Monthly Archives: February 2009

First Test: 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track

Ssssssssliderule: Calculating Performance Numbers for the Hyundai Genesis Coupe was Easy. Figuring Out Where it Fits Into The Sports-Car Equation is Another Story.

Just a year ago, Hyundai pulled out the red carpet to launch the Genesis, a rear-drive, V-8-motivated luxury car with power and grace akin to that of a Lexus LS 460. Its pricetag, however, resembled the one dangling from the rearview of a Chrysler 300C. And wouldn’t you know it, just as the original Lexus LS did 20 years ago, the Genesis garnered much attention, plenty of love, and due respect.

It certainly got ours. In fact, had it not been for the extraordinary Nissan GT-R, the Genesis would be reveling in Motor Trend Car of the Year glory for the next seven months. Suffice it to say, the Genesis is one of several top-notch products coming from the now formidable Korean brand.

Don’t believe us? Well, Hyundai was one of only four automakers to sell more vehicles in January 2009 than it did in January 2008. In other words, in a month when such terms as “Great Recession” were floating around and Chrysler’s sales were down 54.8 percent, GM’s 48.9, and Toyota’s 31.7, Hyundai’s were on the rise. Baby steps? Hyundai is making giant strides.

One such stride — and it’s a big one, especially considering Hyundai’s sportiest vehicle to date was the 172-horsepower front-drive Tiburon — is the all-new 2010 Genesis Coupe. Just as the Genesis sedan’s mission was to boldly lead Hyundai into the luxury-car arena, the Coupe’s is to unabashedly storm the sports-car field. What’s the formula? Try 300-plus-horsepower, rear drive, and styling that’ll startle a Town Car. But does it work? Let’s explore.


Similar to Nissan’s VQ-series V-6, which powers everything from the Altima and 370Z to the Infiniti FX35 and G37, Hyundai’s Lambda V-6 is an engine that gets around. In transverse configuration, it powers, among others, the Hyundai Azera and Veracruz, and the Kia Amanti and Sedona. Shift the configuration 90 degrees, though, and the 3.8-liter Lambda is ready for rear-drive duty, as in the Genesis sedan and the Kia Borrego SUV. Now it trickles its way into the Genesis Coupe, in which it represents the topline power plant. (A 2.0-liter turbocharged four gets the call for entry-level assignment.) Accordingly, the 3.8 is tuned to 306 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque, and features all-aluminum construction, dual overhead camshafts, and continuously variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust. Perhaps most pleasing is the fact that the 3.8 consumes good old-fashioned 87 octane. Every other rear-drive import in its class, including the 370Z, Mazda RX-8, and BMW 135i, guzzles costlier 91 octane. Plus, the 3.8’s estimated fuel economy of 17 city/26 highway is better than that of the 3.0-liter twin-turbo BMW (17/25) and the 1.3-liter rotary Mazda (16/22).

Transmission choices for the Genesis Coupe, which is built alongside the sedan at Hyundai’s Ulsan, Korea, assembly plant, include a Hyundai-sourced six-speed manual and a ZF six-speed automatic. The manual utilizes a sporty 3.54 axle ratio while the auto, also used in V-8 Genesis sedans, gets an even more dynamic 3.73 as well as steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Saddled with curb weights within just four pounds of each other (the 3478-pound manual vehicle, surprisingly, weighed more than the auto car), the two 3.8 Track models each hoofed from 0 to 60 in 5.5 seconds, with the negligibly lighter and more aggressively geared auto car clipping the quarter mile two-tenths sooner, at 14.0 at 101.0 mph.

This is a quick coupe, for sure — a Jag XK needs 5.8 seconds to reach 60 and to 14.3 at 98.3 to nab the quarter — but not as brisk as several others in its class. The 370Z, 135i, and Mustang GT all put up better numbers. Maybe the onus falls on the engine. The so-called “RS 3800” V-6 (for Rear-drive Sport), which does emit a pleasing growl as it revs effortlessly to the 6500-rpm redline, is no-doubt a refined engine — arguably more refined than Nissan’s VQ — but it doesn’t seem 306 horsepower strong. “I realize that on paper this is a 300-plus-horsepower car,” says associate editor Allyson Harwood, “but it doesn’t feel like it. It was pretty quick off the line, but I guess I expected a little more thrust.”

The six-speed manual also was a bit of a letdown. Its rubbery feel generally led to imprecise experiences, especially when attempting to shift quickly, and its placement on the center console seemed an inch or so too rearward. An RX-8’s gearbox will make you jealous. And as editor-at-large Arthur St. Antoine notes, our manual test car suffered from “Lots of driveline lash, making it very difficult to execute smooth shifts and throttle inputs.” The manual, alas, left us feeling that the proven ZF slushbox is the transmission of choice, certainly in light of the standard paddle shifters and generally quicker acceleration times.


The last-generation BMW M3 was, and still is, a fantastic GT car. No person in his right mind could say its structure felt like soggy fettuccine. Well, according to Hyundai, the Genesis Coupe boasts a body 24 percent stiffer in bending rigidity than that of the E46 Bimmer. Better than an M3? In this instance, it appears so.

We all agreed the Genesis Coupe feels sapphire solid. Build quality seems first rate. The doors shut with a reassuring thump. Whether navigating a straight highway or a winding byway, the Hyundai comes across tight and well put together. This overall feel of solidity, of course, is a welcome plus, as it not only gave Hyundai engineers a strong starting point, but it also provides the driver with quicker and more communicative responses. Within these realms, the robust Genesis Coupe mostly succeeds. The front strut and rear multilink suspension can be best described as modestly stiff, thanks in part to our Track model’s sport-tuned gear, which flaunts firmer springs, larger front and rear anti-roll bars, and 19-inch alloys with summer Bridgestones. The ride is never jarring, but it does act unrefined at times, occasionally crashing onto its bump stops and relaying a wee too much road granularity.

