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The Hyundai Genesis sedan offers high value in a luxury car featuring rear-wheel drive and a choice of V6 or V8 power. Genesis seats five in a nicely appointed cabin, with chrome accents, wood and aluminum trim, and soft-touch materials.
The navigation system includes voice activation and a multimedia interface that is easier to use than those from most luxury manufacturers. An iPod interface is standard, and customers can choose a 17-speaker audio system that has 7.1 Surround Sound and cranks out great music.
Room in the front and rear seats is excellent, though the Genesis could use a little more storage space for small items, and some customers will be disappointed that the rear seats don’t fold down.
The standard 3.8-liter V6 is rated at 290 horsepower, and we found it delivers enough pep for most peoples’ driving needs while returning good fuel economy. We also like the 4.6-liter V8 with dual overhead cams producing 385 horsepower for 2011, a 10-hp increase over the 2010 version. The V8 provides plenty of smooth, willing power and gets quite decent fuel economy, particularly for its performance level. Both engines run quietly and are mated to smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmissions with manual shiftgates.
Hyundai Genesis benefits from a rigid structure, rear-wheel drive, and advanced five-link front and rear suspensions, the hallmarks of a sports sedan. On twisty roads it performs well, with a generally nimble feel and a fairly flat disposition through corners. Of the two models, the lighter V6 feels more responsive through turns. The V8 model, on the other hand, benefits from electrohydraulic steering that provides sure steering assist in the tightest corners.
The Genesis rides well, ironing out most bumps with little effect on passengers. It doesn’t float or wallow like other Hyundais, but the ride can get bouncy over humps and ruts at highway speeds. On the whole, the Genesis is a legitimate sports sedan, but it’s not as agile as the top performers, such as the BMW 5 Series.
The 2011 Hyundai Genesis 4.6, in addition to its more powerful V8 engine, now comes standard with the Technology Package, which includes Lexicon 7.1 Discrete surround-sound audio, Ultimate Navigation featuring a larger screen and intuitive Driver Information System (DIS), smart cruise control, electronic parking brake, cooled driver seat, adaptive front lighting with HID headlamps, and parking assistance. The 2011 Genesis 3.8 V6 model continues unchanged. The Genesis sedan was launched as a 2009 model.