Hyundai Genesis review

Our Rating: 
2014 model
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

Unlikely to trouble the likes of the 5-Series, E-Class and A6, but the Hyundai Genesis is a decent first effort at an executive car

Loaded with kit and plenty of space
Wrong badge and wrong engine

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With BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Jaguar ruling the executive car roost, plus Lexus and Infiniti nipping at their heels, how will Hyundai fare with its Genesis model aiming at 5 Series-sized cars?

Hyundai says it will sell just a handful of cars each year, which is just as well as it’s only available with a 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine. But if that’s the sort of power you want and you value comfort and refinement over a sporty drive, then the Genesis could well surprise you. It’s spacious, too, and absolutely loaded with kit, which all go some way to compensate for what initially looks like a steep price.

Our pick: 3.8 V6



Hyundai has wisely taken a conservative approach with the Genesis, which is exactly what buyers of executive cars want. It gets the bold grille treatment that you’d expect, with some neat detailing around the lights, a sharp crease running down the side and a sleeker rear end.

Pretty? No. Imposing? Reasonably. The Genesis badge on the nose looks like it should be on a budget brand, though, while the back end is rather too reminiscent of the i40 family saloon. Inside, it’s smart but a bit bland, while there are too many haphazardly arranged switches around. Quality is pretty decent, though.



Hyundai has taken a refreshingly different approach to the way the Genesis drives, more in keeping with the US and Korean markets where the brand is already established. It majors on comfort rather than sporting poise, with a ride that’s impressive over most roads and just a bit of thump coming through the rear suspension.

To complement that, refinement is seriously impressive, even when you really push the V6 engine. It makes a good noise and gearshifts are superbly slick, but it’s no racer with 0-62mph taking 6.8 seconds. Handling is secure enough, but there’s a fair amount of body lean through corners and the steering offers little feedback.

Hyundai Genesis side



Hyundai had a middling result in our latest Driver Power satisfaction survey, some way behind Jaguar, Mercedes, BMW and Audi. However, reliability isn’t an issue with the Korean brand and the Genesis will get Hyundai’s impressive five year unlimited mileage warranty.

The sole Genesis model gets as much safety technology on board as luxury kit, so autonomous emergency braking is standard, as are lane departure warning, blind spot monitors and 360 degree cameras, plus a full roster of airbags. There’s also a CO2 monitor onboard, which checks CO2 levels to avoid driver drowsiness, adjusting the climate control accordingly.



Hyundai Genesis practicality is a strong point. Although it’s targeting the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series and Audi A6, it’s longer and wider than all of those cars, sitting between executive and luxury models on size.

That means there’s decent interior space (although rear headroom isn’t overly generous due to the standard panoramic sunroof), while Hyundai says the boot will take four full-size golf bags, compared to their rivals, which can only fit three! There’s plenty of space up front for everything from mobile phones to drinks and water bottles, with a decent-sized glovebox, too.

Hyundai Genesis interior

Running Costs


For the time being only one version of the Hyundai Genesis is available, powered by a 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine – there’s no diesel option, seriously limiting the car’s appeal. The claimed average economy is 24.4mpg, which will result in all-too frequent stops at filling stations.

Also an issue could be resale values – in a fiercely competitive segment, non-premium badge and petrol engined models fare badly, so depreciation could be an issue. However, you’ll only be able to buy a Genesis through Hyundai HQ in High Wycombe, Bucks, and it will be financing the car, too, which should help leasing costs. The tiny numbers available will help, too. The only Genesis model you can buy is spectacularly well-equipped compared to rivals, though.

Disqus - noscript

Blatant Audi copy!

Boring then.

So let's see, the Genesis has imposing looks, good performance, marvellous refinement and comfort, excellent ride quality, superb fit and finish, a bewildering array of high tech safety features all backed up by an excellent five year warranty.

To award it only 3 stars because of the type of fuel it runs on, the slightly bland handling and the 'wrong' badge is as cynical and biased as you can get.

Come on AE we want to see a proper review of the car not just some inane drivel you'd expect from a typical pub junkie.

Hyundai did the hexagonal grill 1st.

Well, AE also gave the CTS and GS 3 stars due to those factors - which I agree, shouldn't be weighed nearly as much.

AE say the interior is a bit bland. heavens forbid if thats bland then BMW is 10/10 boringly bland Audi,s might be slightly better and all the talk of build quality HU to that . two freinds both with latest Audi,s both got trim especially dashboard related problems . Build quality yer right both of them feed up

Typically Korean - take an Audi grille, a mercs headlights, a bmws rear and mix a bit of lexus in there too, and there you have it, the Hyundai Bitzer. If it's anything like the Sonata, it will depreciate faster than a signed photo of jimmy saville.

Spot on totally agree, and as for bland interior, has anyone in AE looked inside a BMW or AUDI stop with the German quality when it no longer exists, it's boring with the magazines always bad mouthing the competitors who have moved on so much more, and as for badge snobbery people please its pathetic.

Have Hyundai/Kia ever sold a class leading car? I can't think of a single one! They don't even have the reliability of the Japanese marques. They are unbelievably bland and soulless and yet they are expecting mug customers to pay as much, if not more, for them compared to much more competent alternatives.

So being very fuel thirsty (with high CO2 emissions) yet not particularly fast and having 'bland handling' are not good reasons to mark it down? Three stars seems very generous!