Present the Genesis Coupe with a curvy road, though, and the tautness of the track-tuned chassis pays dividends. The steering, with its relatively rapid 14.7:1 ratio, offers crisp turn-in and solid linearity, but disappoints with a somewhat gluey feel. When the pace quickens, the Hyundai displays modest roll and understeer, but its instinct to stay flat inspires confidence when exploring the limits. Speaking of limits, the Genesis Coupe’s standard stability and traction control can be turned completely off. But unless you’re impersonating drift champ Rhys Millen, it’s probably best to leave that button untouched, as the Track’s Torsen LSD can’t cheat the laws of physics.

In our instrumented handling tests, the 3.8 Track cars recorded lateral acceleration of 0.90 g (manual) and 0.91 g (auto), and figure-eight runs of 26.2 seconds at 0.67 g and 26.3 at 0.68. Again, these figures outgun those of the upper-echelon Jag XK (0.89, 26.8 at 0.66), but not of its two main rivals, the Mustang GT and 370Z. Ditto for 60-to-0 braking, which, at 111 feet, is just shy of the spans from the Ford (108) and the Nissan (109). As usual, credit goes to the Track model’s unfaltering Brembo braking system, which uses meaty monobloc fixed calipers and substantial 13.4-inch front/13.0-inch rear vented rotors.


While the Genesis Coupe doesn’t head its competitive field in driving dynamics, it is far and away the value leader. A base 3.8 with a manual, which comes with leather, automatic climate control, foglamps, active front head restraints, keyless entry, Bluetooth, and USB/iPod connectivity, starts at $25,750, or $3095 less than a base Mustang GT. Select the ZF auto, and the cost jumps an extra $1500. Step up to the luxury-bent Grand Touring that adds distinctive brown leather, heated seats, a 360-watt Infinity audio system, and HID headlamps, and the bottom line barely crests $28,000. Or, opt for the go-getting Track and pay just $30,250. A comparably equipped 370Z Touring with Sport Package demands over $38,000. And did we mention that the 210-horse turbo starts at under $23,000?

Obviously, Hyundai has much to be proud of with its first rear-drive sport coupe. The value is unbeatable. The quality is tip-top. The road manners are respectable. The styling, with its unique Z-shaped character line and drop-beltline rear window, is standout. Sure, there are some details — namely, the inexact manual and the numb steering — that need some fine-tuning. But for an initial effort, in a field that it’s never played, Hyundai has delivered a solid, sexy product.


Don’t need a V-6?

If a large-displacement V-6 seems superfluous, the Genesis Coupe’s 2.0-liter turbo four will seem just plain super. With 210 horsepower and 223 pound-feet channeled through a six-speed manual (a five-speed automatic is optional), the 2.0T should hit 60 in about 6.0 seconds and the quarter mile in roughly 14.6 ticks at 95 mph., yet still dispense an estimated 21/30 mpg. And given the $22,750 starting price, the 2.0T delivers bang for the buck that will make such front-drive pocket-rockets as the VW GTI and Honda Civic Si take notice. For those in search of more street cred, there’s the $27,500 2.0T Track, replete with a limited slip, Brembos, and 19-inch wheels, as well as the $24,500 R-Spec, a decontented Track trim for tuners and autocrossers.


Drift on Sunday, sell on Monday. That’ll be Hyundai’s motto as it enters the 2009 Formula Drift Professional Drifting Championship with multiple champion Rhys Millen. To achieve the target curb weight of 2400 pounds, Millen and his team gave the Genesis Coupe drift car an alkali bath to remove all rubber and adhesives from the chassis and then replaced every metal body panel with ones made from carbon fiber. The chassis is stitch-welded for extra strength, a necessary step given the stiffness levels of the KW three-way adjustable coil-over suspension. A stroked 4.1-liter Lambda V-6 that makes 550 horsepower and 520 pound-feet provides the rubber-melting power; and there’s plenty of it to instantly fry a pair of Toyo Proxes R1R tires. Look for Millen and his Red Bull Genesis in the drift championship as well as in the Pikes Peak hillclimb and select Redline Time Attack events.

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track
Drivetrain layout Front engine, RWD
Engine Type V-6 alum block/heads
Valvetrain DOHC 4 valves/cyl
Displacement 230.6 cu in/3778 cc
Compression ratio 10.4:1
Power (SAE net) 306 hp @ 6300 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 266 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
Redline 6500 rpm
Weight to power 11.4 lb/hp
Transmission 6-speed man; 6-speed auto
Axle/final-drive ratios 3.54:1/2.81:1 (6M); 3.73:1/2.58:1 (6A)
Suspension, front; rear Struts, control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Steering ratio 14.9:1
Turns lock-to-lock 2.7
Brakes, f;r 13.4-in vented disc; 13.0-in vented disc, ABS
Wheels f;r 8.0×19 in; 8.5×19, cast aluminum
Tires f;r 225/40R19 89Y; 245/40R19 94Y, Bridgestone Potenza RE050A

Wheelbase 111.0 in
Track, f/r 63.0/63.6 in
Length x width x height 182.3×73.4×54.5 in
Turning circle 37.4 ft
Curb weight 3478 lb (6M); 3474 lb (6A)
Weight dist, f/r 55/45%
Seating capacity 4
Headroom, f/r 39.2/34.6 in
Legroom, f/r 44.1/30.3 in
Shoulder room, f/r 56.7/52.8 in
Cargo volume 10.0 cu ft

Acceleration to mph
0-30 1.9; 1.9 sec
0-40 3.1; 2.9
0-50 4.3; 4.1
0-60 5.5; 5.5
0-70 7.5; 7.2
0-80 9.3; 9.1
0-90 11.8; 11.1
0-100 14.3; 13.7
Passing, 45-65 mph 3.0; 2.8
Quarter mile 14.2 sec @ 99.5 mph; 14.0 sec @ 101.0
Braking, 60-0 mph 111 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.90 g (avg); 0.91 g (avg)
MT figure eight 26.2 sec @ 0.67 g (avg); 26.3 sec @ 0.68 g (avg)
Top-gear revs at 60 mph 2250; 2050 rpm

