One of the strongest selling points of the 2012 Hyundai Genesis is its ability to take on the $50,000 competition in the upscale mid-sized car genre and do more than just hold its own. The Hyundai name may not have the cachet many buyers crave, but selling in an MSRP range of $34,200 to $46,500 there's a lot of value to be had in this choice. Gas mileage is somewhat disappointing around town at 19 mpg, but good enough on the open road at 29 mpg.
Essentially with the Genesis you're getting a powerful, smooth driving day-day-car with enough bids to luxury to make you feel as if you've stepped up in the world. The Genesis has been refreshed for 2012 with an eight-speed transmission paired to a more robust base V6 and there's an option for a 5.0-liter V8. Both are playing well with reviewers, augmenting the performance of a car that was no slouch to start with.
If you're shopping the competition, test drive the Lexus ES and the Audi A4. The Audi has optional Quattro AWD, but its smaller and doesn't have as much power as the Hyundai, although it does open for $1,900 less. With the Lexus, you're definitely getting a luxury cruiser, but you pay $2,525 more for the base. This is really where Hyundai has made significant inroads in the genre with high-value offerings in vehicles with real road chops.
There are three trims on the Genesis. The base is outfitted with the 3.8 V6 and offers standards including push-button start, XM, Bluetooth, and controls on the wheel. Move up a level and you get the 4.6-liter V8 with interior amenities including a DVD changer in the leather-wrapped dash (6 disc), more leather on the door inserts, nav unit, sunroof, HD radio, and a 17-speaker surround sound layout. (Both of these trims also have heated and cooled driver's seats.) The top of the line is the 5.0-Spec V8. This package includes everything from the previous levels plus 19-inch wheels, and an all-leather wheel. Cargo room is class average at 15.9 cubic feet.
Neither the federal government nor the insurance industry have crash tested the 2012 Hyundai Genesis, but the 2011 version was a Top Safety Pick with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The list of safety features is predictably impressive: traction control, anti-lock brakes, an array of eight airbags, electronic active head restraints, and a lane departure warning system on the 4.6 and 5.0 trims (and optional on the base with the Technology package.)
The 2012 Hyundai Genesis is one of those genre-bending vehicles. It's definitely an upscale mid-sized car that competes admirably against the higher pay grade neighbors, but it does so at an affordable price point. Some reviewers have even gone so far as to suggest the cabin is wandering into Mercedes territory. This is an upscale choice for a day-to-day car that lifts your errands and hauling out of the mundane. More than worth a test drive.