2011 Hyundai Genesis Review and Prices

Last Updated: Apr 3, 2011

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2011 Hyundai Genesis Buying Advice

The 2011 Hyundai Genesis is the best luxury sedan for you view automotive status not as prestige badge but a fine car at a (relative) bargain price.

The 2011 Hyundai Genesis sedan adds power and more standard features to its V-8 model but is otherwise the same capable and handsome four-door good enough to earn the 2009 North American Car of the Year award from a select panel of auto writers. With rear-wheel drive, a roomy and well-appointed cabin, and smooth V-6 and V-8 powertrains, the Genesis sedan is well worth considering if you’re not inclined to follow the herd. Yes, you’re paying more than $34,000 – near $44,000 for the V-8 model -- for a South Korean car. But Hyundai is quickly earning mainstream acceptance. It’s becoming a style leader. And its features-per-dollar approach has influenced every competitor. Genesis resale values pale against those of say, Lexus. But Hyundai’s generous warranty coverage salves some of the sting. For two-door aficionados who also are free-thinkers, Hyundai shrinks the Genesis sedan’s basic platform and clothes it in a very shapely skin to produce the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. The 2011 Genesis Coupe gets upgraded interior materials and adds a base V-6 model ripe for customization.    

Should you buy the 2011 Hyundai Genesis or wait for the 2012 Hyundai Genesis? Wait for the 2012 Hyundai Genesis if you want the freshest styling and the latest mechanical spec. The 2012 Genesis Sedan gets styling updates, boosts its V-6 model by 43 horsepower to 333, gains a top-of-the-line 429-horseower 5.0 R-Spec V-8 model, and replaces a six-speed automatic transmission with a more-efficient eight-speed automatic. The 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe also is due subtle appearance changes and could also see some powertrain upgrades. Bargain hunting? There’s little to criticize about the 2011 Genesis Sedan, and only a few noteworthy faults in the 2011 Genesis Coupe. So let your Hyundai dealer know that you know change is afoot for the 2012 versions of these cars and that a big discount on a 2011 model is justified.

2011 Hyundai Genesis Changes back to top

Styling: The 2011 Hyundai Genesis sedan continues to far outsell the 2011 Genesis Coupe. The sedan is an ambitious strike into premium-car territory for Hyundai, a giant conglomerate in its homeland but a relative newcomer to the Western auto market. The company’s strategy of rolling out new models, aggressive pricing, and astute marketing made it – and its Kia corporate partner – among the few carmakers to prosper during the recession.

The styling of the 2011 Hyundai Genesis sedan remains a collection of gentle curves conservatively proportioned. Dimensionally, the Genesis sedan is similar to midsize luxury sedans such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Lexus GS. Strategically, it aims – as Hyundai ads dare confided – to do to Lexus what Lexus once did to Mercedes. That is: offer a car that competes with the class leaders for luxury, performance, and features but undercuts them on price.

Remarkably, this first luxury sedan from South Korea is on the same page as the established premium brands for refinement, features, even performance, though the prestige gap remains formidable. Significantly, the word “Hyundai” does not appear anywhere on the Genesis sedan; a stylized “H” logo suffices. The 2011 Hyundai Genesis sedan returns in two models named for their engine displacement, the 3.8 and 4.6.

As for the aggressively low-slung Genesis Coupe, Hyundai most definitely wants it to stand out, not blend in. Also named for its engines, the 2011 Genesis Coupe returns the 2.0T series in base, accessory-ready R-Spec, and uplevel Premium models, and the 3.8 line in R-Spec, uplevel Grand Touring, and performance-oriented Track models.  

Mechanical: The 2011 Hyundai Genesis sedan follows the luxury-class blueprint with rear-wheel-drive and strong V-6 and V-8 engines. The 2011 Genesis 3.8 sedan returns a 3.8-liter V-6 rated at 290 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque. The 2011 Genesis 4.6 sedan again uses a 4.6-liter V-8, but it now has 385 horsepower, a gain of 10 horsepower from the start of model-year 2010 (Hyundai actually phased in the increase during model-year 2010). Torque remains 333 pound-feet. The sole transmission for the Genesis sedan remains a six-speed automatic with a separate floor-lever gate that allows manual-type gear control.  

The power numbers for the 2011 Genesis 3.8 and 4.6 are squarely in the premium-class ballpark; more important, both engines furnish fine performance. Hyundai says the 10-horsepower improvement drops the 0-60-mph time of the 2011 Genesis 4.6 sedan by almost a half second, to 5.3 seconds. With either engine, the Genesis sedan rides and handles competitively, too, though it doesn’t have the sporty edge of a BMW 5-Series or the fluidity of an E-Class. Of course, those cars start closer to $50,000 in base six-cylinder form. And those cars, along with other top rivals, all use automatic transmissions with seven and even eight speeds to furnish more shift refinement and fuel-efficiency.

