True Rivals - The Hyundai Genesis V8 VS. the Ford Taurus SHO

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2011 Hyundai Genesis facelift spy shots

Ford Taurus SHO

Price: $37995

Engine: ECOBOOST 3.5  Liter V6 with 365-hp/350-lb. feet of torque

Hyundai Genesis V8
Price: $37,250
Engine: 4.6 liter V8 with 375-hp/333-lb. feet of torque

Much has been made in the media of late of both the Ford Taurus SHO and the Hyundai Genesis V8 sedan and which vehicles these two top notch sedans are competing with. The Hyundai is often times mentioned in the same breath with Lexus and Lincoln while the SHO keeps being compared to the BMW 5-series. Not to be a snob but I doubt either vehicle will be cross-shopped by buyers from BMW, Lexus or even for that matter Lincoln. If you want the Gods honest truth never were two vehicles more evenly matched for a head to head contest.

These two cars are perfect for our new recession economy - both come from value based volume manufacturers and are absolute sleepers. Sleepers meaning that they look like innocuous family sedans but under their skins lie some of the most powerful powertrains on the market today. No matter whether you pick an SHO or a Genesis V8 you are also going to be treated to two of the finest interiors that their parent companies have to offer.

In the SHO buyers can pimp out their new sedan with Sony 12 speaker surround sound, heated and cooled front seats, navigation, SYNC voice activation and even a system that allows you to start the car from inside your house (to get it pre-heated on cold winter mornings). The SHO interior features multi-contour sport seats with leather and alcantara-like suede seat inserts. The dash is covered in metal and piano black trim where wood usually resides in lesser Taurus models. The whole effect highlights the sporting intent of the SHO and is one of the most successful American car interior designs in decades.

Motivation for the SHO comes from the much lauded turbo-charged ECOBOOST 3.5 liter V6 engine option which affords this vehicle foot stomping acceleration at all speeds with fuel economy of 17 city/25 highway. This really is the perfect family sedan for a person who builds hot rods on the weekend.

The Hyundai Genesis V8 sedan, on the other hand, exists mainly to prove that this South Korean automaker can make a world class, refined luxury sedan. Point proven and case closed. While some say the exterior styling apes too many different design influences, I say that when viewed from all angles the Genesis blends visually into a refined and cohesive whole. The interior design is simple and straightforward while all controls are very easy to use. The choice of materials found here is truly first rate.

While the V8 in the Genesis delivers its power a little more smoothly than the ECOBOOST V6 in the SHO, at high revs this 8 cylinder is ready to party. It shoves you back into your seat with a force and power usually only seen when behind the wheel of Mercedes 8 cylinders. Hyundai also managed to figure out how to give their V8 a nice metallic growl that fills the Genesis V8 with a far more sporting edge than that which is found in the lesser priced Genesis V6.

Regardless of whether you choose the Hyundai Genesis V8 or Ford Taurus SHO as your next high performance sedan one thing is clear - both these companies are in this market segment and are here to stay. So if you don't like what premium brand ownership says about you in today's economy but want a luxurious performance sedan look no further than your local Hyundai and Ford dealers. Did I really just say that?

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