The qualities you list are also rather subjective. It looks like an Audi but in a bad way. For £50k its performance is laughable. It's ride quality is not particularly good, from what I've seen, and I doubt that its refinement and comfort will be as good as its European competitors, or Lexus. A five year warranty simply cannot compensate for its shortfalls.

The gaping grille is something that Audi has had for years. The hexagonal grille is just a tiny variation of it. The whole look of this car is very Audi, not just the grille!

an inappropriate remark I would say.

...but quite an amusing one.

I would really ask you to stop mentioning Audi quality, because it's gone, together with its reliability. We own some 20 A6 2.0 TFSI and they are kind of pure disaster. Last batch of 3 of them was particularly bad with all three of them back at the dealer within a week. Four had within a year total engine failure with one cylinder simply stopped working, interior plastic, especially "aluminium" around the dials, squeaks even on smooth road, front suspension failed on two of them, various sensors (especially parking beepers) failing regularly,... Bottom line: big disappointment. I'm not talking therefore about a single car and possibly "bad day" car, it's simply reality of today's Audi.

Interesting. I've never owned an Audi yet what you say is not what were led to believe by the press reviews or the image the manufacturer portrays....

Why would any one want to copy an awful Audi?

If Hyundai wants to move upmarket it really needs to have a close look at its dealers. We recently went shopping for a new car for my wife and visited a Hyundai main dealer in Scotland but were greeted by a manager who only wanted to tell us how important and successful he was and a salesman who had appallingly bad breath. OK, so these things shouldn't really matter if you are looking at a £15k motor car but they will not be appropriate when trying to sell £50k cars.

Haha! I've found the dealers to be really good, especially compared to the European brands.

A likely story! If it were true you could write to Honest John or set up a free word press site with all the paperwork proof. As it is, this is just a pathetic attempt to shift the focus of the Hyundai being uncompetitive to a made up lie concerning another brand!

You obviously have no clue what you're talking about.

Seems you have an issue against Korean cars but you really ought to be better
informed if you don't want to sound like a conceited ignoramus.

The Hyundai i10 has been the leader in the city car segment ever since launch in 2008, the Kia Sportage has ruled the mass-market SUV roost from 2010 (only lately challenged by the new nissan qashqai)while other models like the i30, i40 and the Picanto are all near the top of their class in terms of quality, refinement, equipment levels etc. And over in the US the first generation Genesis won the North American COTY award in 2009 with its tau V8 engine being voted one of Ward's top ten engines of the world.

Certainly Hyundai/Kia's track record in the last decade or so has been pretty impressive and they are rightly counted as one of the 'big boys' in the industry. You just don't become a global top 5 manufacturer by making sub-par products.

You say they are 'bland and soulless'.
Really? As opposed to Toyotas, Nissans
and Vauxhalls of this world which are so wonderfully 'characterful and soulful'? LMAO. What you term as 'soulful' is a purely subjective opinion and a car which is soulful to one may come across as nothing more than a noisy clanger to another. After all you are assigning various degrees of soulfulness' to machines which are merely an amalgamation of mechanical and electrical parts - I can think of nothing dafter. It's far more instructive to measure objective criteria like noise levels, chassis rigidity, engine performance etc (in which the Genesis does very well) than talk some wafty nonsense.

However if you want to talk about 'character' and 'soul' you can't get more
'anodyne' and 'bland' than cars like the Toyota Prius or the Nissan Note, but I somehow doubt you'll describe these cars in such terms seeing how you talk up Japanese cars (German I can understand but Japanese??).

What a troll we have here ladies and gents.

Thing is though, you slate Toyota and Nissan particularly, but they have cars in their range that people WANT to buy such as GT86 in Toyota's case and 370Z and GTR in the case of Nissan. I genuinely can't think of any Korean car on sale in the UK today that can have the same thing said. I'm not having a go at Korean cars - I'm firmly in the camp that these days there is no such thing as a bad car, but for Kia and Hyundai to succeed the need to inject the same sort of "magic" that Toyota and Nissan have done int he main stream car market before, I think tackling the difficult "luxury" market. Perhaps Kia and Hyundai would get a lot more Kudos if they built a Korean equivalent (but hopefully not a copy of) the Lexus LFA?!

Actually, I can backup some of this... We have a few Audi's on our fleet too and many of them have been back to the dealers a number of times.

No Senior Manager in his right mind will want to be seen as a loser driving a second best car.
This is a no hoper in the UK.

Hyundai has already been selling the Genesis Coupe in the US and elsewhere for over five years, a car which is better and arguably more desirable than the two from Toyota and Nissan you mentioned.

It's not sold in the UK simply because Hyundai doesn't regard our market as being particularly important nor high profile.

By the way if you think that the Lexus LFA is a great car then you really need to have your head examined.

Seriously? A Hyundai is more desirable than a Nissan GTR?

I'm not sure if you're serious or just trying to cause an unnecessary argument. However, based on the other comments you make about Hyundai not taking the UK market seriously and that the Lexus LFA is not a great car, I'm going to assume it's the latter... in which case I'm not interested in discussing further.
And liking your own post?? Really?

I would have thought you were intelligent enough to realise that the two cars I was referring to were the GT86 and the 370Z as the GTR is in a totally different segment. You do know that it's nearly three times the price of the Genesis in the US don't you?

I don't care what they say, it would nice to see more brands to make luxury cars.

Last updated: 16 Jun, 2014
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