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Test Drive: 2012 Hyundai Genesis

The 2012 Hyundai Genesis I tested over the holidays was difficult for me to give back. I was impressed with almost everything about this upscale midsize car, except for the fact that there is no all-wheel drive option. My 300-mile drive from Northern Virginia to Ohio to go home for Christmas took me through the mountains in Pennsylvania. I kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t snow, since the Genesis is a rear-wheel drive car.

My test car was the base 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8, which features a 3.8-liter V6 and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai also offers a 4.6-liter V6 and a 5.0-liter V8. The 333 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque were more than enough power in the city and on the highway. There were many times on my drive that I easily hit 80 mph or more without even noticing. Unless you want to drive really, really fast, the 429-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 may be more than you need.

The EPA estimates the V6 Genesis will get 19/29 mpg city/highway, and I averaged 27 highway mpg the entire trip. That’s pretty good considering I had passengers, luggage and gifts in the car. For such a big, powerful engine, I was more than happy with the fuel economy. I also liked that when it was time to fill the tank, the Genesis took regular gas, unlike many of its rivals, which require premium fuel.

The Genesis handled like a dream and my parents loved being driven around in it. They liked how it took every bump with ease, and how it glided down the interstate. It wasn’t boring to drive though. The Genesis straddles the line between comfort and sport, and it was fun to drive on windy mountain roads.

My friends and family commented most about the 2012 Hyundai Genesis’ upscale features. Everyone gushed over the black and chocolate brown leather interior, and how spacious it was. My $34,200 test car had all the bells and whistles, and was optioned to $43,035. I practically had to pry my stepmom out of the heated back seats. My front-seat passengers were equally happy to stay in the Genesis as long as possible.

My dad loved the Lexicon 17-speaker surround sound audio system and the fact that while parked, you could watch a DVD on the 8-inch navigation/infotainment screen. My mom loved the Genesis’ sleek style and the adaptive Xenon headlights, which automatically turn with the steering wheel so you can see what’s ahead. Other favorite features were the rain sensing wipers, rearview camera, lane departure warning system, power rear sunshade and power-folding sideview mirrors.

I liked how much luxury and technology you get for the money, as well as the long warranty. My brother-in-law summed the car up best when he said that Hyundai combined the best features from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi and put them all in the Genesis.  

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