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Motoring: 2016 Hyundai Genesis does everything but disappoint

Credit: NAUMAN FAROOQ

Everything about this car is ideal: it drives smoothly, has lots of room and comes with all-wheel drive as standard. The only con to this car is how much gas it consumes.


Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | February 1st, 2016



Think of it as the end of a beginning. Last week, at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Hyundai made the North American debut of Genesis as a brand, not just a model.

This has been a long time coming for Hyundai to have a premium brand; similar to Toyota’s Lexus and Honda’s Acura. For 2017, Genesis will be a separate brand.

This also means that 2016 is the last year you’ll be able to buy a vehicle that’ll carry both the Hyundai and the Genesis badge on the same car.

With the launch of Genesis as a brand, all the current vehicles are also going to get a makeover. Don’t expect the changes to be huge for all models, but enough for people to be able to differentiate the 2017 models from the 2016’s.

So, where does all this leave the current Genesis sedan? It has only been in the market since the 2014 model year, and given that these are not a common sight on the road, the car still has that new model vibe. No doubt, it will also receive an update for next year, but should you wait and see what the company offers in the future, or is it good enough to buy as it is right now.

Having spent a good amount of time with a 2016 Genesis sedan, equipped with the 3.8 litre V6 motor, I can honestly say, it is worth trekking to your local Hyundai dealer right now to check out this model.

It is a thoroughly well engineered vehicle with lots of features, and the build quality is truly top class. Trust me, go on a long highway drive in one and you’ll feel satisfied with this vehicle.

Since I drive about 800 kilometres every week, I really appreciated the features my Genesis 3.8 Technology model offered; for example, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, reversing camera and so much more.

One feature all Canadian buyers of the current Genesis sedan can enjoy is the standard fitment of allwheel drive. While in the U.S. and other markets, rear-wheel drive is offered as standard with all-wheel drive being optional, the Canadian market gets this feature as standard. It is the familiar HTRAC all-wheel drive system Hyundai has been using for a couple of years, which splits power between the front and rear wheels, depending on the driving conditions. All this works seamlessly through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

This drivetrain does make the best use of the grunt found under the hood. The 3.8 litre V6 motor produces 311 horsepower and 293 pounds per foot of torque on premium fuel, and this motor sings a beautiful tune when being pushed.

This isn’t the only motor currently offered on the Genesis; the top spec model gets a 5.0 litre V8 that makes 420 horsepower and 383 pounds per foot of torque on premium fuel. However, since I’ve never driven the V8 model, I can’t comment on how it compares to the V6 model.

With all my weekly driving, I found the Genesis 3.8 Technology to be an easy car to live with. I enjoyed its space; not only is there lots of room for passengers in the front, but even rear seated passengers have lots of room, and the trunk is quite big as well.

I also liked the infotainment system and its 900-watt Lexicon sound system with 14 speakers that offered incredible sound quality.

The only thing I didn’t enjoy much was its fuel consumption. I averaged, city and highway combined, 12.4 litres per 100 kilometres during my week. That makes it one of the thirstier luxury sedans in this segment, but then, it is also the only one I can think of that comes with all-wheel drive as standard.

Given our weather conditions, all-wheel drive is an asset, and anything that aids traction in winter is worth every dollar you have to spend on it.

Which brings us to its price. The 2016 Hyundai Genesis has a base price of $43,000. That figure can drive up quickly, depending on which trim you go for, so the Korean choice is not the bargain option, but is worth the money because of the quality, engineering and features it offers.
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