From £48,9467
Hyundai’s bargain E-class fighter is finally coming to the UK. This second-generation Genesis gets major upgrades and comes in right-hand drive

What is it?

The new Hyundai Genesis in US specification, a model which made its debut in Detroit earlier this year and that’s due to come to the UK in limited numbers later this summer.

It’s aiming to build significantly on the first Genesis, which launched back in 2008. For the money, that car offered loads of features, but the lack of optional all-wheel drive and no right-hand drive limited sales. Less-than-stellar chassis dynamics and interior detailing didn’t help, either.

From listening to Hyundai’s press presentation, it’s clear the company is fully aware of the original car’s shortcomings. That’s why the new car makes greater use of high-strength steel and structural adhesives to help give it superior body rigidity to the Mercedes-Benz E-class and BMW 5-series. Hyundai even hired Lotus Engineering for chassis tuning validation. Interior quality has been improved and all-wheel drive is optional in some markets.

It’s interesting to find out that before starting development of the new Genesis, Hyundai sent a group of engineers on a European work holiday. They immersed themselves in lavish hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants. They benchmarked luxury items such as Mont Blanc pens and Rolex watches, and flogged the original Genesis back-to-back against its German competition around the Nürburgring.

Hyundai wants the new Genesis to be more than a bargain-price luxury car. Instead it see the Genesis going head to head with the best in the business.

What's it like?

Quiet and refined – at least on smooth roads. It’s definitely more in the luxury vein of an SE-spec E-class, however, rather than the dynamic world of a Jaguar XF.

On rougher asphalt, the Genesis loses composure and the rear suspension crashes over potholes, while the electric steering is linear but offers little feel. It also lacks the straight-line stability of the Benz. It’s a shame because the basic chassis has great potential, the car is very neutral in smooth, fast corners and it resiliently resists understeer, even when pushed. 


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European Genesis models will receive unique suspension tuning, which will hopefully address some of the handling issues.

We drove the only powertrain combination that will be offered in the UK: a rear-wheel-drive, 3.8-litre petrol V6 coupled to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The engine develops good power and is refined as long as it isn’t pushed too hard, but the fuel economy is nearly 10 per cent off that of a BMW 535i and the Hyundai lacks the low-end shove of the turbocharged 5-series. 

However, it’s the lack of a diesel option that will drastically limit sales in the UK and Europe. Understanding this, Hyundai UK only expects to sell 20 to 30 cars a year.

Inside, the Korean company has worked closely with its suppliers to make sure the buttons and controls have consistent feel and weight. Our test car's top-spec 16-way adjustable seats are extremely comfortable and trimmed in rich quality leather. Rear-seat room is also excellent. 

The large central navigation screen features a 720p HD display and can be controlled via touchscreen or an iDrive-like rotary controller. You can also sweep across the 233mm-wide screen like a smart phone. Also of note is the ventilation and air-con system, which uses the industry’s first CO2 sensor to help prevent drowsiness and reduce fatigue.

Overall, it’s an impressive interior. The only real let-downs are some sub-par plastic trim, intrusive headrests and slightly wayward scattering of buttons.

Should I buy one?

The addition of right-hand drive and a luxurious interior with tons of technology and safety features make the Genesis a worthy halo car for the Korean brand in the UK.

If the suspension tuning is sorted before arriving on these shores, the Genesis could make for an earnest and idiosyncratic alternative to established luxury saloons. Throw in a competitive diesel engine and Hyundai’s wish to take on the class best wouldn’t be too far off.

Hyundai Genesis 3.8

Price £40,000 (est) 0-62mph 6.4sec (est) Top speed 150mph (est) Economy
 35mpg combined (est) CO2
 195 g/km (est) Kerb weight
 1877kg Engine
 V6, 3778cc, petrol Installation Front, longitudinal, RWD Power
 311bhp at 6000rpm Torque 293lb ft at 5000rpm Gearbox 8-speed automatic

Join the debate


12 May 2014
While sister company Kia is able to produce many attractive cars which more or less have their own identity, Hyundai still feels the need to nick styling cues from other manufacturers. Still, I'll give them credit for this new Genesis by blending together styling elements from BMW, Audi and Peugeot in to one design as that takes some doing.

12 May 2014
Remember the bargains that were Hyundai Getz and Kia Picanto and now they compare with the best in class. I've said it before and I'll say it again that Koreans are the new Japanese. Respect!

14 May 2014
Sorry but this car is a turd. This is why south korea will NEVER be taken seriously when they NEVER innovate and just knock off of other cars design.

I also love spotting the paid hyundai marketing shills and dealers here hyping this turd.

Most obvious copy & paste buzz speak is-"they are the new Japanese" and "remember where they came from and how great they are now!" is lame recycled hyundai PR propaganda talk because there is no valid reason to purchase their cars over the competition so they mass promote the pathetic ‘victim’ status as the ‘emerging brand’ out to destroy the evil Japanese enemy.... Newsflash, a multibillion pound south korean conglomerate such as hyundai building reliable cars in 2014 is nothing to be proud about. No amount of PR hype and multi million pound advertising campaigns can change that fact.

Regarding the luxury polished turd from hyundai

The first luxury korean car brand is a complete failure with non existent sales

The first luxury Japanese car brand Lexus was a huge success with the release of the re badged Toyota Celsior for export market, the Lexus LS.

The LS when it was released shocked german brands with a car that was, luxurious, bullet proof reliability and cheaper than the competition.

When i see this underwhelming Hyundai Genesis which resembles one of those chinese interpretations of a luxury car in 2006 i am puzzled to why some people think this ‘best in class’ with no basis of fact whatsoever

Another issue i have with autocars write up which screams paid-advertisement is that this car similar to another south korean brand samsung, it is a complete knock off copying and stealing from other companies. Apple recently won a $100m+ case against samsung for stealing its patents so for koreans stealing from others isn't a big deal to them .

Sorry but this car is overhyped trash. This is why south korea will NEVER be taken seriously when they NEVER innovate and just knock off of other cars design.

lets take a look at the korean copycat identikit luxury car.

Grille profile from Audi, front 3/4 from the Maserati Ghibli, side profile from the Tesla model S, rear is directly lifted from the infiniti Q50, design philosophy and headlights from the S-Class, interior is a BMW knockoff, rear tail-lights from Lexus, badge reminiscent of a chinese chicom interpretation of a Bentley or perhaps Aston Martin.

lol at the nationalist south koreans who are proud of their flagship products when they basically rip off every other nation in the process to get there.

Memo to south korea, I hate that you are pathologically programed to copy everyone else (internal blueprint for the samsung galaxy S was to copy Apple iphones UI and design), with gimmicky features on hyundai cars (the car has a 720p screen ? wow Thats it i’m sold….), noticeably cheaper build quality, and a host of other issues. They don't even want to put their Hyundai badge on it that's how embarrassed they are as a company, so they have to act like other more prestigious brands. If you buy one of these as opposed to a BMW 7-Series, Lexus LS, Audi A8, Jaguar XJ or a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, it just says that you don't have enough money to buy the aforesaid and no one will take you seriously driving the knockoff.

It is understandable that koreans have no grasp of car design because of their non-existent automotive and motorsport history but kia and hyundai cannot design luxury cars by ripping of others and charging luxury car money for it, it looks cheap.

Marc Noordeloos call yourself a car journalist? This car is nothing special, the first generation was a complete failure in the US so what makes you think this one will be anything different?

Are you writing your own unbiased opinion or just printing from hyundais marketing manual? Also you should educate yourself more on the history of korean luxury cars especially the huge assistance Japan gave to south korea making hyundai and kia the global brands they are today.

Koreans are the new Japanese? BS! korean car brands was also built upon huge Japanese investment of billions.

south korea had no car building history, early korean cars was infact Mitsubishis and Fords imported and reassembled for the domestic market.

Because of the huge Anti-Japan sentiment in south korea almost all Japanese goods are banned from being sold so hyundai capitalized from this so almost all early hyundais are actually old mitsubishis shipped from Japan and built under license with a Hyundai badge.

Hyundais first luxury car the Hyundai Grandeur and spiritual predecessor to the genesis was actually Japanese, a second generation Mitsubishi Debonair built under licence, the V8 (first korean V8) in this car was also a mitsubishi engine .

Another Luxury Hyundai the equis was another Japanese car(Mitsubishi Dignity) built under licence, Many korean cars sold here in the UK today show signs of Japanese legacy. majority of kias and hyundais engines are virtually mitsubishi engineered.

Kia and hyundais GDI direct injection was another engine technology licensed from Mitsubishi.

this is why korean cars can have the huge warranty and have better reliability because most of the reliability was imported and licenced from the Japanese...

south koreans have no originality. Hyundai/kia car building history is built of the back of others and when they are on their own they fail miserably, its shows in their pathetic failed attempt at breaking into the luxury car market.

So PLEASE DO NOT compare tarted up ripoff korean cars to Japanese. I am sick of the mostly PR hyundai/kia agents who promote this myth.

Koreans car manufactures had similar humble beginnings to Japanese? BULLCRAP STOP promoting this LIE please.

Honda had a formula program and dominated in Isle man TT since in the 60s. Quality Japanese motorcycles singlehandedly dominated the market also the first Japanese super reliable imports sold in the UK sent a huge shockwaves to nationalised BL cars in the 1970s. All in a short span of 10 years in the UK so Hardly a humble beginning!
Do NOT compare early 1970s Japanese imports to 1990s korean imports to the UK. Many people back then people wrongly dismissed the super reliable Japanese imports because of ignorance,racial prejudices (who would buy Datsun kamikaze special? remember WWII? ) and politics such as blind protectionism from nationalised British leyland.
In the late 70s super reliable, cheaper Japanese competition was so bad the government wanting to protect nationalised British leyland Jobs intervened and put a ridiculously strict trade cap on Japanese imports.This inadvertently helped kick-start Japanese manufacturing in the UK, the first Car being the rebadged Triumph Acclaim based off a Honda Ballade (Triumphs most reliable car no less!)