Base price $30,250
Price as tested $30,250 (6M); $31,750 (6A)
Stability/traction control Yes/yes
Airbags Dual front, front side, front curtain
Basic warranty 5 yrs/60,000 miles
Powertrain warranty 10 yrs/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance 5 yrs/unlimited miles
Fuel capacity 17.2 gal
EPA city/hwy econ 17/26 mpg*, 18/26 mpg*
Co2 emisssions 0.96 lb/mile*, 0.93 lb/mile*
Required fuel Unleaded regular
* Estimated

By Ron Kiino

Hyundai steps it up with Genesis

One of the pleasant surprises of the 2009 model year is the Hyundai Genesis. This new, rear-wheel drive sedan fits neatly into the luxury category with such standard items as plush leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, steering wheel radio controls, a full complement of safety equipment (including eight airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control) and alloy wheels among the many features. The surprises? One, it’s a Hyundai!

The South Korean automaker that came onto the scene with budget vehicles had already inched its way into “bigger” territory with the Azera sedan, but now is aiming at what previously would have been pipe-dream rivals like Lexus or even Mercedes.

The reason for this reach comparison is price, which takes us along to surprise No. 2. The Genesis starts at $32,250 for a car with a 290-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 engine. The 375-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 that we drove starts at $37,250 and adds a sunroof, driver’s memory system, in-dash six-disc CD changer, rain-sensing wipers and 18-inch wheels.

Even with a $4,000 Technology Package that includes navigation system, cooled driver’s seat, back-up camera and front and rear parking sensors and auto-leveling headlights among other items, the final retail price was $41,250. Compare that to some vehicles with similar features for $20,000 more.

Quality concerns? Don’t underestimate Hyundai, plus there is a stellar warranty. The third surprise is the modest (make that calculated) approach by Hyundai. There is no Hyundai badging on the front. To see this vehicle is to first be impressed by the looks of another classy sedan. Only the Hyundai H and Genesis labeling on the rear fill you in. Actually, check that. You won’t be completely filled in until you give the Genesis a try. You might be surprised.

By David Mikesell
Cox News Service
New York Daily News

Hyundai Genesis called ‘new era of luxury’

(AOL Autos) — Autoblog recently spent time in Korea driving pre-production versions of the new Hyundai Genesis. This is the car that, according to Hyundai, will usher in a new era of luxury.

Those are big words, and we only got a limited amount of time to figure out how true — or not — they were.

But the main thing you need to know about the Genesis is this: unless they pull a bait and switch on the price range they mentioned, the car will be worth every penny Hyundai charges.

The parking lot statistics are these: the Genesis is a big car with a fair bit of horsepower. The car is longer, wider, and has a longer wheelbase than the BMW 530i, Mercedes E350, and Lexus ES350.

It’s also good looking — massive and curved without being bulbous — although it’s not designed to be controversial or, frankly, beyond the grille, that memorable. All you’ll be left with a few hours later is, probably, “It was a good looking car.”

That’s not a bad thing, since most people wouldn’t remember exactly what an ES350 looks like, either, and this slice of the mass-market segment is not where you’re trying to compete with Gaudi or Scaglietti or Bangle.

But if you’re really worried about the price of gas, you’ll be happy to know it is also more aerodynamic than those other cars, too.

Under the hood you get your choice of a 4.6-liter V8 or 3.8-liter V6. The bigger lump corrals 375 horses when sipping premium, and 368 with regular gas.

Torque numbers are 333 lb.-ft. and 324 with premium and regular, respectively. Those numbers put it in the mix of luxury offerings from Infiniti, BMW, and Mercedes, the Lexus GS460, along with the Chrysler 300C, and Pontiac G8, with slightly more horsepower than all but the E550, and slightly less torque than any of them.

Hyundai’s first in-house V8 also gets high-zoot tech like a two-step variable induction system and dual continuously variable valve timing. The 3.8-liter Lambda V6 gets 270 hp and twists 233 lb.-ft., which keeps it in good company as well.

It also provided quite the surprise when we got behind the wheel, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Through the six-speed automatic transmission, your mileage will be 17/25 in the V8, and 18/27 in the V6.

Inside, the Hyundai Genesis is nice. No, we mean nice. We admit that we’re suckers for a cockpit that looks like mission control, but that’s until we’re actually driving at speed and have to figure out where the button is to stop cold air from blowing in our face. Then we hate it.

Credit goes to Hyundai for creating an IP interface that we like almost as much as the Jaguar XF’s, which has just the right amount of buttons to get crucial functions handled quickly.

The difference is that the Hyundai doesn’t have a touchscreen, which would have been wonderful, but hey, this is only round one, and that Jag screen will cost you quite a few Korean won more…

Seating, driving position adjustability, and the view from inside are all top notch. The back seat, however, was our favorite place. That had nothing to do with not wanting to drive the car — it’s simply an enormous back seat area.

With the cars exceptional length and wheelbase, there is enough room for people in front and back to stretch out at the same time. If you don’t get too rowdy, you could probably even have a game of ring-around-the-rosy back there. And swing a few cats. It’s that roomy.

Fit and finish, stitching, touch, materials, and integration are all very good. Now, before anyone goes scanning pictures through an electron microscope and saying “Well, it kinda looks like…”, remember, we’re talking about a car that will probably come in well under $40,000 — and that’s for the V8.

And while we don’t want to hit the price refrain too often, this isn’t about making excuses, it’s about keeping in mind what the competition is. Is it as nice as a BMW interior? In absolute terms, no — if the BMW is a 10, the Hyundai is 9-and-change.

But for practical purposes, yes, because that extra percent will cost you at least $7K more to access, and it’s not that much nicer. Sit in a Genesis and see what you think. In fact, sit in a BMW 530, sit in a Genesis, and then sit in a fully kitted out V6 Honda Accord, and you’ll see where the Genesis is playing.

