A Veteran And A Car
Genesis is a “brand new brand” in the highly competitive luxury car segment. The club of fine cars is dominated by Germans, by Mercedes, BMW and Audi to be more specific. Jaguar, under the Tata ownership in the last few years, made big progress with British engineering and German management expertise.
Toyota’s Lexus is well established and has a strong market position and reputation especially in North America. And there are Infiniti of Nissan and Acura of Honda, the two of the world’s most powerful and reliable manufacturers.
And Genesis is the luxury brand from Hyundai. About two decades ago, Hyundai was not much more than the manufacturer of cheap and mediocre cars with the boring design and average quality.
Things have changed dramatically. Hyundai now produces cars which are comparable to Toyota in quality and reliability with an inspiring design.
But, these Koreans went too far…
Genesis, first as a luxurious subbrand of Hyundai finally became an independent brand. You may say, “this is the Lexus of Hyundai.”
It will take a lot of time to be recognized as a luxury brand in this highly contested segment. It will take time to create a dealers network, which will be corporately owned. Because it is not realistic to expect from dealers this significant investment required for a luxury brand. And again, it will take time to prove the longevity and durability of the brand with strong used car values.
But Koreans are determined to create another success story:
For my first road experience with Genesis, I had to opportunity to drive the flagship sedan; the G 90. and with the range-topping 5.0L, V8 engine delivering 420 horsepower.
As if this was not dramatic enough, I had a memorable and emotional trip from Toronto to Ottawa with an exceptional passenger: Mr. Vahe Bedrossian.
As almost every year since 2009, I drove this Veteran of the Korean War to the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa to attend the “Victory Day Reception”. Military attachés from many countries, including Korea attend this event. And the 89-year Vahe loves to attract utmost attention and respect during this two-hour event. This year was no different where he had a deep and long conversation with the Korean Military Attaché.
A Traditional Drive To Ottawa
Every year, I drive nearly 900 kilometers in one day to have a happy two hour for both of us.
And this year, we had the most comfortable, luxurious and relaxing ride ever.
The G90 is not only a contender but also seeking a market share at the top echelon of the luxury market, thus competing against the S-Class of Mercedes, 7 Series of BMW and Audi’s A8.
The materials and build quality inside and out tell the Genesis cannot wait to compete with the bests of the bests. With a dashboard wrapped in leather, wood from real trees and perfect stitches, it has nothing to hide from the Germans.
The “endless” power reserves coming from the 420 horsepower, V8, 5.0L engine makes acceleration a pleasure. The big infotainment screen is controlled by a Mercedes-type joystick and this is for me much more preferable than a touchscreen control leaving numerous fingerprints on the surface. The voice-controlled navigation system is one of the best I experienced so far.
The all-wheel-drive system effortlessly transfers the huge power to the road.
And most surprisingly the average fuel consumption can go down to under 12 liters on the highway.
I did not have the opportunity to be driven in the rear seat. And this car is made not only to drive but also to be driven, as it is usual in this class. The big center armrest can be lifted to create the third seat in the rear, which will probably happen rarely. However, it is odd to have a shift lever with a separate button for park. This would be a very long article if I would list all the features and equipment details which are included in the standard price of $87,000.
This price is around 20 grand lover than a comparable Mercedes or BMW with similar equipment.
This is a big and historic step for Hyundai to become a truly global player. and also something comparable what Lexus did 30 years ago with its LS model.
Based on what this Korean brand achieved so far, we can expect the rise of another Lexus against the more established European brands.
For more information, please visit:https://www.genesis.com/ca/en/genesis.html
Article and photos by Varol McKars