By Cars.com EditorsAugust 29, 2011
About the video
Cars.com's Dave Thomas takes a look at the 2012 Hyundai Genesis. It competes with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Chrysler 300.
(rock music) <v Announcer>Cars.com Auto Review. Hi, I'm Dave Thomas at cars.com, and this is a 2012 Hyundai Genesis. Now might not look much different than the 2011, but there are some big changes. They just all happened under the hood.
They're actually three different engine options this year for the Genesis. Starting with the base V6. It actually gains 40 more horsepower than last year's model. So that's 333 total. It also gains two miles per gallon highway. So it gets to 29 highway now. How does it do it? It has a new eight-speed automatic transmission. If you need more power, there actually two V8 engine options this year for the Genesis. Now the 4.6 liter from last year remains identical this year for 2012. What's all new, a brand new five-liter V8 engine with 429 horsepower. Believe it or not, that's still gets 26 miles per gallon highway. When I first tested the 2012's back to back, the 5.0 liter V8 was a clear winner. Now it obviously has lots of horsepower, but it's how that power is delivered through the eight-speed transmission that won me over. It's really smooth. So you get up to speed quickly, but seamlessly it's also really quiet on the road. Reminds me a lot of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class in a lot of ways. Unfortunately, the steering's a little bit vague, a little bit numb. That's also like Mercedes S-Class. I mean, jump right into the V6 from that 5.0 liter V8. It's obviously going to be a little disappointing. However, I've been driving this V6 around town in Chicago for the past few days, and it's quite a performer of its own. Well, the V6 has a little more road noise, and the series, even a little bit worse than the V8 model has a lot going for it. Namely, all that horsepower I mentioned delivered through the rear-wheel drive system. It really stands out against competition from Acura and Lincoln. When the Genesis first debuted a few years ago, we wondered if anyone would buy a near-luxury car from an automaker like Hyundai and well not many people did. And we're wondering in 2012, will they gravitate towards it now because besides those great powertrains, the interior hasn't improved that much. While it may have an attractive starting price at $34,000 and nice luxury features like leather seating and a moon roof. It just doesn't hold up against the German or even some of the Japanese luxury competitors. Not only is there a lot of value, there's a lot of backseat room in the Genesis too. You can see that the driver's seat exactly where I had it when I was driving. And there was plenty of room for my knees. The seats themselves are also extremely comfortable, I would almost call them plush, and they have nice bolsters to kind of hug you in on the side. Backseat passengers will also be really comfortable because there's an extra air set of air conditioning events. Not only do you have the ones in the middle here, there's also some by the doors right here. With nearly 16 cubic feet of trunk space. There's plenty of room for golf clubs or luggage for all those people that you're carting around in the back seat of your Genesis. That's one of the great appeals of this car at $34,000 starting price all the way up to $46,000 to that 5.0 liter V8 it's an incredible value for the money for this largest sedan with this type of performance. However, it's still that Hyundai label that some people haven't warmed up to yet. <v Announcer>For more car-related news, go to cars.com or our blog kicking tires.net.