2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Ultimate
2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Ultimate
2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Ultimate. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Justin Pritchard

Would you pay 62 grand for a Hyundai? Hyundai thinks you would – especially considering that a European luxury car with equipment and performance comparable to their all-new-for-2015 top-dog Genesis 5.0 Ultimate Sedan would easily push into six-figure pricing territory.

It’s that (relatively) low-cost offering of a world-class luxury sedan experience that’s been the Genesis’s defining raison d’etre since the first generation dipped its toes into the luxury sedan ocean back in 2008. That original Genesis Sedan proved that Hyundai could replicate a world-class luxury motoring experience to rival the world’s best, without making shoppers go all Walking Dead style and severing an appendage or two when it came time to pay the bill.

All the world-class luxury sedan must-haves were fitted, it looked like a big deal, and it drove and felt just about as comfortable as any of the most coveted posh-rockets on the road.

And the new Genesis, now in generation two, represents an all-new model that advances on the original in a range of areas and proves, again, that Hyundai is keen to show the world what they can do – especially on the design front.

Where the first Genesis was a little statelier and less bold where cabin styling was concerned, the new one exudes high-tech modern luxury. The shapes are less soft and safe, and now more angular and bold. It’s fresh and new and dotted with interfaces and displays that proudly show off a high-tech flare, too. Don’t miss the analog clock either – which is classy as all heck.

On the outside, the original Genesis sedan seemed a collection of styling cues you’d already seen before in other, mostly German luxury cars. The new unit is more original, more daring, less generic and more confident. It seems that designers were keener than ever to show off their capabilities and creativity this time around, and as a result, the Genesis has visual character, identity, and some standout uniqueness as a result. And with the special Genesis badge on the front, and the big-deal looks, it was mistaken for a far pricier ride on my test drive more than once.

2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Ultimate dashboard2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Ultimate gauges2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Ultimate steering wheel detail
2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Ultimate dashboard, gauges, steering wheel detail. Click image to enlarge

“Excuse me. If you don’t mind. What Bentley is that?”

The cashier at the Macs down the street had been staring at the tester parked outside on your writer’s late-night emergency milk run. I toyed some possible fun responses around the ole noggin, but told him the truth instead. He didn’t believe me.

2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Ultimate
2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Ultimate. Click image to enlarge

“How does it drive?” was the next question.

On any drive, in any drive mode, the underlying sensation is one of comfort and relaxation. Genesis Sedan rides like a truly premium piece, keeping its composure over the rough stuff and letting only a little pitter patter from the tires into the cabin as they pass cracks in the road. It feels heavy, smooth, creamy and quiet where the ride is concerned, which makes it a great place to relax, reflect, and feel like a big-dollar shot-caller.

It glides along. Floats. Hovers, almost, if the road is smooth enough. And it all feels admirably well-damped, tuned, calibrated and dialed in for comfort. You picture a roomful of engineers and computer screens and suspension parts and people hashing out the fine details.

Drive gently, and you’d be hard pressed to hear or feel anything, including shifts from the eight-speed paddle-shift automatic. That’s backed up by the steering – which is light and laid back, a bit heavier in sport mode, but still luxury first.

The Tau V8 is another delicious bit of engineering. Targeting big-deal output-per-litre, the five-litre piece makes 420 horsepower. That’s down slightly on paper from last year’s car, though torque increases for a better feeling of all-rpm response. Like the ride, the V8 is creamy smooth much of the time, and works at the direction of a soft and gentle throttle calibration that ensures power never comes on too abruptly. With light throttle inputs, there’s a sense of effortless forward momentum on par with the world’s best rocket sedan offerings.

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