[singlepic id=107 w=320 h=240 float=left] Text Cor Steenstra. Photos Chris Jones.

O.K.! The bad thing first. What’s wrong with the Hyundai Genesis is the front grille. The design of it is overdone. There is no relationship to any Hyundai front end design in its history, nor does it harmoniously blend into the overall design of the car. It does not look good nor does it give the impression of status. Admittedly it is not as bland as some Lexus grilles, but more bland would have been better than this.

Conclusion: If you exchange the grille for any thing else, you have a wonderful car that measures up to any of its much higher priced and well renowned competitors.

Yes, it is that good. The overall design of the car is well balanced, dynamic, modern, and not overdone. It exudes substance, it suggests quality and sportiness, and the fit and finish are impeccible. The exterior design strikes the right balance of BMW dynamic without copying it. It is more harmonious than recent Mercedes-Benz offerings, and in comparison to the Lexus GS it certainly can hold its own.., and knowing how impressed we were with that car this is certainly no small feat.

The design of the interior equally impressed us in its perceived quality, its choice of materials, its fit and finish, and we were mightily pleased to find that Hyundai was not tempted to flee to overdoing any particular part. It is clear in the choice of colors that BMW was a clear target for the interior, and this is enhanced by the big computer control on the center console, but it is all well done and it does work intuitively.

There is ample space for the driver and all of the passengers, the seat is adjustable in all directions to find the perfect fit, even for the larger sized people, and even then there is plenty of space behind to accommodate the rear passengers in comfort.

The leather choice is sumptuous. It suggests much higher priced vehicle categories. The choice of wood is delicately done, with emphasis on quality rather then just splurging it at a few places.

Driving the Genesis continuous this positive experience. It is very nimble, reacts very well to the throttle without becoming uncomfortable, and easily outperforms the equivalent BMW and Mercedes offerings. It is equally at home being driven in a comfortable and relaxed driving style, where there is plenty of feedback to the driver to ensure alert driving, but it also provides the driver with the secure feeling that he can relax, he is in control.

All in all, we were very, very impressed by this Hyundai Genesis. It is certainly worth more than the asking price, and does leave you wondering why the competition is asking more money for their lower performing vehicles. As said… The Grille… We are sure that after market businesses will jump on that one and take care of that issue sooner tha  later, which is a shame for Hyundai. This is their chance and their car to show that they have finally passed muster, and you want to remain in control of your vehicle and brand identity when this happens.

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