The wing emblem, prominently displayed on the hood, takes some getting used to. And like a carrier pigeon, Hyundai is sending its Genesis to Europe to announce its intentions of establishing itself in the mid-sized, luxury car segment. The Genesis should prove that the days when Hyundais couldn't keep pace with the competition in terms of quality are a thing of the past. The car's slightly sloping rear end shows that the Korean carmaker has taken European tastes into account, too.
Yet, despite its chic design, the Genesis is a tough sell. That's because many remember what happened to Hyundai's luxurious Grandeur model. It sunk into oblivion shortly after its European debut in 2010, for lack of buyers. So Hyundai is cautious, saying it expects to sell just a few hundred Genesis models in Germany, where the car is only offered at select dealerships.
Hyundai's asking price for the Genesis is just over 65-thousand euros -- optional extras not included, because there really aren't any! Buyers only need to choose the colour of the nappa leather and metallic paint. Everything else comes as standard -- including many features that other carmakers offer as pricy optional extras, such as a parking assist, blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking and a Vehicle Stability Management System.
Inside, the car boasts clearly structured design, real wood trim and high quality workmanship. The central display can be operated via touch screen with a multifunction knob, or using mechanical buttons. The heated and ventilated leather seats are adjusted electronically. All infotainment features can also be controlled from the back seats via a control in the armrest. At the back, the trunk can hold 493 liters worth of cargo.
Another highlight is the panoramic glass roof, which naturally also comes as standard.
In spite of buyers' reticence, Hyundai has big plans for the Genesis in Europe. In late 2015, the South Korean carmaker announced plans to establish its own premium brand under this name.