The Genesis of a revolution?

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The new Hyundai offering — though priced at $80 K — is value for money in terms of style, technology and advanced safety features

The Hyundai Genesis has changed the way I look at the Korean manufacturer, and importantly over time it will change the way the rest of the world looks at it too.

“$80K for a Hyundai?” I hear you gasp before a quick drive reveals that is value for money, not inflation. All I have to do is to find a way to hide from the sniggering to realise that it is a really good car for the money, and well worthy of consideration among the Europeans which will form its competition.

The technology is stunning and it adds up to great experience inside the car, and a safer way to head around the streets. While I’m not a big believer in the worth of ANCAP ratings which measure the ability of occupants to survive a crash, this car does have the highest score ever. What I am more interested in is active safety, or the ability to avoid a crash, and it is here where the Genesis is packed to the hilt.

The only question is what else can they do to save you? Sitting in the top model in the range, there is lane departure warning, heads up display (unfortunately not with red lighting as it should be) autonomous emergency braking, cameras and sensors out of every corner and mirrors to find the kerbs and fill the black spots. The cruise control is active and alerts you to the speed limits and what cameras may be around too, and it does it better than any other system I have yet used.

For the luxury minded, it has or can have the full deal. Heated and ventilated seats, a big touch screen with all the controls for the satellite navigation and the like, a stereo that has sublime sound and a full-length moon roof that helps you feel the world. There are also blinds that go up and down at the touch of a button, and if you stand near the rear of the car for a couple of seconds with the key in your pocket the boot opens all on its own.

In Australia, at the moment we are only getting the V6 engine with an 8-speed gearbox. It works well but you get the feeling there are so many more innovative drivetrains sitting on the shelves in Korea to take it to another level… the V8 we know about is mouth-watering in its temptation.

And because it is a Hyundai, there is a 5-year warranty, 5-years of roadside assistance and a 5-year service plan as well.

The drive itself is good. It has plenty of grip and the feedback through the system is enough to tell you what is happening. It isn’t a sports sedan, but it isn’t that far away from it either.

There are three variations in the range and the price runs from around $60,000 to $85,000. If you can park some brand snobbery for a minute or two, there is a good chance you can buy yourself a very good luxury car at a price much more attractive than the European options that have been teasing your wallet.

Part of my mindset change is simply to put Hyundai on my serious player radar.

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