Executives are very important people. This particular breed of worker participates in power meetings and power lunches and spends much of his / her time in a corner office with lots of windows.
The more windows you have, the more important you are. This species makes lots of money and wears tailored suits. I am not an executive, unfortunately. I have never been invited to a power meeting in a corner office nor have I enjoyed a power lunch.
I spend most of my time covered in grease or ink and am usually wearing work boots. I also enjoy buying tacos from a truck and sometimes consume them in a different truck...I'm not an executive. That is not to say the high - powered executive and I have nothing in common because we do ... we most certainly do.
Executives cannot tool around in just any car, you see. If a Bigwig pulls into the executive car park piloting a Toyota Prius, he will look weak and far too concerned with global warming or the plight of the spotted owl. Driving up in an entry level one series BMW just screams junior partner who has not yet earned keys to the executive washroom. High powered business people who buy and sell stocks or widgets need a proper executive sedan.
The executive sedan is generally large, powerful and tastefully lavish. These cars must let everyone know how successful you are without shouting it. There are many incarnations of this business - man commuter, manufactured by almost every brand. Although many manufacturers produce this rich - guy ride, BMW makes the bench mark ... the 5 Series. BMW created the exquisite 5 Series in 1972 in order to fill a gap in the market. Now the market is flooded with executive sedans, but can they dethrone the king?
I pondered this question as I walked around the Hyundai Genesis 4.6 premium sedan. Walking around the car, I was impressed with the premium metallic silver finish and the gorgeous fog lights which looked like large diamonds pressed into the cars body. The side of the Genesis was smooth and uncluttered with stylish moldings hung low on the doors. Turning my attention to the rear, I found the asymmetrical exhaust ports stylish - how I love the way they cut into the rear bumper like nostrils. As I peeked in the window, I grinned with anticipation of all the electronic techno goodies I saw ... very upscale.
Most of the cars I am interested in driving do not have a backseat suitable for a full-size person, let alone one my size ... so I started there. I opened the door behind the driver seat and slid in, I was completely surprised. All two hundred and eighty pounds of me was sitting comfortably in the back seat. The head room was perfect for me at five foot, ten inches tall, but would get tight for six footers. Leg room was ample even if I had an unexpected growth spurt ... not likely. I felt much happier in the driver's seat holding the leather - wrapped steering wheel firmly in hand. I felt supported in the heated and cooled leather seat and I had a little room to squirm as I took in the new car smell.
When I pushed the Start / Stop button on the dash I expected the engine to roar to life like it does in my Genesis 3.8 coupe, but it was very different. There was no pantomime, no rumble, just a faint exhaust note and all the instruments came alive. The electro-luminescent instrumentation is easy on the eyes and very contemporary. At eight inches the navigation / entertainment screen is large and the colors are vibrant. I took a few minutes to tune the Sirius XM satellite radio to "hip hop nation" and set off.
Bobbing my head and taking in the stimuli from all of my senses, I came to the conclusion that I could drive this car everyday. I generally like small, fast cars that, upon close inspection, are barely street legal and very uncomfortable. The Genesis Sedan could not be further from a focused performance car. While it handled curves with excellent control, it never let me feel any bumps. With a 385 horsepower 4.6 liter V8, the Genesis accelerates with serious authority, but there was never a sense of urgency. Hyundai polished every aspect of the drivers interface with this car, steering, brakes and everything else.
Saying the Hyundai Genesis 4.6 premium is better than the BMW 5 series is like saying Coke is better than Pepsi. Both cars do practically the same job, but they do it in a slightly different way. The BMW 528i is the closest to the Hyundai's price point at $46,900 for a 240 horsepower four cylinder variant. While the BMW flashes the right badge, it does not come as equipped as the Genesis, nor will it win a stop - light confrontation with the mighty Genesis. At $45,000 the Hyundai Genesis 4.6 premium tics all the right boxes and tickles all the right senses. As far as beating the original executive sedan at its own game, I have to say ... yes, sort of.
The Genesis beats the BMW on value for money and while most automotive columnists shrug off such things, I do not. I am not an executive, so I want the most leather, power and posh gear possible for the least amount of cheddar. When I drove this car, it did not feel like I was making any compromises. I never gave the BMW a second thought while driving the Hyundai. Actually I was too busy feeling rich and successful - mission accomplished!
The economy is a wretched pile of steaming garbage and Americans are getting smarter with their car purchases. Right now, the Hyundai Genesis sedan is a smarter buy than the BMW 528i. And even though I am not an executive, I can still enjoy an executive ride. The Genesis sedan is another reason madman is a Hyundai guy.