The 2011 Genesis sedan returns with the full suite of traction and stability enhancers expected of a premium car. Absent, however, is all-wheel drive (AWD) for that extra dimension of grip and control in snow or other slippery conditions. All its key competitors offer both rear- and all-wheel-wheel drive versions of their premium sedans.

The sporty 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a tight 2+2 that revels in the rear-drive formula for its handling advantages. The 2.0T models have a turbocharged four-cylinder with 210 horsepower and 223 pound-feet of torque. The 2011 Genesis Coupe 3.8 models use the sedan’s 3.8-liter V-6 tuned for 306 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. The coupe mates both engines with a six-speed manual transmission and offers the four with a five-speed automatic and the V-6 with a six-speed automatic.       

Features: The 2011 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 and 4.6 sedans return with a roster of features considered essential for a premium-class car. Hyundai in fact enhances the ’11 Genesis 4.6 sedan by making standard a host of amenities previously optional. Basically, it incorporates the 2010 version’s $5,500 Technology Package into the 2011’s base price. That means it now comes standard with such features as a 528-watt Lexicon 17-speaker 7.1 discrete audio system, radar cruise control, cooled driver’s seat, steering-linked xenon headlamps, and an expanded navigation system with an 8-inch touch screen. A similarly configured Technology Package remains a $5,500 option for the 2011 Genesis 3.8 sedan.

Again standard on all 2011 Genesis sedans is leather upholstery, heated power front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The steering wheel contains controls for the standard Bluetooth mobile phone link and audio system. An MP3 auxiliary jack and a USB iPod interface are standard. All sedans also come with front and rear side torso airbags, plus head-protecting curtain side airbags.

Among features standard on the 2011 Genesis 4.6 sedan that are optional on the 3.8 sedan are 18-inch alloy wheels (in place of 17-inch alloys), power tilt/telescope steering wheel, power tilt/slide sunroof, upgraded leather upholstery, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and power rear sunshade. Same goes for a Lexicon-brand audio with 14 speakers and a navigation system with a 7-inch screen, 40-gigabyte hard drive, and rear backup camera.

The 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T continues its hard-core performance focus with such features as rear tires wider than the fronts and racecourse-tuned suspension. Manual-transmission-only R-Spec models have stiffer suspensions, larger wheels, Brembo brakes, and grippy sport bucket seats. The 2.0T R-Spec model gets a 3.8 R-Spec companion for model-year 2011 and both are slightly decontened – no cruise control and sparer cabin trim, for example – to reduce the base price and encourage aftermarket accessorizing.

The 2011 Genesis Coupe 3.8 Grand Touring model again focuses on stylish cruising with a comfort-tuned suspension and standard leather seating while the 3.8 Track gets serious with performance-tread tires, stiffer suspension, and Brembo brakes.  

Changes to the 2011 Genesis Coupe involve mostly cabin upgrades. All versions get soft-touch, matte-finishes on most interior surfaces, a more thickly padded leather-rimmed steering wheel, and chrome rings around the instrument cluster. The top-of-the-line 2011 Geneses Coupe 2.0T Premium model also gains as standard a navigation system and automatic climate control.

Among features again standard on all 2011 Genesis Coupes are remote keyless entry, power windows, locks and mirrors, steering-wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls, and air conditioning with outside temperature display. All coupes also come with Bluetooth phone connectivity as well as a USB interface and an auxiliary jack to interface with iPods and other digital music devices.  

2011 Hyundai Genesis Prices back to top

Base prices for the 2011 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 sedan are unchanged, while the base price for the 2011 Genesis 4.6 sedan rises to reflect its higher level of standard equipment – but it’s still lower than ordering a 2010 model with the same features. At $33,800 to start for the Genesis 3.8 sedan and $43,800 for the 2011 Genesis 4.6 sedan, these cars remain prices well below comparable import sedan, and even submarine rivals from Cadillac and Lincoln.

Still, the value proposition Hyundai presents with the Genesis hasn’t enabled it to ambush Lexus in quite the way the premium arm of Toyota shook up Mercedes and BMW back in the 1990s. Lexus isn’t as vulnerable as the complacent Germans were, for one thing. But Genesis sales are healthy, considering it’s been forced to snare buyers brave enough to accept the concept of a premium-class Hyundai and don’t mind lining up for sales and service next to the grad student and her $14,000 2011 Hyundai Accent. Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, Infiniti, and Cadillac owners face no such quandary.

