It was 2014 when we drove the first Hyundai Genesis in Australia.
It’s was a bit of a slow burn for the Korean car maker, but the hire car operators were quick to spot the big sedan’s potential.
I mean why would anyone in their right mind pay more than $80,000 for a Hyundai when you could get a Lexus or even a Benz E-Class for the same sort of money?
But Hyundai stuck to its guns even as its rear wheel drive, locally produced competitors fell by the way side.
Despite the fact it’s been two years since the car has been sold here, the Genesis name is about to make a comeback as a brand in its own right, with its first offering a new and improved G80 sedan due in June.
And, if you thought $82,000 was a bit steep before, you’ll be even more surprised to learn the new one tops out at (takes deep breath) $92,000 — fair dinkum.
We’re not suggesting there was anything wrong with the original.
It was in fact quite an impressive vehicle, from get go. It was just the very idea, the sheer impertinence of asking $80K plus for a Hyundai.
Fast forward to the present and the new Genesis G80 will be offered in two model grades, with an optional Sport pack — all powered by the same 232kW 3.8-litre V6, teamed with a lightweight aluminium 8-speed auto, with drive to the rear wheels.
The $68,900 G80 3.8 opens the card, featuring locally tuned adaptive suspension, nine airbags and the Genesis Active Safety Control suite.
Standard features include a 9.2-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, 17-speaker Lexicon by HARMAN audio, wireless (Qi standard) smartphone charging, LED headlights, Surround View Monitor, Memory driver’s seat/power steering column adjustment and Genesis Connected Services.
The $88,900 3.8 Ultimate adds 19-inch alloys, Nappa leather, heated/ventilated front and outboard rear seats, heated steering wheel, panorama glass sunroof, powered soft-close doors, heads-up display, power rear seats, suede headlining/pillars, Smart Key Card (credit card type key) and 7.0-inch colour instrument cluster display.
A more dynamic look comes with $4000 Sport Design package that features interior and exterior styling enhancements to the give the G80 a more athletic look.