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.”
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
BMW: 15/22 mpg
Lexus: 17/24 mpg
Infiniti: 16/21 mpg
Hyundai: 17/25 mpg
BMW: 36 inches
Lexus: 36.4 inches
Infiniti: 37.3 inches
Hyundai: 38.6 inches
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.