The Hyundai Genesis is all-new for the 2015 model year, but the engine and transmission carry over with a few revisions. The Genesis also marks the first use of Hyundai’s new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language. One of the largest notable additions compared to the last-generation Genesis luxury sedan is available all-wheel drive on the V-6...
The Genesis is Hyundai’s rear-drive large luxury sedan slotting in above the Azera and below the flagship Equus in the automaker’s sedan lineup. The Genesis Coupe, a separate model that shares a name with the sedan, is a non-luxury rear-drive model that competes with the non-V-8 Mustangs and Camaros.
The redesigned 2015 Hyundai Genesis improves on what made the first Genesis good while widening appeal. All-wheel drive is now available on V-6 models with a system called HTRAC that was designed with the help of Magna Powertrain, the company that supplies BMW’s xDrive system. Both engines have slightly less horsepower than the previous model, but more torque. Also, power figures come lower in the rev range, which translates into a better driving experience; both engines retain the same eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The 3.8-liter V-6 makes 311 hp and 293 lb-ft of torque and EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18/29 mpg city/highway with RWD, or 16/25 mpg with AWD. Stepping up to the available 420-hp 5.0-liter V-8 that makes 383 lb-ft of torque (on premium fuel for both figures) gets buyers an EPA-estimated 15/23 mpg.
Some of the most notable features on the 2015 Genesis include a head-up display that can project speed, navigation, and blind spot monitoring information onto the windshield; parking assistance (sensors signal distance with audible tones for the front and rear); haptic (vibration) response in the steering wheel for lane departure and blind-spot detection; heated and cooled leather seats; an automatic trunk lid opener that opens as you approach the rear of the car; a 9.2-inch infotainment screen; and a CO2 control system, which automatically ventilates the cabin when CO2 buildup reached 2000 parts per million, to keep drivers from becoming drowsy due to oxygen deprivation.
The 2015 Hyundai Genesis received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and is considered a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS.
What We Think
The 2015 Hyundai Genesis has been executed in a way that is “more akin to a purposefully put-together Mercedes than a Hyundai playing dress-up.” The Hyundai engineers have beautifully crafted the interior, using real wood – such as bamboo, ash, oak, and walnut – in conjunction with real aluminum and Nappa leather. Seat switches have been redesigned with an eye toward ease of use, and three different levels of cushioning contour to the different parts of the body.
What’s the story with the CO2 monitor, though? Apparently a Hyundai engineer became drowsy on the way home and thought up what is believed to be the first automotive application of the technology to automatically ventilate the cabin with fresh air when CO2 levels reach a certain point. Technology aside, the powertrain and handling revisions have rectified our handling complaints with the previous generation. The new Genesis has a tight and balanced ride, and the upgraded steering keeps the car on track well.
The original Genesis grabbed our attention, as it was Hyundai’s first foray into the luxury arena. The 2015 Hyundai Genesis no longer seems so revolutionary. It has the polish and refinement of a second effort, but it doesn’t startle us the way its predecessor did. In a way, that’s a testament to the first car’s success—the idea of a luxury car from Hyundai no longer seems so novel.
- The redesigned interior
- No-touch automatic trunk opening feature
- Not falling asleep while driving on account of too much CO2 in the cabin
You Won’t Like
- No AWD on the V-8 model
- Poor fuel economy on V-8 and V-6 AWD
- Polarizing front grille design
- BMW 5 Series
- Mercedes Benz E-Class
- Cadillac CTS
- Lexus GS