Can Hyundai beat Mercedes and BMW at their own game?

23 July 2016 - 11:09 By AFP Relaxnews
The 2017 Genesis G80
The 2017 Genesis G80
Image: ©Hyundai

When the 2017 Hyundai Genesis G80 goes on sale this fall it will do so as a car with more passenger space than a Mercedes E Class, more horsepower than a Cadillac CTS and with a raft of active safety systems as standard that even Volvo S90 drivers are offered as optional extras.

But will all of this be enough to make clients ditch their Audi A6, BMW 5 Series or Lexus in favor of a Genesis?

If those in the market for a mid-luxury sedan simply look at the figures in order to make their decision, then the answer will be "yes."

The Genesis G80 is an attempt to take the best elements of every German and Japanese premium sedan currently on sale and distil them into one vehicle.

For example, the car offers 107.7 cubic feet of passenger space -- that's 10 cubic feet more than a Cadillac CTS and 9 cubic feet more than the new Mercedes E-Class. It also offers more luggage space than any competitor including an Infiniti Q70 or BMW 5 Series.

In terms of performance, Hyundai claims the Genesis's body is stiffer than that of a BMW 5 Series for better  handling. The car can be specified with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive and there's a choice of  two engines -- a 311hp 3.8-liter V6 and a 420hp 5-liter V8 both of which are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.


Then there's the safety technology. The G80 is the only car that comes with autonomous emergency braking with collision avoidance or mitigation, smart cruise control, blind spot detection, lane keep assist and a rearview camera as standard.

There's even an in-cabin CO2 sensor. It monitors air quality and as soon as CO2 levels pass 2,000 parts per million, fresh air is circulated around the cockpit to ensure the driver doesn't feel drowsy.

But luxury is about more than creature comforts. It is increasingly about the whole ownership experience. So Hyundai will give Genesis owners three years' complimentary maintenance and will send a valet to collect the car and leave a courtesy vehicle every time a tune-up is needed. Its connected services, including a concierge are also bundled in free of charge for the first three years.

"Genesis cars exude confidence, and it has driven us to design an ownership experience that is personalized, convenient and saves time," said Erwin Raphael, general manager of Genesis in the US market. "Respect and courtesy are the foundation of the Genesis Experience. We will honor our owners' time through streamlined processes that put their needs first."