2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8 – Big plush comfort and a five foot hood.
02 Nov 2014

2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8 – Big plush comfort and a five foot hood.

If you want a sedan that rolls like the luxo-limos of yesterday, but with a modern drivetrain and cutting edge technology, Hyundai may have what you have been waiting for.

02 Nov 2014

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis is very large, very comfortable sedan targeting those that want old-school luxury with modern technology. Genesis is a vehicle with impeccable ride and amazingly low noise levels.  It is very hard not to compare this car to the Lincolns and Cadillac’s of days done by.


Make: Hyundai
Model: Genesis Sedan AWD 3.8
Model Year: 2015
MSRP: $52,450
Engine: 3.8 Liter V6
311 hp, 8-Speed Automatic

We Liked

  • Smooth, comfortable ride
  • Quiet Cabin
  • Excellent power delivery

We Didn’t

  • AWD system that seems not to be
  • Annoying infotainment system
  • Fuel Economy

2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8

The cabin quality is top-notch. If you have a luxury amenity or system in mind, this vehicle offers it.  Limousine jumps to mind.  Genesis is not at all a sports-sedan, nor is it an economy car adapted for the luxury market.  This is a solid rear-wheel drive platform with added all-wheel drive intended to be a car that competes with some of the world’s best luxury sedans.

2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8

Everything you touch and see inside the Genesis is upscale. The wood on the dash is matte-finished, which is all the rage now among those that like wood in cars.  The center tunnel where the shifter and man-machine interface (MMI) reside are also very well done.

2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8

I think the seats in the Genesis are perfect. They are heated front and rear and ventilated up front.  The side bolsters are not only adjustable; they move away from the driver when the car is turned off, then hug you when you get back in and start the car.  The lumbar support has two supports instead of just one, and they can be moved up and down as well as in and out.

Gen front seat

In back, my passengers were  impressed by the Genesis’s comfort. I don’t mean this as an insult, but this would be a great airport limo.  The rear window sun screen can be operated by rear passengers as well as the side window screens.  This vehicle goes way beyond just being a comfortable sedan.  It is a plush 4 or 5 passenger vehicle.

Gen rear seats


The technology my Genesis tester came with at its $52K price point was very respectable. I liked the cross-traffic alert, and the car had lane keeping, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision prevention.  These are all driver aids that are becoming standard on all top trim cars over $30K.

Gen driver aids buttons

One item not common is the excellent heads up display. I love being able to see my speed and the speed limit sign shown next to it.  As a professional car tester tickets are a real issue and this helps me stay away from speeding – at least accidentally.


Driving the Genesis is a great experience. The car sets the mood, like all great cars do.  You drive the Genesis with confidence, but maturity.  This is no boy-racer like the Genesis Coupe.  The engine sounds wonderful.  It is snarly, but sophisticated.  It literally purrs and growls depending upon load.  The engine is powerful and the transmission snaps off shifts.  This car can come with a V8.  However, I cannot image needing more power than the 311 hp this car has for a car of this type.

2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8

The Genesis also handles great in emergency maneuvers. Normally we can’t test that on road tests.  However, during this week’s Nor’easter I had to.  I was driving in the dark in a wind-swept rain.  A car was up ahead coming toward me, so I dimmed my high-beams.  Just after I did, I did I noticed an intact tree trunk across my lane.  I swerved left, passed it, then swerved back to my lane.  My son was impressed with me.  I was impressed with the car.  The other driver was probably more horrified than impressed.  The car did not lean, did no understeer, and it was totally predictable.  Advantage rear-drive platform.

One area the Genesis disappointed me was the AWD system. My driveway is gravel and ends with a hill.  When I turn left out of it, cars with basic rear-wheel drive will spin the inside rear wheel.  None of the front wheel drive cars, none of the AWD cars, and none of the sophisticated RWD cars I have tested do this.  Yet the Genesis did it every time.  If the car is AWD, there should be no wheel-spin.  Period.  The AWD system also drops the fuel economy down to a level I think is unacceptable.  This car gets 25% lower fuel economy than the Lexus ES 350, which is the same size.

2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8

I loved the looks of the Genesis in the context of large sedans. The hood is five feet long.  At least a foot of it is air behind the grill.  This car was made big for the sake of it.  Despite its proportions, the rear quarter view looks like an Elantra.  That is not a bad thing.  I like family resemblance in cars.  Some might disagree and think that paying $52K for a big looking Elantra is not a great idea.

2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8

Blame European pedestrian safety standards for the front grill, which looks exactly like the Mazda6, many Mercedes cars, and every Audi.

2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8

Is the Genesis a Hyundai or not? If not, where is the Genesis dealership which is as good as the Lexus or Mercedes dealers?  If it is a Hyundai, why is there a Genesis logo on the front?  This only highlights questions I assume people paying $52K may be asking, considering that they could be at Lexus.  In my area the dealership experience is dramatically different.  I have shopped both.

2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8

The infotainment system in Genesis is both a touch screen, and also has an MMI if you prefer to use a mouse-like device. The system does offer full Pandora integration.  However, the system did two things I found very annoying.  First, when synching my smart phone I always chose “Do not synch contacts” when the BlueTooth system asks if I want to do that.  I have done it on many test vehicles.  Doing that in the Genesis results in the system thinking the synch has failed.  At every start-up it talks to the driver for a good 20 seconds about the failed synch, which did not actually fail.  Second, the audio always went back to XM no matter what mode I had left the car in.  I searched in the settings to resolve these and could not.  Given the demographic this car targets, I see a lot of frustrated people cursing their Genesis or calling for help to their “Genesis” dealership.

2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8

2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8


The trunk of the Genesis is huge. Under the mat is a part-time spare and huge battery.  All around the spare is more storage area.  The trunk can only be opened with the key fob as far as I could tell, and only closed by pressing the “close” button. You never exert yourself living with Genesis.

2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8

Conclusion: Hyundai’s newest Genesis sedan seems built to satisfy a shrinking demand.   Do automakers really need a giant sedan as a flagship?  Lexus, Mercedes, Audi, Cadillac, and Lincoln all still make big sedans, but the customers don’t buy them.  In much larger numbers, they either buy entry luxury large sedans like the Lexus ES 350 or they buy full-luxury crossovers or SUVs.  The Hyundai Genesis also offers an ownership experience that is questionable.  This does not diminish the car’s excellent ride quality and electric-car quietness.  The Genesis sedan is impressive.  I am completely in awe of Hyundai because it offers a sedan above this in the pecking order for a shocking 25% more money.

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