Better than you think, the 2016 Hyundai Genesis is not as good as it should be

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What changes will make it different?

With the luxury sedan’s second generation beginning in the 2015 model year, don’t look for much to be different in model-year ’16. A lot will depend on the response to the model-year 2015 version, as Hyundai isn’t shy about making improvements as needed. But it’s likely that the changes will consist of slight revisions to the front fascia and possibly some extra or upgraded features that keep things fresh.

Why should I wait for the 2016?

It used to always be better to wait until a new generation had been out for a while before buying, just to give the manufacturer a chance to iron out any bugs. However, modern vehicles are now subjected to such rigorous testing that it’s rare for any real faults to appear once they go to market. There’s very little reason, then, to put off buying a Genesis until model-year ’16.

Should I buy a 2015 model instead?

If you like this first year of the nameplate’s next generation, go out and buy it! Now is as good a time as any to take the plunge since model-year ’16 is unlikely to bring any drastic renovations.

Will the styling be different?

The styling of the second-generation doesn’t differ greatly from the last year of the first generation, which was already plenty good. So don’t expect the automaker to alter much in model-year 2016 beyond the normal tweaks that distinguish one version from another.

Any mechanical changes?

Although the model-year ’15 car represents the beginning of a new generation, the engines carried over from model-year 2014. The 3.8-liter V-6 now delivers 311 horsepower and 293 pounds per foot of torque, while the 5.0-liter V-8 offers 420 horsepower and 383 pounds per foot. They continue to be teamed up to the same eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters, and both are good highway cruisers. However, if you regularly travel through more congested environments, the engines and overall handling can be a bit lacking. It’s not out of the question that mechanical upgrades will arrive in model-year ’16 that address this issue.

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Will fuel economy improve?

Hyundai needs to work on this area with both the Genesis and its big brother, the Equus. Although luxury cars do not succeed or fail based on fuel economy, it’s something that is becoming more of a consideration for even buyers in this segment. Even without the introduction of entirely new engines for model-year 2016, expect the South Korean automaker to deliver some refinements that improve gas mileage.

Will it have new features?

Hyundai isn’t a company that sells customers short when it comes to standard equipment, so the Genesis is already stocked with features. There may be some upgrading of the safety, infotainment and connectivity features, but don’t look for any earth-shattering overhauls.

How will 2016 prices be different?

Manufacturers are maintaining, and even increasing, profits these days by becoming more efficient in terms of their designs, manufacturing and logistical operations. It would be a shock if Hyundai raised prices on a model the year after a new generation was launched. Thus, the model-year ’16 Genesis should cost about the same as the model-year 2015 version, which has a base MSRP of $38,000.

When will it come out?

It should land in showrooms around the middle of calendar-year ’15. However, if there are fundamental changes to something like the engine, it might not arrive until the third quarter of the year.

Best competitors

Audi A6, Acura RLX, Lexus ES 350, Lexus GS 350, BMW 5-Series, Cadillac CTS, Mercedes E-Class

What change would make it better?

Fuel economy is an area where Hyundai’s luxury cars fall short, so some significant improvement in this area is necessary. An obvious solution would be the introduction of a hybrid power plant for the Genesis, which we wouldn’t rule out.

Quick hit

For model-year 2015, an all-wheel-drive option has been added to the standard rear-wheel drive configuration, which only widens the car’s appeal. We don’t yet know if Hyundai will pull another similar rabbit out of its hat for model-year ’16. Either way, this car measures up nicely with its competitors. Any changes to the 2016 model year will only enhance the car’s already considerable appeal for those who go for value over a prestigious badge on the hood.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]