2012 Hyundai Genesis R spec
2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8
2012 Hyundai GenesisHyundai Genesis, 2009–2014. Click image to enlarge

Review by Justin Pritchard

Vehicle Type: Sedan

History/Description:  It was a simple enough proposition for most: provide your local Hyundai dealer with a relatively small amount of money, and they’d provide you with the Genesis – a luxury sedan with a pricetag designed to make comparably-sized and equipped A6 or E-Class models blush.

A recent do-over has moved the stately Genesis sedan into its second generation, meaning the outgoing, generation-one model has now moved fully into used-car territory.

Genesis’s stand-out attribute? Bang for the buck. Here’s a machine that could confidently compete with cars twice its price all day long. That holds especially true when shoppers dip a little into the $50,000 range and order the R-Spec, with a five-litre V8 churning out 429 of the most buttery horsepower on the road today.

All the high-end covetables were fitted, including navigation, push-button start, window shades, air conditioned and heated seats, xenon lights, wood trim, and a Lexicon audio system that sounds like it was transplanted directly from a concert hall. Active lighting, active safety systems with radar-powered hazard-detection and plenty more were all on board.

Engines / Trim: Genesis came is standard with a 280 horsepower Lambda-series 3.8L V6, and the brand’s Tau series V8 was available on higher-end models. Hyundai’s Tau V8 is the brand’s first – and initial units displaced 4.6L and outputted 375 horsepower.

From 2012 and on, the powerplant range got an update, keeping with Hyundai’s promise of maintaining top-line power output for their flagship model. The 3.8L engine got direct injection and an increase of power to 333 horsepower, while the 4.6 was ousted in favour of a mighty 5.0L direct injected V8 with 429.

Look for the standard Genesis 3.8 as the entry model, with Premium, Technology and R-SPEC models for increasing levels of equipment and power.

What Owners Like: Feature content bang for the buck, plenty of space, a stately and upscale look and a luxurious interior were among the most common owner praise points of the original-generation Genesis sedan, with decent handling, seat comfort and headlight performance rounding out the list. Many owners, and especially those with V8 engines under the hood, say that Genesis Sedan is a solid performer with world-class refinement.

Related: Test Drive: 2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan 3.8 Tech Package

What Owners Dislike: Gripes include the lack of a split-folding rear seat (forget carrying a costly rug home), lack of paddle-shift control of the transmission, and a too-soft suspension setting on some models.

2012 Hyundai Genesis R Spec2012 Hyundai Genesis R Spec2012 Hyundai Genesis R Spec2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 GT V6Hyundai Genesis, 2009–2014. Click image to enlarge

Here’s a list of owner reviews on autoTRADER.ca, though the list includes both Genesis Sedan and Genesis Coupe.

The Test Drive: Used luxury car buying hats on, shoppers! Start with a walk-around of the Genesis Sedan’s body, scrutinizing the condition of the chrome grille, confirming proper operation of all xenon and LED lighting components, and checking for excessive paint wear, fading, chipping or damage at the front and lower edges of the vehicle.

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