2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD review: We with the Genesis…with all-wheel drive

 

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD

As we write this, computer models are showing with typical meteorological accuracy, anywhere from five to 16 inches of snow in our area. (If they can’t be more accurate than that for a few days out, how can they tell us how deep the ocean will be 50 years from now? But we digress). We want the Genesis back.

We recently spent a pleasant seven days with the 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD, and though we liked it then, we’d really appreciate the Genesis with several inches of the fluffy white stuff that looks so nice on Christmas cards but not so when you’re sliding home from work.

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD headlight

The headlight cluster of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD includes LED running lights. (click to enlarge)

As we noted in two earlier first drive reviews of the new, second generation 2015 Hyundai Genesis, one a 3.8 and the other a 5.0, the smaller number is the displacement in liters of the standard V-6 and the larger a V-8, both direct-injection and both overachievers in the horsepower department, plus the 2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-type. But while the V-8 is available with rear wheel-drive only, the V-6 comes with a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. And that latter—as our test vehicle was equipped—is why we covet the Genesis idea for the forecasted snowmageddon. There’s nothing like the smug satisfaction of driving around someone who’s spinning his wheels in a futile effort to get up the same hill that’s a what-me-worry for you.

Of course, there’s any number of vehicles available with all-wheel drive, so the question that’s relevant is whether this $52k pretender to the throne is worthy warrior for winter weather worries. And the up-front answer is a qualified yes. And the qualification comes from one factor. Are you willing to park your Genesis next to an Audi or BMW?

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD (click to enlarge)

Hyundai equivocates. The Genesis says nowhere on the outside or inside that it’s a Hyundai. A winged “Genesis” badge graces the hood, and Genesis is spelled out in the lower left corner of the trunk lid. A Hyundai “H” logo is centered on the lid, but anyone who doesn’t know it stands for Hyundai, well, doesn’t know. Inside the lack of identification is even more so, with the winged Genesis on the steering wheel hub and Hyundai nowhere to be seen .

The 2015 Hyundai (there, we said it) Genesis makes up for it in the $40,500 base price with heated front and rear leather seating surface seats with 12-way adjustment, big eight-inch multi-information screen with standard navigation, rain-sensing wipers, proximity key with pushbutton start, multi-band/device audio system, and so on, in true Hyundai fashion of including a lot of Stuff in the base price.

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD interior

The test 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD interior had French-stitching with contrasting piping. (click to enlarge)

Our test Hyundai Genesis, however, added the Signature Package, that for $4,000 included a panoramic sunroof, power tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, HID headlamps, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, a power rear sunshade (with manual side screens, so your rear seat passengers can hide more effectively from the paparazzi), and more.

The test car also had the $3,500 Tech Package, comprised of lane departure warning (via haptic steering wheel—it vibrates the warning) and lane keep assist, smart cruise control with stop/start capability, also automatic emergency braking and front and rear parking assist sensors. A seven-inch TFT driver information screen between the speedometer and tachometer is also part of the package. And because it’s somehow “tech,” the package also includes a leather upgrade.

The Ultimate Package on the 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD includes real wood and aluminum trim, a full-color head up display, premium navigation with a 9.2-inch high-definition display, a 17-speaker Lexicon audio system and a dual-mode vent control with CO2 detector. The Ultimate Package also has a power trunk lid. It only requires you to stand next to the car for the trunklid to open—no kicking required—but we twice had the trunk lid open on its own, apparently because we stood too close. Thanks, but we’d rather take a positive action, not just have the car read our mind.

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD engine

The V-6 engine in the 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD produces 311 horsepower. (click to enlarge)

More, however, than a list of stuff is the way Hyundai pulls it off. The leather seats, for example, have contrasting piping and French-stitched seams. The front seats are contoured for all-day drive support and the rear seats have what our notes call nice butt pockets. The rear seat heating is set via controls on the armrest.

The center armrest between the front seats opens clamshell style, which we suppose is supposed to be classy, but give us the rear hinged or sliding top because they’re easier to get into. A significantly smaller storage bin is at the front of the center console, and with two 12-volt power points, an AUX port and a USB port, it would seem to be ideal for hiding away a “device”…but the lid wouldn’t close over an iPhone5.

Of course, this all applies to either the 3.8 or 5.0, but the engine makes the difference. Or does it? While automotive journalists are always longing for More Power, more buyers will opt for the six than the eight.   And that’s because with 311 horsepower, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 is more than capable of shaming cars with fancier pedigrees as well as having the gumption to merge into that hole in fast-moving traffic.

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD (click to enlarge)

It does this, too, with what we consider remarkable efficiency. While the EPA test standards place the 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD at 16/25 mpg city/highway with a combined rating of 19 mpg, we netted 21.0 mpg in mixed driving.

The ride is smooth and quiet as one would expect from a car in the class and price range, and the feel of the electric power steering wheel is nicely weighted, like some German cars we might mention. The Genesis isn’t eager to rotate, however, to make that initial move into a curve, but it’s not a sport sedan. Rather its bias is obviously comfort over sport.

Ever since Audi started it with dare we say giant grilles, it’s been a Trend, and we’ll have to admit that the look wears well on the2015 Hyundai Genesis…or at least it does in states that don’t require invasive front license plates. Sorry, almost everyone.

For those with desire for and expectations of a smooth ride, oodles of technology and premium materials, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD is good to put into the forecast. And with all-wheel drive, we could say, let it snow, let it snow…but let’s not get carried away.

Specifications and window sticker next page.