The new Hyundai Genesis Saloon is a well equipped, well built – but it is also on the expensive side of things.
For a car designed to rival brands like Mercedes, it’s hardly surprising that the Genesis costs a fair bit to buy. Moreover, it’s Hyundai’s most luxurious model. It seems well worth the price too, with the South Korean brand claiming that there’s enough room in here for 4 golf bags, while a 360-degree parking camera and a panoramic sunroof come as standard.
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OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Hyundai Genesis Saloon review.
Overview of the Hyundai Genesis Saloon
On the Road
One thing the Genesis can’t claim to be is fun to drive. Hyundai have put together a slick motorway cruiser here that’s competent and confident enough, but not very exciting.
This is what makes it stand out from its rivals who, for the most part in this class, offer some kind of driving thrills. The Genesis offers none, but there’s still a lot to like about its on-the-road manners. The plush seats are comfortable, most road surfaces are well smoothed out by the suspension setup, and the car cruises on the motorway better than most others in this class.
Body lean will be an issue in bends if you tackle them with too much enthusiasm, and this is partly down to the Genesis’ soft suspension. Meanwhile, an electrically assisted steering system is somewhat lacking in precision, coming as it does with a vague, kinda sticky action. It also lacks communication.
In terms of its engines, there’s just one to choose from. This is a 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine that can cover the 0-62 dash in 6.8 seconds. That might sound fast, and it certainly feels but when you compare those numbers to rivals, the Genesis just doesn’t stand up as a fast car. The Mercedes E-Class, for example, can cover the same sprint in just 4.1 seconds.
The engine is smooth and quiet, however, and barely makes a noise when you’re just cruising. Once you start to accelerate though, you will need to work the engine hard. It responds well enough, however, and it emits a sporty soundtrack. That said, such a soundtrack hardly complements the otherwise refined character of the car.
The engine is paired up with an 8-speed automatic gearbox and you can’t specify a manual alternative.
Hyundai Genesis Saloon Interior, Design and Build
Its cabin is one of the Genesis’ strong points. It’s comfortable, refined and – at times – even upmarket. It’s arguably the most luxurious Hyundai we’ve seen.
The well-shaped seats provide comfort on even the coarsest of surfaces, and they come with high-quality leather as standard.
Insulation is good too, and further enhances the car’s premium feel. Wind, engine and road noise are all kept to a minimum. Accelerate harder and you’ll hear some noise, but it’s a sporty and hardly annoying noise.
There are lots of soft-touch materials used, and fit and finish is excellent. However, the use of harder plastics here and there is ultimately what lets the car down and ensures it can’t quite compete with the Germans for class.
There’s still lots to like about it though, and we especially like how well-located and easy-to-use the controls are.
Is the Hyundai Genesis Saloon practical? It’s definitely a big car and it feels nice and spacious. It’s longer and wider than the E-Class, its wide rear doors ensure access is easy and the car comes with a height adjustable seat and a steering wheel that offers powered height and reach adjustability.
There’s more than enough leg and headroom to go around for average-sized adults, but taller ones might find that rear headroom is a bit restricted by the panoramic sunroof. A chauffeur function comes with the front passenger seat and this allows those in the rear to remotely move the seat for more leg room.
Storage space is perfectly reasonable and includes a large glovebox, while the boot measures 493-litres. Its shape is really usable and Hyundai claim you can fit 4 golf bags in here. A small boot lip is a bonus, but the wheel arches do intrude a bit. And as usual with a car like this, the rear seats don’t fold down.
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Equipment and Safety of the Hyundai Genesis Saloon
Standard kit is excellent, just as it should be on a car priced as high as this one. It includes soft-close doors, a head-up display, sat-nav, a digital radio, an 8” touchscreen, a fourteen-speaker stereo system, a panoramic sunroof, 3-zone climate control, metallic paint and cooled leather seats.
There are zero optional extras available, with Hyundai offering everything there is to offer with the purchase price.
In terms of how safe the car is, Euro NCAP won’t be crash testing it because it doesn’t sell enough here in Europe. Its standard safety kit includes lots of airbags, 360-degrees parking camera, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and a CO2 monitor.
Costs of the Hyundai Genesis Saloon
Prices for the new car start out from £48,946. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, Hyundai reckon their flagship saloon can return as much as 24.4mpg on a good day, but for our money, we think this figure is a tad too optimistic. Meanwhile, it emits as much as 261g/km of CO2 and is by far one of the most expensive cars to keep on the road of its type.
It’s not cheap to insure either and sits in group 42 out of 50.
Pros and Cons of the Hyundai Genesis Saloon
Build quality here is just fantastic.
It has a big car feel and drives with just as much refinement as a Mercedes.
It’s got a massive boot, too.
