes all the content of the 3.8 model's Ultimate version and adds driver-selectable suspension adjustment.

Driving: The 2015 Genesis isn't a sport sedan, even with its optional adjustable suspension and engine and transmission control parameters set to "sport." But most drivers should still be quite happy with the way it drives. Around turns it responds precisely to steering inputs and has adequate grip for a sedan of its size. More importantly, the ride quality is excellent -- this is one relaxing way to get down the road, as you'll be hard-pressed to hear wind whoosh, tire whine or engine noise.

Both engines feel pretty strong when it comes to acceleration. Although the V8 model clearly has more low-end punch, it doesn't feel appreciably faster than the V6 in normal day-to-day driving. In fact, the only reason we can see to get the 5.0 over the 3.8 is if you really feel the need to tell people that you sprung for the V8.

What’s New: The Genesis has been completely redesigned for 2015.

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 comes with a 3.8-liter V6 generating 311 hp and 293 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic. The V6-powered Genesis comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but can be fitted with optional all-wheel drive.

The EPA's estimated fuel economy for the rear-drive Genesis 3.8 is 22 mpg combined (18 city/29 highway). Selecting all-wheel drive drops that to 19 mpg combined (16/25).

The Hyundai Genesis 5.0 has a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 420 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg combined (15/23).

At the Edmunds test track, a Genesis 3.8 AWD sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, while the V8-powered version performed the same test in a very quick 5.3 seconds. Both times are impressive for a fairly large sedan.

Safety: The 2015 Hyundai Genesis comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front and rear side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver's knee airbag. Also standard is Hyundai's Blue Link 2.0 connectivity suite, which features automatic crash notification, an SOS button, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and remote start, geo-fencing (allowing owners to set limits for teenage drivers), stolen vehicle slow-down/immobilization/recovery and turn-by-turn navigation.

Blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert are optional for the Genesis 3.8 in the Signature package and standard for the Genesis 5.0. Optional through the 3.8's Tech package and standard on the 5.0 are lane-departure warning and a lane-keeping assist system, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and an automatic emergency braking system that can reduce the severity of collisions or potentially prevent lower-speed collisions.

During Edmunds brake testing, a Genesis 3.8 AWD came to a stop from 60 mph in just 109 feet while the Genesis 5.0 took 112 feet, both excellent performances.

In government crash tests, the Hyundai Genesis five-star overall rating, along with five-star ratings for its performance in frontal- and side-impact crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2015 Genesis the best possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal offset, small-overlap frontal offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. The Genesis' seatbelts and head restraints also received a "Good" rating for their whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Pro: Exceptional value; smooth ride quality; roomy and high-quality interior; excellent crash test scores; long warranty coverage.

Edmunds Say: The Hyundai Genesis has always offered plenty of features at a very agreeable price. But this year's redesigned 2015 Genesis has all that, plus the quality interior and overall refinement it was missing previously. It's a top choice for a luxury sedan.

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