Friday, June 07, 2013

Driving Luxury in the Hyundai Genesis {Review}

When I met my husband, he was driving a 12 year old car. It was small, had no air conditioning and was really on its last legs. It's the one his ex let him keep. We pretty much immediately went looking for something nice, new, and bigger. He wanted an SUV. Nine years later, we needed a second vehicle. And we got a mini-van. We still have the SUV. It's big, has no air conditioning (so not putting money into that now), and is really on its last legs. It's 13 years old. The Teen asked if he could have it for going away to school. But there's no way he's driving that on the highway!

Moral of the story, we need to trade-in the old SUV and get something new. And smaller. We do not need both an SUV and a mini-van! (The Teen is not yet getting a car. We'll buy him a set of train tickets instead.) So, when I was contacted about checking out a new Hyundai, I jumped at the offer. It's time to start my research!

My parents have been driving Hyundais for years now. They've had an Accent and an Elantra, and have been really happy with the comfort and performance of both. So, given their experience, I went in optimistic. And I wasn't disappointed.

I chose to test drive the Hyundai Genesis. This is their premium sedan, with a starting price around $40,000.

Check her out:
Please excuse the pine needles from out tree - this was taken right after a hard rain.
My initial impressions were positive - roomy, comfortable, with a smooth and very quiet drive. There are so many features to this vehicle, it's kind of hard to know where to start. Let's focus on comfort first.

That quiet drive? Turns out it wasn't all in my head. The Genesis boasts "acoustically-laminated glass" to keep out exterior noise. You can relax in the silence of your thoughts, or enjoy the excellent sound coming through a 17-speaker Lexicon audio system. And XM Satellite radio comes standard.

Side note - when we got our van, we got a 1-year complimentary subscription to Sirius. I swore up and down we wouldn't keep it after the year was up. Yeah. Still have it. Can't live without it. Satellite radio offers so much variety of commercial-free music; there's always something to suit your mood.

One of my favourite features is the heated and cooled driver's seat. Passenger and even the rear seats also have the heaters. Little Boo felt special, although his booster seat certainly interferes with the warm tush. My parents' Hyundai has the heated seats too, and they have become a must-have in my next vehicle. So comforting on a cold winter day! The cooled driver's seat is a great touch for hot, humid August in Toronto. Probably would be great for my hot flashes as well.
The rear passenger compartment vent controls

Heated rear seat controls

Another fave - the driver's seat and steering wheel both adjust with a delicate touch of a button. And, there's an integrated memory system to remember your personal settings! This is great for me and Hubs, since we drive in drastically different positions. 
Lots of trunk space for all the things a family needs to cart around.
This car is also packed with safety features, including a back-up camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers and light-sensing headlights (activate and adjust automatically), and standard front and rear sensors that provide a proximity warning tone for easy parking in tight spaces. The side mirrors also fold in at the touch of another button, giving you a few more inches of clearance.
Green indicates all is well.
Yellow caution lets you know you're
getting close to  an obstacle

A couple of features I appreciate, though didn't get a chance to really check out:
- Lane Departure Warning System which emits a warning light and tone if your car drifts out of its lane without a signal. 
- Adaptive Cruise Control, which automatically maintains a set distance to the vehicle ahead.
Both of these are great highway safety features to keep my family secure and get us all to our destination in one piece.

The Bottom Line
Both my husband and I really enjoyed driving this car.  We loved the power of the V8 engine, the quiet drive, and all the bells and whistles. The automatic windshield wipers kind of freaked Hubs out when he first experienced them, but other than that ...

In terms of our buying decision, this sedan is a bit bigger than I think we need at this point, but the Hyundai brand is definitely still an option, maybe one of their compacts.

Time to say good-bye

For more photos and feature information, head on over to my Facebook photo album.

Disclosure: I was provided with the Hyundai Genesis for a one-week test drive. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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