Is a Hyundai better than a BMW?

BMW 550i

Let’s say we’re shopping together for a new car.

Money’s definitely an issue, but we’ve been thinking about a rear-wheel-drive V8 sedan and have always wondered what it would be like to own some BMW- or Lexus-like luxury.

We definitely like plenty of horsepower, but we also like space to haul our family and friends in comfort. We want precise steering and a responsive ride that’s not too “floaty.”

Like many car buyers, we’d like a certain amount of prestige. We want our neighbors to utter a long, drawn-out “Woooow” when they see our car, rather than a simple “Hmmm.”

We’re considering:

The BMW 550i


The Lexus GS460

Lexus GS460


The Infiniti M45



The Hyundai Genesis


Yup, the little carmaker from Korea is getting a shot next to the big-time luxury players. The fact that the the Genesis this week was named North American Car of the Year in Detroit also provided some motivation to check it out.

Let’s compare, shall we?


BMW: 4.8-liter, 360-hp V8
Lexus: 4.6-liter, 342-hp V8
Infiniti: 4.5-liter, 325-hp V8
Hyundai: 4.6-liter, 375-hp V8

Fuel economy:

BMW: 15/22 mpg
Lexus: 17/24 mpg
Infiniti: 16/21 mpg
Hyundai: 17/25 mpg

Rear legroom:

BMW: 36 inches
Lexus: 36.4 inches
Infiniti: 37.3 inches
Hyundai: 38.6 inches

Powertrain Warranty:

BMW: 4 years/50,000 miles
Lexus: 6 years/70,000 miles
Infiniti: 6 years/70,000 miles
Hyundai: 10 years/100,000 miles

Inside these cars is a pretty level playing field of world-class interiors. All vehicles come with sunroofs, up-level audio systems, and enough leather to justify PETA protests. In short, each of these cars is everything you’d expect a $50,000-60,000 car should be.

But let’s look a little closer at price:

BMW 550i: $60,000
Lexus GS460: $53,320
Infiniti M45: $52,150
Hyundai Genesis: $37,250

We’d have to consider maintenance costs, too, as tuning up a German car will nearly always cost more and take longer than an Asian one.

On paper, the Hyundai is the clear winner with the most horsepower, the best fuel economy, the most rear legroom, a competitive interior, and a much lower up-front and long-term price.

There’s one thing, though, that can’t be summarized or compared on paper: emotion.

Regardless of what all these numbers tell us, at the end of the day, we could end up with a Hyundai in our garage. Is it worth an extra $16,000 to see a Lexus there instead? Or an extra $23,000 to have the BMW logo on our steering wheel versus Hyundai’s slanted H? 

It all comes down to what price we’ll pay to have the prestige of an established luxury brand. 

With that in mind, tell us which car you’d want to buy: the BMW 550i, the Lexus GS460, the Infiniti M45, or the Hyundai Genesis.



  1. Hyundai is working really hard to disconnect them selfs from the stigma of there own name from the early and late 90’s flops such as the accell.
    What they did with hte Genisis is AMAZING, huge value for the dreamers.
    If you don’t know hyundai has come a long wya away from the accell as far as wquil;ity safety, and customer satifaction. Love hyndai!

  2. pffft thats a easy choice either a Lexus or the infiniti.
    I dont want my friends to come up and say: “Ewwwww you bought a hyundai?????”
    And you got to think about resale value, my uncle sold his 2003 Hyundai sonata for 50 bucks!!!!! (no accidents but the engine failed and the radiator broke)
    And in these bad econimic times, who wants to buy a new car?????
    Personally I rather buy my self a nice used Lexus,Infiniti or Acura.
    Or even a New Yaris!
    Man I hate hyundais

  3. I didn’t realize this was a RWD with so much hp… Hyundai’s definatly going up against the big boys aren’t they? It doesn’t look like they’re going for the Avalons or S80s with that setup. Still, if I’m buying a car like that I’m waiting until I can get the luxury brand. Why settle for a Hyundai?

  4. i think the Hyundai is gonna need time to build the “emotion” it lacks but this car is a clear winner ( at least with the stats they gave us ) the only problem is the name and its what they deserve trying to turn a brand name over night how do i expect to impress the ladies Joking. but honestly thats the problem its like if Honda were to try and start a luxury brand ppl would not take it seriously

  5. If they didn’t want the Genesis to compete with the 5-series, the Lexus GS and the Infiniti they wouldn’t have dropped in a 375 hp V8. Seems like it’s a heck of a deal… but I’m still not sold on it.

  6. I think the point is that a Hyundai is being mentioned with all of these models. That is what Hyundai was going after and so far it seems like they have done a very good job.

  7. I don’t think the Genesis is going up against cars like 5-Series, M45, or the Lexus GS. I always pictured it being more of a competitor for the Toyota Avalon, Lincoln MKS, Volvo S80….

  8. I’d have to go with the BMW. I think it would add a touch of class to any activity you used the car for.

  9. The Genesis will not be released in Europe, so I can’t even doubt about it. The BMW would be my choice.

  10. look…the answer is very clear…if i were in your position i wud have gone straight for the u have 530d there?if yes go for it.

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