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2015 Hyundai Genesis vs. 2015 Lexus GS: Which Is Better?

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro June 2015

The Hyundai Genesis is all new for the latest model year, so we're taking a look at how it compares to one of its closest luxury-brand rivals, the Lexus GS. So which one is better, and which one should you buy? To find out, we've checked out all the key categories in depth, but first let's see what's new with both sedans for the 2015 model year.

2015 Hyundai Genesis

The Genesis has been completely redesigned for 2015. Updates include new styling inside and out along with a long list of new technology. Other headline changes involve increased passenger room and improved interior materials.

2015 Lexus GS

Aside from a revised infotainment system, the Lexus GS is unchanged for the 2015 model year. Its last full redesign was in 2013.

Reliability

According to reliability experts at J.D. Power, the Lexus GS earned four circles in the firm's Power Circle Ratings, indicating better-than-average reliability. Because it's so new, the Genesis has not yet been rated, though it's worth noting that last year's model, which uses the same engines, earned a 3-circle (average) J.D. Power rating.

When it comes to warranty length, however, it's the Hyundai with the upper hand. The Genesis offers 5 years or 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage (compared to 4 years or 50,000 miles for the GS), along with an excellent 10 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection -- an increase of 4 years and 30,000 miles over the Lexus' figures.

Still, we can't give this category to either model until we know the Hyundai's reliability figures -- though we'd suggest that the kind of driver who keeps a car for a long time might find the Genesis' warranty especially appealing.

Fuel Economy

Both the GS and the Genesis offer two engines. Base powertrains are surprisingly similar. There's a 311-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 in the Genesis and a 306-hp 3.5-liter V6 in the Lexus. The Genesis offers up to 18 miles per gallon in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, while the GS will reach 19 mpg city/29 mpg hwy. All-wheel drive is optional on both models.

Both the Lexus and the Hyundai also offer a version for drivers who want more power. In the Lexus, that's the GS 450h, which uses a hybrid V6 that makes 338 hp and an excellent 29 mpg city/34 mpg hwy. The Genesis, meanwhile, offers a 5.0-liter V8 option that boasts 420 hp, 383 lb-ft of torque and fuel economy figures of only 15 mpg city/23 mpg hwy.

If you're interested in fuel economy, then the Lexus is your choice -- though both cars offer roughly the same numbers from their base engines. With more than 80 hp over the GS 450h, however, the V8-powered Genesis 5.0 boasts a big performance advantage over its Lexus rival.

Safety

In crash testing carried out by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the latest Hyundai Genesis received a perfect 5-star overall score. Likewise, it earned an excellent Top Safety Pick+ rating from the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Interestingly, the Lexus GS has not yet been submitted to NHTSA tests or a full battery of IIHS tests, which prevents us from knowing exactly how it will hold up in a crash. With that said, based on how Lexus models usually score in crash testing, we suspect that it will fare rather well.

As for safety equipment, both models are packed to the brim. Standard equipment includes everything you'd expect, including side-curtain airbags, automatic collision notification, a backup camera, anti-lock brakes and more. Options include forward-collision warning with brake assist, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, a blind spot monitoring system and more.

So which one is safer? Without full crash-test ratings for the Lexus, it's impossible to know for sure, but we suspect both of these cars offer roughly the same excellent level of safety protection.

Technology

Just like in the safety section, both the Lexus GS and the Hyundai Genesis offer about the same level of technology and equipment. Optional features on both cars include an adjustable suspension, power trunk lids, and high-end features such as ventilated seats, automatic high beams and heated steering wheels, while standard features on both cars include keyless ignition and entry, automatic headlights, large infotainment screens and more. It's hard to say which car offers the longer list of technology, but trust us when we say that both the Genesis and the GS will leave technophiles happy.

Value

Although we like both the Hyundai Genesis and the Lexus GS, it's very easy to pick the winner of the value category. The starting price of a Genesis sedan -- around $39,000 -- is far less than the starting price of a Lexus GS, which is closer to $50,000. Yes, both cars offer roughly the same level of technology, safety features, ride comfort, interior room and engine power, but the Hyundai offers it all for less money.

Autotrader's Advice

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis and the 2015 Lexus GS are both excellent cars, but we think the Genesis is better. No, it probably isn't quite as reliable as the Lexus, and there's no hybrid version. But it's hard to argue with the fact that the Hyundai offers the same equipment, technology, interior room and ride comfort, along with similar V6 fuel economy and a longer warranty, all for thousands of dollars less than its Lexus counterpart.

There are, however, some good reasons to opt for the GS over the Genesis. One is fuel economy, so if you prioritize gas mileage, you'll want to go with the GS 450h instead of the Hyundai. Another reason drivers might pick the Lexus is if they just can't imagine paying $40,000-plus for a Hyundai. While some drivers won't mind the Hyundai nameplate, it's a legitimate problem for others, which is proven by the Hyundai's lower base price. After all, if the two cars cost the same, we'd probably judge this comparison a little differently, but if you don't mind the badge and you want a great deal on an excellent new luxury sedan, the Genesis has you covered.

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2015 Hyundai Genesis vs. 2015 Lexus GS: Which Is Better? - Autotrader