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Ballin' on a Budget: 2009-2014 Hyundai Genesis

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On: Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 10:41AM | By: Teddy Field

Ballin' on a Budget: 2009-2014 Hyundai Genesis

The Hyundai Genesis is like gluten-free gluten, or healthy bacon. It exists to pamper and delight, yet it comes with none of the drawbacks normally associated with such personal decadence. This creamy-smooth luxury car is actually affordable, and, if you act fast, it'll still qualify for an extended warranty. So from the practical people at Hyundai Automotive Oatmeal, may we present the latest way to Ball on a Budget:  The double-bacon-fudge dipped 2009–2014 Hyundai Genesis sedan...

When Hyundai launched their premium Genesis label back in 2009, the world was still reeling from the worst recession in decades. To combat this rather obvious deterrent to car sales, Hyundai announced that all of their new cars would come with (in addition to the 10-year/100k-mile warranty) a job loss protection plan. This novel insurance policy allowed buyers to walk away from their new car payment if financial circumstances forced them to do so. In that scenario, the customer's credit wouldn't be affected, and they were still covered, even if they had up to $7,500 in negative equity. Hyundai no longer offers this, but it shows just how serious they were about their cars.

With a shockingly low starting price, and the job-loss protection, Hyundai's new luxury car already had a significant leg up on the competition. But to lure buyers away from the BMW 5-Series and Lexus GS, the Genesis had to be good. To that end, Hyundai spent five years and half-a-billion dollars to develop a full-size RWD luxury car that exceeded the qualities of the benchmarked E60 BMW 5. They gave it an aluminum-intensive independent suspension, which provided a smooth ride and controlled amounts of body roll. Lots of sound insulation and laminated acoustic glass were used to make the cabin quieter than the library a Buddhist monastery. And a new V8 engine (!!) made more power than 19 Hyundai Excels. The Genesis might not have the panache of a Bavarian blue roundel, but it was every bit as good.

Since the Hyundai Genesis wanted to play in the same league as the Mercedes E550, BMW 550i, and Lexus GS, the very practical Hyundai Oatmeal Company had to create the 375hp "Tau" 4.6L V8. This revolutionary Korean 8-pot could hoist the 2-ton sedan up to 60 mph in just under 6 seconds. A 2011 update saw power jump to 385 hp, and the all-new 429hp 5.0L debuted in 2012 (the 0–60 time dropped to just over five ticks). There was also a 290hp 3.8L V6, which would be producing a healthy 333hp by the 2012 model year. Both V8 and V6 models also got a new 8-speed auto in 2012.

To compete in the bobble-intensive world of luxury sedans, Hyundai hired Microsoft to develop an appropriately obtuse infotainment system, complete with a console-mounted Audi MMI/BMW iDrive-esq 'Wheel of Confusion'. Fitted to top trim models, this navigation/infotainment system is about as annoying as you would expect (the standard touchscreen radio is much better). And since it doesn't have a Ctrl+Alt+Del function, you can expect random fits of rage when trying to use it.

Mercifully, the rest of the cabin is fitted with veal-quality leather, sprinklings of aluminum trim, and loads of 'soft touch points'. There're standard toys like heated leather seats and a touchscreen audio system. And, of course, you can get a Hyundai Genesis fitted with options like a big sunroof, an air-conditioned driver seat, heated rear seats, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, a backup camera, and a 14-speaker Lexicon audio system. The sport-flavored Hyundai Genesis R-Spec bundles in most of the above features, along with special trim, a sport suspension, and the 429hp 5.0L V8. It's not a bargain BMW M5, but it's extremely entertaining in its own right.

So there you have it. The 2009–2014 Hyundai Genesis looks and acts (sort of) like a BMW 5-Series. It won't bankrupt you at the repair shop. And with prices ranging between $10,000–$25,000, you'll definitely be Ballin' on a Budget.

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