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Average User Score
4.6 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 11 reviews
2009 Hyundai Genesis Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 11 reviews
There were a lot of promises heard from Hyundai regarding its Genesis. Given that it is the car manufacturer’s first rear-wheel-drive vehicle, and one of the vehicle's available engines is the first V8 Hyundai has made commercially available, one would think that was enough. Instead, Hyundai promised a pricetag around thirty grand for a car that is comparable to those costing twice as much. For the most part, they’ve delivered.
The Genesis offers two engines - a 290-hp, 3.8-liter V6 with 264 lb-ft of torque and a 375-hp, 4.6-liter V8 with 333 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come mated to six-speed automatic transmissions with Shiftronic manual control, and both are plenty fast. Hyundai claims 6.2 and 5.7 seconds for the 0-60 jaunt with the V6 and V8, respectively. Both engines have received praise for smooth operation and power delivery throughout the rpm range, and special note has been made of the transmission, which matches the car’s luxury pretensions. Both engines deliver respectable fuel efficiency, with EPA estimates of 18/27 mpg and 17/25 for the V6 and V8, respectively.
The ride and handling of the Genesis are two of the few aspects of the vehicle that fail to live up to the maker's promises. There is a certain grace missing from the Genesis that's found in the overall composure of its competitors, most notably in the Genesis’ behavior over rough road, which channels an unwanted amount of vibration through the steering wheel and even through the chassis itself. It’s not obtrusive or even excessive - overall it’s a very nice ride - but it’s still something you won’t find in the cars the Genesis is looking to emulate. Ride and handling are below average for the class, but at least average if not better overall.
On the inside, the Genesis does a good job of creating a classy, dignified interior, almost on par with those of its class competitors. Small sacrifices have been made in that some hard plastics seem out of place among the other materials, all of which show exemplary build quality with nary a rattle or squeak to be mentioned. Room and comfort are also abundant, becoming scarce only in the rear for taller occupants.
Standard features for the Genesis include dual-zone climate control, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power windows, mirrors, and locks with keyless entry, heated power front bucket seats, a CD/MP3 player with satellite radio, as well as traction control, electronic stability control, four airbags, four-wheel antilock disc brakes with brake assist, and a shift interlock system.
Truly, there's a lot to be said for the Genesis, but it still lacks a certain grace, a certain refinement, a certain panache. That said, you have to decide if those things are worth $30,000+ to you.
A CarGurus contributor since 2008, Michael started his career writing about cars with the SCCA - winning awards during his time as editor of Top End magazine. Since then, his journalistic travels have taken him from NY to Boston to CA, completing a cross-country tour on a restored vintage Suzuki. While his preference is for fine German automobiles - and the extra leg room they so often afford - his first automobile memories center around impromptu Mustang vs. Corvette races down the local highway, in the backseat of his father's latest acquisition.