Saturday, August 02, 2008

Genesis Revisited

As I mentioned earlier, I bought a tech package Genesis (black exterior, tan leather interior) on 7/31. I hadn't thought about the fact that it was the last day of the month, but that seemed to have made the negotiations go even more smoothly; the fact that I was ready to write a check for the difference right then seemed to help.

Yesterday, I made one unpleasant discovery: the car's front license plate bracket had been mounted to the front bumper by the use of sheet metal screws through the bumper itself. I normally remove the front license plate bracket, but when I took it off, the look was hideous--the sheet metal screws had left ragged upraised holes when they were unscrewed.

The dealership was willing to have the bumper sanded out, filled, and repainted if I wanted--but they also offered an additional price adjustment if I'd keep it as is, and they offered to get me a black plate with the word Genesis in silver in the distinctive Genesis font. I liked that idea well enough, so I agreed to go with that.

Here are some observations after tw days of driving:

(1) The cooled driver's seat is wonderful. Driving in Georgia's 95 degree August afternoons is much more pleasant when you have that coolness on your back. It's a shame they changed plans to offer this feature on the passenger's seat as well; I can't say too much about how great it feels without Susan giving me a hard time!...

(2) Lexicon 17 speaker sound system = audio excellence. It requires a little fiddling to find the right balance of treble, midrange, and bass, but once you find your preferred audio "sweet spot," the sound is impeccable. I tried the Lexus Mark Levinson system, but it sounded mushy. Acura's ELS system is superlative, but there's no midrange control and the system won't play the audio from a DVD-Video. The only vehicle that Acura makes that can do that, as it turns out, is the Acura MDX, because you can add an optional rear entertainment system and use the DVD-Video player to play back audio from DVD-Video discs--but that's a lot of extra money for one feature. The only thing that the Lexicon system lacks that it should add is an audio control for the center speaker; I find it to be tuned slightly low in comparison to the other speakers.

(2) HD radio really does sound great. I'm most impressed with the clarity and the dynamic range.

(3) XM radio sounds superb as well. I can't tell if they're running Neural Surround processing on the channels that offer such or not, but the surround setting on the Lexicon certainly creates the impression of surround from some XM channels.

(4) Bluetooth is adequate but not superb. The speaker volume is a little soft, but if you turn it up to sufficient loudness,the volume is excessive on the ringer when you get an incoming call. There's no mass import of a phonebook, at least not that I've found so far; I've had to load the phone numbers in one at a time (the easiest way Ifound to do that was to call a number once, then bring it up from my "called numbers" list, push the controller to the right, then choose "add to phone book" and program in the proper name). And hanging up the phone seems to require two moves, not one: you have to push down to select "end," then push in to confirm the selection. This should be done with one button on the steering wheel or the controller (and if it is possible to do it single-button and I've missed it, someone let me know, okay?). Adding a phone to the bluetooth system is quick, easy, and intuitive; I had programmed my iPhone to work with the car in less than three minutes of test-driving (at that point, I had already decided I was going to buy it, so I figured why not?).

(5) Navigation system seems to be at least as good as Acura's (which is much better than Toyota's or Nissan's), with one tiny omission: I can't find a way to determine the elevation above sea level of my current location, which is something that I used to bring up a lot on the Acura when driving in the mountains.

(6) They added an automatic trunk unlock, but they should have gone the extra step and added an automatic open/close control as well; the trunk will pop unlocked slightly, but you have to lift it open (which means getting fingerprints on that lovely black pearl paint), and then you get more fingerprints on it when you close the trunk again. Yes, I know there's an interior handle you can use to pull it down and if you're quick, you can tug and move your arm out of the way and get it to latch... but I rarely complete that move effectively.

(7) I don't use sun roofs very much at all, but one person already asked if they offered a panoramic sun roof option; that's something they might consider in the future, as these things seem to be increasingly popular.

(8) Center console is a bit small when you've connected an iPod.

(9) New iPod interface software/firmware is really needed; the current connectivity is basic and minimal. They need something that allows full randomization from any playlist, something that displays artist, song, album, and playlist data, etc.

(10) Mileage is right where Hyundai guessed it would be. My mixed around town/highway mileage is about 21.3 mpg, and we were getting 26 mpg on a 60 mile trip at 70 mph on the interstate.

(11) The car is quiet--so quiet, in fact, that twice my wife thought the car had failed to start.

(12) The A/C system seems a little bit undervented in the front; a larger vent with more cool air diffusion would have helped increase airflow and expedite cooling on hot days.

(13) The glove compartment is a bit smaller than it should be, and they've gone with a single glove box rather than the increasingly popular "large glove box below, smaller glove box above" approach. If there's room in the dash to carve out that extra space, they should consider doing this.

(14) Not only does the passenger seat not get cooling, it also doesn't get lumbar support, according to my wife (I haven't sat in that side so I can't address this from experience). Should be added to a car of this caliber.

(15) The car seems to be frequently confused with a BMW when seen from the front; I've had three people make that mistake so far.

(16) the DVD changer will play MP3 files burned to a DVD-R disc, but it won't randomize across folders, so if you have folders based on artists or albums, random will only play all the songs in that specific folder, not every song on the DVD-R.

That's it so far--more observation to come, I'm sure...

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