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2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec Test Drive

by Ben Lewis on

The Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec may be a mouthful to say, but that’s just like the brand – you get a lot more than you expect. It’s kind of amazing when you think about it. For about the same price as the nicely equipped BMW 328i sedan we recently tested with a 240-horsepower, 2.0L four-cylinder engine, Hyundai gives you a full-size premium luxury sedan with a stomping 5.0L V8 that kicks out 429 horsepower.

In all fairness, these two don’t really compete for the same buyer, but it does show how far the Korean automaker has come in a short time. And it’s showing no signs of slowing.

This is a handsome sedan, in a quiet and conservative manner, looking as much like a previous generation Lexus as anything else – not a bad neighborhood. It’s handsome, tasteful and at 196 inches long – a scant couple of inches shorter than the current Lexus LS – it’s a physically large vehicle with presence. Sitting on its unique dark-tone 19” rims, with large oval dual exhausts, our platinum metallic R-spec was equal measure bad boy and investment banker.

Better put NFL linebacker in the description, too, because this big, wide Hyundai has the power and the moves to surprise a lot of so-called sport sedans.

Motivating the R-Spec is a 429 horsepower V8 that’s smooth, sounds good and also features 376 lb-ft of low-end torque. It makes for a quick ride, hitting 60 mph in just over 5-seconds. Power is delivered through an 8-speed automatic that’s does its best work being smooth and refined. Ask it to snap off shifts like a European sport sedan and it feels sluggish by comparison. The EPA rates the R-spec at 25 mpg highway, so in missed driving, our 18 mpg average was quite reasonable.

Smooth and refined is the order of the day for the drive as well. The sportier suspension and big wheels make for a snubbed down ride that’s well controlled on the super slab, but less convincing if the road is choppy. Handling is confident and grippy, but doesn’t beg you to look for a twisty road. Keep the Genesis as a comfortable long distance tourer and a cush commuter and you’ll find a happy and willing partner.

Inside, you’ll be glad you took that long trip. Materials are top notch, and everything looks lovingly put together. Large electroluminescent gauges float behind the leather-wrapped wheel, while a monstrous 8-inch navigation screen gives a nice wide-format view of your world.

Like other Hyundai products we’ve driven, the Genesis does an excellent job of simplifying functions and making for a clean dash free of an overkill of buttons and switches. A center-mounted knob below the shift lever functions as your multimedia controller and lets you easily dial up audio and navigation controls. Speaking of audio, the Lexicon 17-speaker, 528-watt sound system filled the cabin with excellent sound.

The rear seat is spacious and comfortable for adults. No surprise considering the overall size of the vehicle.

No surprise either, is the value the Genesis represents. If you like the looks but don’t need the V8 punch, the Genesis 3.8 starts at a very reasonable $34,200. Load it up to the R-spec level, though and you’re at $44,195. The R-spec gives you the big V-8, big wheels, sportier suspension plus all the goodies for $47,695.

There are no options offered – which should tell you how well equipped the vehicle is. Navi, Leather, sounds system, power rear sunshade, heated rear seats, lane departure warning, smart cruise control, parking assistance system, all standard. And we should add in, that wonderful 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty.

Also exciting news, if you should outgrow your Genesis, there is the larger Equus sedan, which is ready to take on the world’s best, and starts at $61,000. Sinfully equipped, it goes up to $68,000, still a huge amount less than the competition.

Which means Hyundai pretty much has you covered. From the attractive little Accent at $14,545 up to the Equus, they have a vehicle for you. And odds are it’s going to be a great looking, well-equipped, well-built competitor to just about anything else out there.

And with the Genesis R-spec 5.0, a nice big sedan, with pavement-rippling power, loads of luxury and a truly tasteful style. And really, a bit of a bargain at that, too.


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