This may come as a surprise, but I’ve loved the Hyundai Genesis from the very beginning — enough to have actually owned one in the past. The Genesis bucks the trend I hate with modern luxury cars, and it’s a good value new, but also a ridiculously good deal used. My bedtime ritual of browsing Autotrader listings had me casually shopping for a Genesis last night — and I was shocked to find they aren’t depreciating nearly as rapidly as they used to.
Before I dive into the current used market for the Hyundai Genesis (later rebranded as Genesis G80) let’s go way back to a younger, more handsome, non-crazy Hoovie, who was making a dramatic career change. In 2014, I decided after 4 years of struggling that I was never going to make it big as a car dealer, and closed my doors to open burger franchises with my father. At the time, I only had two old Mercedes as personal cars (no hooptie fleet yet) and would drive whatever flavor of the week I had on the lot. With the dealership going away, I needed to buy a reasonably priced car I wasn’t going to get bored with.
When I discovered the Genesis, I couldn’t believe the value. At the time, there was a vast selection of one-year-old off-rental units with lower mileage in the mid-to-high teens– or about half of their original $35,075 base MSRP. I eventually settled on an all-black 2013 with 40,000 miles for $16,000 — and promptly ordered the badge kit to replace all the Hyundai badges with the "flying G" moniker of Genesis. Apparently, this change made the car look enough like a Bentley that several people asked if my cheap Hyundai actually came from the top-tier British automaker. Clearly they weren’t looking too closely — but I was still beaming with pride.
I didn’t keep the Genesis long, as the rear-wheel-drive platform was terrible through the rough Midwest winter, and my heavy foot on the 333-horsepower V6 didn’t yield the best gas mileage, either. So I stupidly decided to sell my Genesis and buy a used loaded-out Prius — which I immediately regretted. It wasn’t until the car was gone that I realized how great it was.
My regular gripe with luxury carmakers is their loss of focus on quality and durability in favor of over-engineering and over-the-top gadgetry, which never ages well. At least one higher-up at Hyundai, Albert Biermann, agrees with me, and is quoted in an article on The Drive about the needless technology by saying "Much of this exists for media, to give a hype, to show the technology level. But how many people really buy it later on? If the tech will fail, you’re just adding the burden to the buyer, right?"
The head of Genesis vehicle testing and high-performance development goes on to describe their cars by saying, "You will not find any air suspension or active roll-bars, or active whatever. A camera sensing the road, and this stuff. It’s stupid."
These all sound like things I would sway if I ran a car company — and strangely, I’m also mentioned in the same article, which refers to my nightmare ownership experience with my 2005 BMW 745i. That car was a prime example of being ruined by aging technology and ridiculous over-engineering — and it’s nice to see that the culture at Hyundai appears to shy away from this.
Even with this basic car-building philosophy, the Genesis is far from sparse on features — especially when they redesigned for the 2015 model year. I love the way those cars look, and the quality of the interior was very much improved from the previous generation — and they even began offering the Genesis with all-wheel drive. With the rebranding to the Genesis G80, I wouldn’t even have to cover up all the Hyundai badges again to fool people into thinking it’s a Bentley.
The only downside to all of these improvements is pricing. I was hoping the Genesis would continue to be a depreciation hero like my old 2013 — but unfortunately, the current average asking price for a base-model 2015 is $23,000. This despite it being 3 years old, and so not even close to the amazing deal of my old Genesis, which was only a year old at the time — and $6,000 less.
The Genesis holding value is great for the brand, as well as current owners — but not for me. I guess it will be several more years before I can buy one of these really cheap, make silly videos about it, and see how well they hold together. What a shame…