The Genesis starts at a neat $60,000 plus on-roads, topping out at $82,000 for one with the works. We’ve heard of $20,000 discounts to limo companies for the top model. We’re not sure how much room is left in the $60,000 version which, at the RRP is the better option — it’s loaded anyway.
Performance from the 3.8-litre V6 is good (232kW/397Nm) but it sounds like the V6 from a Holden Commodore, not like a silky V6 from a Lexus. The eight-speed auto works seamlessly, as you might expect, but unfortunately does little to allay its thirst. The average of 11.2L/100km makes the Genesis less economical than the turbo V8 limousines from Bentley and Mercedes-Benz. Still, it’s better than a Caprice.
Take the Hyundai badge off the boot (as many hire car drivers have done) and the Genesis badge off the nose and most would think it’s a European car, until they get inside. The dashboard looks as if it’s from the 1990s and Hyundai needs to replace it. Rear seat room is generous but not as roomy as the Caprice.
An astonishing nine airbags (rear side bags as well as curtain protection, and driver’s knee airbag) make the Genesis one of the safest cars in this price range. Technology includes automatic emergency braking and radar cruise control, lane departure warning and auto-dipping high beam.
The world truly has changed when a Hyundai drives better than Holden’s flagship. Both cars are comfortable but the Genesis feels better to drive and ride in. It’s better at soaking up bumps without feeling floaty. Steering is precise. The Hyundai’s tighter turning circle also means hire car drivers can make illegal U-turns more quickly.
VERDICT The Caprice feels good to drive — in isolation — but the world
has moved on. The Genesis aces it on every measure: it has significantly more safety equipment, is demonstrably better
to drive and, to top it all, is cheaper to buy and maintain