During my holiday travel back home to NJ to visit family and friends, I rented a 2011 Hyundai Genesis from Turo. It had the 4.6L V8 along with the technology package option. So it had all of the bells and whistles like heated AND cooled driver seat (heat only passenger), navigation, radar cruise, and a backup camera. While it had bluetooth, it was for phone calls only so it did not work for audio. And USB would not work with an Iphone 10 nor my LG G6, so it was FM radio only. Unfortunately this mainly meant I was stuck with christmas music since stations begrudgingly stick to that around that time of the year. Anyways, more important noises came from that V8!
When I got on the gas, this car took off in a hurry. The ESC lit off almost every time under full throttle so it was always an enteraining scurry to highway speeds. With pushing nearly 400 HP, this was a proper fast rental car in the body of a boring looking luxury car. The cheap tints on this car were the only detracting feature from making it a very nice sleeper. I imagine these have depreciated significantly since its a Hyundai so nobody is paying Mercedes/Audi/BMW or even Lexus/Infiniti money for these. So its likely a very good deal for that much power and a decently nice interior.
The brown leather seats were rather nice. The “leather” dash trim was hard plastic but at least it looked nice. Infotainment was naturally laughably dated with the scroll wheel being nearly non-functional due to overuse I suppose and its usage not very intuitive. Multiple people tried using it as a volume knob for the radio. I found the car impossible to keep the interior at a cool enough temperature without fogging the windows, probably the thing that annoyed me the most. Dual climate control was nice to have though as well as being able to set one seat to cool and the other to heat. Radar cruise control was broken as far as I could tell, along with the parking sensors. But its possible they were just dirty due to the overabundance of salt on the roads.
I didnt really find too many twisty roads aside from the few on my first drive up north to meet up with an Oppo. But it was dark, I had no idea where google maps was taking me, and I had put a total of about 40 miles on the car so far so I wasnt all that comfortable sending it around turns. Oh and it was icy and some snow in dark corners. But eventually I got more comfortable and at least booked it around some off ramps. Never really felt confidence inspiring or interesting in that department but I drive a Miata and STi daily so my scale is whack.
Overall, it was definitely a car that I felt could easily end up stanced like the above. It fits in the same category as the often riced out g35/37, even though the sedans tend to be less so than the coupes. But having driven those as well, this car deserves more. While the Infiniti is probably more of a drivers car and has some better styling, the Hyundai is a bit more refined and properly fast thanks to the v8. The Genesis is a proper sleeper in stock form and proved to be a decent car to drive about. As far as cheap rentals go, I couldnt have chosen much better. I pretty much agree with the take from Motortrend as well:
With my lead foot “rental car driving” I definitely managed only about the city mpg of 17-20 overall on 93 even though most of my 450 miles driven were on the highway. So gas cost me some money versus a newer rental economy car but its not any worse than my STi so no big deal! Not to mention that 93 in NJ is still a solid 60 cents cheaper than 87 in California...