Have south Korean cars have this huge shockwave effect on the industry from when they first started to mass import in the early 90s to today? Absolutely not. So it infuriates when people promote the myth that the two nations cars builders had rise here in the UK, people who say this are either ignorant or paid Hyundai/kia plants posting propaganda online, comparing south korea to Japanese automotive brands is like comparing German brands to Romanian ones..they might be geographically close but are not the same.

Another issue that p*sses me off is the bizarre Japan fixation from kia hyundai and the totally untrue hyundai/kia PR propaganda speak spoonfed from their masters in seoul that kia and hyundai are better than Japanese cars.

Sales, customer satisfaction reliability ,profits and UK investment by Japanese car companies contradict south korea inc delusions

Unlike korean companies of hyundai/kia. Japanese Honda(Swindon),Nissan(Sunderland) and Toyota(deeside-engines Derby-Cars) have Manufacturing here employing 100,000+ (hyundai and kia employ 0 car builders here….)and ironically quality 'British' built Japanese cars massively outsell korean knockoffs by a huge margin. To put in perspective the success of Japanese car building here in the UK is that the Nissan Sunderland plant output more cars than all of Italy combined .

Another annoyance is the price ? Why do you do list a direct US to UK price conversion? This is highly misleading and tricks British readers into thinking this is the suggested UK otr price when it Is the US market price, If the car was ever sold in the UK it would be far more expensive. You should make this more clear instead of fooling readers into thinking this is a korean bargain car..

So to autocar and the shill PR hyundai plants commenting here I am disappointed in this preview drive which is a thinly veiled as a advertisement for Hyundai .

To finish, Please get some perspective and look at the sales figures before you declare korean cars as the new Japanese which is complete bullcrap and a huge insult to Japan and the hardworking UK workforce they invested in here in GB!

15 May 2014
nimmler: Quite possibly the greatest ranting drivel ever written on these pages. But at the same time I can't deny I found all the hyperbole, distortions and fabrications pretty amusing to read. Definitely one for the scrapbook.

17 May 2014
nimmler wrote:

...I allso love spotting the paid hyundai marketing shills and dealers here hyping this turd.
Most obvious copy & paste buzz speak is-"they are the new Japanese"... is lame recycled hyundai PR propaganda talk...

Being labelled "hyundai marketing shill". I do not work for any car dealer or maker (let alone Hyundai). I didn't intend my comment to be seen as an insult or attack on the Japanese car makers. I'm aware of their contribution to the UK economy and I respect them for that in addition to their car making know-how. Hope we're clear on this?

28 April 2018

You must be really scared of Hyundai and Kia to write so much.

To prove what you have written is pure garbage, I suggest you Google,

Hyundai luxury brand Genesis ranked No. 1 by Consumer Reports

12 May 2014
With the suspension tuned for the poorer British roads I expect this car to hold its own dynamically against the best in the class.

In terms of technological features, it's almost head and shoulders above the rest, with a myriad of safety features and novel innovations such as a CO2 detector.

Styling wise, it will have the kind of road presence which will make the BMW 5 series and Jaguar XF look bland and unresolved.

Also expect the interior trim as well as its fit and finish to be of the highest quality.

All this for about £10,000 less than the Jaguar XF.

The only real downsides I see are the relatively high weight and fuel consumption.

12 May 2014
MaxTorque wrote:

Also expect the interior trim as well as its fit and finish to be of the highest quality.

All this for about £10,000 less than the Jaguar XF.

The only real downsides I see are the relatively high weight and fuel consumption.

1. The trim will be below that expected from a Euro Exec, all Japanese / Korean luxury cars are. (not only have I've driven them in the US, the above report tells you so). 2. The most obvious downside of all and arguable the one that matters most, is depreciation. Make no mistake, there will be no favourable monthly lease rates on such a car, I expect that Jaguar which costs £10k more to cost less. In fact I'll stick my neck out and say you'd be able to buy a BMW 6 series 4dr coupe for similar or even less money. Similar story with Merc, in fact you may even lease an S-Class for less, never mind E-class. As for the private motorist who buys the car outright... I admit there will be the odd few who'll buy it, but not many who'll want to buy it from them when it comes time to sell. It's a rather pointless car in the UK which begs the question why is Hyundai even bothering with it? At least they've realistic sales expectations.

14 May 2014
The penultimate paragraph of the article should give you clue as to why Hyundai is bothering to sell this car in the UK:

'The addition of right-hand drive and a luxurious interior with tons of technology and safety features make the Genesis a worthy halo car for the Korean brand in the UK.'

That's right- it's meant to be a HALO model for the brand, a showcase for the British public as to what Hyundai can build in the luxury segment.

Believe me this car is worth every penny of the asking price and more- for example its safety credentials are outstanding.
As an illustration, the American-based Insurance Institute of Highway Safety recently certified the Genesis with a top-tier TSP+ rating following an extensive round of crash testing.

The car secured the prestigious ranking with the help of a 'good' rating in the notorious small-overlap front crash test. Data from dummies showed that there was a low risk of serious injury in the 40-mile-per-hour impact.

Only two other cars have achieved the same rating.

12 May 2014


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