BMW can take credit, however, for Hyundai’s Driver Information System (DIS). BMW, having pioneered that type of interface, has had to watch as other companies got it (more) right.

And the DIS is a pretty straightforward and simple to use, incorporating HDD nav, voice recognition, Bluetooth handsfree, multimedia, climate control, and vehicle dynamics.

But let’s get to the driving. We only had a day with the Genesis, and that was on a proving ground, so we can’t really talk about the finer points of long distance driving and handling.

Things like day-long comfort and suspension capabilities will have to wait until we can spend a week with the car next month. For now, know that the V8 car has a weight balance of 54:46, the V6 posts a 52:48.

We were told there was about a 400-pound weight difference up front between the V6 and V8, factoring in both the engine and associated components.

The car gets a five-line suspension front and rear with some aluminum components like knuckles, links, and brackets. The shocks have amplitude selective damping.

The power steering motor and pump unit have been isolated from the engine to improve steering feel, and that feature also improves fuel economy.

The body is 74-percent high-tensile steel, with an ultra-high-strength steel cage around the cabin that is laser welded to form a continuous seam and provide appreciably more stiffness and rigidity and less flexing than the luxury competitors.

We tried increasing speeds through the slalom, and the car handles admirably, with almost no wallow. Irretrievable pendulum action didn’t occur until we got to toward the end of the six cones at speeds a little higher than those we were advised to drive at, having accelerated through. Let off the throttle in the middle of a screeching tire turn, and the car settles right down.

The car isn’t begging to be driven like that — you won’t race through a slalom and be itching to turn around and do it again — but the car’s capabilities are more than enough when emergencies dictate sawing at the wheel.

Take the car up to 70 mph and hit the brakes, and you’ll find yourself back at zero in just over 160 feet. Among its luxury competitors, that beats everything but the BMW 535i by almost ten feet or more.

On the handling course, the V8 has a rewarding, linear curve. Again, it’s not the kind of car that you’re going to throw into Eau Rouge at top speed — and that’s not the point. But you know what the car is doing, and you can walk it toward its limit without worrying that you’ll go beyond it first.

It’s a big car, so there’s quite a bit of weight, so while the car is taut, you’re going to feel it shifting and settling when you’re blazing through sweepers.

But the Genesis didn’t need a few moments to decide what it was going to do around the corner, and didn’t complain. You set your speed, turn the wheel, and the Genesis sorts it out.

Get frisky through hairpins and the sedan — specifically its integrated ESC system — will have something to say about it. Throttle control kicks in first, and if matters out back are still too loose, the rear outside brake clamps down for a fraction of a moment.

However, none of the intrusions are abrupt, there are no shrieking chimes or strobing lights, you’re not suddenly out of power in the middle of a turn, and you know where the car is the entire time.

It was on the high speed oval that we began to wonder about the V6 versus V8 question. The V6 at top speed, (130 mph) in the highest lane, was rock solid, while the V8 at about 145-MPH suffered some suspension squash and wandering.

In the middle lane, at 100 mph, the V8 was solid as granite, with the V6 just a fraction behind it in solidity. All of this is mainly due to heft of the engine.

The important things to take from this are: 1. We drove a Hyundai at 145 mph and didn’t have any concerns about it; 2. we drove a Hyundai at 130 mph and 100 mph and described the experience as rock solid;

3. Nearly all Genesis drivers will never have to worry about how the Genesis handles on a high-speed oval; 4. Nearly all Genesis drivers will be pleasantly shocked that a Hyundai handles superbly past the century mark.

And the final thing to take away is this: we couldn’t understand why we should buy the V8 over the V6. They perform nearly identically. The V6 is almost as fast. The interiors are the same.

They look almost identical, with nothing other than a small badge on the rear valance to differentiate the two. Even the tailpipes are identical. And the V6 gets better gas mileage. We’re high-horsepower guys … but if we were going to buy a Genesis, we’d buy the V6.

Is there anything wrong with the Genesis? Sure, there are certain luxury trimmings they didn’t include: the turn signals don’t click three times (and even Volkswagen cars have that). You need to use the key or the button inside to open the trunk — there’s no release on the lid.

And there are some places, such as the trunk, where the trim isn’t quite finished. But again, this is round one.

The real question: who will this car compete with? It’s being pitched as a competitor for the 5-series et al. Let’s not look at this as a luxury lifestyle proposition yet, where brand-brand-brand rules the day.

Let’s look at this as a financial proposition, because, really, that’s what it is for the time being. We all know that Hyundai doesn’t have the brand equity to stand toe-to-toe with BMW. Yet. And we’re not saying they will — that’s up to them. But remember, at one time, even BMW didn’t have the brand equity to compete with today’s BMW.

If the Genesis is reliable and Hyundai stands behind it until can make an impact with the brand-conscious, it is going to sell. That is not in question. Based on what we know of the Genesis so far, anyone in the market to spend $35K on a luxury sedan must at least give the car a chance.

After that, the question any potential buyer should ask is: Do I want to score a 9.5 out of ten on the European luxury scale and save myself $10,000 or more while doing it? We can only believe there are a lot of people out there who will answer “Yes” to that question.

By Jonathon Ramsey
© 2009 AOL, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Gary Rome of Gary Rome Hyundai in Holyoke Named Chair For The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk

Encourages The Community to Help a Good Cause

February 19, 2009 – The Massachusetts Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society recently named Gary Rome of Gary Rome Hyundai in Holyoke chair of its 2009 Northampton Light The Night® Walk, the LLS annual fundraising event held each fall to raise money for cancer research and patient services.

LLS holds walks each fall in approximately 230 communities across the United States and Canada. Participants at the walks carry illuminated balloons – white for survivors, red for supporters, and gold for those walking “in memory” – to honor and commemorate lives touched by blood cancer. This year’s Northampton Light The Night Walk will take place on Sunday, September 13, 2009 at Look Memorial Park in Northampton, MA.

