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Hyundai Genesis Sedan, Mercedes E, Lexus ES killer?

Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Comparisons, Reviews - No comments

Up until very recently, if you were looking for an entry level luxury car that was more posh and luxurious than sporty, it came down to 2 very similar options: The Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, and the Lexus ES350 sedan, which has been completely redesigned for the 2013 model year. In the past few years, Hyundai has come up with a very large marketing campaign and company restructuring that allowed for the Genesis to flourish in the marketplace despite the reputation that Hyundai has developed over the years as an economic, boring and according to most people a very ordinary brand.

Hyundai Genesis

2012-hyundai-genesis-sedan

2012-hyundai-genesis-sedan

2013-lexus-es-exterior

2013-lexus-es-exterior

The Hyundai Genesis came as a huge surprise to people when it first debuted in the US; the car was the first sign of Hyundai’s new business model and marketing campaign. The car was simply handsome and elegant which something people would expect from a premium brand like Lexus or Mercedes, not from Hyundai. Interestingly, Toyota had to go through the same struggles back when they released their first model out of Lexus, the brand-changing LS sedan. Before the Lexus brand was launched, Toyota had a reputation as low budget and high volume cars that were very cheap, not a luxurious and cutting edge performance brand that Lexus seems to be building at this point. With Hyundai following in the car giants footsteps, there has been significant market share change in the entry level luxury market, and Hyundai seems to be reaping the benefits, with Lexus showing much less models sold.

Some of the best features of the beautifully styled Hyundai lie under the hood, much to our suprise– the engine picks up nicely, the brakes instill confidence in the driver and the plush, comfortable interior leads to a serene, calming experience second only to the Lexus at this price range. Some of the faults, however, are real show stoppers and prevent the Hyundai from being our car of choice in this comparison.

• The Genesis has dismal fuel economy. With regular driving, we have clocked an average of just 16.7 miles per galon, a number that should be at least 21.

• The car feels like it doesn’t solidify itself in any specific role; the Genesis simply tries to please everyone, and therefore leaves you wondering if an alternate choice would have been better

Hyundai-Genesis-interior

Hyundai-Genesis-interior

Lexus Es 350

The Lexus Es 350 is known as “The old mans car”, because it is one of the most tame, well balanced, comfortable and pleasant cars that you can buy today for the price. The car is very poised on the road and the drive can be best described as silky, with excellent road noise suppression and plenty of power for the money. With a 0-60 acceleration time of just 6.2 seconds, the car can keep up with the flashy German rival sport cars. One of the key, defining features of the Lexus that really separates the car from the competition are the world class comfortable seats found in the car; the leather is one of the most plush seats your money can buy, and at the starting price of just around $34k, it is a very good value and really demonstrates the difference between quality leather and imitation leather like those found in the Toyota Camry XLE, for example.

2013-Lexus-ES-interior

2013-Lexus-ES-interior

The Lexus ES 350 has excellent shock absorbency  one of the quietest interiors in the class, standard features such as Bluetooth and push-start engine, and a beautifully redesigned interior that rivals cars that are far more expensive like the Jaguar XF. The optional Mark Levinson upgrades speakers are simply excellent; they create the perfect ambiance and contribute to the perfect luxury package. The rear leg room has been upped in the most recent iteration of the Lexus ES 350 which allows for adults (especially tall ones) to sit comfortably in the two window seats with a comfortable pull-down arm rest to complete the feel.

The Lexus ES 350 isn’t all good however, the steering feel is one of the most disconnected, numb and uninspiring catastrophies of the modern auto industry. Trying to maneuver on a windy road that requires a lot of driver input can be very unsettling; some have described the handling as “scary” and really blocks driver confidence. The Lexus isn’t perfect, but in the entry level luxury class, the Lexus takes the cake.

Yosef Adelman on Google+

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