The $100k Hyundai arrives in New Zealand dealerships

The $100k Hyundai arrives in New Zealand dealerships

The Hyundai Genesis arrives with the title of being the safest car yet tested by the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), it comes fully loaded in one specification as Hyundai New Zealand ticked every available box, and it eclipses the $80k Santa Fe Elite Limited SUV to become the first ever $99,990 (plus on road costs) Hyundai to be retailed in local dealerships during the first quarter of this year.

Hyundai New Zealand says the new Genesis luxury sedan will appeal to astute-thinking traditional rear-wheel-drive buyers, who are predominantly males aged 50 plus, and who believe product content and capability are more valuable than notions of brand.

The car will also be available through provincial as well as metropolitan dealers, which should target a greater number of these astute-thinking buyers and Hyundai New Zealand general manager Andy Sinclair says that the percentage of sales penetration for Genesis may well be stronger in the provincial areas.

The BH-series Genesis first saw the light of day in April 2007 at the New York Auto Show at the same time the Veloster concept was unveiled at the Seoul Motor Show. The production Veloster arrived in New Zealand early in 2012 but the gestation of the Genesis into right hand drive production has taken a bit longer that the local distributor would have liked.

New Zealand in fact received the second generation DH-series Genesis which is specified with a plethora of active and passive electronic safety features including active cruise control with stop and go functionality, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, forward collision alert, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, active bonnet, head up display, HID headlamps with high beam assist, continuous damping control and tyre pressure monitoring system.

It’s powered by a 3.8-litre V6 engine allied to an 8-speed automatic transmission with four modes: normal, eco, sport and snow.

Production of the DH series at the Korean factory began in November 2013 but to get the car to market here, Hyundai New Zealand delayed the arrival from late last year until now while the Satellite Navigation system and suspension was being developed for local conditions.

“We get the best Genesis,” says Sinclair. “Its very much a global design, it reflects the change of the companies design direction.”

“Our first foray into the luxury car market was the Grandeur 3.8-litre V6 front-wheel-drive sedan, however we discovered that Kiwis prefer rear wheel drive. So we declined the next model Grandeur, we took the choice to wait for Genesis to be developed.”

The limited demand for right hand drive production means that New Zealand will only receive the rear-wheel-drive 3.8-litre V6 variant, the 5-litre V8 all-wheel-drive model remains solely left hand drive for the American, European, and South East Asian markets.

Its hard to say who the most direct competitor to the Genesis, certainly the Lexus GS is a possibility, but the Hyundai is noticeably bigger in footprint, and roomier inside the cabin. Hyundai is also gunning for Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz buyers and certainly it has the specification and value to give the Germans a run for their money.

Driving impressions:

Astute-thinking large-rear-wheel-drive sedan buyers in provincial areas will find the Genesis is an incredibly quiet, well packaged, powerful, and comfortable touring car.

Both front seats have ventilated cooling or heating and there is a panoramic sunroof should you desire to watch the stars go by. The drivers seat is very comfortable and easily personalised to your preference, we spent several hours at the wheel without a twinge of back ache, although the heating function was engaged a few times.

The acoustic glass really does work – on a return trip from Taupo to Auckland, we drove into the local DIY carwash to give the Genesis a quick clean up before taking some pictures, opened the doors, and had our eardrums assaulted by the local radio station blaring through the public speakers at full noise.

Shutting the door brought back instant peace and tranquility – it was quite remarkable.

The other remarkable point of the Genesis was its fuel consumption – we managed to get as low as 8.3L/100km on the cruise home along State Highway one – using the active cruise control feature as often as possible. Leaving the Hilton Hotel in Taupo and arriving at Hyundai HQ in Auckland saw a total figure of 8.7L/100km and the fuel tank remained 3/4 full.

The Genesis offers a good blend of ride comfort with responsive steering and neutral handling, thanks to a suspension tune which took 12 months to complete – its an Australasian designed spec specifically for our market rather than the package offered in other export markets. Hyundai NZ technical manager was involved in the evaluation at Eastern Creek near Sydney.

It is overall a very good car that will find favour with astute-thinking buyers such as wealthy farmers, rural-based contractors and business men who want a large luxury sedan but don’t want the badge snobbery of an Audi, BMW, Lexus, or Mercedes-Benz and the go-faster HSV product also doesn’t appeal.

And the fact that the Genesis can be serviced by a nearby local dealer will no doubt also appeal to this buyer group.

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