2011 Hyundai Genesis 4.6 Review & Test Drive


Hyundai delivers amazing power, performance, luxury, comfort and high-technology at an economical price enabling more consumers to enjoy the thrill and excitement of driving a true luxury sport sedan for less than $45,000.00, many thousands of dollars less than the competition.

First introduced in the 2010 model year, the Genesis 4.6 returns in 2011 with ten extra horsepower added to the award-winning Tau V8 engine for a total of 385, and more standard features from last year’s Technology package-only making it even more thrilling to drive.  The new 2011 Genesis rockets out to 60mph from a standstill in just 5.3sec. and produces more horsepower and torque than the engines found in the Lexus LS460 and Audi A8.

For the 2011 model year, Genesis 4.6 has further enhanced its already astonishing list of standard equipment by adding more premium features as standard such as the Lexicon 7.1 Discrete surround-sound audio system with 17-speakers, Ultimate Navigation System featuring the intuitive Driver Information System (DIS) with an eight inch screen, smart cruise control, electronic parking brake, cooled driver’s seat, adaptive front lighting system with HID headlights and parking assistance system featuring front and rear sensors and a rearview camera.  Wow!  All coming standard.  I like this new luxury performance sedan.

The Genesis’ rear-wheel-drive architecture was the first application of such in a U.S. Hyundai model.  The vehicle boasts a near ideal 52/48 front-to-rear weight distribution for exceptional handling, balance and more refined steering characteristics.  The rear-wheel-drive layout also allowed engineers to position the car’s front wheels farther forward, giving it even more outstanding handling and steering performance.  Standard electronic stability control enhances the driver’s confidence when cornering a tight turn.

Genesis reduces interior noise levels and improves ride and handling further with a stiffer, lighter body structure.  The use of high tensile steel in critical areas of the unibody provides Genesis with high dynamic torsional rigidity and a low body structure weight.  Genesis also has more interior volume than a Lexus LS460 and BMW 750i.

Headlining the Genesis’ performance capabilities is Hyundai’s Tau 4.6 liter, DOHC VVT, all-alloy V8 engine that pumps out 385hp at 6,500rpm and 333lb.ft. of torque at 3,500rpm.  That is a lot of power from a relatively small displacement V8 engine.  The Tau engine is built with flexibility for the future and rumors are that the 2012 Genesis’ Tau V8 with a displaced 5.0 liters making 429hp.

The engine is mated to an enhanced ZF six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC manual control.  Just move the leather-wrapped stick from its normal gate to the left for + and – up/down shifting as needed in its own gate.  You can take each gear up to it’s redline to exceptional high-performance manual shifting excitement.  A clear LCD readout on the instrument cluster shows the gear that’s in use.

All of the power and torque would be wasted if the Genesis didn’t have an innovative and sophisticated sport-tuned full independent suspension.  Genesis features a suspension design that is among the most sophisticated and refined anywhere, at any price.  The front five-link setup features upper and lower arms linking the front wheels to the chassis.  This artfully articulated arrangement creates a virtual king pin axis that dramatically reduces unwanted ‘kickback’ through the steering wheel as well as improving responsiveness to your inputs.  The front setup also includes race-bred SACHS ASD gas-charged shocks, coil springs and a 25mm stabilizer bar.  The five-link rear suspension is equally sophisticated, enabling precise suspension geometry for a premium ride and engaging handling prowess.  It also features SACHS ASD gas-charged shocks, coil springs and an 18mm stabilizer bar.  The capabilities of the advanced front and rear suspension are maximized through Amplitude Selective Dampers (ASD) which allows for tuning flexibility at smaller damper displacements.  The ASD suspension provides improved ride comfort with more body/wheel control, increased driving comfort without compromised handling, and optimized road surface contact.  With the standard rack & pinion electric/hydraulic power-assisted steering system your input at the wheel is almost instantaneous as you hug a steep curve.  Shut the ESC off and you can let the rear slid out as you crest a steep turn, then let off of the throttle for the rear end to quickly get back in line.