“Light The Night is a great way to build a spirit of caring and cooperation among employees as they help others,” said Gary Rome “I am honored to serve as the chair and I look forward to encouraging commitment from local businesses and members of the community.”

Mr. Rome and his staff at Gary Rome Hyundai in Holyoke participated in the 2008 Northampton Light The Night event. The car dealership formed a team, captained by Cliff Dexheimer, General Sales Manager for the retail location, and raised over $5,000 for LLS. The team also brought along their Hyundai Hope on Wheels Santa Fe vehicle. In 1998, Hyundai Motorcars of America founded their own independent nonprofit called Hyundai Hope on Wheels, an organization dedicated to funding research of childhood cancers. In Northampton this past fall, Mr. Rome’s Hope on Wheels vehicle was ceremoniously decorated with handprints of local childhood cancer survivors in celebration of their strength, courage and perseverance. In addition to serving as Walk Chair in 2009, Mr. Rome will once again be bringing the Hope on Wheels vehicle to the event.

The funds raised through corporate and individual contributions help to find cures and better therapies for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to provide information, education and support for patients and their families.

“Light The Night Walk gives hope to patients and their families and lets them know they are not alone in their battle against cancer,” said Sharon Klein, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Chapter.

To find out more about forming a team or participating in a Light The Night walk, contact the Massachusetts Chapter’s Light The Night Staff at 508-810-1342 or online at

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit or contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

Hyundai — it rhymes with Sunday

Hyundai has come a long way.

It was 1985, while I was serving as editor of the Phoenix Business Journal, that a representative from the South Korean automaker came into my office to introduce his company, which was just arriving in the U.S. market.

“It’s pronounced ‘hun-day,'” he said. “It rhymes with Sunday.”

I was reminded of that while watching this year’s Super Bowl, during which Hyundai ran a few commercials.

One of them, touting the all-new Genesis luxury car, has a Hyundai representative repeating that “Hyundai rhymes with Sunday” line.

After nearly 14 years in the United States, Hyundai still struggles to get people to pronounce the company’s name correctly, and the Super Bowl ad took aim at that.

The ad had a bigger message: With all of the recent great Hyundai vehicles, and especially now with the Genesis in its lineup, this automaker has finally arrived.

But it’s still amazing to me how many people can’t pronounce the name, though — even people in the auto industry who should have known how to say “Hyundai” a long time ago. Even some Hyundai salespeople and dealers can’t seem to get it right.

And during a conference call earlier this month with a knowledgeable auto industry analyst, who was discussing January’s mostly dismal vehicle sales reports, the man kept referring to the company as “hun-die,” rather than “hun-day.” And this man’s office is just a few miles from Hyundai’s U.S. headquarters in Fountain Valley, Calif.

The analyst did note that Hyundai’s January sales were up 14 percent over the same month last year, making the automaker one of only two to show sales gains for the month. The other was Subaru, up 8 percent.

Hyundai’s gain was the result of its great product line, its value-pricing strategy, and, perhaps most of all, its new “Hyundai Assurance” plan, under which the automaker pledges to buy back any new Hyundai during the first year of ownership if the buyer becomes unemployed or can’t work because of health problems.

The Super Bowl ads were intended to boost the company’s once very low public image in the U.S. market, touting such things as the choice of the new Genesis as the “North American Car of the Year” in conjunction with the recent Detroit auto show.

This new luxury car — without a luxury nameplate, but a luxury car nonetheless — also received recognition from the Web site as the “Best New Car of 2009.”

It also was named a “Top 5 Luxury Car for 2009” by, the consumer Web site operated by the National Automobile Dealers Association.

This full-size sedan also earned five-star safety ratings for both front and side impacts in crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Michael Deitz, Hyundai Motor America’s product planning manager, suggests that the Genesis “has the technology and features comparable to the world’s leading premium sports sedans at a value Mercedes and BMW can’t beat.”

The car has the look and feel of a large, premium European sedan, but with a much lower starting price: just $33,000 (including $750 freight) for a very well-equipped 290-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 model, and $38,000 for the 4.6-liter V-8 model with an impressive 375 horsepower.

Hyundai said it expects the Genesis to “compete for customers with cars like Lexus ES, Chrysler 300 and Cadillac CTS,” but added that it has performance capabilities and luxury features are “comparable to sedans costing tens of thousands of dollars more.”

The Genesis rides on a new rear-wheel-drive vehicle platform that Hyundai developed specifically for a luxury car, and it has an advanced five-link suspension at all four corners to give it both the ride and handling that consumers expect in a premium sedan.

Both engines come with six-speed automatic transmissions, although the gearboxes are different for each model.

With premium fuel, the V-8 has the 375 horsepower, but it’s also designed to run on regular gas. The horsepower drops just slightly, to 368, with regular, but Hyundai says the car still outperforms “all competitors in specific output,” which is the amount of horsepower per liter of engine displacement.

The Genesis has impressive EPA fuel economy numbers for a car with this much power — 17 mpg city/25 highway for the V-8 and 18/27 for the V-6. Hyundai notes that this is better than many V-6 engines in smaller, midsize cars.

High-tech features abound in the Genesis, as one would expect in a premium vehicle. Available are such items as XM NavTraffic, adaptive headlights, Lexicon audio systems and electronic active head restraints.

Standard on the V-6 model are electronic stability control with traction control, antilock brakes, 17-inch alloy wheels, front and rear seat-mounted side air bags, roof-mounted side-curtain air bags, the electronic front head restraints, fog lights, automatic headlights, dual power/heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, heated leather seats with power adjustment up front, cruise control, white and blue interior lighting, keyless entry with pushbutton start, leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel with audio controls, dual front fully automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror with universal garage opener and compass, AM/FM/CD/MP3/XM audio system with iPod/USB and auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth and floor mats.

The V-8 models come with most of the features of the V-6, plus 18-inch silver alloy wheels, chrome lower body side moldings, upgraded leather seats, leather-wrapped dash and door trim inserts, power glass sunroof with tilt and slide, power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, integrated memory system, Lexicon surround -sound audio system, six-disc CD changer, illuminated scuff plates, wood-trimmed leather steering wheel, power rear sunshade and rain-sensing wipers with auto-defogger windshield.

