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#4084 of 6050 Consumer Reports Rates Hyundai Genesis Top-Rated Upscale Sedan
Jan 05, 2009 (6:45 pm)
Hyundai Genesis Outscores Competitors, Becomes Consumer Reports' top-rated "Upscale Sedan"
Genesis narrowly outpoints Lexus ES 350 to take top spot
YONKERS, NY - The Hyundai Genesis outscored four competitors to become Consumer Reports top-rated vehicle in the competitive "Upscale Sedan" category. The Genesis, which achieved an "Excellent" overall road test score, now outranks 12 vehicles from Lexus, Acura, Lincoln and others including the Lexus ES 350.
The Genesis' performance in CR's battery of tests solidifies the automaker's reputation as a builder of high-quality vehicles in several diverse automotive segments. Previously, Consumer Reports named two Hyundais, the Elantra and Santa Fe, as "Top Pick" vehicles in the small sedan and midsize SUV categories respectively.
"The Hyundai Genesis rivals high-end luxury sedans but costs considerably less," said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Connecticut. "Its luxurious and spacious interior and quietness far transcend its relatively modest price."
The Genesis was tested against four other new or redesigned upscale sedans—the Acura TL, Nissan Maxima, Pontiac G8 and Lincoln MKS-for the February issue of Consumer Reports. Prices ranged from $33,660 for the Pontiac to $40,880 for the Lincoln.
Two other vehicles in the test group also earned Excellent overall road test scores, the TL and Maxima. The G8 and MKS achieved Very Good overall scores.
The eight other vehicles in the Upscale Sedans category including the ES 350, Toyota Avalon, Buick Lucerne and Saab 9-5, were all tested previously.
In addition to the five upscale sedans tested, CR also purchased and tested the Jaguar XF luxury sedan. Though it obtained a Very Good overall score, it still ranked near the bottom of the group of 12 luxury sedans that Consumer Reports has rated.
But the redesigned Honda Pilot has slipped from being one of Consumer Reports' top-rated three-row SUVs to midpack. The Pilot now ranks eleventh out of seventeen midsized, three-row SUVs that have been tested by CR.
Full tests and ratings of all six sedans appear in the February issue of Consumer Reports, which goes on sale January 6. The reports are also available to subscribers of www.ConsumerReports.org. (Road test vehicles of recently tested vehicles are also available free at CR's web site.)
The issue also contains a report on the conversion of a hybrid Toyota Prius to a plug-in hybrid. Consumer Reports chose a Hymotion L5 conversion kit sold by A123 Systems, which the company claims can yield more than 100 mpg. Fuel economy in CR's converted Prius jumped from 42 to 67 mpg overall for the first 35 miles of driving. At almost $11,000, the plug-in conversion clearly won't save consumers money overall. However, the technology itself proved viable.
The TL is the only vehicle in this month's test group that is Recommended by Consumer Reports.
CR only Recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on CR's annual Car Reliability Survey of its more than seven million print and web subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.
CR doesn't have reliability data yet on the Genesis, MKS, Maxima, G8 and XF.
Spacious and well appointed, the rear-wheel-drive Genesis offers good value and is a compelling alternative to luxury vehicles costing thousands more. This car's forte is swaddling passengers in silence. The engine sounds polished and road noise is strikingly absent. The interior rivals those of the very best luxury cars, with its optional stitched-leather dashboard facing and consistently high-quality materials. The only real drawback is its ride, which can be unsettled at times and doesn't live up to the standards set by other luxury cars. The Genesis 3.8 ($36,000 Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price as tested) is powered by a 290-hp, 3.8-liter V6 that feels quick and smooth and delivers a decent 21 mpg in CR's own fuel-economy tests. The six-speed automatic transmission provides smooth, quick shifts. Braking is excellent.
The redesigned Acura TL is a nice car, with responsive handling, a slick powertrain and commendable fuel economy. But when compared with the previous TL, which was CR's Top Pick in this segment for years, the latest generation is not as impressive. Vague steering saps the fun out of its handling, the trunk opening is small, and other competitors have roomier rear seats. The base-model TL ($35,715 MSRP as tested) is powered by a 280-hp, 3.5-liter V6 that delivers excellent acceleration and a respectable 23 mpg overall on premium fuel. The five-speed automatic transmission is both quick and smooth. Brakes are excellent overall.
The Maxima is a quick car, but it doesn't add much over the less costly Nissan Altima overall. While it's pleasant, it falls short in some ways. Handling is responsive, but at low speeds the steering is overly light. The car is quiet and the ride is decent. But the new coupe-like silhouette compromises visibility, trunk room, and rear-seat comfort. The Maxima 3.5 SV ($33,700 MSRP as tested) is powered by a 290-hp, 3.5-liter V6 that gives the car quicker acceleration than some V8s. Expect 22 mpg overall on premium fuel. The continuously variable transmission works very well overall; it's also the only one available. The Maxima's brakes are very good overall.
