Premium large car; Built in South Korea
  • 2-door coupe
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $8,600 – $30,700*

2009 Hyundai Genesis Front

2009 Hyundai Genesis Rear

2009 Hyundai Genesis Interior

2010 Hyundai Gensis Coupe Front

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Rear

  • Acceleration (V8 sedan, coupe)
  • Handling (coupe)
  • Interior materials (sedan)
  • Quietness (sedan)
  • Ride (sedan)
  • Cargo room (coupe)
  • Rear-seat entry/exit (coupe)
  • Ride (coupe)
  • Steering/handling (sedan)

Though the Hyundai name has little of the cachet of rival brands in this class, Genesis holds its own in terms of powertrain performance, and has offered impressive amenities at relative bargain pricing for new models. While any Genesis sedan qualifies as a worthy Best Buy (2010-11), we consider the V6 version a better value that gives up little to the V8s in everyday driving. Hyundai’s first rear-drive performance coupe offers compelling performance and earns a Recommended (2010) rating. Rakishly shaped, the coupe is a well-rounded machine that strikes an appealing balance among acceleration, affordability, ride comfort, and handling.


Hyundai introduced a new Genesis premium large rear-drive sedan for 2009 with V6 or V8 power, and then followed it up with a smaller, sportier coupe for the 2010 model year. The Genesis sedan was this Korean automaker’s first rear-wheel-drive vehicle, as well as its first use of an available V8 engine. Genesis was about 6 inches longer in wheelbase and 3 inches longer overall than Hyundai’s existing Azera front-drive sedan. Two engines were available: a 290-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6; and a 375-hp, 4.6-liter V8. Both engines teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission that had a manual shift gate. Standard safety features included antilock brakes, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain side airbags, front side airbags, and rear side airbags. Leather upholstery and heated front seats also were standard. Among the available features were a heated and cooled driver’s seat, wireless cell-phone link, a navigation system with hard drive for storing digital music files, a rearview camera, and front- and rear-obstacle detection. Steering-linked adaptive bi-xenon headlights were also offered. A knob in the center console governed audio, navigation, and other functions. A power rear sunshade and power tilt/telescopic steering wheel were standard in V8 models. Rivals included the Cadillac DTS, Chrysler 300, and Lincoln MKS.

Yearly Updates

2010 Genesis
Hyundai’s V8 engine gained 10 horsepower, now rated at 385. Adaptive cruise control became available on all models. Biggest news of all, though, was the debut of the Genesis coupe, built on a shortened version of the sedan’s platform. Coupes came with either a 210-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a 306-hp, 3.8-liter V6. A six-speed manual gearbox was standard. A five-speed automatic was optional with the four-cylinder turbo, while a six-speed automatic was optional with the V6. The coupe lineup even included sporty Track editions.
2011 Genesis
The 2011 Hyundai Genesis V8 sedan gets additional standard equipment but is otherwise largely unchanged. The coupe shuffles its model lineup to add R-Spec versions of the 2.0T and V6 while dropping the 2.0T Track and base V6.
2012 Genesis
The Hyundai Genesis sedan received freshened styling and a host of changes for 2012. The base 3.8 model’s 3.8-liter V6 got a boost in horsepower from 290 to 333. While the 4.6 returned with a 385-hp V8, it was joined by a new performance-oriented 5.0 R-Spec with a 429-hp 5.0-liter V8. All engines were mated to a new 8-speed automatic that replaced a 6-speed. The 2012 Hyundai Genesis coupe had no changes of note.
2013 Genesis
For 2013, Hyundai dropped the 4.6-liter V8 engine from the Genesis sedan’s roster, but added technology features including a revised infotainment system and the company’s Blue Link assistance. Otherwise, the Genesis sedan saw no significant changes. The Genesis Coupe got refreshed exterior and interior styling, new wheel designs, revised powertrains and new features for 2013. Among the changes in appearance were a new front fascia, grille, headlights, fog lights, hood, and LED-accented tail lights. Also new were optional LED daytime running lights. Also, Genesis Coupe engines were revised and were paired with a 6-speed manual or new-for-2013 8-speed automatic transmission. The changes resulted in more power and higher projected fuel economy.
2014 Genesis
Hyundai’s large sedan saw a few minor updates for 2014, such as 18-inch wheels on the 3.8 V6 model and a heated steering wheel on the 5.0 R-Spec model. Genesis delivered premium interior furnishings, high-end features, and impressive powertrain performance without the price tag associated with most premium-large cars. Of particular note was the 3.8 model and its V6 engine. That model cost less than a V8-equipped car, but sacrificed little in terms of everyday driving. The Genesis coupe gained some additional standard equipment for 2014—including standard hill-hold for all manual transmission cars.


longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

Genesis sedans could be equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces 290 horsepower (333 starting in 2012), or a 4.6-liter V8 that made 375 horsepower (boosted to 385 hp in 2010). Output ratings for the V8 were lower when running on regular-grade gasoline: 378 hp and 324 pound-feet for the 2010 model. Both engines mated with a six-speed automatic transmission., or, starting in 2012, an 8-speed automatic. The R-Spec was added that year with a 429-hp 5.0-liter V8. The Genesis coupe, introduced for 2010, could have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 210 horsepower, or a 3.8-liter V6 that made 306 horsepower. Coupes could have either six-speed manual shift or an optional automatic transmission: five-speed for the four-cylinder and six-speed for the V6.

Turbocharged dohc I42
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/122
Engine HP 210
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 223
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual



Turbocharged dohc I42
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/122
Engine HP 210
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 223
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic


dohc V61
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/231
Engine HP 290-333
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 264-291
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic
8-speed automatic

dohc V62
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/232
Engine HP 306
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 266
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual


dohc V62
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/232
Engine HP 306
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 266
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic



dohc V81
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/385
Engine HP 375-385
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 333
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic
8-speed automatic

1. Genesis sedan. 2. Genesis coupe.

Road Test

Acceleration scores high. Both the 3.8-liter V6 and 4.6-liter V8 make the Genesis sedan quick off the line and responsive at any speed. Hyundai ‘s estimates of 6.2 seconds to 60 mph for the V6 and 5.7 seconds for the V8 feel right. With either engine, both the 6-speed and new-for-2012 8-speed transmission provide prompt and seamless shifts. The 5.0 R-Spec introduced for 2012 isn’t as quick off the line as might be expected and the transmission can be slow to downshift for passing, but power is prodigious once it comes in. Four-cylinder coupes are zippy, but suffer minor turbo lag. The coupe’s V6 is strong, though not as eager as the powertrains in some sporty coupes. In Track coupes, the manual shifter is notchy and clutch action far from smooth. Oddly, non-Track coupes have more agreeable shifter/clutch behavior.

Fuel economy isn’t bad. A test Genesis 3.8-liter V6 sedan with 6-speed automatic averaged 24.1 mpg, while a 4.6-liter V8 version averaged 20.6 to 22.3 mpg in mostly highway driving. Other V6 sedans have averaged 17.4 to 21.5 mpg. All figures are impressive given this vehicle’s size and available power. The V6 uses regular-grade gasoline. Hyundai recommends premium for the 4.6-liter V8, though it will run on regular with slight power loss. Premium is required for the 5.0-liter V8; we have not had the opportunity to check fuel economy on that model. A manual-shift four-cylinder coupe averaged 21.4 mpg, while automatic V6 coupes averaged 19.3 to 20.5 mpg. Both coupe engines use regular-grade gas.

Expect a generally compliant ride from sedans, but rough surfaces can produce unwanted body motion and vibration felt through the steering wheel. Overall lack of composure is Genesis’s foremost failing when compared to other premium-class sedans. The R-Spec rides quite a bit more stiffly than the others. Non-Track coupes have a buttoned-down ride that can get stiff over sharp bumps. On south surfaces, some coarse feedback and vibrations may be felt through the steering wheel.

