Paul Kinsley puts Hyundai’s flagship high-technology Genesis luxury saloon through its paces.
Having worked with prestige manufacturers for many years, my experience of high-end vehicles is extensive. When Hyundai offered Luxurious Magazine their new Genesis model, I felt it was a great opportunity to see how they were progressing in the luxury sector of the market. Needless to say, while I had heard super reports of the Genesis, I was a little apprehensive of its true capabilities.
From the moment that the Genesis arrived, I was eager to get it on the road. However, its stunning lines and curves were evident and encouraged me to take a moment to look around this superb vehicle. You can immediately see the presence that this car will command on the roads – the sheer size and sweeping lines give the Genesis a regal aura. The detailed alloy wheels and Bi-Xenon headlights coupled with its unique coupé-styled body, attract attention. When the door is opened to the driver’s cockpit, you are immediately presented with a huge, well-placed array of switches, displays, and various touch controls on the large interactive eight-inch infotainment screen.
The huge seat base and back are stitched in high quality perforated leather, finished with a colour-coded piping. The memory function caters for almost all shapes and sizes, whilst the easy-to-reach and manage buttons will glide you to your preferred position. The cooled ventilated and heated seats provide great comfort and a luxurious feel. In the rear, you also have the benefit of electric, heated and cooled seats with ample legroom.
The cockpit, while slightly complicated initially, has all you need to assist your drive from local to long journeys. The eight-speed transmission has three settings which are namely Eco, Comfort and Sport. ‘Eco’ and ‘Comfort’ aid with smooth standing starts, whilst ‘Sport’ significantly changes the response through the accelerator and tightens the suspension, regardless of driving style. The electronic adjustment for the steering column allows the placing of the leather stitched and heated steering wheel in a perfect position, while gear selection can be easily made with nicely-sized paddles. The panoramic glass roof floods light through the cabin and merely enhances the luxurious feeling that the Hyundai Genesis offers.
Keyless entry and start appear to wake the car on approach. Place your foot on the brake and push the start button, and the 3.8-litre V6 GDI engine momentarily revs. And then nothing. You really can’t hear the engine note, and you feel you have to touch the throttle to make sure that it’s still running. While I waited for the engine to warm, I programmed an address into the satellite navigation. Initially this appeared to be complicated, but there is a facility to tailor the media system to your preferred settings and voice control.
The dash illumination comes in the form of subtle white lighting, visible night and day, and is a pleasant feature. The dials are well laid out, and adjustments to the display can be made easily with your thumbs on the steering wheel thanks to a series of rolling and push buttons. The Genesis features a head up display, blind spot alarm and lane departure tracking, all as standard. The vehicle also has smart cruise control, automatic emergency braking, as well as the first ever in-car cabin sensor which monitors CO2 to protect the driver from drowsiness.
Driving is effortless, and there is a feeling that in the event of a potential incident, the car will be on-hand to assist you. The vehicle absorbs the road surface through the advanced suspension, and there really is a genuine sense of reduced speed.
As well as the on-road experience, I became aware of the beautiful sounds emanating from the built-audio technology. The well-balanced sound system allows control over the normal bass, treble, left and right, and front and rear, but really very little needs to be touched as the sound appears to be literally placed in your inner ear. It really doesn’t appear to differ on your particular genre of music – the system will produce perfect acoustics for all.
Having enjoyed all the Genesis had to offer during the drive, this car should be a serious consideration for anyone looking for a luxurious saloon.
The All-New Hyundai Genesis goes on sale on 02 April, priced at £47,995 OTR.
For more information, visit www.hyundai.co.uk/coming-soon/genesis.