It tells us that this is an interior better than Hyundai has ever before produced. Fit and finish is very good. The rooflining, particularly, is pleasingly soft. Materials are of a higher grade than you’ll find elsewhere in the European Hyundai range, but is it worthy of the sticker price? Different question, and I’d say not quite. The action of switches is fine: but the look and feel of the plastics isn’t quite up there. The starter button’s nice, though, and if you thumb it this is a quiet motor at idle, becoming pleasingly audible with the gas pedal applied.
As for the standard equipment on the Hyundai, being an executive saloon it can't be found wanting in this area, especially considering the tech fests that festoon in the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Jaguar XF. Thankfully Hyundai has ensured the Genesis has safety systems including autonomous emergency braking, automatic lights and wipers, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera as standard. While there is also an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system with sat nav, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, and a 14-speaker Lexicon audio system.
The Genesis gets 3.0, 3.3 and 5.0-litre donkeys elsewhere in the world, all petrols, but this 3.8 was deemed best for introducing to Europe; simply because, I suspect, it’s the nicest of the four. There’s certainly no business case for a diesel.
It drives through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which engages smoothly, but on part throttle it hesitates between upshifts a touch. I liked that – you can hear, but don’t really feel, the engine changing up. It adds a bit of zest.
Otherwise, zest is hard to come by. The ride’s smooth – there’s multi-link suspension front and rear, coil springs, and adaptive dampers with two modes of stiffness. Neither is firm.
The steering’s light at low speed, and weights up artificially at higher speeds, and although at 2.5 turns lock-to-lock it’s brisk enough, it’s not particularly rewarding. Not enough, anyway, for a company that benchmarked the BMW 5 Series for dynamics (the A6 for its interior and elements of the E-Class, too).
That said, it’s relaxing. I came away feeling that the Genesis is a bit like a Citroën C6, only more composed, less interesting, and more expensive.