Options include a navigation system, backup camera and ultrasonic parking assist. The Lexicon audio system, which also comes in the Rolls Royce Phantom, has 15 speakers, 500 watts of power and an HD digital radio.

The car seats five, and as a full-size sedan, it’s quite roomy for both front and rear passengers, with lots of rear legroom even when the front bucket seats are pushed all the way back on their tracks.

The car comes with Hyundai’s great warranty, which includes five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper protection, along with 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain coverage, seven-year/unlimited mileage anti-perforation protection, and 24-hour roadside assistance for five years with no mileage limit.

Towing, lockout service and trip-interruption expenses are included.

G. Chambers Williams III
Special to the Star-Telegram
The automotive columns of G. Chambers Williams III have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 1995.

Three Hyundai Models Named Best Car Buys for 2009

Genesis, Accent and Tucson Earn High Marks for Affordability, Safety and Fuel Efficiency in the Annual List of “Best Car Buys”

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 02/13/2009 Three Hyundai models were named “Best Car Buys” for 2009 by in four respective categories — Hyundai Genesis, Top Luxury Cars (under $35,000); Hyundai Accent, Top Sub-Compacts (under $15,000); and Hyundai Tucson, Top Crossovers (under $21,000). The “Best Buys” list is one of the most highly respected awards provided to automakers.

“With the struggling economy, car buyers are facing tougher decisions when considering their next vehicle purchase. The annual ‘Best Buys’ list provides consumers with unbiased and research-driven information,” said Michael Caudill, spokesperson, “Hyundai is making the car buying process easier than ever by offering the biggest bang for the buck in a variety of segments, whether it be the fuel efficient Accent, Genesis luxury sedan or functional Tucson crossover.” is the leading provider of pricing information and market research for cars, classics, RVs, motorcycles and boats. The “Best Car Buys” list is based on criteria identified by Market Data Analysts (MDAs) as most important to consumers — affordability, fuel efficiency, warranty coverage, safety and depreciation.

“We are honored to be recognized as the auto industry’s most affordably priced, fuel efficient and highest safety rated vehicles in the business,” said Dave Zuchowski, vice president, National Sales, Hyundai Motor America. “This award is a true testament of Hyundai’s commitment to provide consumers with high-quality vehicles that suit their needs and budget, especially in today’s turbulent economy.”


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 780 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by The Hyundai Advantage, America’s Best Warranty. In addition, the Hyundai Assurance Program is now offered on all new vehicles leased or purchased from a certified Hyundai dealer. The program is available to any consumer, regardless of age, health, employment record or financed amount of the vehicle. The program is complimentary for the first 12 months.


NADA Appraisal Guides is the world’s largest publisher of vehicle pricing and specification information for new and used cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs, as well as van conversions, limousines, classic and collectible cars, boats, RVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles, personal watercraft and manufactured housing. The company’s consumer website, (, offers a variety of new and used vehicle services in addition to valuation information. Throughout its 75-year history, NADA Appraisal Guides has earned the reputation as the recognized authority for vehicle valuations. Its website,, is the most comprehensive vehicle information resource on the Internet today.

Genesis a big leap for Hyundai

If you can’t build a great car, build a car with a lot of great stuff in it.

That strategy has served Hyundai well. The South Korean automaker has grown from a bargain-basement brand into a global player by packing its vehicles with more features and selling them at a lower price than the competition.

That “if not better, more” philosophy is on display in the 2009 Genesis, the biggest, most powerful and best-equipped car the automaker has ever offered in the United States.

The rear-wheel-drive Genesis raises Hyundai’s game with a long list of features and a beautifully designed and carefully trimmed interior. Luxury brands such as BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Lexus, Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz would be proud to offer the Genesis’ lovely and spacious passenger compartment.

On all those fronts, the Genesis constitutes a major leap for Hyundai, but the big car still lands in the middle of the pack of large sedans priced from the upper $20s to low $40s.

The look and feel of the interior is the Genesis’ only clear win as it competes with models ranging from the sporty Chrysler 300C and Pontiac G8 to the practical Ford Taurus and Toyota Avalon.

The Genesis is Hyundai’s first heavyweight contender, but it fails to throw a knockout punch because of unexceptional fuel economy, derivative styling and cumbersome controls.

Genesis prices, like its upscale interior and rear-drive layout, set a new standard for Hyundai. A base 2009 Genesis 3.8 powered by a 290-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 costs $32,250. The top-of-the-line $37,250 Genesis 4.6 offers the first V-8 Hyundai has sold in the United States, a powerful 4.6-liter, 368-horsepower engine. Both models come with standard six-speed automatic transmissions. The V-6 gets an Aisin gearbox, while the V-8 comes with a ZF transmission.

I tested nicely equipped versions of both cars: a $35,250 3.8 and $41,250 4.6. I had more time to drive the 4.6, so this review focuses on that model. All prices exclude destination charges.

While most automakers have turned to rear-wheel-drive platforms to produce sporty performance sedans with precise handling, Hyundai harked back to the soft-riding days of Buick and Lexus for the Genesis’ handling. The suspension cushions bumps as the Genesis floats down the road in old-style comfort other brands have abandoned as they chase BMW-style performance chic. The downside is a tendency to body roll that discourages enthusiastic driving.

The interior is remarkably quiet, free of vibration, wind and road noise. The Genesis’ cab offers a level of isolation that matches the silence of a Lexus LS.

The powertrains are tuned for confident passing and highway cruising. Acceleration is less invigorating than the horsepower figures might lead you to expect, because the engines produce less torque or peak at higher rpm than the Chrysler 300 or Pontiac G8.

The EPA rated the Genesis’ fuel economy at 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway for the V-6 and 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway for the V-8. The EPA used premium fuel when it tested the V-8. Drivers who choose to run regular can probably expect some deterioration in fuel economy. That usually happens in engines that are tuned for maximum performance with premium gasoline.

