The 2012 Hyundai Genesis Ownership Experience Blog – 500 Mile Update

by Future Auto Design

The V8 Engine

As I am still in the “Break-in” period, I am forced to inform you that I have not revved the R Spec past 4,000 RPM.  There are two main reasons for this: the first and obvious reason is, the owner’s manual says doing so is not advised.  The second reason is… I haven’t needed to! Believe me when I say this, I wanted to redline this beast numerous times.  There is no need, though!  There is so much power on tap, it is a bit scary to think what would happen if I really pushed it.  Mind you, my last car was a V6 powered by a measly 194HP, so the comparison isn’t actually fair.  However, I have test-driven the 4.6 and 3.8 versions of this car several times over the last two years, and I can tell you that, at least at highway speeds, I can feel a considerable difference in the power this thing can throw down when asked to do so.  I’ve also pushed it a couple of times around town, just for fun, and I haven’t had the need to go over 4,000 RPM yet.  This thing is powerful, and the power is readily available at various speeds (that I’ve tried, anyway).  The engine really does live up to its “R Spec” nomenclature, and I can’t wait to make it scream!

The engine bay is impressive, and I like all the various plastic covers spread throughout.  I just wish there was a “5.0L” emblem slapped on it.

The Ride

This car is no Avalon — the suspension is not soft AT ALL.  It feels almost German; not as harsh as an M3, but it isn’t buttery-smooth, and you will feel most of the imperfections on bad roads.  Unfortunately for me, most of the roads in my town are pretty atrocious, but I am used to a stiff ride so it isn’t so bad for me personally.  99% of my driving is me by myself, so in this category, I am completely satisfied.  On the few occasions others have accompanied me, they have not complained of a harsh ride.  Have they perhaps been distracted by the Lexicon audio system?  Quite possible. More on that later.

There is some definite kickback to the steering wheel on rough surfaces, but it isn’t harsh and it is easily controlled.  And the car responds well when thrown around the corners, surprisingly so for a car this size.  The seats are super-smooth and cushioned, and very comfortable, though definitely not that supportive.  I didn’t want a sports car; I wanted a luxurious one, so again, I am satisfied.

I will say the handling is the one area where the R Spec badge is definitely misleading – this car is not a sports sedan like the M’s or AMG’s.  It is, however, an incredibly well-powered sporty sedan.  If it weren’t for the fact that this sounds cheap, this sedan would best be labeled as the “Genesis SL” (for Sport and Luxury) instead of “R Spec”.

The car is really quiet.  It is very well-insulated, and it complements the audio system perfectly.  However, I noticed there is a little wind noise coming from my driver’s door/window.  I know there is a fix for this issue, so I’ll be sure to have it addressed during my first service appointment.  The issue wasn’t bad enough to warrant an immediate trip to the dealer, and I’m using the “quick fix” in the meantime – a quick tap down on the window button eliminates the noise.

The Features

This car is loaded.  I went to the Mercedes-Benz site and priced a base E-Series the other day, and a V6 model with no leather, navigation or backup camera cost over $51,000!  I bought the R Spec for a little under $10,000 LESS than that price.  The Genesis truly is among the best in terms of value in the premium sedan market these days.  Of course, if you favor brand recognition, the value alone may not be enough to make you overlook this car’s brand.

There is power “everything”, everywhere:  seats (memory), windows, door locks, steering wheel, and rear sunshade.  The car also features power-folding exterior mirrors, a great feature for the tight parking spaces at my place of work.

The storage space in the cabin is a little tight for my taste.  The glovebox is roomy, but the center console is a little on the small side.  The dual compartment is a nice touch, but I can’t fit a BlackBerry *AND* a Sansa MP3 player with all the necessary cables at the same time.  The lower portion fits a good number of CD’s and cables, but I still wish it was a bit larger.  The AUX and USB interface is really nice, and it’s great to have the additional power plug in there.

The safety features I have used are top-notch.  Cruise control is super-smooth, and the smart cruise control is amazing.  I set the distance to the “middle setting” and it works beautifully.  The shifting is smooth, and when someone gets into your lane, the car either slows down or brakes accordingly – it might be a little unsettling if you’re not paying attention, but I DO pay attention, so it was fine for me.  The Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) is a nice feature, but I don’t plan on using it unless I’m driving late at night or on a long trip.  To be honest, I don’t think I can hear the warning chimes when the radio is above 10, so again, this feature is usually off, for me.  Speaking of driving at night, I really appreciate the Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFLS);  The AFLS adjusts the path of the headlights to match the turning angle and direction of the vehicle, which helps a great deal in turns.  The backup camera is crystal-clear, and it has “night-vision”, so it is relatively clear even at night.  The front and rear parking assist works great.  The car is a really tight fit in my garage, and I rely on the steady final “beep” as my sign to halt every time I pull in!

The absolute best feature of this car, hands-down, is the Lexicon 7.1 discreet surround sound system.  No question, no argument.  It just is.  I will not bore you to death because there are plenty of discussions on the matter on the internet, but I’ll give you a quick overview:  If you want your system to shine, rip your cd’s in 320kbps and convert them to mp3 format.  Then slap them on a USB flash drive.  They will sound great.  Put your cd’s into the 6-disc changer, and they will sound even better than the mp3’s, especially when you click the “surround” on.  But if you get yourself some DVD-Audio discs, you will be blown away.  There is no superior quality at this price point, folks.  Trust me on this.

Here’s a little insight into just how good this system sounds:  A friend of mine is not a music person, at all.  Music to this individual is limited to 98Q on FM.  They took a ride in my car, and I had the Beatles “Love” album playing while we drove – it wasn’t even all that loud, by the way.  When asked by someone else afterwards what they thought of my car, this person’s answer was, “the sound system is incredible.  I usually don’t notice, but this car sounded amazing.”

The Overall Ownership Experience So Far

Ever since I graduated college, my dream car was the Audi S8, knowing full well that I would likely never own anything more expensive than a used A8.  My car ownership goal, realistically, was the A8, and I hoped that someday I’d be in a financial situation that allowed me this guilty pleasure.  After my last German ownership experience, I don’t think I have a dream car anymore, at least not one outside the “dream sports car” class.

The Genesis is not only big and comfortable like the A8, but it arguably looks better!  The interior is clearly not as refined as the A8, but it also costs half of what an optioned A8 would go for these days.  I’m not made of money, and the fact that it just won “Most Reliable Premium Sedan” from J.D. Power and Associates only reinforces the feeling I’ve made a great car-buying decision.  That… and the 10 year, 100k mile powertrain (5 year, 60k mile bumper-to-bumper) warranty.

The best description of the Genesis I’ve read online mentioned that “it was as a spacious as a 7-Series, with the features of a 5-Series, for the price of a 3-Series”.  I tend to agree.

The icing on the cake, however, is that I currently drive one of the very few 2012 Genesis sedans in my town of approximately 150,000 people (if not the only one).  There are BMW’s, MB’s, Lexus and Audi’s everywhere I look.  And by the way, I will say this:  pictures do this car NO JUSTICE WHATSOEVER.  See one of these in person.  It looks EASILY $10,000 – $20,000 more expensive than it really is.  I’m being completely honest.

You can’t put a price on exclusivity.  Well… you can, and those other “premium” carmakers have.  However, the way they define the term is very different than the way I define it.

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