The 2012 Hyundai Genesis Ownership Experience Blog – Researching The Car

by Future Auto Design

This will be my first Hyundai. As a matter of fact, it is the first Hyundai in my entire family. Like most Europeans, I was raised to appreciate the prestigious German and other European and Japanese brands — my father, for instance, owned seven VW’s when we lived in Brazil, opted for Renaults and Fiats when we lived in Portugal, and swore by Toyotas and Subarus here in the US. I’ve always been a car buff, and I am almost ashamed to admit it, but even less than ten years ago I would’ve been the first person to say, “Don’t buy a Hyundai; they’re terrible. Get a German car.”

A lot has changed.

Hyundai quality now matches (if not surpasses) Honda and Toyota, and their design is groundbreaking, edgy, and downright sexy! While Honda and Toyota have stagnated in design, feature content and overall value, Hyundai and the American brands have advanced in all three of those areas. Even VW is going in a different direction; their designs are now mundane, and all their cars look cheap and very similar-looking. Also, instead of improving their quality, their materials and overall “feel” has gotten cheaper in recent years. Coming from a 2002 Volkswagen Passat that was built like a tank but was as reliable as a Yugo… this is a very scary thought.

My change in preconceived notions was bound to happen. I read a Car and Driver review of the 2004 Hyundai Sonata about eight years ago, and the overall tone changed from “cheap”, “unreliable”, and “ugly” to “attractive, if somewhat derivative”, “loaded” and “value”. Years later, and after opening my eyes and letting go of old prejudices based solely on other people’s experiences, I decided it was time to give Hyundai a fair shake.

When it came time to start looking for a new vehicle, I came across the Genesis, and the classy lines and features for the price were a pleasant and unexpected surprise.  The car may look derivative – from the front, it resembles a Mercedes E-Class; the side is very similar to a Lexus LS or an Infinity G sedan; and the rear has a BMW 5-Series look to it – but overall, I find the car to be unique among all the aforementioned vehicles.  Furthermore, I will say that there is an exclusivity factor when buying the Genesis, as I have only seen two of them in my town in over two years, whereas I see the other premium brands everywhere I look.

I have researched this car since its 2008 launch, and have actively participated in the Genesis Owners forum ( for a year and a half.  I read almost all of the threads about the vehicle, paying particular attention to the “problems” topics.  In my experience, people who are unhappy with a particular product or service will post more often than those who are generally content.   What I found out, however, was that the average Genesis owner is in fact ecstatic with their purchase, even after several years of ownership.  After familiarizing myself with all the pros and cons, three separate test drives (of the various trim models), and a half dozen other dealership visits to see the car up close, I finally decided on purchasing a 2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R Spec.

In upcoming blogs, I will be sharing with you my entire ownership experience, in the hopes that I too can change your perceptions of the Hyundai brand, and the quality of its products.

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