2016 Hyundai Genesis

Starting MSRP: $38,750 - $53,850

Estimated MPG: 18 city / 29 hwy

2016 Hyundai Genesis Review

Challenging the top contenders from today’s well-established luxury brands, the 2016 Hyundai Genesis offers incredible value in a highly competitive segment. Boasting well-implemented technology, two muscular engine choices and a roomy and luxurious interior, the 2016 Genesis is a vehicle powerful enough to launch an entirely new brand.

By Chris Brewer
Last Updated 10/26/2016

Genesis is derived from a Greek word that means “the origin.” The Hebrew equivalent translates to something along the lines of “the beginning.” Genesis is also the name of Hyundai’s full-size, five-passenger luxury sedan, which the manufacturer recently announced would be the foundation for the upcoming premium brand that shares the same name.

The first-generation Hyundai Genesis sedan launched for the 2009 model year and captured the attention of reviewers and consumers alike. Now in its second generation, the Genesis continues to set new standards for the premium vehicle marketplace. It combines excellent technology with high levels of luxury and performance, all at a price that considerably undercuts the competition.

The 2016 Hyundai Genesis sees few changes when compared with the outgoing and fully redesigned 2015 model. The Genesis sedan is available in 3.8 and 5.0 Ultimate trims, which are powered by 3.8-liter V6 and a 5.0-liter V8 engines, respectively. The 5.0 Ultimate comes fully loaded, while the Genesis 3.8 can be equipped with Signature, Tech and Ultimate option packages.

Regardless of engine choice, all Genesis sedans include an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Exterior

Exterior
9

The 2016 Hyundai Genesis is an impressive car with plenty of curb appeal. It represents the current pinnacle of the manufacturer’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design philosophy, which the automaker says “encapsulates a trio of main design elements: fluid aesthetics, the modern Hyundai look, and a premium ambience.”

While somewhat restrained, the Genesis makes a powerful visual statement with gentle flowing lines, a noticeably long wheelbase and sleek rear pillars. The design should resonate with anyone who is a fan of muscular sports sedans. 

The aggressive nose and massive hexagonal grille may not be to everyone’s taste, but I find them modern and attractive. The grille is flanked by a pair of standard HID headlights and LED daytime running lights.

The winged Genesis logo is displayed on the hood and illuminated on the ground below the sideview mirrors when the doors are unlocked. Meanwhile, the Hyundai logo is boldly fixed to the trunk lid. The Genesis’ stylish design personifies Hyundai’s evolution. The automaker has moved from a company that builds small economy cars to one that’s fit to take on the best luxury brands.

Interior

Interior
8

The interior of the 2016 Genesis exudes premium quality. Thanks to a long wheelbase, the Genesis sedan also provides an exceptionally roomy cabin. While competitors like the Infiniti Q70 and BMW 5 Series are almost as spacious, rivals like the Cadillac CTS are noticeably smaller inside. When you add in the airy, open feeling of the available panoramic moonroof, the Genesis feels cavernous.

The “energy absorbing” leather seats are roomy and comfortable. The front seats are heated and 12-way adjustable. Finding a comfortable driving position is easy and the seats are supportive enough for long stretches on the highway. 

The rear seating area is equally inviting, offering plenty of legroom and hip room for three adults.

Cargo space is average for the segment at 15.3 cubic feet. While not as impressive as the Genesis’ cabin space, the trunk has plenty of room for a family of four to venture out on a week-long road trip.

Performance

Performance
7

Two engines are available in the 2016 Hyundai Genesis. The base model comes with a capable 3.8-liter V6 that produces 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque, while the Genesis 5.0 has a mighty 5.0-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Both models come standard with rear-wheel drive, while the V6-powered Genesis is available with all-wheel-drive.

Gas mileage ranges from 18/29 mpg city/highway for the Genesis 3.8, to a rather thirsty 15/23 mpg city/highway with the V8.

Handling is precise, braking is excellent and acceleration is above par for a full-size sedan. While Hyundai’s overall balance may not fully appeal to diehard performance enthusiasts, the majority of casual drivers will like the balance of comfort and sport.

