If you’re looking for a luxury sedan that combines impressive performance, bold styling and all the latest gadgets and features, we suspect you have the 2016 Hyundai Genesis and the 2016 Cadillac CTS on your shopping list — as both are among the most stylish, sporty, technologically advanced luxury sedans you can buy today. But which one is better? And which one should you get? To help you find out, we’ve created a close comparison of both models. But first, let’s see what’s new with the Genesis and the CTS for the latest model year.
2016 Hyundai Genesis Changes
After a redesign last year, the Genesis is largely unchanged for 2016 — save for the addition of the formerly optional Ultimate package as standard equipment in the V8-powered Genesis 5.0. See all 2016 Hyundai Genesis models available near you
2016 Cadillac CTS Changes
The CTS receives a revised 3.6-liter V6 for the latest model year, along with a new 8-speed automatic transmission and standard fuel-saving stop/start technology. The CTS also adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for 2016, along with a newly standard backup camera and a newly optional 360-degree camera system. See all 2016 Cadillac CTS models available near you
According to experts at J.D. Power, both the Cadillac CTS and the Hyundai Genesis have earned an above average score for reliability. The difference, however, lies in warranty coverage. While the CTS offers a respectable 4 years or 50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and 6 years or 70,000 miles of powertrain protection, the Genesis touts the best warranty in the luxury car world: 5 years or 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection and 10 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage.
The result: While the CTS and Genesis are likely similar in terms of overall reliability, the Hyundai pulls ahead slightly with its highly impressive warranty coverage. Of course, that won’t matter to shoppers who lease or don’t plan to keep their vehicle for a long time but for drivers who buy their cars to own for a while, the warranty could be a reason to choose the Genesis.
The Genesis offers two engines. Base models feature a 3.8-liter V6, which is rated at 311 horsepower and 293 lb-ft of torque and mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and rear- or all-wheel drive. Fuel economy reaches as high as 18 miles per gallon in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, while 0-to-60 times are in the mid-6 second range. Drivers who want more power can opt for the 420-hp 5.0-liter V8, which offers 15 mpg city/23 mpg hwy and a 0-to-60 time of just over 5 seconds flat.
Meanwhile, the CTS offers four engines. Base models use a 270-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that’s available with rear- or all-wheel drive and touts up to 21 mpg city/31 mpg hwy. Drivers looking for more power can upgrade to a 335-hp 3.6-liter V6 (20 mpg city/30 mpg hwy) or a turbocharged version of that engine, which makes 420 hp and can hit 60 mph in under 5 seconds. Of course, there’s also the wildly fast CTS-V, which boasts a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that makes an amazing 640 hp and reaches 60 mph in a lightning-quick 4 seconds.
So which is better? It’s a tough choice but we’d have to say the CTS. Not only does it offer more power in its V6 engine and slightly quicker acceleration with its optional 420-hp motor, but it touts the high-performance CTS-V — something the Genesis can’t touch. Plus, we happen to think the CTS boasts better handling and cornering capabilities at the limit.
Both the latest CTS and the latest Genesis earned a perfect 5-star overall crash-test score from the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But the Genesis pulled ahead when tested by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, as it earned the firm’s coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating. The CTS didn’t qualify for that rating due to its mediocre Marginal score in the firm’s challenging front small-overlap crash test.
As for safety features, both the CTS and the Genesis are up on all the latest gadgets and equipment. Both models offer include all the basics as standard, such as side-curtain airbags, traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes and a backup camera. And both models offer a long list of safety options, ranging from forward-collision warning with automatic braking to lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert.
The result: Although neither model stands out over the other in terms of safety equipment, the Genesis’s slightly higher crash-test ratings give it a small advantage over the CTS in our safety category.
In terms of technology, both the CTS and the Genesis are loaded with all the latest features and equipment — a function of the fact that both cars offer recent designs and the fact that the two sedans find themselves in one of the most competitive segments on the market.
For example, both models offer a surround-view camera system, a navigation system, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, impressive sound systems (up to 17 speakers in the Hyundai or 13 in the Cadillac), adaptive suspension, heated and ventilated seats and more. With that said, the Cadillac offers one major advantage you can’t get in the Hyundai: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. To us, those features alone give the CTS a slight advantage over its Hyundai rival. If you don’t prioritize them, however, you’ll likely find that either model offers just about enough gadgets for your liking.
When it comes to pricing, it’s hard to deny the Genesis’s impressive value compared to the CTS and basically everything else in this segment. While the Cadillac starts at $46,600 — still a good deal compared to upscale rivals — the Hyundai starts at just $39,800. More importantly, the Genesis comes standard with a lot more power than the CTS and offers roughly the same level of equipment, too. In just about any category where the Genesis faces off against a luxury brand rival, it wins the value game — and that’s true in this case, too.
The 2016 Hyundai Genesis and the 2016 Cadillac CTS are impressive luxury sedans that seem to have it all: performance, panache, presence and a seemingly unending list of standard and optional equipment. To us, choosing between them depends more on your personal preference than any objective measures. If you want more performance, a better brand name and bolder styling, go with the Cadillac and be prepared to pay a premium for your choice. If you don’t mind the Hyundai brand name, it’s hard to deny the fact that the Genesis is a bargain compared to not just the Cadillac, but also the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and others.