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CNET On Cars: On the road: 2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0

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CNET On Cars: On the road: 2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0

8:04 /

Brian Cooley takes the new Hyundai Genesis 5.0 out for a test drive and tells you why it's a high-tech pace-setter.

[NOISE] Hyundai's Genesis. It was the first announcement that that company was gonna make luxury cars. Well, now that no one's laughing anymore, let's drive the second generation. Genesis. It comes along to finish the job and well finished it is. [MUSIC] Unless you eat a lot of carrots, you might never know this is a Hyundai. It barely says so anywhere and where it does in very small type. It communicates Genesis in these winged badges that could have been aped right from Bentley. Now, look at the overall proportions. You've got a long hood, a short deck, and kind of a coupe like, almost fastback roof line. All of this communicates more youth than we expect from, so called, nice luxury cars. Another thing to look at here is the lack of gaudy jewelry. in the past, the Korean carmakers have been very given to going kind of overlarded when they wanna communicate luxury. This one's got European restraints. Structurally, notice this. The car's almost the exact same length, nose to tail, as the outgoing. First gen car. But they pushed the wheels out three inches, the wheel base, between the axles. That's a big stretch in automotive terms. It gives the car shorter front and rear overhangs that look sportier. It also should give it more directional stability, and a nicer ride. Now, the first thing I notice inside this Genesis is how handsome it is. That restraint I talked about on the exterior, carries over inside. It's got a lot of Kia DNA. Kia's always been more of your, your sort of Dwell magazine, Herman Miller Knoll look. And I mean, it was always a little bit fuddy-duddy. Not anymore. The sole concession might be this clock, but even that's been modernized nicely. Directly in front of me is a bit of a surprise. Traditional gauges with dials. A lot of cars in the premium category have gone to all video here. It doesn't bother me though because I've got a very useful, very clear LCD helper panel in front. Now the main LCD is of course this guy. This is an upgraded head unit, by the way. There are two levels of navigation head unit. This larger one is a 720p, high def., 9.2 inch LCD. It is a touch screen, but I almost hate to touch it. It does show fingerprints very readily. Instead you've got the Hyundai controller that is along the lines of what many other car makers have. Navigation's a good system. We've seen this basically before in Hyundai's. I like the fact that it's well rendered. It's very clean. When you do hit one of these menus, things happen right away. Fast touch response. Now your media controls are all up here. A quick look. Basically everything you need is in there. AM and FM with HD radio. Satellite radio is well done. This is a full implementation of satellite radio, which includes pause and restart, so it will buffer your. Show, you need to pause it for a moment. Also you can set up a favorite's sort of a hunt list, so if you want to be alerted anytime when Rod Stewart is playing on any satellite radio channel and tune to it, you can enter things like that. You can get your Genesis with built in sound hound, that app you may have used on your phone to figure out what song your hearing. But oddly it's only available on the bass head unit in this car, not our upgraded one. Now let's go to Bluelink, Bluelink used to be Hyundai's. Basically version of OnStar. A lot of, find your car, crash notification stuff. It's getting more interesting though. You now can search for destinations live, on the air, via Google. Do internet search, and then say, take me there. That's a trick that, pretty much, the Germans had to themselves until recently. You've got Send to Car, of course, from your Google navigation and then the usual diagnostics and such. You've got Siri Eyes Free support in this car, as well, so if you wanna use this voice button to actually call up Siri on your iOS device, that will work. And finally, I wanna show you the HUD on this car. The head-up display is very ambitious. It's well done. It'll show me blind spot, lane departure, navigation. The speed. All kinds of information but it doesn't do it all that well. I find it's often kind of crooked the way it's mounted. There seems to be some kind of a wobble in the laminate of the windshield. So as I move my head around, the whole thing kind of shakes like jello. They're half way there. Oh by the way, this vehicle supports Google glass. For some basic functions like, be able to find your car. Send a POI from Glass to your car. Be able to handle things like status checks that, whether it's locked or unlocked. The first car maker we know of to do that on the market. [MUSIC] All Genesy, if that's the right phrase, have a single transmission choice. Eight speed automatic through a very classic PRNV gate. A shiftable side over here, paddles on the wheel. There's one little buried button right here. When you press this you can go between an eco mode, a sport mode, a normal mode... And you can also get into a snow mode with this vehicle. Rear cam is standard on this car, unlike some expensive German cars I could mention, and it has two views. You've got your standard view like so with trajectory predictions, and a top view that lets you look straight down and really get that last inch figured out. It's good quality. Not the best I've seen. Now up in the engine bay, you can't laugh at Hyundai anymore. They're not the maker of a bunch of little imbalanced fours the way they were back in the' 90s. This is a beautiful V8. It's their Tao series. It's a 5 liter with direct injection, of course. Continuously variable valve timing as any modern engine has today. 4 valves per cylinder, dual overhead cam, all the basic tricks are here, but no turbo chargers, no super chargers. You don't need that when you've got this kind of displacement. Here's the proof. 420 horse. 383 pound feed of torque. That's pretty good, even though the car does weigh over 4,500 pounds. It's a pretty big vehicle. Yet 60 comes up in around 5.2 seconds. The downside is you're only going to get 15/23 MPG and part of the issue there is Hyundai has yet to introduce anything like hybridization or auto start stop, even brake force regeneration. This car basically lets its momentum go. And the first thing you're going to figure out about the Genesis sedan is that this ain't no BMW. [INAUDIBLE] The handling is no slouch, but this is more tuned toward comfort for isolation of engine sounds. When you want a lot of power, you more or less get it. In sport, of course, it's even more magnified. Turn on that active lane keeping technology and I dare you to overpower it. It gets involved as soon as I start to drift towards that line. And it's really aggressive, as well as being very smart and nuanced. In addition to that active lane correction it's also got some steering guidance, where it will find the curve in the road, a slight curve we're talking about and guide you along and keep you in the lane. You can also get this car to stop all the way down to zero from up to 50 miles... Miles an hour, that's part of its pre-collision technology. Adaptive cruise control, of course, that's almost required on a car on this class, but it's standard on this car, not in all the competitors. You've got cross traffic alert, you've got blind spot technology. You don't have any parking assist on this car, thought, which is interesting. Much as it leaves out things like start/stop and brake regeneration, it's got some odd holes in it's technology line-up. So, if I were in the market. For a largish imported luxury sedan right now this is absolutely on the short list, period. Okay, let's price our Genesis sedan 50, the V8, it's about 52.5 with destination. There's really only one box to tick off to take it fully CNET style and that's to add the ultimate package. Which costs 3,250. That brings in adaptive suspension, the head-up display that I'm eh about. Premium navigation which we have. Seventeen speaker Lexicon audio, and a power trunk opener and closer. Now here's where I'd like to price out the all-wheel drive upgrade, but. Like with that SoundHound integration, you've gotta go down scale to get it. The Z6 can have all-wheel drive. The Z8 cannot. Now here's the question I've got. You could do this car for a little under 56,000. But you have to also consider the V6. It has excellent power on paper, even though I have not driven it personally. 400 pounds less, most of that comes off the nose, and that might make for the perfect balance. It's not unlike the early Lexus SC's where the smart money went to the 6, not the 8. [MUSIC]

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