Our mothers taught us that it would be impolite to mention names, but that’s not going to stop us from acknowledging the truth, is it? Motor Trend calculated that, for $22,575 more than a Hyundai Genesis V8, you’d get a car that’s 0.7 seconds quicker to 60mph and offers one additional option, but only half as many standard features. Another car which we all anticipated to be a very indirect competitor for the Genesis V8 is one-tenth of a second slower to the 60mph barrier, offers more standard equipment and far fewer options, but costs $15,785 more.
Cars do not win awards here or at any other respectable publication for low prices, however. Rest assured, the Tata Nano has four wheels, seats, an engine, and a steering wheel just like your rich uncle’s Ferrari. That won’t convince you that the Nano is the more righteous automobile. Just the same, Hyundai’s upstart luxury sedan needs merit more than low monthly payments.
Merit it hath. The Genesis is safe, fast, luxurious, and conservatively handsome. Establishing its foes is nearly impossible. Hyundai’s sedan is more luxurious than some similarly sized and priced sedans; quicker and better-handling than some smaller and more expensive sedans; and more appealing than some conceptually-identical but massively overpriced sedans. How Hyundai manages to stuff all that equipment and all that engine and all that safety tech inside that itty-bitty pricetag we will never know. We can all be thankful that, like acrobats in a telephone booth, Hyundai merely makes it happen.
Engines: 290 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque from a 3.8L V6; 375 horsepower and 333 lb-ft of torque from a 4.6L V8
City Mileage: 17-18 mpg
Base USD Price: $32,250
Anything Else? The Genesis will likely feature an 8-speed automatic by 2010, a necessary feature if Hyundai wants fuel economy to stay level with the possible 5.0L upsizing of the Tau 4.6L V8.