There is little chance of falling asleep at the wheel of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis on one of those long summer driving vacations…
There is little chance of falling asleep at the wheel of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis on one of those long summer driving vacations.
The twisty route around the Okanagan lake country, chosen to show off the agility of this new luxury sedan from the Korean manufacturer, guaranteed all behind the wheel kept their eyes glued to the road ahead.
But should such external stimulus not be available for the long distance driver, there is a nifty little gadget below the glove box. An industry-first sensor control system detects when CO2 levels are too high and boosts the cabin with fresh air. Research by Hyundai engineers determined that drowsiness increases when CO2 concentrations inside the cabin exceed 2,000 parts per million. Of course, cracking a window works the same way but many do not detect the onset of a sleepiness until it’s too late, while others are reluctant to let in that cold mountain air during a winter jaunt. Count me in that group.
Gadgets aside, there is much to stimulate the senses in the all-new Genesis. Its eye-catching design, with giant front grille, would not look out of place parked next to a BMW, Audi or Merc, which is precisely the intent. It is benchmarked against such German Masters at a price segment below what one would expect to pay for the European leaders. Will they hold their price in resale? – Likely not during this generation but if the ambitious Koreans continue to prove reliability and quality then they will.
Meanwhile, an owner is going to enjoy years of driving a performance oriented are in comfort and style. The fit and finish inside rivals those with which it chooses to compete for the dollars in the wallets of the well-heeled. The subtle use of leather and micro suede is classy; with Napa leather and real wood trim available as an option. Double stitched leather seats always look good but it’s what’s inside that counts on a lengthy trip! The foam beneath in this case offers both support and comfort in the right places. Both front seats offer 12-way power adjustment and there’s a power-adjustable thigh extension with side bolsters is available for the long-legged.
A new power trunk lid goes a step further than the new trend to enable opening by swinging your leg under the rear to pop the trunk. Tried standing on one leg with two arms full of groceries?
When your pocketed key nears the trunk, it automatically opens after three-seconds.
A High-Beam Assist (HBA) function switches to low beams when an oncoming vehicle is detected. Other options include a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, and rear door window blinds. Driver-assist safety technologies are also available in abundance for those who like the car to do some thinking for them.
The new Genesis is also a statement of intent: it heralds what will be the look of the seven new less premium Hyundai products expects to grace our showrooms before 2016.
When it comes to driving, it’s really a tale of two cars. The top-of-the-line model offers a big V8 5-litre power plant, with 420 horses at its disposal. Ironically, it’s best enjoyed jogged along at low speed on the highway, where it has the feel of an old-fashioned big family sedan. It’s not a lot of fun on the twisting lakeside roads of the Okanagan.
Cars destined for the Canadian market will come with an all-new HTRAC active wheel drive (AWD) system. Says Hyundai: “Performance of the vehicle’s all-new platform was validated in some of the world’s most demanding driving environments, including Germany’s famed Nürburgring Nordschleife and Korea’s Yeongam Formula 1 racing circuit.”
The large variety of proving grounds offered by the northern Okanagan was much more appealing to me. And especially so in the car equipped with the 311 horsepower, 3.8-litre GDI V6 engine. Flipping between the Normal, Eco and Sport modes and tapping the gear-changing paddles on the steering wheel made for an enjoyable drive. Little lean in the corners and sprightly up hill. Both engines are coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission with a SHIFTRONIC manual mode.
Fuel economy numbers coming later. The base price is $43,000, $48,000 gets you the Luxury version, and $53,000 loads up the tech features. If you want the V8, get ready to spend $62,000.