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2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan – Korean Luxury Gets A Little Sharper


Sensational Lexicon audio system; comfortable ride in non R-Spec model; generous warranty coverage; luxurious interior; powerful and smooth powerplants.


Rough ride in R-Spec; missing four-wheel drive system; disappointing braking with 4.6 and 3.8; rear seat doesn’t fold down.


2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan takes its rightful place amongst established luxury sedan rivals with handsome styling engine power to match and generous luxury features. For 2012, the Korean automaker adds a V8 5.0 liter powered model to the lineup, makes the eight-speed automatic transmission standard across the board and increases horsepower for the base V6. The 4.6 and 3.8 trim levels also get new low rolling resistance tires. Several redesigned visual elements including bumpers, the front grille, tail lights and headlights provide the 2012 Genesis a more authoritative presence on the road. Creating a flowing design which is timeless yet progressive, powerful yet elegant, the unique LED headlamp accents flank a revised grille and sit above the new front bumper. The result gives the new Genesis a more aggressive look.

2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan

The 2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan’s side mirrors provide convenient integrated approach lights and a power folding feature, which illuminate the ground as you exit and enter the vehicle. Just underneath the doors, the redesigned lower side panel adds to the dynamic flow of the design. Considering all of the power that its engine churns out, this is a view of Genesis most of the world will remember. Here, you will notice dual exhaust tips and new LED taillamps, which are incorporated into a design which adds a sleek finishing touch. Not content to rest on their laurels, the company’s design team has sought to make a great Genesis exterior design even better for 2012. For the front view, a more aggressive front fascia with larger intake openings was developed, the headlamps have been redesigned adding daytime running lights (DRLs) and LED accents and the front grille has been enhanced. From the side view, the standard 17-inch alloy wheel design has been freshened, while the rocker panels have been refined. Additionally, the mirrors now integrate puddle lamp and power folding functions, while the side window surround now gets a decidedly sporty brushed aluminum finish. From rear view, the taillamps have been redesigned and new dual asymmetrical exhaust tips are more cleanly incorporated with a new bumper fascia.

The award-winning 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan continues its segment leadership with new eight-speed automatic transmissions, exterior design improvements, new direct injection technology for its Lambda V6 powerplant and enhanced chassis tuning. Additionally, the new 5.0-liter direct injection V8 powerplant is now offered exclusively with the 5.0 R-Spec model that adds optional Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 summer performance tires, sport tuned suspension, steering and transmission calibrations and unique 19-inch machined finish alloy for exhilarating vehicle dynamics.

2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan interior

2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan Highlights

  • New 5.0 liter R-Spec Direct Injection V8 performance flagship model added:
  • Unique 19-inch alloy wheel design with premium machined finish
  • Most powerful Hyundai powertrain ever with 429 horsepower
  • Unique R-Spec sport transmission, suspension and steering calibrations
  • Dark chrome headlamp inserts
  • In-house-developed 8-speed automatic transmissions for all engines
  • Direct injection technology added to Lambda 3.8 liter V6 powerplant for 15% enhanced output (333 HP), enhanced fuel economy and emissions
  • New headlight design with LED accents and daytime running lamps
  • More aggressive front fascia design and grille
  • Folding mirrors with integrated puddle lamps
  • Sportier rocker panel design
  • Redesigned rear taillights
  • New, brushed aluminum finish window surround
  • New 17-inch alloy wheel design (3.8 model)
  • Redesigned rear fascia with integrated dual asymmetrical exhaust tips
  • New Twilight Blue Pearl exterior color (replaces Sapphire Blue Pearl)
  • New interior woodgrain colors for Black, Beige and Saddle leather interiors

The Hyundai Genesis is suitably named. Although the luxury sedan of Korean automaker isn’t creating a new class from scratch, it has created a segment in which power, performance, comfort and luxury exist in balance with incredible value. The 2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan gets a strong 429-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine included, while the direct injection technology now catapults the base V6 well past 300 horsepower. The 8-speed automatic transmission helps the Genesis achieve superior fuel economy. Externally, it gains receives some styling tucks with more sporting, tighter looks rear and front.

2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan interior

Inside the spacious and silent cabin, high quality leather covers the doors, dash, consoles and most other points which you will come in contact with. Soft, pliant seats will keep passengers and driver alike cradled in comfort for road trips and short hops. When the muffled and hushed sound of the road becomes too much to bear, the two available Lexicon stereo systems will liven the interior with full, rich surround sound. The 17 speaker version is truly one of the best stereos in any car at any price. Its humble and price lineage may make the Genesis Sedan seem more of a rival to the likes of the Chrysler 300, Buick LaCrosse, Toyota Avalon or Ford Taurus. There are some drawbacks, which include the lack of four wheel drive option and braking distances are bit long. The new R-Spec model also lacks a degree of handling and ride sophistication you would find in the European rivals it’s targeting.

Variants, Body Types and Features

The 2012 Hyundai Genesis is a rear wheel drive large luxury sedan, which is offered in 4.6, 3.8, 5.0 R-Spec and 5.0 trims (the numbers denote engine displacement).

