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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hyundai Genesis Sedan named Best Upscale Sedan by Consumer Reports

YONKERS, New York — The Hyundai Genesis has dominated the latest test of upscale sedans by Consumer Reports, beating the Acura TL, Lincoln MKS, Nissan Maxima and Pontiac G8. At the same time, the Jaguar XF ranked near the bottom of a group of 12 luxury sedans that the consumer watchdog tested, it said.

The Genesis, which is also a finalist for the 2009 North American Car of the Year, was lauded for its affordability by Consumer Reports. The group said it tested a $36,000 Genesis with a 290-horsepower 3.8-liter V6.

"The Hyundai Genesis rivals high-end luxury sedans but costs considerably less," said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center. "Its luxurious and spacious interior and quietness far transcend its relatively modest price."

However, Consumer Reports said the Acura TL is the only vehicle in the test group that it is recommending. It said it doesn't have reliability data yet on the Genesis, MKS, Maxima, G8 or XF.

The Pontiac G8 was hailed as "a bargain sport sedan that can challenge the performance of models from BMW and Mercedes."

Separately, Consumer Reports said it tested a Toyota Prius that had been converted to a plug-in hybrid. The vehicle was equipped with a Hymotion L5 conversion kit sold by A123 Systems. The company said the conversion can yield more than 100 miles per gallon. But Consumer Reports remained unconvinced.

"Fuel economy in CR's converted Prius jumped from 42 to 67 mpg overall for the first 35 miles of driving," it noted. "At almost $11,000, the plug-in conversion clearly won't save consumers money overall. However, the technology itself proved viable."

Inside Line says: The Genesis reaps praise from what consumers have come to trust as an unbiased, reliable source. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent