Open Road

Pre-owned deal alert: Hyundai Genesis

Hyundai used to make really crappy cars: horrible to drive, horrible build quality, and unreliable. Any sales person that sold Hyundais in the early 2000s can regale you with a story that goes like this: "I was delivering a brand new Hyundai to a customer and _____________ broke, but I told the customer _______________ and the customer brought the car home anyway. Selling those pieces of crap required true salesmanship.

Hyundai knew its products would not sell without a competitive edge, so it offered one of the best warranties in America: 5 years/60,000 miles bumper to bumper and 10 year/100,000 miles on the powertrain. At the time most consumers viewed that warranty as a necessity; they felt they would not buy a Hyundai without the best warranty in America.

All of that changed in 2008 with the debut of the Hyundai Genesis sedan. Everyone thought a luxurious Hyundai was impossible until they saw and drove the vehicle. The design was subdued yet elegant, the interior was not world-class but was above average, the ride was comfortable and quiet, and its steering was acceptable. The Genesis sedan is powered by a 4.6-liter, 375-horsepower V8 or a 3.8-liter, 290-horsepower V6. Both of these engines were smooth and propelled the car to 60 in under six seconds. The Genesis was not better than a Lexus or a Mercedes. But it was a great value: The starting price was $34,000 for a V6 base and topped out well under $50,000 if you got the V8 and tech package. Even so, Hyundai knew people might not plunk down $40,000 for a Hyundai, so they leased them out at really aggressive numbers. A no-money-down lease on the Genesis was around $450 a month during the darkest days of the recession. I was told the dealers were leasing them out for around $350 a month.

Which brings us to today, when the market is flooded with tons of lease returns. A used Hyundai Genesis is an even better value. There are a good number of 2013 models with under 45,000 miles on the odometer for under $20,000; the average price is at $18,500. Assuming the vehicle was leased in 2013, you would still get at least two years and 20k miles on the bumper-to-bumper and at least five years of powertrain warranty with the car. Most of these lease return models come with power everything, leather, sunroof, upgraded sound system – most of what you expect in a luxury car. Some are more aggressively priced than others. At that price point, you get more for your money if you purchase a Genesis instead of a Sonata, Elantra, or Tucson. Feel free to negotiate aggressively. That is how you can get a great deal.

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