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2014 Hyundai Genesis Ultimate Speed Date
James Ward
Quick Specs
3.8-litre V6
$82,000 before on-road costs
five-year/unlimited kilometre
Read the full review

So, where did you go on your date?

Hyundai's new luxury contender and I hit up the 'Paris End' of Collins St for a quick birthday coffee with my father.

Ideal first date?

One of the best ways to enjoy the Genesis is from the back seat, and the big saloon in darker colours can look quite VIP... so a classy night out to the theatre (with driver up front) would be perfect.

Hot or not?

Now this has been cause for some discussion in the CarAdvice office, but I think the Genesis is a fabulous looking car. In fact, one gentleman on the street asked me if the be-winged badge on the front signified some new Aston Martin limo - not bad to be mistaken for a brand of that calibre.

The front is very classy - not perhaps classy enough to be an Aston, but certainly on par with Lexus. The only issue I have is the glossy radar array (for the cruise control) sitting above the number plate. It cheapens things a bit.

It's what's inside that counts, what do you think of the interior?

Considering this car is from the same people who made the Excel, the interior is very very nice. Not quite up to the ergonomic and tactile feel of a BMW or Mercedes, but certainly able to mix it up with Lexus. The rear seat is a standout though - very comfortable and in the Ultimate model, includes audio and air controls on the centre armrest.

Oh, and heated rear seats? Yes please.

Standout features?

I love the tail lights - but to be honest, the standout of the Genesis is its value.

The Ultimate edition may be the most expensive Hyundai ever offered for sale in Australia, but considering it is over $10,000 cheaper than it's closest competitor - Lexus GS350 - and comes loaded with kit, the all-round value equation cannot be ignored.

Annoying habits?

For mine, the 232kW/397Nm 3.8-litre V6 doesn't feel 'enough' for a car of this size and stature. It is smooth and quiet, sure - but it's nice to know your date can get up and run if they have to, and the big H doesn't quite fill you with that level of confidence.

Also, the infotainment system isn't as intuitive as those in the Genesis' peers. You expect to find a scroll wheel to move through systems rather than the touch function (which makes that 9.2-inch touchscreen covered in fingerprints very quickly).

Ready for a family?

For a start - the Hyundai Genesis is the safest car ever tested by ANCAP. Pretty impressive credentials.

There is so much space in the back, and the boot - that passengers are the Genesis's reason d'être. Not sure you would want sticky toddler fingers all over the leather seats and (faux) wood trim... not to mention those center audio controls. You can't help but feel the Genesis is a more mature machine, looking for a more mature family.

High maintenance?

Not at all. The Genesis has a five-year, 75,000km inclusive servicing plan. Add that to the overall value equation and the discussion of 'costs' soon becomes a non-issue.

Any deal-breakers?

Despite all these discussions on value, there is big river to cross to feel right paying $82,000 for a Hyundai. There is nothing wrong with the product - it's a social barrier if anything - but that is a lot of money for a badge that most people associate with cheaper cars.

Personally though, as when Lexus first took Toyota's luxury battle to the Europeans - with time, this too will pass.

So, is it serious or just a one night stand?

With value comes compromise - and for me, the Hyundai is compromised by its character (more specifically, lack thereof).

The Genesis is a lovely car, but it is a tad too conservative for me. That said - I've not had as many people checking out my date since I was out with a topless Italian model... but that's another story.

Keeping your options open?

We may have pitted the Hyundai against a 'benchmark' BMW - but in reality the Genesis will see strong competition from Lexus GS series cars, and potentially the Holden Caprice.

If it's not for you, who would you recommend it to?

My father loved it - that's not to say it is purely for older buyers, but with the level of space, value and comfort on offer it's a logical market.

I'll call out the other obvious buyers too - silver service and black 'Uber' drivers. The back seat alone is enough to make your clients come back for more.