Hyundai's first luxury car is now a used bargain.
Before 2008, Hyundai was known as a budget automaker that just sold affordable economy cars at reasonable prices. That all changed when the Korean automaker stepped way outside its comfort zone with a rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan called the Genesis. Ten years later, Genesis name has morphed into its own luxury sub-division akin to Toyota's Lexus and Honda's Acura brands.
The original Hyundai Genesis has now become the Genesis G80: a $40,000 luxury sedan rivaling the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and Lexus GS. Few people could have predicted the success of Genesis, and now it has become a true luxury contender. New G80 models aren't cheap but, fortunately, used Hyundai Genesis models are now incredibly affordable.
The first Hyundai Genesis debuted in 2008 as a 2009 model and was sold until 2014 when the second generation car was revealed as a 2015 model. The original car was powered by a choice of two engines: a 3.8-liter V6 or a 4.6-liter V8. The V6 produced a rather healthy 290 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque, sending power to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic. The V8 bumped these figures up to 375 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque, which was later increased to 385 hp for the 2010 refresh.
These first generation cars are the most affordable with high mileage V6 models abundant for less than $7,000 with under 100,000 miles. V8 models do command a bit of a premium, but even they can be found with less than 100,000 miles for under $10,000. Each generation brought with it significant improvements, but if you are searching for a reliable luxury car for less than $10,000, the first generation Genesis could be a very interesting purchase.
Four years into the Genesis' life and it seemed like it was here to stay. For the 2012 model year, Hyundai made a significant change by replacing the 4.6-liter V8 with a new 5.0-liter R Spec model. The V8 now produced a whopping 420 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque going out to a smoother and faster shifting eight-speed automatic. Along with the power increase, the Genesis gained revised shocks and springs to provide a smoother ride and a greatly enhanced touchscreen infotainment system.
With the introduction of the R Spec, the Genesis was finally taken seriously as a true performance luxury contender. Its 420 hp is the same figure found in the prestigious Audi S6 and more than the BMW 550i at the time, though the Genesis was far less expensive than its German rivals. Today, 5.0 R Spec models can be found for as little as around $10,000 with low mileage examples still available for less than $15,000. Among all of the used Genesis models, a $15,000 first generation R Spec is among the best values for bargain hunters looking for supreme power, luxury, and affordability.
Hyundai introduced the second generation Genesis for the 2015 model year. This new car picked up where the old one left off with more handsome styling and an all-new interior. The Genesis always had a comfortable interior, but this is around the time Hyundai started to get serious with its interior design, enlisting the help of Audi designer Peter Schreyer. This second generation Genesis design is still going strong as the Genesis G80, though the Hyundai badge has a significant impact on used values.
The Genesis became the G80 in the 2017 model year, and used G80 prices currently start at around $26,000. Since the Hyundai Genesis is a bit older, used 2015 models can be found for around $10,000 less. The 3.8-liter V6 was improved to produce 311 hp and 293 lb-ft of torque, now going out through an eight-speed automatic. The 5.0-liter V8's power remained the same, but torque increased from 375 to 383 lb-ft. 0-60 in the V6 took just 6.5 seconds while the V8 could do the deed in 5.4 seconds. Even the more powerful V8 model is currently available used for around $20,000, making it one of the best value used luxury sedans on the market.
Some people still don't believe that Hyundai is ready to compete with more established luxury brands like Lexus and even BMW. We have been saying for years that the naysayers should give a Genesis a try, whether it be the original Hyundai version or a new Genesis model like the G80. We are sure that many readers will be turned off by the Hyundai badge, but we challenge them to come up with a modern, reliable, 400-plus horsepower, RWD luxury sedan that can be found for less than $20,000. While the suggestions of a mild accident damaged Chevrolet SS roll in, we'll be busy enjoying our cheap and cheerful Genesis.