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Hyundai $48,000 Genesis Beats Luxury Car Competitors

By Jason H. Harper - Aug 29, 2013 12:01 AM ET

The recent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, California, showcased the rarest and most costly autos in the world, from a 1935 Duesenberg to Ferrari race cars.

Also included on the lawn were new concept cars from Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Hyundai. Yes, Hyundai.

The South Korean brand has come from the first shoddy exports to North America in the 1980s to the HCD-14 Genesis concept, an automotive sculpture from the brand’s Irvine, California design studio.

Hyundai has declared that it can line up alongside the world’s most storied brands and not look out of place.

While the Genesis concept car won’t go on sale as shown, it indicates where the company is headed, especially relevant for me, having just spent a week in the current model, a 2013 Genesis 5.0 R-Spec.

The Genesis is Hyundai’s rear-wheel sedan and the best example of the company’s unusual blend of budget and luxury.

The Genesis swims in competitive waters, among luxury sedans like the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Jaguar XF and the Lexus GS350. (7203) It’s unlikely that even the next generation Genesis will snag away 5 Series driver who look for superior driving chops and brand recognition.

 

Free Extras

What the Genesis 5.0 does is beat competitors in value, with all of the major options included in the $48,000 price. It also gets a 10-year/100,000-mile power train warranty.

The all-in sticker is a major change from the practices of German automakers, who are especially prone to charging for every option. It’s also not easy to find a base BMW or Mercedes on sales lots.

While there is a base Genesis sedan with a 333-horsepower V-6 and a price of $35,100, the R-Spec is the model most in keeping with its rivals. It has a 5.0-liter V-8 with an eight-speed transmission, 19-inch wheels and leather seats.

Also included are a power sunroof, lane departure warning system, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive xenon headlamps, a navigation system and backup camera. One of the few options you can add is a $35 iPod cable.

 

Jaguar XF

 

I kept comparing the Hyundai (005380) to another car I recently reviewed, the Jaguar XF 2.0, which starts at $47,000. The entry-priced Jag looks great and handles extremely well, besting the Hyundai in both categories. But it has only a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with 240 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque -- underwhelming compared to the Genesis’s V-8, with 429 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque.

With all of its options, many which aped the Genesis, my test XF came to $61,100. Not so cheap at all. It’s easy to see why many consumers would happily look to the less expensive Hyundai.

Of course not all is perfect. Hyundai has been on a design roll recently -- but the current Genesis is still using older, stilted design language. The front end (which has no logo on the grill) looks like a reinterpretation of a Mercedes, and the sides are bland.

The HCD-14 concept indicates a new direction. It is long and slinky, with an upright sci-fi nose and short overhangs. It also has a rear-hinged back door, the kind of concept car styling which rarely makes its way into the real car.

 

Detroit Show

The production-ready Genesis will be shown at January’s Detroit auto show as a 2015 model, and a company spokesman says it could go on sale the second quarter of next year.

The interior of the current Genesis lacks a suede headliner and first-grade leather. The navigation system mimics the Mercedes rotary control system, a poor choice. It should be a touch screen. One imagines those issues will be fixed in the next generation.

Hyundai’s drive character has steadily improved, but the R-Spec’s steering is artificially heavy, and the body rolls in corners, with odd shudders on broken pavement. The result is a feeling of wallowing, rather than wafting, down the road.

The thing’s got guts, though. Ford (F) has famously offered its 5.0-liter V-8 on the Mustang over the years, and there’s a bit of muscle car character to this engine. It pushes through traffic with a nice bit of rough sound.

 

Fish Tail

Turn off the traction control and gun it around a corner, and you’d even get a bit of tail swinging action like in a 1970s action film.

Again, my mind turns to the next generation, and the improvements that may come. Will it go the way of Lexus, soft and pliant, or BMW, heady and fast?

The R-Spec’s strengths and weaknesses are clear. It makes an excellent entry into the luxury sedan space for budget-minded buyers.

And when the new generation is released, the current car should go on a fire sale with significant incentives. It could make a very good deal a veritable steal.

 

The 2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec at a Glance

Engine: 5.0-liter V-8 with 429 horsepower and 376 pound- feet of torque.

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic.

Speed: 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds.

Gas mileage per gallon: 16 city, 25 highway.

Price as tested: $47,675.

Best feature: The extensive suite of included options.

Worst feature: Overall drive character.

Target buyer: The driver who wants a bunch of gadgets

without paying for them a la carte.

(Jason H. Harper writes about autos for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)

Muse highlights include Farah Nayeri on Venice film festival and Laurie Muchnick on J.D. Salinger.

To contact the writer of this column: Jason H. Harper at Jason@JasonHharper.com or follow on Twitter @JasonHarperSpin.

To contact the editor responsible for this column: Manuela Hoelterhoff in New York at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

 

 

 


 

 

Hyundai Named Best Of The Best By U.S. Veterans Magazine

08/22/2013, COSTA MESA, Califonia

COSTA MESA, Calif., Aug. 22, 2013 – U.S. Veterans Magazine ranked Hyundai Motor America among the nation's top veteran-friendly companies. The results were announced via their 2013 Best of the Best Lists, which evaluates employment, business and supplier opportunities for returning U.S. veterans. Hyundai Motor America was the only automotive manufacturer to receive this honor.

 

In addition to being a company that provides employment opportunity for veterans, Hyundai also offers the best automotive rebate program in the industry. Hyundai's Military Rebate Program provides anyone who has served a single day in any branch of the U.S. Military, including Reserve and National Guard forces, with a $500 rebate towards the purchase or lease of a new Hyundai vehicle. The program similarly applies to spouses of military personnel.

 

Last year, Hyundai Motor America paid more than $24 million in rebates to U.S. military and family members, making Hyundai one of the most veteran-friendly car companies in America. This year, U.S. military personnel and veterans account for a remarkable 1 in 10 Hyundai vehicle sales.

 

"The goal of our annual evaluation is not only to bring information and guidance to our readers, but also to encourage active outreach and diversity policies among corporations and government agencies," said Mona Lisa Faris, president and publisher, U.S. Veterans Magazine. "Hyundai Motor America offers veterans the opportunity to quickly and easily transition into civilian life by providing engaging and valuable career opportunities."

 

The 2013 Best of the Best Lists were compiled from a multitude of sources including market research, independent research, diversity conference participation and survey responses. More than 250 companies and institutions participated in this year's evaluation, resulting in lists of the nation's top veteran-friendly companies, top supplier diversity programs, top Veteran Business Owners (VBOs) and Disabled Veteran Business Owners (DVBOs), top government and law enforcement agencies and top veteran-friendly schools.

 

"Providing valuable employment opportunities to returning veterans remains one of our most mutually-beneficial hiring strategies," said Erwin Raphael, director, Engineering & Quality, Hyundai Motor America. "Veterans possess the character, discipline and personal drive that we look for in our employees. Making it a priority to provide veterans with valuable careers and rebates on new vehicles is an opportunity for us to give back to those who have dedicated their lives to our country."

ABOUT U.S. VETERANS MAGAZINE (USVM)

USVM's goal is to open up immediate, lucrative employment, business and supplier opportunities for veterans, transitioning service members, disabled veterans and veteran business owners within the federal government as well as corporate America. We link companies and government entities to qualified career and business candidates from the ranks of the nation's veterans. We facilitate veterans' transition from military to civilian life through the latest information on careers, employment and educational opportunities, and financial, benefits and business advice.

HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Hyundai Assurance includes Assurance Connected Care that provides Hyundai owners with proactive safety and car care services made possible by the Hyundai Blue Link telematics platform, complimentary for three years. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.
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