My Hyundai Genesis

The 2009 Hyundai Genesis took top honors as North American Car of the Year.

The 2009 Hyundai Genesis took top honors as North American Car of the Year.

When the 2009 Hyundai Genesis took top honors in the most exclusive automobile award in North America by being named 2009 North American Car of the Year by a jury of 50 independent automotive journalists, Hyundai definitely got the attention of automobile enthusiasts.

It’s refreshing to watch an automobile manufacturer climb the ladder of success by producing a high quality vehicle with a long list of luxury features, outstanding performance, and an incredible warranty. And, all this will give you sticker shock, because the price is so low!

I was impressed enough with everything the 2009 Hyundai Genesis has to offer that I took a closer look by comparing several luxury sedans and chose to purchase the Genesis sedan earlier this year.

Let me clarify that I was disappointed and shocked at the vehicles that Hyundai introduced to America 20 years ago, but I got over it and you should too, or you will miss out on the new and improved Hyundai offerings.

Available in two models – V6-powered Genesis 3.8-liter and V8-powered Genesis 4.6 – I selected the fully loaded V6 model as it offers ample power for this grandma. If you are looking for more power, keep in mind the 4.6-liter, all-aluminum V8 engine in the Hyundai Genesis has greater horsepower than that of a Lexus GS460, a BMW 750i, an Audi A8 and an Infiniti M45. Both V6 and V8 Genesis models feature a 6-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic and a lock-up torque converter for improved highway economy.

The all-new rear wheel drive architecture gives the Genesis a nearly ideal weight distribution, which results in excellent handling and steering performance. The Genesis treats the driver and passengers to an extremely quiet drive due to the underbody cladding that also helps reduce drag along the undercarriage. Genesis received the highest safety ratings in all categories by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The interior of my Genesis definitely made the purchasing decision easy. The heated front seats are perforated and stitched dark brown and black leather. Woodgrain trim with metal accents makes the dashboard very attractive. The driver’s seat is also air-conditioned. With a total interior volume of 125.3 cubic feet, the Genesis bests every competitor in its segment in front head and leg room. Perhaps even more impressive is that three adults can sit comfortably in the back seat.

I would highly recommend purchasing the technology package, which is included in my Genesis. It includes a 528-watt 17 speaker Lexicon HD radio with 6 DVD changer, XM satellite radio and navigation system. The Lexicon system is a remarkable sound system that plays without distortion. The clarity sometimes makes me want to sit in my Genesis and listen to the fantastic sounds generated from that system.

The trunk has a huge opening for large objects and is quite roomy. A cargo tray and netting make placing and securing items in the trunk easy. Storage compartments for stashing smaller treasures are also located at the sides of the trunk.

A few of my favorite features in my Genesis are the rain-sensing windshield wipers, rear backup camera, one touch starter button and the driver information system.

A hood ornament is excluded from the Genesis. Perhaps it is because the grill and the xenon headlights that wrap into the fenders form a sly smile that is the same smile I get on my face when I see my beautiful new luxury sedan!

Sally Hanson, a 29-year resident of Kirkland, is a freelance automotive journalist who has test driven more than 1000 vehicles over the past 20 years. She received a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of Houston and is currently scholarship chair for the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Sally and her husband, Don, own Juanita Bay Pharmacy in Kirkland.

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