Hyundai Genesis 2015 test drive

Greta and I visited Mirak Hyundai today and test-drove the redesigned 2015 Hyundai Genesis. Our salesman was a very pleasant and low-key John Waters, nowhere near as old or strange as his namesake.

The Genesis has cruise control with “lane keeping” that tries to keep the car a constant distance from the car in front and within the white lines. Can you truly live the American dream of smoking your medical marijuana, sipping on your 40 oz. malt liquor, and cruising hands-free at 65 mph on the Interstate? Not unless you want to be pulled over for driving erratically and/or operating a bang-bang control system. The car does not attempt to read the road and drive in the middle of the lane. It waits until the car is nearly out of the lane and then puts in a reasonably sharp correction, resulting in a disturbing weaving.

The car demonstrates a desperate need for a modular IT system in which the dashboard has a dock for an iPad or Android tablet that can be upgraded periodically. The hardware in the car is already too slow for the software, which takes 3-4 seconds to do voice recognition for a simple command such as “radio”. The hardware gets so far behind the software that it sometimes misses control inputs, e.g., moving the tuning knob to change the radio frequency. One could live with this defect if one knew that it would be possible to get a more powerful tablet six months from now and have everything run twice as fast. However, I don’t think that there is any upgrade path and therefore a person who takes delivery of this car today will have, five years from now, an expensive collection of computer software and hardware that was obsolete seven years earlier.

How does it look and drive? The grill, while big enough to cool a mining truck’s diesel engine, doesn’t look quite as huge/hideous in real life as in the photos. The car drives very nicely and the suspension is definitely more compliant than the one in my seven-year-old Infiniti M35x. The factory audio system sounds great. The handling and performance is more than adequate for any public road.


  1. Guido Vogel

    May 24, 2014 @ 11:29 am


    What is holding you back from buying a Tesla Model S?

  2. philg

    May 24, 2014 @ 3:33 pm


    Guido: Why no Tesla for me? Reason 1: Same reason that I do not fly a Gulfstream G-650… there are cheaper vehicles that will get me there. Reason 2: I live in an apartment and there is no electric outlet near my parking space.

  3. Joshua Wise

    June 1, 2014 @ 4:03 pm


    I have a 2011 Genesis Coupe (base model “R-spec” 3.8 — so no nav, no touchscreen), and my biggest complaint with it is also the dashboard goodies.

    Even for the purpose of rendering a 400 x 150 pixel black and white text display, whatever is backing it is vastly underpowered, and poorly tested. Oversized SiriusXM radio names go wandering all around blitting all over the display, leaving garbage; the interface to the iPod is one of the most painful experiences on a computer I’ve dealt with recently. (It often takes a third to half a second to respond to a button press navigating through a list of artists, and there is no “clever” way to search by letter — you just have to slam on the button over and over again until you get what you want.) The Bluetooth is similarly unreliable — it works some of the time, but just as often, it seems like it is in a fight with my phone’s bluetooth stack for “who can disconnect first”. I’m not sure if the touchscreen is any better, but in my three year ownership of the car, never has there been a firmware update available for the radio to solve any of the aforementioned squawks.

    The rest of the car is basically as expected (it’s designed as a toy for a 22-year-old male who just graduated college; I liked it as a 22-year-old male who just graduated college, and still like it to some extent as a 25-year-old male who graduated college a little while ago). There are bits of it that show through as the base-model (plastics on the dash are somewhat unrefined, and the suspension is pretty stiff, but that’s to be expected); I haven’t had any *major* reliability issues. My biggest complaint is that it manages only 23mpg in my mixed commute (29mpg or so highway), which is pretty pathetic, even for a 3.0L V6.

    I think the sedan is basically the same platform, but with a little more room inside. So, what you see is basically what you get — there aren’t any surprises.

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