As a bargain sports sedan that can challenge the performance of models from BMW and Mercedes, Pontiac's G8 is a success. It handles and rides as well as the best cards in its class. The G8 GT's acceleration is very impressive, with a zero-to-sixty time of 5.7-seconds. But the downside of that is poor fuel economy-at just 17 mpg overall on regular fuel. The G8 GT ($33,660 MSRP as tested) is powered by a huge 361-hp, 6.0-liter V8 engine that makes it blisteringly quick. The smooth six speed automatic transmission with a tall sixth gear makes highway cruising relaxed. The brakes are very good overall. (A 256-hp, 3.6-liter V6 with a five-speed automatic is also available in the base G8, but CR didn't test it because a more powerful V6 with a six-speed automatic will arrive in 2010.)
In the tradition of large domestic luxury cars, Lincoln's MKS is built for pampering, not for spirited driving. Handling lacks agility, and the engine is too noisy for a car in this class. The interior amenities and finishes are pleasant, but the MKS feels too much like the Ford Taurus, on which it is based, to justify its luxury price tag. The MKS ($40,880 MSRP as tested) is equipped with a 273-hp, 3.7-liter V6 engine that performs well, but is not as quick or smooth as its competition in this class. CR measured its fuel economy at just 20 mpg overall on regular, which is not impressive. The six-speed automatic transmission is not as slick as most in this class. Brakes are very good overall.
#4085 of 6050 Front mask or front bra for the Genesis
Jan 06, 2009 (1:04 pm)
For anyone that may need a front mask or front bra for your Genesis, they are now available at WWW.carbras.com. I just ordered one.
#4086 of 6050 You folks should consider
Jan 06, 2009 (5:27 pm)
The Pontiac G8.
It's awsome and in the class you are all looking in and some great deals are available now. I just bought one and did feel it was a fantastic American car with a great feel and sportiness and at a price that is half the BMW 5 series, I also looked at Nissan, Mazda, Ford, BMW, Genesis, and more. The Genesis is nice, but I felt Pontiac G8 had so many features and was so fun to drive when compared to the Hyundai Genesis. And Consumer Reports picked the Pontiac G8 as a best buy, so not sure where that other person got his information from about Consumer Reports.
I looked at all these cars you are talking about and am very happy that I chose the Pontiac G8, take it for a drive and let me know what you think.
Good luck to all of you in your search for your perfect car.
#4087 of 6050 Re: You folks should consider [harddrivet]
Jan 06, 2009 (6:09 pm)
... it was a fantastic American car ...
You meant "a fantastic Australian car", right?
As for "Best Buy", you are probably thinking of Consumer's Guide, which did rate the G8 a Best Buy, vs. Consumer Reports.
#4088 of 6050 Re: You folks should consider [harddrivet]
Jan 07, 2009 (7:08 am)
Honestly...if you compare the G8 with the Genesis, it's gonna boil down to what your style is. If you want sportiness with athletic handling...the G8 will be your cup of tea. If you want creature comforts and a smooth highway cruiser with style...the Genesis will appeal to your senses. The reports have been pretty consistent in terms of the handling and performance of the G8...very BMW-like, while on the other hand...the Genesis has a softer suspension geared more for crusing highways as opposed to carving up mountain curves.
I would have to say the G8 is one of the best cars Pontiac as produced in a long time (even if it's from the GM Holde division). The GTO was always high on my list of coupes I would enjoy, but with a family...4 doors have been featured in my driveway.
Jan 07, 2009 (7:22 am)
I'll check out the G8 but maybe the new GXP to get all the oomph and goodies that Pontiac has to offer. I test drove the new CTS-V - they did a great job on it but I'm not ready for $60K even though it could be a collector's car in 20 years.
Yep, trying to get a 535 for less and not used. Thanks
#4090 of 6050 Re: G8 for Genesis? [drivingjunkie]
Jan 07, 2009 (7:28 am)
Drivingjunkie...the GXP is supposed to be a monster when it hits. I think the 300 C & Charger SRT-8 will be a memory unless Mopar does something about it. From my understanding...the GXP will price out around $45K fully loaded. Don't quote me on that though as I'm not 100% sure on that.
The CTS-V is also quite nasty considering it edged out the M5...which is actually a feat if you think about the fact it was an American car that did it.
If you want a 535 for less and not used, best to buy at the end of the year and get the previous year model as they are trying to make room for the incoming new models.
#4091 of 6050 Re: Low Volume [captain2]
Jan 07, 2009 (4:28 pm)
Just curious...what cars do you fund attractive?
#4092 of 6050 Re: Low Volume [gmpatriot]
Jan 08, 2009 (8:13 am)
Oh...that's easy, his Avalon!
#4093 of 6050 Re: Low Volume [gmpatriot]
Jan 08, 2009 (8:29 am)
Let's see - quite a few - the problem is balancing everything I want into one car and not spending too much and not increasing my carbon footprint and do better than my 2006 IS 350 - not easy. BMW 535/550/335/335D and the Supercharged Jaguar XK are at the top of my list. What would be great is if I had a 6 car garage and the $$$ to support my passion. I'd stock it with one of the two above, an Aston Martin Vantage, an Audi R8, a Honda Civic Si 4-door, and a Smart. If you counted 5 cars you're right - I left a space for one car for my honey.