Hyundai's Genesis is the real deal: a world-class, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan that's not afraid to spar with the best that Lexus, Buick, and others have to offer. The three Trim Levels -- 3.8, 4.6, and 5.0 R-Spec -- denote their respective engine displacements. The 3.8-liter V-6 should please even more buyers this year, as it receives a 43-hp bump for 2012; a bit more cash buys the 4.6-liter V-8 and all its lovely trimmings and extra oomph. The 4.6-liter is no longer the top-dog trim level in the Genesis sedan, however, with the appearance of the 5.0 R-Spec, which offers 44 more horses and sportier chassis tuning for a premium of only $2000. For 2012, all sedans also get a cosmetic face-lift and a more efficient eight-speed automatic transmission. The coupe version of the Genesis looks far different from the sedan and is equipped with either a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder or the sedan's 3.8-liter V-6 (without direct injection). The two-door tries -- but mostly fails -- to compete with the Infiniti G37 and the BMW 3-series. Some say it's a shameless amalgam of several premier upscale cars, but the Genesis -- both in sport-coupe and luxury-sedan form -- is nonetheless an impressive effort, so if you're looking for a premium car that's relatively easy on your wallet, be sure to test-drive a Genesis. If you desire all-star large-car luxury at a cut rate, you might consider ponying up for the newer Equus, but that car's existence might conveniently help create some good deals on Genesis sedans.
Trim Levels: 3.8, 4.6, 5.0 R-Spec (sedan); 2.0T, 2.0T R-Spec, 2.0T Premium, 3.8 R-Spec, 3.8 Grand Touring, 3.8 Track (coupe)
Body styles: Sedan, coupe, 5-passenger
Engines: 2.0L turbocharged I-4, 210 hp, 223 lb-ft
3.8L V-6, 306/333 hp, 266/291 lb-ft
4.6L V-8, 385 hp, 333 lb-ft
5.0L V-8, 429 hp, 376 lb-ft
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 5- or 8-speed automatic
Passenger volume: (coupe/sedan) 88.8/109.4 cu ft;
Cargo space: (coupe/sedan) 10.0/15.9 cu ft
The Genesis coupe stands pat for 2012, but the sedan sees many improvements. Headlining the list is the new 5.0 R-Spec trim level, which features the most powerful production Hyundai engine ever, machined nineteen-inch aluminum wheels, and sportier calibrations for the steering, suspension, and transmission. All sedans get an eight-speed automatic, and 3.8-liter sedans now feature direct injection and more horsepower. Sedans have been thoroughly face-lifted as well.
Dual-stage front, side, and side curtain air bags and active front head restraints are standard. The Genesis sedan adds rear side air bags and an available lane-departure warning system. Antilock brakes are standard across the board, as are traction and stability control, electronic brake-force distribution, and tire-pressure monitors.
EPA Fuel Economy
All: 16-29 mpg city/25-30 mpg highway
- Choice of coupe or sedan
More power for 2012
You Won't Like
- R-Spec sedan not very sporty
Ride quality a step below competition
More power, more value, more desirable.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Acura TL