When I started one of the very first golf blogs back in 2004, I could not imagine I’d still be at it 10 years later. I could also not imagine that I’d be doing a luxury vehicle review. Well, quite a bit can happen in 10 years in the world of golf blogging. And why do it? The primary reason I own a car is to have a means to get me to the golf course. Said vehicle must also be able to carry my golf clubs to the course as well. Might as well do it in style.
I was invited by Hyundai Motors to join about 20 other bloggers of all types in Scottsdale, Arizona to test out their new Genesis vehicle. As an incentive (okay, bribery) they offered to hook me up with a round of golf at the Troon North Pinnacle Course, rated by many as the #1 course in the state of Arizona. No-brainer. Where do I sign up?
During my time in Scottsdale I was mingling with some very interesting bloggers, from foodies to mommy bloggers to the real pros in the subject matter, car bloggers. When I heard one car blogger critiquing the seat stitching of some new model car, I knew I was amongst friends. I’m sure if I’d discussed the compression level and cover of a specific golf ball model it would have sounded just as outrageous as the stitching comments.
For a whole Saturday I partnered up with the Golf Blogger himself, John Retzer. John and I go way back, 10 years to be exact. He’s one of the originals as well. John and I took turns driving through the Arizona desertscape, trying out features of the Genesis, and having a great time sightseeing as well. I’m no car review pro, but here are my observations.
First some perspective. At nearly half a century old, I’ve owned many vehicles, a couple on the higher end of the spectrum, and several not so much. After driving the HOG Tour Van for a decade and 175K miles, it was finally time to upgrade. The choice was made after several months of testing just about every luxury and performance small to midsize sedan, small to medium SUV, and crossover on the market. The choice was luxury/performance this time around, in the form of a Mercedes-Benz GLK350. I’ve had the vehicle for about five months. A great bar is set for the Genesis review.
Hyundai Genesis Overview
The Hyundai Genesis is a five passenger sedan (see images) meant to compete with offerings like the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes E-Class, Cadillac XTS, Lexus GS, and the likes. The advantage Hyundai has is price point, as the vehicle can come in at $10-20K less than other vehicles with comparable feature sets. The disadvantage Hyundai has is in their brand, known as more of a budget vehicle not built in Germany, but in South Korea. Can the Genesis stack up? Would someone in the market for $50,000 car pick a Hyundai rather than a BMW or Mercedes?
110 – As fast as I cared to go at the time…
The Genesis model has two different engine configurations, a 3.8 liter 24-valve six cylinder which produces 333 horsepower and a 5.0 liter 32-valve model which clocks in at 429 horsepower. I tested both vehicles, each for half a day.
The six banger has plenty of bang. Off the line it was impressive and freeway driving was smooth and quiet. Passing on the freeway was easy, as the six had plenty of power.
Starting price for the six is $35,200. The model tested was more in the $44,000 range.
The 5.0 liter V8 is downright scary powerful. At 80 miles per hour I punched the gas on the 5.0 liter and felt pushed into my seat. Within a couple of seconds I’d hit 110 and there was plenty more where that came from. 110 was good enough for me. I’ve heard stories about the Arizona Highway Patrol.
Starting price for the V8 is $51,500. The model I tested was more in the $57,000 range.
Hyundai Genesis – Sharp – click to zoom
The drive configuration is rear wheel drive, with all-wheel drive available for the six cylinder model only.
Mileages for the 3.8 liter six are 18 city / 27 highway / 21 combined and the 5.0 liter 15 city / 23 highway / 18 combined.
There is no way I cover every feature these vehicles offer, so I’m going to mention the ones I find most interesting, useful, and/or unique. Some features may be standard, some may be part of extra packages which increase the cost. Rather than quoting all these numbers for you, I recommend you just go to the Hyundai website and do their “build and price” process.
First and foremost the heads up display is really great. If you’re not familiar with what that is, see the photo below:
Hyundai Genesis – Heads Up Display
Information such as current speed, local speed limit, GPS directions, are displayed on the windshield in a hologram-like way. This keeps the driver’s eyes forward, instead on the dash or in the cabin. A tiny glance down a few inches quickly gives the driver needed information, even showing if there are vehicles in the driver’s blind spot.
The center console is home to the navigation and its 7-inch or 9.2-inch HD touch display. The display is beautiful, and quite a bit larger than the one on my current vehicle. The display shows everything from GPS directions, music selection, to cabin temperature controls and more.
HD LCD Touch Screen – click to zoom
The cabin or “cockpit” as Hyundai calls it is spacious and very comfortable. Most controls, and there are a lot of them, are easily seen and reachable from the driver’s position. The only controls I had issues with was the small panel left of the steering wheel which was hard to see.
Hyundai Genesis Cabin – click to zoom
Extremely important to me, a former rock & roll musician and audio engineer, is the stereo. The Genesis stereo is made by Lexicon, a subsidiary of Harman International. Harman is one of the world’s leading audio companies, actually based in my home town. You may have heard of some of their other brands, like Harman Kardon, found in many German luxury cars. Needless to say, the Lexicon stereo with its 14 speaker surround sound is fantastic.
One pioneering feature which puts us one step closer to cars that drive themselves is the Lane Keep Assist. Lane Keep Assist senses when you are drifting outside your lane, and will correct the vehicle back into its own lane automatically, without the driver doing anything. The sensitivity of Lane Keep Assist is adjustable. See the video below:
How many times have you been on a road trip with the cruise control on, and get irritated when cars in front force you to hit the brake and slow down, then reset the cruise again when resuming speed? Hyundai’s Smart Cruise Control will allow you to set a speed and distance from a vehicle in front of you and if that vehicle slows down, the cruise slows down to keep the same distance. As the vehicle speeds back up, the Smart Cruise Control speeds back up as well. This in conjunction with the Lane Keep Assist can make long road trips much more enjoyable.
In general the cockpit is very roomy, sharp, classy, and arranged in an ergonomic manner. The details in the finishing and design of the interior are par with that of any luxury brand.
Time to drive…
Even at high speeds the ride is smooth and quiet in the cabin.
The styling of the Genesis’s exterior is very attractive, manly, sharp, classy, and unique.
There are so many more features I could cover, but I must try to wrap up this love fest following perhaps the most important feature for a golfer, the trunk.
The Genesis has a large amount of trunk space. I easily fit my monster travel bag and my golf bag, and it looked to have enough room for 2-3 more bags.
If you ski like I do, there is s door in the middle of the back seat which can open to accommodate long objects like skis or fishing poles.
The Hyundai Genesis is a fantastic automobile with plenty of power, safety, luxury, and every bell and whistle one could imagine a car might have. I had a blast testing out the vehicle and found myself, a Mercedes owner, very impressed. Next time I am shopping for a vehicle, a Hyundai will be on the list of vehicles to try before I buy.