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I suppose one could argue all day if the Genesis can in fact compete with the Germans and Japanese in terms of quality and feel for about one third the price — and it seems some already have.
But the fact remains that this car feels solid and it performs. A scoot down Ontario’s Highway 401 to Toronto today was a perfect test for such a vehicle and it seems to me perhaps Hyundai has created a near perfect highway cruiser.
There is lots of nothing out on the open road — no wind noise, no road noise, no engine noise, no windshield wiper noise and, remarkably, as you pass 18-wheelers, no outside noise intrusion — wow!
There is one thing that the Genesis R spec offers lots of though, and that is thrust! The 429-hp V8 engine moves the car with authority. For all you left lane bandits that finally get out of the way, and see this big sedan go from 80 – 120 km/h only to disappear from your view in seconds, it must be awe inspiring.
From the driver’s seat it just feels like the thrusters have engaged: you get pushed back in your seat and quickly realize you’d better not get carried away. Acceleration can only be described as effortless.
Is it better than a 5 series or an Infiniti M? Tough one; it certainly is different. The M and 5 provide more dynamics — this Genesis feels more like a cruiser and would compete well with what Lexus has to offer. The ES 350 I drove last summer had very similar highway manners but the Genesis has better dynamics and feel due to its rear wheel drive chassis.
It’s not sporty, despite perhaps what the name may portray, the steering is weighty but vague and feels as though its weight comes from an over aggressiveness to re-centre.