The Genesis division aims to more effectively take Hyundai upscale. The G80 is its first entry, and the G80’s $41,400 price makes clear the brand’s premium intentions.
It’s no secret that Hyundai‘s reputation has not kept pace with the improvement in its cars. Whether it’s the well-rounded competence of 2017 Elantra or the solid performance of its turbo engines, there’s a lot for buyers to like at their local Hyundai dealer.
Except the name. There are some buyers who want no part of a budget logo, no matter how good the car is that it’s stuck to.
That over-$40K number is an important one, as numbers have always been significant in Hyundai’s approach. It started low with the $4,995 Excel back in the mid-’80s to accent its value, and now the company is bypassing other brands and their $30K offerings to make a statement of the G80’s worth, along with the worth of the Genesis brand.
The G80 is currently sold as the Hyundai Genesis, and its $38,750 price is $2,650 below its new incarnation as the G80. It’ll have the same 3.8-liter V6 and rear-wheel drive; add $2,500 and you’ll get all-wheel drive. If you’d rather have the V8, it will come only with rear-wheel drive for $54,550. The $950 destination is additional for each, but all come standard with a full suite of active safety features, which sometimes are optional even in its more expensive competitors.
That’s the pricing positioning. So why would buyers pay more for a familiar car from a new brand?
Service, for one. Hyundai touts the “Genesis Experience,” which falls in line with our busy times by saying that “time is the ultimate luxury.” That’s a sentiment we could all get behind, no matter how many bills occupy our bank accounts, and Genesis promises a nearly dealership-free experience after the car is bought, with complimentary valet service for the first three years or 36K miles.
Plus, Genesis will have top-tier connectivity and app services to keep owners engaged in their G80’s well-being while having to talk to a service rep as little as possible. If you’ve had a stressful day made more stressful by having to budget time to service your car, then the $3K or so you’d pay extra for the Genesis brand might be small potatoes, all considered.
We’ll see if buyers agree when the Genesis G80 hits showrooms in September, as Hyundai goes from starting at $4,995 to over $40K.