Steering is precise and well weighted. A Genesis sedan feels stable at speed and is well balanced in turns, but as with ride quality, Hyundai’s biggest sedan somewhat trails other premium models. The R-Spec’s sport suspension gives it good moves for such a large sedan. Coupes are nimble and well-balanced, with good grip and minimal body lean in turns. Steering is communicative and direct, but the coupe’s turning radius is a bit wide. Brakes are strong, smooth, and progressive.

Both sedan engines are refined and cruise quietly. Wind noise is minor, but tire roar is noticeable on coarse surfaces, particularly in the R-Spec. Coupes emit sporty tones, but are never unpleasantly loud. The V6 growls during acceleration, but then settles down nicely. The turbo four is noisier.

Gauges are large and unobstructed. Controls are within easy reach. If a navigation system is installed in the sedan, its control knob is similar to Audi’s MMI, and is not as simple to use as conventional buttons. The large dashboard screen is easy to read. Coupes have shrouded gauges that are easy to see.

Overall interior ambiance compares well with sedans costing far more. Most versions have padded leather on the dash and door panels. There are ample padded surfaces and generally good quality materials. Some faux woodgrain accents and a few shiny plastic panels are at odds with the otherwise luxurious interior. Cars tested have appeared well-assembled and were rattle-free. Coupe interiors are noticeably downmarket compared to the sedans, with plenty of hard-plastic surfaces.

Front seats in sedans are well-shaped and padded. Standard power adjustment and available power tilt-and-telescopic steering column make it easy to find a comfortable driving position. Front space is adequate in coupes, though tall drivers might prefer more headroom. Seats are comfortable and supportive, with good bolstering, but the seating position is quite low-slung. Overall visibility is good for a sporty coupe, but the rear window is sharply raked and prone to reflections in bright sunlight.

Rear-seat legroom in the sedan is generous but not expansive. Foot space is restricted. The back seat is well shaped, but a central rider’s legroom will be limited by the driveline hump. Coupe backseats are suitable only for small children.

Trunk volume is average for its class, but the sedan’s well-shaped cargo area has a large opening. Its small rear-seat pass-through is a poor substitute for folding seatbacks. Interior storage is only adequate, with a small console bin and average-sized glovebox. Coupe trunk space is stingy, with a small opening and shallow floor.


Model Tested: 2010 Hyundai Genesis V6 sedan w/Premium Plus68

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 7
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 6
Quietness - 8


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
Cargo Room - 4


Value - 10

Total: 68


2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
111.0 182.3 73.4 54.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
10.0 17.2 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.2 34.6 44.1 30.3
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
115.6 195.9 74.4 58.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.0 19.3 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.4 37.7 44.3 38.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2009 Genesis 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Alarm system
Description: The anti-theft system may false alarm, requiring installation of a revised hood switch. (2009)
Description: Groaning or rumbling noises from the rear caused by problem with parking brake shoes. (2009)
Description: A faulty inhibitor switch may prevent the starter from functioning. (2012-13)
Steering noise
Description: Power steering whine may be due to clogged screen in the power steering fluid reservoir. (2009)
Electrical problem
Description: The adaptive front lighting system (ADLS) may quit working, requiring a new control module. (2009)
Transmission problems
Description: On vehicles with the 3.8L V-6 engine, the transmission neutral safety switch may go out of adjustment resulting in a no-start condition. (2009)

Recall History

2009-11 Genesis
Description: Because of a circuit failure, stop lights might not illuminate.
2009-11 Genesis
Description: The stop lamp switch in the affected vehicles may malfunction and cause the brake lights to not illuminate when the brake pedal is depressed or may cause the brake lights to remain illuminated when the brake pedal is released. A stop lamp switch malfunction may also affect the operation of the brake-transmission shift interlock feature so the transmission shifter would not be able to be shifted out of the park position.
2009-12 Genesis
Description: Some vehicles may contain brake fluid that does protect the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) from corrosion. If the HECU corrodes there could be educed braking effectiveness.
2013-14 Genesis coupe w/manual transmission
Description: The differential and suspension rear crossmember may not have properly aligned. The differential could loosen and and the driveshaft could disconnect from the differential. The would result in loss of power.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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