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Hyundai’s Genesis AWD 3.8 is a grand value

June 30, 2015
Elegance in a performance package - Anne Proffit photo

Elegance in a performance package – Anne Proffit photo

Hyundai’s Genesis sedan has always been a handsome brute and, with this year’s second generation introduction, this full-size four-door has gotten better than ever.

The Genesis sedan's rear view is just as lovely as the front - Anne Proffit photo

The Genesis sedan’s rear view is just as lovely as the front – Anne Proffit photo

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis’ exterior color is Empire State gray, so makes us think it would be a perfect vehicle for a Madison Avenue cruiser. With black leather interior, the Genesis presents an elegant face to the world. Its succession of six bright horizontal strakes across the grille opening (that contains radar operation) connote power, as do the LED running lights and broad yet gracious shoulders. A lovely upswept rear bids adieu to any that dare follow this vehicle.

This engine is lively - Anne Proffit photo

This engine is lively – Anne Proffit photo

A 3.8-liter V6 engine resides in the commodious front compartment, which is sufficient to carry the optional and larger 5-liter V8. The V6 is plenty powerful, packing 311 horsepower at 6000 rpm, together with 293 lb-ft of torque at 5000. Redline comes on at about 6250 rpm. The Genesis stirs through an exceptionally smooth traditional eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and has a trio of drive modes: normal, eco and sport. Sport – remember that last one because it definitely makes this machine more fun.

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis driven here has the optional HTRAC all-wheel-drive system which, as customary, cuts into fuel economy. It’s rated at 16/25/19mpg overall from the 20.3-gallon tank; as we had this Genesis sedan for just under a week, it was never necessary to refill; despite having less than 2000 miles on the odometer, our mileage was at or near the EPA estimates, which means it can only get better from here.

The only HTRAC AWD testing came in Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s media parking lot, which is an undulating grassy, inevitably muddy area across from the historic 2.5-mile oval. No problems with traction at all, and it’s very good for keeping the Genesis firmly planted when launching from the muddy parking area to a gravel area and finally to tarmac. This system is only available with the 3.8-liter engine.

A business-like dash - Anne Proffit photo

A business-like dash – Anne Proffit photo

Carrying unibody chassis construction, the Genesis sports Lotus-tuned multi-link suspensions front and rear with continuous damping control. Rack-mounted motor-driven power steering is precise and connected to the driver, and has an enviable 36.2-foot turning circle curb-to-curb, good for such a large car. I find the triangulated five-spoke 18-inch alloy rims mounted on Hankook 245/45R tires quite handsome; no doubt they give good air flow to the front-ventilated and solid rear disc brakes.

When equipped with HTRAC, the 2015 Genesis 3.8 sedan has a list price of $41,450 including freight. There are three available option packages and this car has all of them, raising the entry fee to $52,450. Still, there is immense value in this vehicle to go with its great driving capabilities.

The driver's seat features an extension - Anne Proffit photo

The driver’s seat features an extension – Anne Proffit photo

The options include a Signature package of a phenomenal one-touch slide and tilt panorama sunroof, an integrated memory system, ventilated (and heated, of course) front seats, HID headlights and auto-dimming outside mirrors, blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alerts, along with parking guidelines. Tilt/telescope power steering wheel, power rear sunshade and manual side shades complete this single package.

The Tech package includes the leather seating, a cushion extender and side bolster for the driver, a 7-inch TFT LCD cluster display, lane departure warning and lane-keep assist (the first things I disabled to regain my control of the Hyundai), “smart” cruise control with stop-start capability, Haptic steering wheel and pre-safety seatbelt, one of those snarky auto emergency braking (I don’t like a car that brakes for me, sorry) together with automatic vehicle hold, and front and rear parking assistance systems.

Space and amenities for back seat occupants - Anne Proffit photo

Space and amenities for back seat occupants – Anne Proffit photo

The final package is the Ultimate package with true matte finish wood and aluminum trim (gorgeous), a movable heads-up display (used it throughout the week), power trunk lid, premium navigation system with 9.2-inch high definition display, 17 audio speakers in the discrete Logic 7 system and dual mode vent control with a CO2 sensor. By the time you add up these $4,000, $3,500 and $3,500 packages, respectively, the price was bound to add up, but try getting all of these items in a German or Japanese car? You’re looking an easy $30 grand more.

I loved the soft plastic touches throughout the cabin, the attention to detail about the entire automobile and the elegance imparted. This Hyundai’s leather-wrapped steering wheel has the customary audio/phone operations on the left side with an easily adjustable cruise control on the right. All controls are intuitive and I love the fact that the mirrors fold when the car is locked – less damage in crowded parking lots.

The driver's "office" features dual controls for the multimedia interface - Anne Proffit photo

The driver’s “office” features dual controls for the multimedia interface – Anne Proffit photo

There’s a lovely central storage area with clamshell opening. It’s well finished with carpeting. Closed storage at the base of the center stack holds a pair of 12-volt plugs, audio and USB outlets and has a good, grippy floor. The adaptive front seats – power to passenger, too – are exceptionally comfortable and supporting in hard cornering. Rear seat passengers have full climate controls and can change fan speeds. There’s a pass-through to the trunk but no 60/40 fold – would that be too gauche?

The gauge cluster is visible in all light - Anne Proffit photo

The gauge cluster is visible in all light – Anne Proffit photo

This car is no lightweight at 4,295 pounds for the AWD model, but it belies its weight through its lithe disposition. Cargo volume in the well-appointed and fully carpeted trunk is 15.3 cubic feet. The battery below-floor in the trunk aids weight distribution and all tools, along with a spare tire are included.

Want a five-star safety rated four-door sedan with some off-road and good foul weather capabilities? Need luxury to carry clients, family and friends on short and long trips? But don’t want to totally break the bank? The 2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8 sedan fits the bill exceptionally well. Once again, Hyundai hits one out of the ballpark.

Words and Photos By Anne Proffit

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