Standard features and equipments on the 2012 Genesis 3.8 include automatic headlights, 17-inch wheels, heated mirrors, foglights, keyless ignition and entry, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, a four-way power passenger seat, an eight-way power driver seat including power lumbar, heated front seats, a tilt steering wheel, leather upholstery, Bluetooth, an auto dimming rearview mirror and a seven-speaker sound system with satellite radio, CD player, an iPod/USB interface and auxiliary audio jack.

Opting for the Premium package will get you a sunroof, 18-inch wheels, power folding side mirrors, automatic wipers, leather dash and door trim, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a power rear sunshade, driver memory functions, a navigation system with real time traffic, a rearview camera, a Lexicon 14-speaker premium surround sound audio system with a CD/DVD player and a 7-inch touchscreen interface.

The Technology package supplements or adds Premium package equipment with front and rear parking sensors, adaptive HID headlights, a lane departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, upgraded leather upholstery, an electronic parking brake, heated rear seats, a ventilated driver seat, a rotary knob based multimedia interface with 8 inch display, a 17-speaker Lexicon stereo system with an in-dash six-CD/DVD changer and HD radio and an enhanced Bluetooth system.

Opting for the 2012 Genesis 4.6 will get you Premium and Technology features as standard equipment but substitutes a wood trimmed steering column for a leather wrapped piece. The Genesis 5.0 is similarly equipped, with the exception of the more potent engine. The Genesis 5.0 R-Spec integrates all Premium and Technology package features, plus sport tuned suspension, steering and transmission and 19-inch wheels. High performance summer tires are optional on the R-Spec.

2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan engine

What’s Beneath the Hood of 2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan?

Motivation for the 2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan 3.8 comes from a direct injected 3.8 liter V6 engine, which is good for pulsating 333 horsepower with 291 pound feet of torque. The engine is mated to eight-speed automatic transmission with rear wheel drive system and manual shift control. In performance testing, it accelerated from 0 to 60 miles per hour in the time range of 6.4 seconds. The estimated fuel economy is 29 mpg highway, 19 mpg city and 22 mpg in combined driving.

Powering the 2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan 4.6 is a V8 4.6 liter engine with a maximum output if 378 horsepower with 324 pound feet of torque. With premium it generates 385 horsepower and 333 pound feet of torque. The fuel economy for this engine model is 17 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 20 mpg in combined driving. The Hyundai Genesis R-Spec and 5.0 join the lineup with a direct injected 5.0 liter V8 engine, pumping out 429 horsepower with 376 pound feet of torque. In performance testing, the R-Spec hit 60 miles per hour in 5.3 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 19 mpg in combined driving.

Safety & Reliability

Standard safety features on 2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan include traction and stability control, antilock brakes with brake assist, front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Lane departure warning, a rearview camera and parking sensors are standard on the 4.6 and 5.0 R-Spec and optional on the 3.8. In brake testing, the Genesis 3.8 came to a stop in 117 feet from 60 miles per hour, whereas the 4.6 in 124. Both are average distances, but R-Spec’s 112-feet stop with its optional summer tires is excellent. In the mean time, the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) gave Genesis its best possible score of “Good” in its side, roof strength and frontal offset tests.

Special Features and Cockpit Design

The supremely voluminous and comfortable space inside the 2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan is what makes people look for reasons to take their car, take the scenic route or even enjoy the drive to work, despite of the traffic. The sound of 3.8 liter V6 engine has been muted by a steel silent maintenance-free, timing chain. Sound dampening innovations like these make for a quieter cabin. Probably they should make some noise for their team of accomplished acoustic engineers. Comfort which transcends the journey and helps you arrive refreshed starts with the available heated front and rear passenger seats and cooled and heated driver seat.

For those times when quiet just won’t cut it, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan gives you options. Power up the exclusive 528W Lexicon 7.1 Discrete Surround Sound Audio System with 17 speakers and experience the most sophisticated audio system in its segment. Connecting music sources to the audio system is a snap with a power outlet situated in the center console box and standard auxiliary input and iPod/USB jacks. Two navigation systems feature either a Multimedia Controller and Driver Information System (DIS) or a 7-inch touchscreen with an 8-inch display. Both systems have SiriusXM Satellite Radio with NavTraffic, display images from the rearview camera when backing up and a text-to-speech feature. The Bluetooth handsfree phone system is standard for conversations with the world beyond acoustic laminated windows of the Genesis.

Driving Impressions

Along with rear wheel drive, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan is now available with your choice of an all-new 8-speed automatic transmission, a new range topping model, the Genesis 5.0 R-Spec and 3 powerful powerplants, which puts 429 hp at your command. Besides the impressive Tau 4.6L V8, it is available with a new 5.0L high-performance Tau V8 engine. This design features Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) for increased fuel efficiency, lower emissions and more power.

2012 Hyundai Genesis Sedan

For 2012, the company started with an award winning 5.0L Tau V8, then added 19-inch premium machined finish alloy wheels and tires and a sport tuned suspension. Unique headlamps with dark chrome inserts plus R-Spec badging on the exterior of the vehicle and floor mats complete the transformation. If having more horsepower unlike other luxury rivals’ V6 engines appeals to you, then read on. With 333 hp on tap, it provides plenty of power to pass on two-lane roads or make miles of interstate disappear. Once again, Gasoline Direct Injection is at the heart of this engine’s capability for generating efficient, smooth acceleration.

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