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New Hyundai Genesis a very appealing sedan

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Although Hyundai doesn't have a "luxury" tag on its vehicles, there's no doubt that the 2015 Genesis could legitimately slip into that category among midsize sedans.

There's no question that established luxury brands like the BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A-6, and Lexus GS 350 are in an elite class. But make room for the new Genesis as well.

Thanks to its elegant, modern new look, and explosive performance, the Genesis is quite an impressive sedan.

Redesigned for 2015, the Genesis features a roomier cabin, improved engines, better fuel economy, additional entertainment options, and offers all-wheel drive (V6 only) for the first time.

The new-look Genesis possesses a sophisticated exterior with long lines that should make it appealing to young car buyers, which is exactly the Hyundai game plan. For 2015, there's a new grille and the distinctive Genesis badge remains on the hood. The rear is virtually unchanged.

It's not like the Genesis came out of nowhere. It debuted in 2008 as a very appealing sedan. However, the original Genesis engine was somewhat pokey and the handling mediocre. Even with its modest price tag and drivetrain (10 years/100,000 miles) guaranty, the Genesis needed improvements - sales weren't very good.

Hyundai initially addressed the Genesis' deficiencies in 2012 and continues to add to its credentials. And the result now is a pretty cool car that still provides a lot of bang for the buck, a trademark of the South Korean auto manufacturer.

2015 Hyundai Genesis

  • Performance: 3.8-liter, V-6, 311 horsepower; 5.0-liter, V8, 420 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 23-29 mph; 15-18 mpg
  • Price: $38,000 to $51,500
  • Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain 10 years/100,000 miles; corrosion 6 years/unlimited; roadside assistance 5 years/unlimited

The Genesis offers that fun factor where tight turns can be taken much faster. Thanks to a retuned suspension and new chassis, it's quite adept on a challenging country road with S turns or in highway situations.

Both Genesis engines have rear-wheel drive and are partnered with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Test-driven here was the high-powered 5.0-liter, V8 that produces 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. The acceleration can be exhilarating and makes the Genesis a super fun vehicle to drive that's quiet as well.

Despite the V8's superior power, some industry experts prefer the more modest priced V6 version - 3.8-liter, 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque - because it still provides impressive performance and is much better on gas mileage - 23-29 mph vs. 15-18 mpg for the V8. Speaking of mileage, both versions of the Genesis come up short when compared to its luxury vehicle competition.

Inside, the Genesis provides a solid and smart instrumentation panel that won't have its owners diving into the manual for instructions. A sprinkling of wood trim gives it an upscale look. The seating is comfortable and roomy for all five people. Trunk space is generous with 15.3 cubic feet and a wide opening that's very accommodating.

Starting at $38,000 and rising to a high of around $51,500, the Genesis remains a great buy. It doesn't possess the cache of its high-end luxury competitors, but its appealing looks and terrific performances will have friends admiring your choice of vehicles.

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Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at skiweidel@gmail.com
Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.



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