For comparison, the 300, G8, Taurus and Avalon all passed EPA muster with regular gas. The front-drive Taurus and Avalon V-6 models got EPA ratings of 18 mpg city/28 highway and 19 city/28 highway, respectively.

V-8 models of the 300 and G8 achieved EPA ratings of 16 city/25 highway and 15 city/24 highway, respectively.

The net effect is that running premium fuel in a V-8 Genesis will add $131 to $213 to your annual fuel bill compared with driving a 300C or G8 GT, according to the EPA’s calculations.

The look and feel of the big Hyundai’s interior is first-class all the way.

Every surface is either padded soft-touch trim or tastefully applied wood or brightwork. A strip of warm chocolate brown leather across the center of the instrument panel — where most automakers would place a strip of wood — in the V-8 I tested was especially appealing.

Passenger room is a generous 109.4 cubic feet. The trunk checks in at 15.9 cubic feet. The passenger compartment tops the 300, Avalon, G8 and Taurus. The Genesis’ trunk size trails the G8 and Taurus, but is larger than the 300 and Avalon.

I found the Genesis’ exterior styling to be derivative. From its Mercedes-style grille and Lexus-like fenders to a BMW-type C-roofline and trunk, the car does not make a visual statement to support its aspirations to change Hyundai’s image.

The Genesis follows Hyundai’s successful pattern of offering a lot — a lot of room, and a lot of features. However, it lacks the clear-cut price advantage that’s been the other half of Hyundai’s formula for success, unless you compare it with luxury models such as the Lexus LS and GS.

I used to price a Chrysler 300C equipped similarly to the Genesis V-8 I tested. The 300C totaled $42,315 — or $1,065 more than the Hyundai. The Genesis had some features you can’t get on the 300.

By Mark Phelan
Detroit Free Press

Hyundai Genesis offers luxury car features at a fraction of the cost

Hyundai has introduced the latest in automotive cubic zirconia: the Hyundai Genesis.

This sedan has all the hallmarks of a car that costs twice as much, but is it the real deal or a good fake?

The Genesis, the South Korean company’s first rear-wheel-drive car, is the company’s largest at more than 16 feet long. It boasts a roomy cabin for four; five if someone rides atop the rear seat’s hard center section.

The interior decor is striking. The instrument panel and doors are wrapped in leather trim, a touch that costs Hyundai an extra $125 a car. The seats are soft and comfortable, yet prove supportive enough for long hauls. Everything works well, except the software that controls the radio and navigation.

The Genesis has the usual standard luxury gear: heated front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a push-button starter, a power rear sunshade and a 14-speaker Lexicon audio system.

The test vehicle had a single option, a $4,000 technology package that included an air-conditioned driver’s seat, upgraded 17-speaker audio system, satellite radio, navigation system, rear back-up camera and Bluetooth phone connectivity.

The Genesis offers two engines: a 290-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 or a new, velvety-smooth, 375-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8. Both hitch to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 3.8-liter motor, which allows for 0-to-60-mph acceleration in 6.2 seconds, will provide more than enough power for most drivers.

The car’s true colors are revealed when traveling the third-world road surface of most interstates.

The suspension crashes firmly over bumps, recovering with a compliant motion that doesn’t possess the unruffled smoothness of the finest in its class.

Overall, the Genesis sparkles like a gem.

Larry Printz – MCT News Service

AUTO REVIEW: Hyundai Genesis is the sincerest form of flattery

If any street in America personifies luxury, it is the aptly named Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Fla. It’s a shopping street for the elite, yet one of the oldest jewelry stores on this rarefied retail strip sells _ gasp! — costume jewelry.

Hoping to mine a similar formula in the car market, Hyundai has introduced the latest in automotive cubic zirconia: the Hyundai Genesis.

This sedan has all the hallmarks of a car that costs twice as much, but is it the real deal or a good fake?

The Genesis, Hyundai’s first rear-wheel-drive car, is the company’s largest at more than 16 feet long. It boasts a roomy cabin for four; five if someone rides atop the rear seat’s hard center section.

The interior decor is striking. The instrument panel and doors are wrapped in leather trim, a touch that costs Hyundai an extra $125 a car. The seats are soft and comfortable, yet prove supportive enough for long hauls.

Everything works well, except for the software that control s the radio and navigation. It seems that Hyundai used BMW’s frustrating I-Drive system as a template, and the result is equally frustrating.

The Genesis has the usual standard luxury gear: heated front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a push-button starter, a power rear sunshade and a 14-speaker Lexicon audio system.

The test vehicle had a single option, a $4,000 Technology Package that included an air-conditioned driver’s seat, upgraded 17-speaker audio system, satellite radio, navigation system, rear back-up camera and Bluetooth phone connectivity.

But any automaker can dump a load of gear into a car. What separates the gems from the phonies is the experience behind the wheel.

The Genesis offers two engines: a 290-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 or a new, velvety-smooth, 375-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8. Both hitch to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The 3.8-liter motor, which allows for 0-to-60-mph acceleration in 6.2 seconds, will provide more than enough power for most drivers. But true aficionados will want the sublime 4.6. Its effortless acceleration _ from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds _ and muted growl endow this car with the proper attitude for a luxury conveyance. Road, tire and wind noise are well- suppressed.

So far, so good. If the Genesis is a fake, it’s hiding it well.

But the car’s true colors are revealed when traveling the third-world road surface of most Interstates.

The suspension crashes firmly over bumps, recovering with a compliant motion that doesn’t possess the unruffled smoothness of the finest in its class. It’s almost as though the Genesis can’t decide whether to be a German car or a Japanese car.

The car’s styling plays it safe by pirating cues from so many makes that it ensures total anonymity.

Overall, the Genesis sparkles like a gem, and only those who recognize the “H” symbol on the trunk lid will know that it didn’t come from Tokyo or Stuttgart.

