Classy Genesis offers luxury and performance with competitive class pricing

We’ve watched the progress of Hyundai closely over the past 20 years and continue to be impressed by the advancement of both model offerings and the quality of products the automaker delivers. And we certainly enjoyed the 2015 Genesis AWD we recently tested.

While many are surprised by a luxury model from Hyundai, we are not. We’ve tested their superb SUVs and other models and found them reliable and very usable vehicles.

The Genesis has won numerous awards in large part because this is true luxury sedan at a price that is more than competitive. Our loaded AWD model had an MSRP of $40,500 and with three substantial option packages still remained under $52,000. Compare that to similar cars in its class and the answer is clear – this is an excellent automobile for the price.

With a 3.8-L 24-valve DOHC V-6, mated to an amazingly smooth eight-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic and paddle shifters, the Genesis applies power and performance at its best. Fuel economy is rated at 19 MPG overall (16/city and 25 highway) and we experienced 20.5 MPG overall during our weeklong drive.

Not much, if anything, was missing on our tested Genesis, including extensive safety features ranging from Electronic Stability Control with Traction Control to Vehicle Stability Management to ABS with Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist. Add plentiful airbags and whiplash protection, the reactive all-wheel-drive system, as well a Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and Automatic Emergency Braking and no wonder it’s a 2015 IIHS Top Safety Pick+.

On the inside of the Genesis has a class leading 123 cubic feet of interior space, delightfully comfortable 12-way power/ventilated leather seats, well-appointed wood and aluminum trim, power rear sunshade, a highly usable navigation system, connectivity to all electronic devices, Hyundai Blue Link powered by Google, and a Lexicon auto system with Discrete Logic 7 surround sound among it many pleasurable features. Controls and instruments are clean and easy to use.

Other likeable equipment on the Genesis include power/heated outside mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, dual climate control system, power/panoramic sunroof, power trunk lid opening to 15.3 cubic feet lf cargo space, and much more.

With an advanced high-strength steel chassis that has a five-link front and rear suspension, the Genesis provides an engaging ride quality on its 18-inch tires (19-inch on the Genesis with a 5.0-L engine). 

From handling to comfort, technology to design elements, we were again impressed with this automobile.

Chevrolet Trax is small but fuel-efficient

     For those who desire a small SUV, the all-new 2015 Chevy Trax may be a viable option based on price and usability. Our tested LTZ FWD model, the top of three trim levels, provided us a decent combination of an SUV and overall fuel economy of just over 29 MPG (EPA ratings are 26/city and 34/highway MPG) for a week of driving.

The solid fuel efficiency is a result of the 1.4-L Ecotec turbo engine in our tester. While the four-cylinder DOHC does not have an abundance of power, it worked well with the six-speed automatic transmission and did save on fuel usage.

Standard equipment on the Trax LTZ includes StabiliTrak Stability Control System with traction control, rear park assist, a rear view camera, 18-inch wheels and tires, heated outside mirrors, fog lamps, driver and passenger heated seats, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with leather wrap, steering wheel controls, power outlets, the Chevrolet Mylink radio with a seven-inch touch-screen, Bose audio system with seven speakers, OnStar systems (including 4G LTE WiFi), and navigation system, among its many features.

The Trax has a fold-flat front passenger seat that no competitor offers, and has 15 storage areas and 10 airbags, more than others in its class. It has a 5-Star overall vehicle crash rating from NHTSA and is an IIHS 2015 Top Safety Pick.

Though the Trax is small, it does offer up to 48.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. Its size and utility make this a perfect city driving SUV.

The suspension on the Trax offers MacPherson struts on the front with coil-over springs and a direct-acting stabilizer bar. On the rear is a torsion beam system with coil springs and twin-tube shocks absorbers. In conjunction with the StabiliTrak Stability Control System, the Trax provides a solid ride and has a turning radius of 35.5 feet (36.8 feet on the LTZ).

While AWD is available on all Trax models for $1,500, our tested LTZ was a FWD unit that handled well, though the AWD may be the best bet for this SUV that is manufactured in Korea.

There were no options on our tester, so the $25,030 MSRP was its final price. The base Trax LS model starts at $21,620.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.