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Kia Sketches Out New Rear-Drive Flagship Sedan

Genesis anyone?

by on Feb.13, 2012

Kia's new KH flagship will roll into the Korean domestic market by mid-year.

Like its Korean sibling, Kia is moving up-market and is offering up a first series of sketches hinting at what’s to come when its new rear-drive flagship sedan rolls into showrooms in the coming months.

The look of the new 4-door, codenamed KH, is likely to be familiar, echoing the design language that Kia premiered with the popular new Optima sedan.  But the new model, which the maker dubs “distinctive, modern and classic,” is aimed to move the brand – long known for cheap and cheerful econboxes – into decidedly different territory.

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The move is similar to what Hyundai achieved only a few years back with the introduction of its first-generation Genesis sedan, which was notably the first Korean model to win the coveted North American Car of the Year trophy.  Like other Kia products, the new KH will share its underlying architecture with Hyundai, though the brands are pushing hard to develop distinctly different styling languages.


First Drive: 2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec

More power, more features – still less money.

by on Jun.20, 2011

Hyundai expands the Genesis line-up to 3 variants for 2012, including the new Genesis 5.0 R-Spec.

It’s not easy to change a brand’s image.  Build a reputation for poor reliability and you can struggle for decades convincing customers you’ve turned things around.  So how, you might ask, has Hyundai achieved its image makeover in such a short period of time?

Certainly, the 10-year warranty helped, as did its rapidly improving performance in third-party surveys, like the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.  Then there’s the Genesis sedan.  Few took the Korean maker seriously when it announced its entry into the mid-luxury segment, but when the Hyundai Genesis sedan was named North American Car of the Year, in January 2008, few were still snickering.

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Though the original, mid-luxury sedan probably wasn’t as much the driver’s car as a BMW 5-Series nor the lavishly-finished luxury saloon of a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the first Hyundai Genesis was a clear breakthrough for the Korean carmaker and a bargain for buyers who wanted to move up-market without paying the traditional premium for German or Japanese Luxury models.  Significantly, even with a new update coming, sales of the Hyundai Genesis continue to grow.

In its first incarnation, Car of the Year jurors seemed ready to forgive the sedan its modest sins.  Now, as Hyundai prepares to launch a significant update for the 2012 model-year, however, it needs be judged on a truly level playing field.  How does it stack up?


2012 Hyundai Genesis Comes in at $34,200

Korean maker adds all-new 429-hp 5.0 R-Spec at $46,500.

by on May.25, 2011

The big changes with the 2012 Hyundai Genesis can be found under the hood.

Hyundai is ready to let buyers slip into the newly-updated 2012 Genesis sedan, and despite some significant upgrades and changes, it’s carrying a barely 1% price increase, at $34,200 – before delivery charges.

The 2012 model-year brings the first significant update of the Genesis sedan since it was named North American Car of the Year, a few years back.

But the big news is on the powertrain front, the new ’12 Genesis continuing to offer both the 3.8-liter and 4.6-liter engines found in the original car, but also introducing a new 5.0-liter direct-injection V8 shared with the even more luxurious Hyundai Equus sedan.

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Exterior changes for the new model-year are relatively modest, with Hyundai introducing an “enhanced” grille, larger air intakes and modified headlamps that adopt the now-required LED accent lights.  There are new puddle lamps in the mirrors, revised rockers and redesigned taillights, as well as new asymmetrical exhaust tips.

The suspension has been tweaked on all models, with larger rear stability bars added to reduce body roll.  Brakes have been upgraded, a Lane Departure Warning System and Daytime Running Lamps added.  But the big news is that new 5.0-liter V8 – and the addition of an all-new 8-speed gearbox that becomes standard across the Genesis line-up.