As Hyundai's first bid to enter the world of luxury sedan building, the Genesis is one of the brand's most important cars. Battling it out with the best Japan has to offer, including the Lexus GS and Infiniti M, as well as trying to nose in on German territory, the Genesis is well-executed, well-built, and has been well-received. MotorAuthority rates it a solid 8 out of 10.
Though the Genesis looks a bit plain on the outside, even neglecting to but a Hyundai badge on the front end, it manages to be attractive in an understated way. Its proportions are very good for a large sedan, while details like the grille, headlights, and rear bumper design all offer some interest and even continuity with its less luxury-oriented models. Inside, the Genesis is all quality leathers and soft-touch plastics, put together with very close tolerances and the same reserved styling found on the outside, with the center stack playing the star as host to the infotainment system and large controller knob.
As for performance, something any true luxury sedan should offer, the Genesis ticks many of the right boxes: the standard sedan comes with a 333-horsepower V-6 engine, with a 4.6-liter V-8 good for 385 horsepower as an upgrade. The R-Spec model, new for 2012, bumps the engine to 5.0-liters and 429 horsepower. All three are up to the task of getting the large sedan around with ease, though the V-8s, and particularly the R-Spec's engine, are the choice for those with a bit more taste for speed.
The R-Spec also firms up the suspension significantly--it's downright soft on the other Genesis models--while weighting up the steering, too. Unfortunately, these changes aren't quite enough to elevate the Genesis' performance to true sports sedan levels, as the body lean is still significant despite the slightly harsh ride, the steering lacks feel, and the too-soft seats lack any real bolstering. The R-Spec is best used as a potent interstate cruiser.
Whichever Genesis model you choose, however, you won't be short of space inside: the rear seat is nearly 7-Series big, with plenty of leg room for a full complement of six-footers. The front seats provide nearly as much space, and even tall drivers won't find a shortage of head room at any position. The trunk is quite large. Build quality overall is very good, with all of the door-closing solidity and material durability you'd expect of a luxury sedan.
Hyundai doesn't skimp on technology for the Genesis, either, with a host of computerized safety features that include lane-departure warning system, parking space indicators, a rear-view camera when reversing, and eight standard airbags. All of that tech is good for an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating.
Other technology to be found in all Genesis sedans includes: Bluetooth, USB connectivity, satellite radio, and automatic climate control. Additional options include premium and technology packages that add many of the features found on the V-8 model, including a Lexicon audio system. A navigation and media system with touchscreen and a large console-based controller are also available.
For the full details on the 2012 Hyundai Genesis, read the full review at TheCarConnection