Bringing the Genesis 4.6 to a quick and safe stop are large, power-assisted steel disc brakes.  Up front are 13in. vented discs clamped with four-piston calipers and 12.4in. solid disc clamped with dual-piston calipers in the rear.  Braking power and control are enhanced with standard ABS, BA and EBD.

The Genesis 4.6 V8 rides on large 18X7.5in. aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with Dunlop 235/50R18in. SP all-season performance tires for a performance driven yet smooth ride.

Genesis’ design is a progressive interpretation of the modern rear-wheel drive luxury sports sedan.  To match it dynamic capabilities, Genesis combines strong, sculpted forms which integrate precise details, natural materials and innovative lighting to provide a well-crafted premium design aesthetic.  Its coefficient of drag is just 0.27 enabling it to cut through the air much more efficiently to lessen wind noise and increase fuel efficiency.  The chrome trim pieces are not overdone and blend in nicely with the overall package.  Understated to a degree, it hides its true nature of high-performance under the skin and luxury inside the large, comfortable cabin.

From its design and spaciousness to its technology and appointments, Genesis delivers a wealth of features and performance befitting flagship European and Asian brands, but delivers them at a much more accessible price point.  Starting with its Lexicon state-of-the-art audio system featuring 7.1 Discrete surround sound technology, Genesis offers an extraordinary combination of technology, premium appointments and value.  Standard is a soft-touch instrument panel with wood grain accents, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface, and iPod/USB and auxiliary input jacks.  In addition to the aforementioned in-dash unit, a top-of-the-line navigation system with an eight-inch display is standard.  The navigation unit is accessed by a user-friendly multi-media controller that also controls the radio.  Backing out of tight spaces and avoiding mishaps is much easier with the standard backup camera that uses the eight-inch display to show you a clear view immediately behind the car.

A leather-wrapped dashboard, door panels and console lid surround you in a luxurious environment, while the heated/cooled driver seat provides optimal driving comfort.  An automatic windshield defogger with humidity sensor and rain-sensing wipers allow crystal clear sight lines.  Genesis also comes with a power rear sunshade, proximity key and push-button start/stop.

Standard equipment not mentioned above includes heated/auto-dimming outside mirrors, self-dimming rearview mirror, two-driver memory, wood/leather-wrapped/power-tilt-telescope steering wheels with audio/Bluetooth/cruise-control buttons, power tilt/slide sunroof, smart cruise control, illuminated door sill plates, dual map lamps, grab handles above each door, center console with dual cupholder/padded storage bin, storage slots in each door, pull-down rear center armrest with dual cupholders, air-vents at the end of the center console for rear passengers, foglamps, automatic headlamps, electroluminescent gauge cluster, dual zone climate control, map pockets behind the front seatbacks, dual lighted vanity mirrors, and plush, thick cut-pile carpeting with front/rear floor mats.

Standard safety features include front/rear crumple zones, steel beams in each door, front active head restraints, front airbags, front/rear-outboard side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags for both rows, 3-point safety belts for all seating positions with front pretensioners/load limiters, and the LATCH system for child seats.

The new 2011 Genesis 4.6 is even better than last year’s model with more power and standard equipment.  It is the ‘real deal’ among five-passenger luxury performance sedans.  Don’t let that base/fully loaded price of just $43,000.00 fool you.  You are buying a true, world-class luxury sport sedan.  It is excellent in every respect.  I was totally impressed during my seven day test drive.




  • Price: Base Genesis Sedan V6 MSRP $33,000 As-Tested Genesis 4.6 $43,000
  • Engine: 4.6-liter V8 385 horsepower @ 6500 rpm / 333 ft-lbs. torque @ 3500 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 115.6in.
  • Total length: 195.9in.
  • Total width: 74.4in.
  • Total height: 58.1in.
  • Track: f/r-63.1/63.8in.
  • Turning circle: 36ft.
  • Fuel tank: 20.3 gallons
  • Headroom: f/r-40.4/37.7in.
  • Legroom: f/r-44.3/38.6in.
  • EPA passenger volume: 109cu.ft.
  • EPA cargo volume: 16cu.ft.
  • Curb weight: 4,012lbs.
  • 0-60 mph: 5.3 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 17mpg/city, 25mpg/highway