Review: Hyundai Genesis (2015 – 2017)

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Large saloon from Hyundai similar in size to a BMW 5 Series. Elegant and understated. Well equipped and refined. Five-year/unlimited mileage warranty.

In the UK only for ‘selected buyers'. Badge snobbery. Large-car depreciation. Thirsty petrol engine.

Hyundai Genesis (2015 – 2017): At A Glance

Before we start, we perhaps ought to establish one fact. The Genesis is not a car with which Hyundai is planning to boost its UK sales. Designed primarily for North America, the rear-wheel drive Genesis – somewhere between a BMW 5 Series and BMW 7 Series in size – has arrived in the UK with an objective of changing perceptions about the brand.

No doubt the Korean Embassy might be interested and there might be a handful of well-off Hyundai customers who on seeing the car at selected dealers where it’s available (currently seven), could decide it’s what they want.

We'd be surprised if anyone who has a BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 or Mercedes-Benz E-Class on their shopping list would be interested in the Genesis, although it says more about brand perceptions and badge snobbery than it does about the Hyundai.

The Korean manufacturer has brought a range-topping saloon to the UK before. Some might remember the XG30 introduced in the 1990s. More recently, there was the Grandeur, a large front-wheel drive V6 saloon only available from one dealer.

The Genesis is different. While those earlier models felt like a typical Hyundai scaled up to a large saloon, the Genesis feels every bit as much of a premium car as a BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

One version is available and it comes with a 311PS 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine, mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox. It is priced at £48,005 on the road, which seems a lot to pay for a Hyundai, but for a German saloon of this size and with this level of equipment, you’d be looking at paying closer to £60,000.

On that basis, although depreciation is heavy, it is probably competitive with premium German cars. The Genesis isn’t really trying to steal sales from German premium cars. It’s more of a statement of what Hyundai – one of the five biggest car manufacturers in the world – is capable of. And a little about what we can expect from its future mainstream models.

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What does a Hyundai Genesis (2015 – 2017) cost?

Hyundai Genesis (2015 – 2017): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4990 mm
Width -
Height 1480 mm
Wheelbase 3010 mm

Full specifications

The quality of the materials and the general finish of the Genesis demonstrates as strongly as any of its other characteristics that this is a premium car.

In some markets, the Genesis is sold as an upmarket sub-brand of Hyundai, but in Europe (where some of its mainstream models are developed, engineered and built) the manufacturer believes the car should be seen as part of its line-up.

The plastics, leather and other components that occupants come into direct contact with feel like they belong in a BMW or Audi – something Hyundai has failed to achieve in some of its larger cars in the past.

Choosing beige leather adds more traditional looking wood trim on the dashboard and doors, but selecting grey or black brings a darker, more modern looking timber finish.

The seats are covered in Nappa leather – a trim upgrade you’d usually have to pay extra for over the standard leather in other premium cars – with electric adjustment. There are also electric blinds for rear passenger doors and the rear window, as well as a rear armrest-mounted console for audio controls.

Standard equipment:

Genesis 3.8 V6 auto gets 19-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation, Nappa leather upholstery, electricaly adjustable front seats, power folding 60/40 rear seat, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, front and rear parking sensors, parking assistance system, adaptive cruise control, nine airbags, lane departure warning with lane keeping assistance, alarm and tracking system, Bluetooth integration, soft door closing, heated steering wheel, head-up display, solar reflecting glass all round, hands-free boot opening and a five year/unlimited mileage warranty with five years’ roadside assistance.

Child seats that fit a Hyundai Genesis (2015 – 2017)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Hyundai Genesis (2015 – 2017) like to drive?

The Genesis has a powerful V6 petrol engine and rear-wheel drive, good ingredients to attract driving enthusiasts.

But the Genesis is a little too big for gung-ho driving and it doesn’t suit the car’s character. The front engine and rear-wheel drive layout benefits weight distribution, aiding precision and smoother driving, but its handling is safe and secure rather than entertaining.

The driver gets a head-up display ensuring they can read vital information or navigation instructions without having to look away from the road.

There are three driving modes – normal, eco and sport – giving drivers a choice on how the car responds by altering the electronically controlled air suspension. Although even the stiffer setting of ‘sport’ mode, while making the car feel a bit more nimble and stable, doesn’t encourage you to maintain it for long periods.

The Genesis does offer exceptional comfort and refinement though. The 3.8-litre engine is barely audible and the eight-speed automatic transmission shifts almost imperceptibly.

Although maximum torque of 397Nm is reached at 5000rpm, around 90 per cent of it is available from just 2000rpm, so combined with the eight-speed transmission the Genesis never feels short of acceleration. Hyundai has also succeeded in eliminating most noise intrusion to the cabin

The official combined fuel economy figure of 25.2mpg doesn’t sound impressive, especially as its 12.5mpg lower than the similar powered BMW 535i (an equally rare car on UK roads these days). But during several hundred miles of driving, we managed to do slightly better than that, and perhaps it’s a rare case of the official fuel consumption test in the lab being easy to replicate in everyday driving.

The Genesis has many hi-tech features as standard that you will find on other cars. We like its interpretation of hands-free boot opening. A sensor detects the key in proximity to the boot and if it’s there for three seconds, the boot will open. No foolishly waggling one foot under the bumper to persuade the sensor you need access. Hands-free and foot-free.

There is no diesel variant, which is a little disappointing. But the Genesis, although a global car, will make its biggest impact in North America, where diesel engines are still a niche market.

Hyundai would probably need to develop a suitable unit for Europe if it ever wanted to launch a diesel version, although the engine in the Santa Fe is perhaps almost up to the task of powering a car as special as this one.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
3.8 GDI 25 mpg 6.5 s 261 g/km

Real MPG average for a Hyundai Genesis (2015 – 2017)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

23–30 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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