Base price for the 2011 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 sedan is around $33,800. (Base prices in this review include the manufacturer’s destination fee; Hyundai’s fee for the 2011 Genesis is unchanged, at $800).

Options for the 2011 Genesis 3.8 sedan include the aforementioned $5,500 Technology Package, as well as the $2,500 Premium Package. The latter includes a power tilt and slide glass sunroof, upgraded leather upholstery and cabin surfaces, power tilt and telescope steering wheel, power rear sunshade, 14-speaker Lexicon surround-sound audio, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. If you purchase the Premium Package you’re eligible to add the $2,000 Premium Navigation Package, which includes the navigation system with rearview camera and also replaces the 3.8 model’s standard 17-inch alloy wheels and tires with the fancier and larger 18-inch alloys that come with the 4.6 sedan.

The $43,800 base price of the 2011 Hyundai Genesis 4.6 sedan delivers a fully equipped car with no available factory options. An identically equipped 2010 Genesis 4.6 sedan – with 10 fewer horsepower – would have retailed for $45,800.

The 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe has a different agenda than the sedan. It’s lighter and more compact than the American pony-car competition (Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger). Its rear-drive layout appeals to a different sort of driver than would shop, say, a Nissan Altima coupe. And it’s far less expensive than rear-drive imports such as the Nissan 370Z and Infiniti G37 coupes.

Base price range for the 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T line is $23,050-$33,050. The base 2.0T starts at $23,050 with manual transmission and at $24,300 with the six-speed automatic transmission.

The 2011 Genesis Coupe 2.0T R-Spec comes only with the manual transmission and starts at $25,300. It replaces the base Coupe’s 18-inch alloys with 19s wearing summer-tread tires and adds a track-tuned suspension, limited-slip differential, Brembo-brand braking system, leather-bolstered front seats, and R-Spec badges.

The 2011 Genesis Coupe 2.0T Premium model comes only with automatic transmission and is priced from $27,550. It goes the cruiser route by adding such standard features as a power driver seat, keyless entry and pushbutton ignition, a moonroof, and the navigation system and automatic climate control.

The 2011 Genesis Coupe 3.8 line adds the V-6 engine but otherwise mirrors much of the 2.0T equipment levels. Base price for the 2011 Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec is $27,550; it comes only with the six-speed manual transmission and is equipped with much of the same performance-enhancing kit as the 2.0T R-Spec while adding fog lamps.

The 2011 Genesis Coupe 3.8 Grand Touring model echoes the luxury approach of the 2.0T Premium model. It comes only with the automatic transmission and starts at $30,550.

The 2011 Genesis 3.8 Coupe Track model is priced from $31,550 with manual transmission and from $33,050 with automatic. This model combines performance-enhancers, such as the Brembo brakes and track-tuned suspension, with upscale touches, such as xenon headlamps and aluminum pedals.  

Most Genesis Coupe options come in packages that are pricey but well-stocked with useable items. The popular Premium Package for the Genesis 3.8 sedan, for example, lists for around $2,500 but includes the power tilt/slide sunroof, “ultra premium” leather upholstery with special leather door and dash inserts, power operation for the standard tilt/telescope steering wheel, integrated memory for the power seats and mirrors, power rear sunshade, the 14-speaker Lexicon audio, and rain-sensing wipers.

Premium-brand cars tend to have generous warranty coverage; Hyundai gives all its models broad coverage – a factor to consider in the Genesis equation. Coverage is 5-years/60,000-miles bumper-to-bumper and 10-years/100,000-miles powertrain. Hyundai owners also receive 24-hour roadside assistance at no extra charge for 5-years/unlimited mileage; the service includes emergency towing and lockout service. There is no deductible on any of this coverage. However, only the original purchaser gets the full 10/100,000 powertrain coverage. Hyundai’s powertrain warranty for any subsequent owner reverts to 5/60,000 from the date the vehicle was manufactured.

2011 Hyundai Genesis Fuel Economy back to top

Fuel-economy ratings for the 2011 Hyundai Genesis sedan are unchanged, while the 2011 Genesis Coupes gain 1 mpg in highway driving.

The 2011 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 sedan is rated at 18/27 mpg city/highway. The 2011 Genesis 4.6 sedan remains at 17/25. Note that Hyundai recommends premium-octane gas for the V-8. It says the 4.6 will run fine on less-expensive regular though it says horsepower falls to 378. That rating is the same as the 2010 Genesis 4.6 sedan achieved on premium-octane gas. On regular-grade fuel, the V-8’s torque is 324 pound-feet, same as for model-year 2010.

The 2011 Genesis Coupes 2.0T is rated at 21/30 mpg with its six-speed manual transmission and 20/30 with the five-speed automatic; the latter figure was 20/29 for model-year 2010. The 2011 Genesis Coupe 3.8 rates17/26 mpg with the six-speed manual and 17/27 with the automatic; the latter figure was 17/26 for model-year 2010.