My most recent week behind the wheel was spent with the fully optioned 3.8-liter rear-wheel drive Genesis, but I have been able to spend extended time with the all-wheel drive and V8 models as well. While all three share the same luxury DNA and build quality, I have discovered that each model has unique strengths that will appeal to different drivers.

I certainly enjoyed the relentless tire spinning power and suspension dampening capabilities of the Genesis 5.0. The cornering of the all-wheel-drive V6 was second to none, but lacked a little of the drama that I enjoy when I really push a rear-wheel-drive sports sedan.

Surprisingly, my personal favorite to drive is the rear-wheel-drive V6. I felt that the power was more than adequate and the driving experience was almost as exhilarating as the V8 model’s. Better fuel economy and an incredible price-to-value ratio are what really tip the scales in the Genesis 3.8’s favor.

Technology

Technology
9

The 2016 Hyundai Genesis sedan is loaded with standard technology. The standard 14-speaker Lexicon audio system sounds fantastic and provides features like Bluetooth and USB connectivity that will appeal to even the most technology savvy among us. An 8-inch color touch screen controls the audio system, as well as the standard navigation and rearview camera.

The standard multimedia system features a split screen that allows the driver to keep an eye on the maps while the front-seat passenger simultaneously explores SiriusXM Radio or any of the other available apps. 

Buyers opting for the premium navigation system will be able to enjoy a 9.2-inch HD touch screen. Powered by Intel, the upgraded system is extremely quick, easy to use and includes 30GB of media storage.

The 2016 Genesis features an electroluminescent gauge cluster with a standard 4.3-inch display that provides pertinent information to the driver instantaneously. A larger 7-inch display is available. Traditionalists will appreciate that Hyundai has also included an analog speedometer and tachometer to balance out the high-tech displays.

Hyundai’s Blue Link system wirelessly connects the 2016 Genesis to smartphones and monitors vehicle systems. It can also automatically report issues and maintenance needs to the owner and the dealer if set up accordingly.

Safety

Safety
10

The 2016 Hyundai Genesis sedan was awarded a top five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It also received a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The base model is equipped with a rearview camera, nine air bags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and traction control. A head-up display, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert and front and rear parking sensors are available on the Genesis 3.8 and standard on the Genesis 5.0.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
9

Hyundai keeps pricing fairly straightforward. The base 2016 Genesis 3.8 starts at $38,750, while the all-wheel drive model is priced from $41,250.

The Genesis 3.8 can be enhanced with three different option packages. The 3.8 Signature package ($3,900) includes an attractive panoramic sunroof, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, auto-dimming sideview mirrors, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, a 14-speaker Lexicon sound system, LED fog lights, a power rear sunshade and ventilated front seats.

An available Tech package ($3,500) requires the signature package and adds higher-grade leather seats, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, high beam assist and front and rear parking sensors.

The Ultimate package ($3,500) requires the purchase of the Tech package and adds unique trim, a head-up display, the aforementioned 9.2-inch navigation system and a power trunk lid.

My fully loaded 2016 Genesis 3.8 included all three packages and a $950 destination charge for a grand total of $50,600.

Purchasing the 2016 Genesis 5.0 Limited means that your car is loaded with all three packages, plus the V8 engine and a few more exclusive touches for $53,850.

The base Genesis 3.8 is priced well below the competition. Close competitors include the Cadillac CTS and Lexus GS, which start at $45,650 and $45,615, respectively. Those cross shopping the Genesis will realize that the Audi A6 is almost in the same ballpark at $46,200, while the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class carry higher starting prices.

Overall

Overall
9

I have spent almost a month over the past year in various versions of the second-generation Genesis, and I appreciate what Hyundai has done to create a well-equipped and competitively priced luxury car.

While driving enthusiasts will likely desire the Genesis 5.0’s 420-horsepower V8, its additional cost puts it more in line with competitors sold by Audi, BMW, and Mercedes. While I feel that the Genesis does a lot to hold its own in the company of those European models, it doesn’t quite match the driving dynamics and legacy those German competitors offer.

On the other hand, the Genesis 3.8 represents a strong value, with impressive levels of performance, technology and interior quality. Considering its base price of under $40,000, the V6-powered Genesis isn’t too far of a stretch from well-equipped versions of the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima and even Hyundai’s own Sonata.