Test Drive: 2016 Hyundai Genesis 3.8
2016 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8
Class: Large Car
Miles Driven: 434
Fuel Used: 25.7 gallons
Driving mix: 70% city, 30% highway
|CG Report Card|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Room and Comfort||B+|
|Power and Performance||B|
|Fit and Finish||A-|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
Real-world fuel economy: 16.9 mpg
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 16/25/19 (city, highway, combined)
Base price: $41,250 (not including $950 destination charge)
Options on test car: Signature Package ($3900), Tech Package ($3500), Ultimate Package ($3500)
Price as tested: $53,100
The great: Cabin space and refinement
The good: Drivetrain power and smoothness
The not so good: Fuel economy
2017 Genesis pricing and specs
The Hyundai Genesis sedan will be discontinued after 2016, at least in name. It will be slightly revised and rebadged as the Genesis G80, one of two vehicles that kick off the launch of Hyundai’s new premium Genesis brand. The other inaugural Genesis-brand vehicle is the G90, an all-new large luxury sedan that replaces the outgoing Hyundai Equus model in price, size, and luxury trimmings. You can read more about the new Genesis brand and its future-product plans here.
What is Genesis? Meet Hyundai’s New Premium-Vehicle Brand
“It is what it is.”
Hardly a week (a day?) goes by without hearing someone say that about something. It may not be the deepest analysis of most situations, and you might even be a little tired of hearing it, but the statement does pretty well summarize the 2016 Hyundai Genesis.
The ’16 Genesis with a 3.8-liter V6 and all-wheel drive that Consumer Guide® sampled was a virtual continuation of the 2015 model that CG editors drove. The base price has risen by $750, to $41,250, some of which covers the adoption of automatically leveling high-intensity-discharge headlights and LED daytime running lights as standard equipment—which more or less covers what’s new for ’16. The AWD model’s starting tab remains $2500 higher than that of its rear-wheel-drive sibling. Gone early from the 2016 lineup is the rear-drive-only V8 model, which was cleared away to create some breathing room for the upcoming—and upscale—Genesis-brand G80 sedan.
Frankly, though, there’s not a lot about the 2015-generation Hyundai Genesis that cries out for changing. CG still wishes its fuel economy was better, and ride and handling trail some rivals. However, it’s an impressive value thanks to a generously-sized and quiet cabin, ample trunk space, and the availability of about all the comforts and conveniences anyone could want.
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The 3.8-liter dohc V6 still makes 311 horsepower and moves the Genesis smartly (especially in the selectable “Sport” mode that delays upshifts to build revs), albeit with more noise than the prestige brands that the Genesis wants to emulate would elicit. Also, with the air conditioner running there was a bit of a “kick” to the engine idle that would disappear with the AC switched off. The smooth 8-speed automatic transmission kicks down promptly to help the Genesis scoot along. However, EPA mileage estimates of 16 mpg in city driving, 25 on the highway, and 19 combined won’t bowl anyone over, and in this driver’s 174.9-mile turn in the test car—67 percent in city-type conditions—it returned just 15.77 mpg.
Notable standard features are continued: 18-inch alloy wheels, heated exterior mirrors with turn-signal indicators, 12-way power front seats, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel with built-in cruise and audio controls, navigation system, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone and audio-streaming capability, 7-speaker stereo with satellite radio, and a hands-free trunk opener. The 2016 test car had the same three pricey option groups that our ’15 AWD Genesis tester had. They added things like a panoramic sunroof, ventilated seats with supple and attractive upgraded leather, a power driver’s-seat cushion extender, power adjustment for the tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power rear sunshade, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic detection, lane-departure warning and a pretty aggressive lane-keeping assist, matte-finish wood trim and aluminum accents for the cabin, an enhanced nav system with a bigger 9.2-inch display screen, head-up instrument display (that disappears when viewed through polarized sunglasses, however), 17-speaker audio system, and a CO2 sensor that automatically activates cabin ventilation. That all brought the fully delivered total of CG’s test car to $53,100.
There’s excellent head- and legroom in both seating rows, with enough room in back for three adults—provided the center occupant can come to an accommodation with the driveline tunnel. Driver vision is fine thanks to an airy greenhouse. While a little button-intensive, controls are easy and intuitive to use, even on the touchscreen. Quite a lot of the interior is covered in surfaces with at least a little bit of give for an overall plush ambience.
The glove box is big; the console box (with odd 50/50 side-hinged doors) a little less so. The console has two covered cup holders and a covered bin under dash for USB and power plug-ins. Doors feature long, narrow map pockets, but they’re somewhat narrow. Expandable pouches are attached to the backs of the front seats. A pull-down center armrest includes cup holders and control buttons for the seat heaters and optional rear window shade.
The carpeted trunk boasts a wide opening that exposes good space, even between the wheel houses. Gooseneck hinges are covered. There’s a pass-through in the middle of the rear seats, but the seats don’t fold.
It’s hard not to be impressed by this car’s build quality and upscale cabin materials. That sense of quality doesn’t diminish underway, as Genesis is especially quiet and smooth riding. I especially appreciate the adjustable side bolsters on the driver’s seat, a feature that would likely make this car an outstanding long-haul cruiser.
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