A primary duty of any luxury car is to make its driver look good. The 2015 Hyundai Genesis gets it. Heck, this guy even waves a greeting when you approach.
Actually, that wave is the power-folding outside mirrors, tucked against the doors when the car is at rest, automatically swinging out as the key-holder approaches. (Of course, that didn’t stop me from telling my 3- and 4-year-old granddaughters that the car likes me so much it waves every time it sees me. Alas, they looked dubious.)
But Genesis offers a whole lot more than sycophantic greetings. Available in V-6 and V-8 trim, we drove a top-of-the-line Ultimate Package V-8 and wanted for nothing but a chauffeur.
Actually, we didn’t want a chauffeur either. Genesis is a joy to drive.
No surprise, I guess, since late in the car’s development, Genesis engineers got help from dynamics specialists at Lotus to fine-tune this all-new luxury sedan. The Brit sports-car experts calculated damper and spring rates, picked anti-roll bars and offered sage advice on engine and transmission mounts and power steering calibration.
The result is a generation-two Genesis that provides gratifyingly communicative handling without ever forgetting it’s a luxury car. Its demeanor inspires confidence while its ride and interior noise levels are on par with Lexus.
Genesis engines, with some fine tuning, are carried over: 311-hp V-6 or 420-hp V-8. Both are managed by an eight-speed automatic, also retained from gen-one but tweaked for duty here.
In the case of our V-8, power was delivered with smooth authority while the transmission’s ratio trades were seamless. Riding a notably stiffer chassis that’s happily married to a comfortably compliant suspension, Genesis feels every bit the luxury car it is.
In 250 miles of mostly, but not exclusively, highway driving, our V-8 returned 22 mpg.
Cabin room is fabulous, while amenities in our top-of-the-line model were enough to make a Silicon Valley millionaire blush. The short list includes power everything (including rear sunshade), intuitive and easy-to-use infotainment controls (including knobs for the radio, thank you), genuine wood and aluminum trim, creamy leather, navigation, Smart Cruise (capable of bringing the car to a complete stop) and every safety nanny imaginable, including front and rear park assist, Blind Spot Warning and Lane Departure Alert.
Genesis is a no-excuses luxury car but, topping out absolutely loaded under 56 grand, priced like a bargain.
Dan Wiese is a freelance automotive writer living in St. Louis. He also is a regular automotive contributor to Fox 2 KTVI-TV St. Louis. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org