Those who will cherish the Genesis are realists who will appreciate the value the car represents. For them, the calculated craft matters more than the resulting image. It’s like buying a Louis Vuitton wallet for $40 from a Manhattan street vendor. Who can tell it’s not real?

But for those automotive romantics who see value in heritage and the racing provenance that underlies such names as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Jaguar, the Genesis will always be the poseur at the party.

What we say:

Automotive cubic zirconia

Pro: Boatloads of luxury

Con: The Hyundai badge


Engine: 4.6-liter DOHC V8

Wheelbase: 115.6 inches

Length: 195.9 inches

Weight: 4,012 pounds

Cargo space: 15.9 cubic feet

EPA rating (city/highway): 17/25 mpg

Fuel economy: 24.4 mpg

Fuel type: Premium recommended, regular acceptable

Base price: $37,250

As tested: $42,000

Larry Printz, The Virginian-Pilot

Hyundai Sonata — an Accord by any other name

It’s actually kind of exciting, or maybe intriguing, to watch Hyundai’s progress through the world of auto sales in the United States.

The company’s been here barely 20 years. It stumbled at first (remember the execrable Excel?), but learned its lessons and is now producing a raft of cars that, so far, seem able to play strongly in the same sandbox as such Japanese successes as Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

The case in point the 2009 Sonata, Hyundai’s dead-on competitor to the Camry, Accord and Altima. This is the biggest market in U.S. sedan sales — Toyota regularly sells more than 400,000 Camrys a year and Honda and Nissan are not far behind — and Hyundai, made in Korea, clearly thought this was the place to be for the Sonata.

Before we get too far along, however, there’s a peculiar cultural or sociological angle to the selling of Korean cars in America. There are only three of them — Hyundai, Kia and the late, not-so-lamented Daewoo — and they suffer, when compared to Toyota/Honda/Nissan, simply because (and here’s the irony) they’re not as American as the big three. (Big Three no longer automatically means GM, Ford and Chrysler.)

No, the point here is that many potential car buyers may feel a little leery about buying a Korean car, not for any rational reason but simply because it’s not as familiar as other brands.(For what it’s worth, the Sonata is made at a Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Ala.)

Listen up. These cars are good. They’re well made. They are modern. And they’re less expensive than their Japanese peers and have longer warranties. In a sense, they’re a deal, at least for now. Wait a few years and their prices will be up with everyone else’s.

So, consider the Sonata. The car comes in three trim levels — GLS, SE and Limited — and with two different engines, the 2.4-liter four cylinder, 175 horsepower, and 3.5-liter V6 with 249 horses.

Prices range from about $18,000 to a bit more than $25,000. Our tester had the optional $1,250 navigation system (new this year for the Sonata) and had a sticker price of $27,685.

The clearest comparison, to me, was with the Accord, and I thought it interesting that Hyundai seems to have intentionally built a car that mimics the Accord and, in some ways, out-Hondas the Accord. The tail light treatment, for example, has a ring of familiarity with the previous generation Accords (ending in model year 2006).

Inside, Hyundai has spruced up the interior with wood accents and all the farkles (that’s a motorcycle term for added goodies) that consumers think are almost standard — Bluetooth capability, Homelink garage door opening gizmos, USB/iPod inputs, steering wheel redundant controls, and the like.

The plush leather seats were pretty soft, but once you sink into them (power driver’s seat; manual front passenger), they were comfortable for the long haul.

All the controls fall readily to hand and the steering wheel is coated with a stitched leather covering — Hyundai pays particular attention to interiors, viz. their Veracruz SUV hauler, which strives for (and, to my mind, mostly achieves) a kind of Lexus RX series ambience.

For that matter, Hyundai’s new, near-luxury Genesis is another example of what they can do when they put the company puts its collective mind to it. (Do you think they have a smidgen of latent guilt from the Excel days? The feeling that, hey, we have to build great cars to atone for that long-ago sin?)

So, yes, the Sonata’s V6 is smooth, quiet and unobtrusive, and the five-speed automatic holds each gear long enough and will hold it even longer if you take advantage of the manumatic shifting, which allows you to choose when to shift. Everything was swimming along quite well, Sonata-wise, when I encountered a few rough patches of road.

By this, I don’t mean Rough Road, just your normal city streets, a block or three that had not seen city work crews for years. When the Sonata’s wheels encountered Pothole No. 1, not to mention No.’s 2-5, the suspension jarred noisily.

It sounded, frankly, like an old and worn automobile. Strange, given that this car had less than 6,500 miles on the odometer and, stranger still, given the fit and finish on the rest of the Sonata. Anyway, it was out of character for the rest of the car.

But it does do well on gas. Even the V6 gets EPA fuel economy figures of 19 and 29 mpg; the four-banger gets 21 and 32, respectively. And as long as we’re talking numbers, the Sonata’s trunk capacity, at 16.3 cubic feet, is larger than Camry/Accord/Altima, and, yes, there’s a 60/40 split and folding rear seat.

Given that the mid-size four-door sedan is the most popular segment (aside from those millions of Ford F150 pickup trucks that still sell, if not as well as before the gas crisis), Hyundai has a tough row to hoe, but if the new Sonata is any example of what they can do, the other guys better check their rear view mirrors. Often.


2009 Hyundai Sonata four-door sedan.

Price: test model, $27,685(including $675 destination charge; base price: $25,670)

Powertrain: 3.3-liter, V6 249-horsepower; five-speed automatic transmission.

Curb weight: 3,494 pounds. Seating capacity: five. Fuel consumption: 19 mpg, city; 29 mpg, highway.

Fuel tank capacity:17.7 gallons.

Length: 188.9 inches; width, 72.1 inches; height: 58 inches; wheelbase: 107.4 inches.

Warranty: bumper to bumper, 5 years/50,000 miles; power train, 10 years/100,000 miles.

Dependability: Hyundai ranks 13th out of 37 brands on the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Vehicle Dependability Study.

Safety: for vehicle safety ratings, visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.