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As a brand that originally became popular for its good value and reliable engineering, Hyundai has been struggling to nudge its way into the high-end sedan league for some time. The problem is arguably that the products from the Korean car giant have got better, while its image has stayed roughly in the same place. The updated Hyundai Genesis is the brand’s latest attempt to win over a more discerning motorist, with refreshed styling that sets it apart from its predecessors. We drove the full options model along the Academic City, Dubai for some snaps and roundabouts.
One of the Genesis’ biggest rivals is the Toyota Aurion. In terms of styling the Genesis is arguably the most appealing of the two, with daring side panelling and a unique, sporty front grille; it will certainly appeal to those in search of a more exuberant family car. The Genesis also has a bigger engine than the Aurion (3.8L compared to 3.5L), and in terms of performance is as sporty under the bonnet as the styling on the outside suggests it is.
The Genesis is a comfortable cruiser that offers more than a hint of sportiness when required. Perfect for use on the highways, it boasts super comfortable suspension – which you get to really appreciate if you up the speed. If you access this car’s sportier side, you appreciate fully that Hyundai has invested a great deal in making its cars more exciting to drive, offering as it does exceptional handling.
As far as large sedans go, the Genesis will please the most demanding of motorists. A raft of cutting-edge gadgets such as Bluetooth, a rear camera and a rain sensor (not of great use in the UAE, but handy just in case), it compares well to its rivals. The interior is comfortable with high quality upholstery, and the cabin offers a relaxing, quiet drive – thanks in part to its acoustic laminated glass. Passengers will appreciate the generous space inside, which has an edge over the Aurion thanks to its longer wheelbase and length (2935 mm and 4975 mm respectively). Among the other more expected interior features of the Genesis are front airbags, electronic hydraulic power steering, Xenon headlamps and air suspension.
We got to try the full specification Genesis and certainly, all this translates to an exciting ride – but it comes at a price. A full-option Genesis will set you back 144,900 AED, while you can pick up a full-spec Aurion for 129,000 AED. Check out our spec-to-spec analysis of Hyundai Genesis vs Toyota Aurion.
The notion of Hyundai cutting corners in order to keep its prices down is outdated, not least because they have installed every feature that a modern family would expect – and because, quite simply, the price tag is not so little anymore. Its second identity as a sporty cruiser is well deserved, and on both paper and in practice this is a car that compares well with its rivals. Hyundai will be hoping that this car’s refreshed styling and high specifications – not to mention its long-standing reputation as a super reliable car – will be enough to evaporate any concerns about the brand’s old ‘value’ image.