Depending on where you stand, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis is either the holy grail of affordable motorised luxury, or the antichrist of the European automotive establishment. Either way, what you can’t deny is that this five metre long saloon seems to have come out of the woods packed full of value. The 2015 Genesis is the Hyundai’s second iteration of its flagship model, but in between takes we’ve seen Hyundai go from obscurity to one of the most popular manufacturers on Australian roads. So the question begs, will this luxurious giant be able to stand its ground against the best of the best from Europe, or will it more likely take the place of our extinct national emblem – the Ford Fairlane?
Here are three points to the case:
Buyers looking for a top of the range limousine might be somewhat hesitant to make the move from a Mercedes-Benz S Class, BMW 7 Series or Audi A8 to the Genesis, and it’s improbable that once they cross that $150k+ threshold that price will be a big deal anyway. But it’s those interested in their smaller stable mates such as the E Class, 5 Series and A6 that will want to seriously consider the Hyundai. At a starting price point around the $65k mark, the Genesis offers a lot more bang for your buck than the Germans. It features everything in tech from a touch screen interface with Google connected navigation, iOS Siri connectivity and a head up display screen to a movable rear camera, rear passenger audio control panel and ambient lighting.
But it’s not just the standard fare that will make heads turn; the devil is in the detail here. Bizarre features like the interior analogue clock, which is connected to GPS to change according to time zones, in-built Sound Hound music app and the keyless approach-and-open automatic boot give the Genesis that little extra wow-factor that will really make it a hot topic of conversation at the pub or around the water cooler.
Click here for a full list of features. But the tech doesn’t stop there. Read on about safety features below.
It’s been a long time since the late 90’s Hyundai Excel dotted our streets with its bubble-like appearance and bulbous curves. We’re now more used to the new ‘iGeneration’ design cues from the Korean maker, which looks as sleek as any of its Japanese rivals, and the Genesis is no exception. It actually takes styling hints from Europe too, although its side profile does conjure comparisons of the Lexus fleet.
The handsome chassis alludes to Mercedes-Benz in its front headlamps and sports an Audi rear eye line, while the interior nods to BMW’s angular centre console. There are smidges of Britain’s Aston Martin in the facia and the bespoke badge looks like Bentley wings from afar.
But the Genesis doesn’t for a minute look like a Frankenstein or copycat. It can hold its own, standing proudly alongside these leaders in design – happily flaunting its low price tag in the process. For those looking for unquestionable style, the Genesis is a must-drive.
If safety is a primary concern of yours, you’ll be amazed to hear that the Hyundai Genesis scored the highest ever ANCAP safety rating. With 9 airbags standard, blind spot sensors, collision braking technology, active lane keeping, lane departure warnings and adaptive cruise control to keep distance from the car in front, it scored an astounding 36.88/37 points. That’s more high-tech safety kit than the Mercedes C250 Avant-Garde, which comes in at around 85k+. So there’s no wonder Hyundai is upsetting conventions!
So when it comes to the question of where the Genesis will fall on our roads – between the Euros and the local heroes – it’s too early to say. It’s more value than we’ve ever seen in a car for sale in Australia, yet it lacks that luxury pedigree many high-end shoppers will be looking for. What is for certain, however, is that such a feature rich vehicle will be the Genesis of change in what we deem acceptable as standard equipment in luxury saloons, and all car buyers are set to benefit.