Nothing about the car is less-than expensive and it costs more to run than even a Mercedes AMG.
No badge appeal
This is probably what could harm its appeal the most.
Hyundai Genesis Saloon vs Mercedes E-Class vs BMW 5 Series
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Hyundai Genesis Saloon review.
Hyundai Genesis Saloon vs Mercedes E-Class
The new Mercedes E-Class is refined, technologically innovative and very comfortable. Has the Hyundai really got what it takes to outdo it?
On the road, you can switch between numerous different driving modes so that the E Class drives the way you want it to – within reason. While there is a Sport and a Sport+ mode, the car never comes close to matching a BMW for pure driving fun.
Instead, the car is designed to be as comfortable as possible, which is why it makes a lot of sense to stick to Comfort mode most of the time.
There’s plenty of grip on offer and the Mercedes weighs less than last time, which has improved its agility somewhat.
In terms of its engines, the only petrol’s available power the high-performance AMG models, and have 0-62 times of 3.5 and 3.4 seconds.
As such, the diesels are a better rival to the Genesis. They’re cheaper and a lot more sedate. We like the 2.0-litre diesel engine, which powers the E200d and E220d models. It offers 148bhp in the former and covers the 0-62 sprint in 8.4 seconds. For the latter, it develops 191bhp and covers the same dash in 7.3 seconds. Adding four-wheel drive will slow it down a touch.
Running costs? The E200d and E220d models can both manage returns of 61.4mpg on a good day. Emissions stand at 122g/km of CO2 if you opt for the entry-level SE model, which gives the car a respectable BiK rating of 29%.
Inside, the E-Class is a classy affair and the Hyundai simply can’t rival it for out and out quality. In fact, no other car in this sector can.
Comfort and insulation are the things it does best. Ride quality is also excellent, with even larger alloys doing little to dent things on that front.
The flowing dashboard, meanwhile, is as elegant as they come, while all models come with plush leather and 4 central air vents.
Is the Mercedes E-Class practical? Its wheelbase is longer than last time, with the result being that rear seated passengers can now enjoy more legroom. Storage solutions are dotted around the cabin and these include a central storage console in between the driver and front passenger, as well as a big glovebox.
Access is super easy, headroom is impressive, and the boot measures 540-litres.
Hyundai – £48,946
Mercedes – £36,005 – £41,615
Hyundai Genesis Saloon vs BMW 5 Series
The new BMW 5 Series is the best car to drive in this class. It’s also remarkably affordable to run and well kitted-out.
This is an executive car that succeeds where most cars of this type fail – it can switch between engaging countryside entertainment and long-distance motorway cruising. And it does both effortlessly.
Body control is excellent and the steering offers lots of communication. It’s a car that feels super agile whether you’ve got two-wheel or four-wheel-drive. That said, the xDrive four-wheel-drive system really does enhance things.
In terms of its engines, a 520i model sits at the bottom of the range. It’s powered by a 2.0-litre 181bhp petrol engine that has a 0-62 time of 7.8 seconds. For an entry-level model, we’d say that’s pretty damn good.
The 530i model is next up – and it’s lost its six-cylinder engine, with BMW replacing it with a four-pot turbocharged unit. If that upsets you, the 540i petrol model is powered by a 3.0-litre four cylinder engine that develops 335bhp, and which has a 0-62 time of 4.8 seconds. Not bad!
Running costs? The 540i is a big model, and it also comes with four-wheel drive as standard, and this harms its economy figures. It can return 40.9mpg at best if you pick the smallest wheels.
The 520i model can manage 52.3mpg economy, while the 530i model is good for 51.4mpg.
Inside, the 5 Series is modern, impeccably put together and sharply designed. Its dashboard is easy to find your way around, the ergonomics are sound, and ride quality is fantastic. Go for the biggest wheels, though, and you’ll feel the lumps and bumps on rougher surfaces.
Is the BMW 5 Series practical? Space up front and in the rear is perfectly fine but a floor hump will make things awkward for the middle seated passenger. Head and legroom, however, is otherwise generous.
We have no complaints with the storage spaces on offer – the central cubby, glovebox and door bins are all well-sized. The boot, meanwhile, measures 530-litres and is more user-friendly than last time. It has a lower loading lip and a wider opening.
BMW – £36,710 – £52,195
Verdict of Our 2018 Hyundai Genesis Saloon review
It’s expensive, it’s thirsty – and it’s not even got badge appeal. If it’s to convince buyers to walk away from a Mercedes or a BMW, the Genesis has got a big job on its hands – and we’re not convinced it’s succeeded.
Price aside, there’s a lot to like about it. It’s refined, relaxed, easygoing and luxurious. But it is a debut effort from the brand. Has the Hyundai Genesis really done enough to tempt you away from the established players first time around? Probably not.