Hyundai enters luxury car market, but how does it shape up?

You never thought you’d hear it. Hyundai is entering the luxury car market. In times gone by the Hyundai would be the butt of many jokes.

Favourites being: ‘Why does a Hyundai have a heated rear window? To keep your hands warm when you push it.’ Another: ‘What information is printed on pages four and five of a Hyundai user manual? The bus and train timetables.’

When I owned the Pony, people would recommend I sell my car for cash right away. Or, tell me I was better off with a real pony!

Fast forward to 2015, the Genesis is entering the highly-competitive luxury car market already dominated by the German big three: Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Having been a hit in the US and China, this luxury saloon means business. Whilst certainly ambitious, this 3.8-litre 311bhp V6 South Korean mean machine has its work cut out going up against the likes of the high-torque, low-CO2 diesels dominating the UK big executive car market.

Hyundai Genesis

Genesis: In tests

On Top Gear road tests the Genesis slumped to a measly 15mpg and only 22mpg on the motorway. Wow. To put that into perspective, the BMW 535i is near fifty per cent cleaner and 10cm nimbler.

With its huge engine, surely it must be fast, right? Despite the spritely 6.5-second 0-62mph time, the same BMW 535i or Audi S6 would leave the Genesis for dust.

Hyundai’s new luxury vehicle makes up for its slower pace with its very vocal V6 engine under the hood. It’s very much a retiree’s dream.

Only when the Genesis hits the open road outside the big towns and cities do you realise how much more controlled and settled it feels.

With active cruise control, lane-keep assist and radar cruise speed the Genesis will do all the driving for you. Completely hands-free. Apparently.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe

So, should I get one?

On its own, the Genesis isn’t a bad motor. But, if you were to choose it, you would have to have totally ignored all its British, German and even American rivals.

There is no department the Genesis wins hands-down in. You could answer the question this way: would you lay down 50 grand for one? No, didn’t think so.

At present, the Genisis is only seeing limited release, with the UK seeing one of the smallest teasers.

Plans are to release just 50 for sale at launch – a sign the market is being tested. If demand is high, expect his number to jump.

A Hyundai that really gets our motor running is the 1,000bhp Blood Type Racing Genesis Coupe.

SPECS

  • 3778cc, V6, 311bhp, 293lb ft
  • 25mpg, 261g/km
  • 0-62mph in 6.5secs, 149mph
  • 1890kg
  • £47,995