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Driven: Genesis takes Hyundai upmarket

Battle ready: Hyundai's generously specified Genesis sedan is now available in local showrooms from $60,000 to $82,000, plus on-road costs.

Hyundai's Genesis luxury sedan pitches hard for head – and wallet – appeal


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7 Nov 2014

HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia (HMCA) is gearing up for a new era of value-packed luxury with its high-end Genesis sedan arriving in local dealerships this week.

Starting at a neat $60,000 and rising to $82,000, the second-generation Genesis comes with a comprehensive warranty, free servicing for the first 75,000km or five years, and guaranteed buy-back figures for lease holders. It has also scored the highest five-star result ever awarded in ANCAP testing.

HMCA chief operating officer and Australian industry veteran John Elsworth believes that while it will be a challenge to change hearts, the Genesis will appeal to the head.

“You don't get people to think differently by doing exactly the same stuff as what other manufacturers do, so we have had to think differently about the overall value of the car,” he told GoAuto at the car’s launch in Canberra.

“Some of the basic features that others option up, we include. The after-care package, we think, is a major point of difference. We're also going to offer to the market a guaranteed future value finance product.

“We’ve tried to find every objection that someone could ever have about why would I want to get a Hyundai luxury car and answer them.” Based on a unique architecture, the Genesis – codenamed DH – will only be offered in one driveline configuration a 3.8-litre GDi V6 sporting 232kW and 397Nm, backed by Hyundai’s own eight-speed automatic transmission that feeds the rear wheels.

It is offered in AWD and V8 variants in South Korea and the United States, but engineering complications – and the fact that there are only three right-hand-drive markets for the car, including Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – mean neither option will be seen in RHD form.

The Lambda II naturally aspirated quad-cam 24-valve V6 is all-alloy, and runs direct injection, dual-continuously variable valve timing and a high 11.5:1 compression ratio. It’s also fitted with a steel timing chain. Hyundai’s eight-speed auto gearbox, meanwhile, can be overridden via steering wheel paddles or the shift lever. A ‘sport’ switch next to the gear lever also sharpens shifts and throttle mapping.

It will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds, while its combined fuel economy figure is 11.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.

The multi-link suspension set-up has undergone a ‘localisation’ program to set the car up for Australian conditions, although no aftermarket parts are used in the revised build. Revisions were made to both front and rear shocks, the rear anti-sway bay and rear springs, as well as to the rear sub-frame.

The Genesis will be offered in three states of trim the standard car will retail for a neat $60,000 (just under the Luxury Car Tax threshold of $60,316), the Sensory Pack will add $11,000 to that figure, while the top-spec Ultimate Pack is an extra $22,000, and includes all of the Sensory Pack upgrades.

Looking at its most logical European rivals for size and specs, BMW’s 535i specced up to mimic the Ultimate Pack Genesis comes in at $116,930, while Mercedes-Benz’s E400 is $129,430.

A top-spec Chrysler 300 in six-cylinder guise, with a much lower spec level, retails at $51,000, while Ford’s outgoing G6E Turbo is $56,235 – again with a much lower base spec.

The base car’s safety equipment list is long and includes nine airbags, including driver knee, driver and front passenger side (thorax), rear passenger side (thorax), and a full-length curtain airbag.

Other safety features include autonomous emergency braking, smart cruise control, smart high beam, lane departure warning, pre-safety system that incorporates front seatbelt pre-tensioners, anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist system and vehicle stability management with electronic stability control and traction control.

There’s also a tyre-pressure monitoring system, self-levelling HID headlights, cornering lights, daytime running lights and reversing camera with parking guide. The interior is leather-bound, and there’s a 9.2-inch touchscreen in the centre console that’s fitted with sat nav. A Lexicon 17-speaker premium audio system can also stream music.

It also features dual-zone climate control with an auto defog function, 12-way power driver’s and passenger's seats (which are heated), rain-sensing wipers, powered rear blind, auto wipers and a 4.2-inch LCD dash cluster.

The Sensory Pack adds blind-spot detection, rear-view cross-traffic alert, lane-change warning, a head-up display, a four-camera around-view monitor, premium leather, a power bolster, memory system and extendible base for the driver’s seat, a powered steering column adjuster, electro-chromatic auto-dipping exterior mirrors, a CO2 sensor and LED front fog-lights.

On top of this comprehensive list, the Ultimate Pack adds a full-length, two-piece panoramic glass roof, power door latches, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, noise-reducing acoustic glass, a powered bootlid, a larger seven-inch LCD dash cluster, and 19-inch alloy wheels with Dunlop Sport Maxx 245/40 R19 (front) and 275/35 R19 (rear).

At 4990mm long, it mimics Holden’s Statesman for length, while its 1890mm width is a tad narrower. Wheelbase stands at 3010mm. It’s 1480mm high, while its internal headroom is 1045mm, or 1000mm when the optional sunroof is fitted. It weighs 1890kg in its lightest spec, and 1995 kg in its heaviest.

The rear-seat passengers in the Genesis have access to controls to slide the front seats forward, as well as climate controls. The rear seat will take three passengers, but it’s ideally set up for two. The rear seats don’t fold down, leaving the Genesis with 433 litres of boot space.

Hyundai’s 75,000km/five-year free servicing offer covers labour, parts, lubricants and oils. The car is also covered by Hyundai’s standard five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty as, while free roadside assistance is also provided for the first five years.

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