2011 Hyundai Genesis Release Date back to top

The 2011 Hyundai Genesis went on sale in spring 2010.

What's next for the 2011 Hyundai Genesis back to top

The Hyundai Genesis Sedan and Coupe receive their first significant changes for model-year 2012. The Sedan is the more heavily altered of the two, and specifics about its revisions are more detailed. The styling of both models changes, but only in the fashion of a typical midcycle facelift: a subtly resculpted nose and tail, a new grille, and different wheels.

Bigger news is under the hood, where the 2012 Genesis 3.8 Sedan adds direct fuel-injection to its V-6, boosting horsepower to 333, from 290, and torque to 291 pound-feet, from 264. The Genesis 4.6 Sedan retains its 4.6-liter V-8 at 385 horsepower and 333 pound-feet of torque. But the new-for 2012 Genesis 5.0 R-Spec Sedan has a 5.0-liter V-8 rated at 429 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque.

Accompanying these engines changes is a new automatic transmission, this one with eight speeds instead of six. More speeds spells improved drivetrain smoothness and better fuel economy. Indeed, Hyundai envisions better mileage for both the 2012 Genesis 3.8 and 4.6 Sedans, at an estimated 18/29 mpg and 17/26, respectively. It pegs the 2012 Genesis 5.0 R-Spec at 16/25 mpg. All these figures are among the upper echelon for luxury sedans of this size and power.

Less hard data was available for the 2012 Genesis Coupe at the time of this review, but expect it to get cosmetic revisions similar in nature to those given the ’12 Genesis Sedan. The Coupe’s powertrain changes are less nailed down; it’s likely to retain the 3.8-liter V-6 and could link it with the new eight-speed automatic. With just 210 horsepower, the turbocharged 2.0-liter in the Genesis 2.0T Coupe seems anemic compared with the 274-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four in the Hyundai Sonata 2.0T midsize sedan. It’s uncertain whether Hyundai is ready to translate the transverse orientation and front-wheel-drive application employed in the Sonata to the Genesis Coupe’s longitudinal-mount, rear-drive layout.

Finally, note that Hyundai’s expansionist momentum has taken the brand into yet more uncharted territory, this time with a Genesis-based sedan intended as a value alternative to the likes of the top-line Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS. The interloper debuted as the 2011 Hyundai Equis. The 2012 version comes standard with the new 429-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8 but remains essentially an enlarged Genesis with fussier styling, more luxury, and a base-price range of $58,900-$65,400.

The 2012 facelift and tech tweaks should see the Genesis sedan through the end of this first-generation lifecycle, with an all-new model likely for model-year 2014 or 2015.

2011 Hyundai Genesis Competition back to top

2011 Cadillac CTS: You’ll notice a pattern among Genesis sedan competition: similarly priced models are generally smaller than the Hyundai. This strikingly styled Cadillac is tighter inside than the Genesis, though four adults won’t feel squeezed. It’s the driver who’ll be happiest, however, thanks to the CTS’s capable road manners. You’ll need to stay with the Caddy’s base 270-horsepower V-6 to remain in the $38,000-starting-price range. The 304-horse V-6 version is priced from around $45,000 and the top-line $63,000 CTS-V packs a Corvette-derived 556-horse V-8. The V-6 CTSs are good Genesis sedan alternatives, with the added benefit of available all-wheel drive. And don’t overlook the CTS Sport Wagon for a dose of utility without compromised performance. The CTS coupe, however, is more of a baby-boomer luxury two-door compared to the young-colt appeal of the Genesis Coupe.

2010 Lexus ES 350: Propelled by predictable, traction-safe front-wheel drive and with no sport-sedan pretensions, this midsize Lexus might seem dull compared to the striving Genesis. But don’t underestimate the ES’s ability to deliver whisper-refined motoring with surprising verve for drivers willing to exploit the throttle. With freshened styling and more features added for model-year 2010, the 2011 ES 350 remains a paragon of room, reliability, and class. It has a 268-horsepower V-6 and a starting price around $37,000.

2011 Lincoln MKS: Here’s one domestic rival that meets the Genesis on its own terms for interior space. And Lincoln made a host of minor but wise adjustments to this sizeable sedan for 2010, endowing it with the refinement and poise to compete in this company. The 2011 MKS starts with a 275-horsepower V-6 and front- or all-wheel drive in the $43,000-$45,000 range. It gets really interesting with Ford’s EcoBoost V-6, a 355-horsepower twin-turbo mated to AWD and a handling-tuned suspension. The EcoBoost version is fast, but starts around $50,000.