If ever an automaker deserved a "Most Improved" award, it would be Hyundai. Within the last decade or so, the Korean company has gone from building cars that were the butt of cruel jokes to competent vehicles that just might be the cause of some sleepless nights for Honda and Toyota executives.
Now that Hyundai has proven it can keep up with Japanese carmakers when it comes to producing high-quality and reliable small and midsize cars at value prices, the company has set its sights on the large luxury sedan market with the 2009 Hyundai Genesis.
The Genesis matches up pretty closely with the Chrysler 300 in terms of wheelbase and overall length, but the Hyundai's exterior styling is less dramatic. If anything, the Genesis resembles a cleaner interpretation of a Benz S-Class. A 290-horsepower V6 is the entry-level engine, but the bigger news is a 4.6-liter V8 pumping out an impressive 375 hp. Both engines send their power to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. A well-tuned suspension, a full complement of the latest luxury and safety features and a striking, high-quality cabin complete the package.