Hyundai has had to work hard to build an international reputation, but all that effort is undoubtedly paying off. It was not so long ago that few buyers took Hyundai seriously anywhere above the entry-level vehicles that it focused on for so long. With the company’s sole mid-sized luxury sedan, the Genesis, now receiving reviews that praise it as a fantastic vehicle, however, it has become more than clear that Hyundai has come a very long way.
From a brief look at the outside, the Genesis could easily be mistaken for the latest luxury sedan from BMW or Mercedes. That is undoubtedly intentional, particularly insofar as Hyundai has previously made its organizational appreciation for German design and engineering clear in vehicles as pedestrian as the compact i30. While those striking looks will certainly never hurt the Genesis in the eyes of any potential buyer, though, they tell only a small part of the story that makes the vehicle so appealing.
For one thing, the Genesis is outfitted everywhere within with top quality materials that firmly support its ambitions. Where even relatively expensive BMW or Mercedes sedans today sometimes attempt to cut costs through the judicious use of affordable plastics in less visible spaces, the Genesis seems to maintain the same level of quality throughout. With every surface seemingly blanketed in a material appropriate to a luxury vehicle, the basic experience of driving or riding in a Genesis is uplifting in its own right.
The technology that makes the car move is every bit as impressive, as might well be expected. While Hyundai has disappointed some fans by refusing to offer the V8 version of the Genesis in certain national markets, the V6 that takes its place will satisfy most drivers amply. Thanks, in part, to the fact that Hyundai has managed to keep the road-going weight of the Genesis fairly low for a vehicle of its class, even the torque and power generated by that 3.8-liter V6 engine allow for luxury-level performance in most driving situations. Coming from a company that has had to strive for so many years to build up a reputation as more than a low-end manufacturer, the Genesis is a clear sign that a great deal of hard work has paid off.