THE supposedly Chinese curse ‘May you live in interesting times’ is probably not Chinese at all, but from my spot in the editor’s chair of Street Machine magazine it has a certain ring to it.
SM has, for 35 years, celebrated big Aussie rear-drive cars, but that era is about to end.
As a magazine, we’ll be fine, but what the heck are right-thinking folks (that is, those who enjoy big cars, with large donks and rear-drive) going to do for daily transport when the ‘proper’ Commodore and Falcon are no more?
One obvious answer is the Chrysler 300.
It will be too American for some, but has the size, grunt and heritage. And it turns out that a less-obvious alternative has been sitting in the car park at work for the past couple of months. I didn’t give it much thought, assuming that the big, blue sedan was an Aston Martin and therefore not worthy of notice. It wasn’t until Butler threw me the keys to the Genesis that I realised the blue car was of Korean, rather than English, extraction. Never mind; I needed wheels for a quick mission to Canberra, so I was happy to take something capable and practical.
The newest vehicle in our household was made in 1963, so when I do try my hand at a modern ride, I have a few basic yardsticks. The first is that I can get in, start the car, turn on the radio and crank up the Bluetooth without needing an engineering degree or the assistance of a 12-year-old.
Tick. And everything I’m interested in using – radar cruise, stereo, sat-nav – are intuitive to operate in the Genesis. Pushbutton handbrakes are a pet hate of mine, but otherwise the Genesis is entirely beaut – acres of legroom front and back, no discernible handling vices, a plush ride and enough stonk for the job. Fuel economy would be of no concern to anyone buying this type of car.
So, on a purely rational basis, the Genesis seems a fine alternative to a Calais, Statesman, 300 or Fairlane (RIP), though it would of course be much better with the V8 available in other markets. However, few people buy cars for rational reasons. Whether the Genesis can overcome the handicap of the Hyundai badge remains to be seen.
The street machiners in Canberra were surprised to learn my ride was a Hyundai and thought it looked pretty tough. In the main, our constituency is either sad or angry at the end of local car production. The Genesis may be attractive to those who don’t like the wank factor or the servicing and repair costs associated with the European alternatives.
It might even be a cult hit if Hyundai Oz gets the V8 happening.
A blower poking through the bonnet wouldn’t go astray for this bloke, but otherwise the Genesis’s V6 scored four bushy beards out of five
GADGETS are important when you’re trying to convince folks to part with $60K for a badge they might have only associated with the Hyundai Excel. The Genesis comes up trumps here, with the electric rear shade eliciting oohs and aahs from my passengers; the courtesy puddle lights from the exterior mirrors; the adjustable radar cruise control (not as flash as the BMW version, for instance, but pretty good); and the beaut magic boot that pops open on approach. It needs proper fold-down rear seats, though.
Date acquired: June 2015 Price as tested: $60,000 This month: 3220km @ 12.0L/100km Overall: 6263km @ 12.2L/100km Da Pr Th Ov