2015 Hyundai Genesis

2015 Hyundai Genesis

Episode 3347
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Hyundai’s path from replaceable econobox to highly desirable automotive brand has been a quick one. But, the track of their Genesis sedan from import-premium pretender to notable contender took an even faster pace. And, this 2nd generation of Hyundai’s new beginning appears to be the real deal. So, should established luxury-sports carmakers be worried? Let’s find out.

Hyundai’s Equus may be the brand’s posh flagship. But, it’s the 2015 Genesis that is the most important car for this brand and its efforts to expand into luxury sedan territory, especially if they ever hope to be a notable challenger to Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and other top-tier luxury marques.

That’s because the Genesis is not just a middle weight luxury car, it’s one that Hyundai has infused with enough sportiness to actually make us eager to hop in and drive it. And, when you do, you’ll find some of the seriously good interior quality that is required to be world class. It’s not all there yet, but it’s close. Hyundai has done a fine job of upping the “classy” with genuine materials such as great looking satin finish wood.

Also to play in this class, it takes the latest in high tech. Updates such as Smart Cruise Control and a Head-Up Display are in line with its competition, while available safety systems like lane keep assist and Sensory Surround have the Genesis bordering on being a self-driving car. 

The hands free trunk release is pretty trick. Just stand by the trunk with the key on you for 3-seconds and the lid pops open. Virtual gauges are bold and direct while the general dash layout is very nice.

The driver’s seating position is great, with lots of adjustments and good bolstering, though some found the wide cushions a little on the hard side. The back seat borders on huge, with lots of room to spread out, even for adults. 

To be a true luxury contender you also need something else, a “big” grille! The Genesis’s has one even if it is Audi-like. And, in similar fashion, this face will also soon work its way through the rest of the Hyundai brand.

Fractionally longer in overall length, yet with 3-inches more wheelbase, proportions are now more modern. It is without a doubt more upscale, and the longer arching roofline gives Genesis a far more aerodynamic profile. In the rear, panels are more rounded as well; and the jewel-like LED tail lights are mounted high. 

The same 5.0-liter V8 and 3.8-liter V6 engines are available, but both have been revised for smoother operation and better torque delivery. Our tester sported the 311–horsepower V6 and its 293 lb-ft. of torque. The V6 is available with a new HTRAC all-wheel-drive system that works with Intelligent Drive Mode select to divert power forward or rearward depending on wheel slip. 

But, all this means less if the makeover de elegance doesn’t carry over to the driving experience. Well, it does, but also to a point. Ride quality is very close to the Big-3 German luxury cars, even if the sporty feel still comes up a tad short.

Things have gotten more responsive and perhaps a little more settled, but when driven aggressively there’s still plenty of roll; nothing a proper ride-and-handling package wouldn’t fix. The V6 engine sounds great, but launching torque is still low, taking our Genesis to 60 in 7.2-seconds. 

Response improves markedly as RPMs climb and shifts from the 8-speed automatic transmission are quick yet smooth, making the trip through the quarter mile in 15.4–seconds at 96 miles-per-hour. 

Through the cones, steering feel was numb; like most of the Germans; but on the plus side, this rear-driver still retains some of the first gen car’s tossable nature even with its big improvement in smoothness. Braking is not too shabby either, with stops from 60 averaging a short 120–feet. 

The original Genesis sedan surprised us in Biblical proportions. Not just with its luxury feel, but by the fact that we liked driving it a lot. It got Genesis off to a good start and we’ve loved every namesake sedan and coupe we’ve driven since, including this car.

For which government Fuel Economy Ratings are 18-City, 29-Highway, and 22–Combined. Our 23.4 mile-per-gallon average of Regular was a good one. Though the Energy Impact Score remains average, at 15.0-barrels of oil burned and 6.8 tons of CO2 emitted yearly. 

And, as nice as the Genesis has gotten, it’s still a great value proposition. The “more for less-ness” starts at $38,950. Most of its direct competition, with far better name cache, start around $50,000.

Genesis signifies birth. And, while the original 2009 Genesis sedan was certainly that, it’s this 2015 Hyundai Genesis 4-door that has the potential of being a brand changing vehicle, if they can follow up with additional models in the same vein. Then, established luxury makers will have something to worry about. Not so much about losing their current customers, but about attracting future ones.


