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2015 Hyundai Genesis Gets Much Needed All-Wheel Drive

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis will debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January with something its long been lacking: all-wheel drive. The move comes at a crucial time to help the automaker pump some new energy into the brand.

The big news is the 2015 Hyundai Genesis will now be available in all-wheel drive, a first for the near-luxury sedan. That firmly puts it in a higher class of vehicle (with styling matching the 2015 Kia K900 that has a major mistake) when it comes to handling and opens up whole new markets for a vehicle that may have been set aside in colder weather climes in favor of more expensive European competition.

In my opinion, it's going to be all-wheel drive that helps drive sales. The challenge, though, will be quality. Hyundai, which has some of the worst vehicles at the LA Auto Show, has faced increasing recalls over the last few years. Problems with the all-wheel drive system could put a black cloud over the brand that could be hard to wash away.

According to Bloomberg News, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis, just unveiled in Korea earlier today, "will go on sale in the U.S. next year to revive flagging sales in the model’s largest market. Hyundai plans to sell 62,000 Genesis sedans worldwide in 2014." The Genesis also moves to Europe to give the company its first near-luxury car in that market.

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In my opinion, Hyundai, based on pictures available at the Korean language website has created a European styled sedan packed with technology that is going to cause consternation among the German auto manufacturers. Its front design, based on the photos, seems similar to the Kia K900 introduced at the LA Auto Show. The K900 is a larger car, along the lines of the Hyundai Equus, but the front grille looks like a ringer on the 2015 Genesis. (It also seems reminiscent of an Aston Martin coupe as I pointed out in an earlier article.)

Bloomberg says the new Genesis is going to compete head-to-head with the BMW 5 series and the Mercedes-Benz E series. German fan boys are going to scoff at that, of course, but the current generation Genesis was named North American Car of the Year in 2009 and all-wheel drive makes it a viable competitor.

Where the Hyundai Genesis could do really well is against a company like Volvo and it should eat Lincoln's lunch with no problems. Who will buy an MKS with the better product being offered by Hyundai? It will dominate the Cadillac CTS among smart buyers, too, especially with its new all-wheel drive option. Chrysler may also see some problems with competition for its 300 sedan but its price is generally lower than the Genesis.


Paul (not verified)    November 26, 2013 - 10:37AM

Looks nice. A blend of Audi rear flank and Aston Martin/Ford grill. Lexus conquered my bias for European luxury cars but I've been unable to make the leap with Hyundai. Interesting to read about quality lapses. If they're not better and cheaper, what's to recommend them?

Jim Henry (not verified)    November 26, 2013 - 11:51AM

They are great to drive, the content for the money can't be beat but the badge carries a lot of baggage. I was under the impression quality had turned the corner, no?