  • Engine: 3.8 liter
  • Horsepower: 311
  • Torque: 293 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 7.2 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 15.4 seconds @ 96 mph
  • EPA: 18 mpg city/ 29 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 15.0 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 6.8 tons/yr
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35

Goldilocks Approved: It Does Everything Just Right

Episode 4332
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

These days, you don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of money to get some real-deal AMG performance from Mercedes-Benz, as they’ve spread their high-performance love throughout their lineup. So, let’s go for some high-speed bargain hunting in the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35.

You may think of big cars and bigger horsepower when you hear AMG, but this updated 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4-door Coupe is certainly not a big car, yet there’s no doubt it packs a serious performance punch. The CLA is not the least expensive Mercedes you can currently buy in the U.S., but it is their lowest priced car, and it feels more right-size than small-size behind the wheel.

It’s a fun, enjoyable ride that lets you know what you’re in for right away with a nice raspy exhaust note at start up. Standard engine in the base CLA 250 is of course a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo, but it is ‘Benz’s latest with mild-hybrid assistance and a rating of 221-horsepower.

This CLA 35 is one of two AMG versions which cranks the turbo up to boost output to 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque; the CLA 45 S, goes even further with a full rebuild to crank it up to 416 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. The CLA is front-wheel-drive based but is sending power to all four wheels by the time it leaves the AMG shop with performance-tuned AMG 4MATIC.

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Grille
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Profile
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Wheel
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Rear
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Rear
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge 2
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Grille2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Profile2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Wheel2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Rear2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Rear2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge 2

AMG has done serious suspension tuning as well, and the great feedback that it provides through the AMG Performance steering wheel is a big part of this car’s fun-factor. But our test car came equipped with winter tires, which did hold us back a little bit through the cones at our Mason Dixon test track. Still, it felt both agile and fun and body roll was minimal. Not until we pushed hard could we really feel the lack of dry pavement grip from those tires. On the other hand, a few days after track day, we actually did have some winter weather to drive through and then we were very appreciative of the grip those winter tires provided.

With some assistance from AMG’s sweet launch control, which not only allowed us to launch at 3500 RPM with no wheel slip at all, but made sure the turbos were feeding full power, as we felt no turbo lag whatsoever on our quick 4.5-second trip to 60. AMG’s Speedshift eight-speed DCT lived up to its name, delivering quick and hard hits throughout the 13.1-second, 104 mph quarter-mile.

It’s a fun, enjoyable ride that lets you know what you’re in for right away with a nice raspy exhaust note at start up.

When it came time to remove speed in a hurry in our panic runs from 60 mph, those winter tires again played a factor, as the brakes felt very strong and there was very little nosedive but stops took a longer than expected 125 feet.

Now this 2nd generation CLA arrived for 2020, and for ’24 gets a subtle restyling at both ends. At the front, the grille has been redesigned, AMGs getting their own unique version with big vertical slats, prominent Mercedes star and subtle AMG badge. LED headlights are new, now labeled as High-Performance headlights, joined by upgraded rear taillights and a very aggressive looking AMG diffuser with big exhaust outlets. The back-up camera is smoothly hidden in a flip-out Mercedes badge. Multiple new wheel designs are available with sizes up to 19-inches.

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Passenger Side Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dashboard
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Center Display 2
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Rear Seat
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Trunk
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Engine
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Passenger Side Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dashboard2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Center Display 22024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Rear Seat2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Trunk2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Engine

Inside the CLA’s cabin, additional standard content includes a leather steering wheel and 10-inch media display. Both of which were already part of the AMG transformation, though AMG Line buyers can now add some heat elements to their sport steering wheel.

As we’ve seen with most Mercedes updates, both the virtual gauge cluster and the central touchscreen reside in a single housing mounted on top of the dash, upgraded with the latest MBUX software.

Pricing for the CLA 35 starts at $56,100, with the more powerful 45 S coming in at $66,550.

Bottom line, the folks in Stuttgart have given us a 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 that’s clearly better without messing it up. That’s certainly good news to us, as these days we seem to be getting less and paying more for just about everything. So, while you might not think the new CLA 35 sounds like a bargain, there is no better gateway into the amazing world of AMG performance.


  • Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo
  • Horsepower: 416
  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 125 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 28.2 MPG (Premium)
  • Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Torque: 369 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.1 seconds at 104 mph
  • EPA: 22 City / 29 Highway / 25 Combined