For an exercise in completely shattering expectations, just go for a drive in the Hyundai Genesis.

This is Hyundai’s new large luxury liner, and it’s priced from $67,300 drive away, making it the most expensive car Hyundai has ever offered in Australia. In fact, the top of the range Genesis costs $91,000 drive away.

By Alex Forrest

The obvious response, and one which we repeatedly experienced when test driving it, was why would someone pay this for a Hyundai when a new Mercedes-Benz C-Class costs $67,800?

Well, the Genesis is a much bigger vehicle than the C-Class, but the heart of the question is really about badge recognition: private buyers spending this amount of money on a car want one which says they’ve ‘arrived’.

While the Genesis may not match the Germans on this front just yet, it does an excellent job of looking and feeling an awful lot like them.

It also beats them on one of the most important areas: in October 2014, the Genesis became the safest car ANCAP had ever tested.

The Genesis had received an overall points score (on which the star ratings are based) of 36.88 out of 37. This was a record in ANCAP’s 21-year history.

Based on this exceptional score, the Genesis of course received ANCAP’s maximum 5-star rating.

It not only provided excellent occupant protection, it also has one of the most extensive lists of standard safety assistance features on the Australian market.

These include nine passenger airbags, a pre-safe seat belt system, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and most significantly, autonomous emergency braking.

The interior even has a carbon dioxide sensor, and if levels of the gas increase to more than 1,000 parts per million, the ventilation system automatically lets more fresh air in too help reduce fatigue.

Under the bonnet is a very smooth 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine making a respectable 232kW and 397Nm. It’s mated to an eight-speed auto.

Despite the Genesis’s 1890kg heft, it handles well. Hyundai said at the car’s launch that its suspension has been tuned for local preferences and roads, with Australian-specific spring rates, anti-roll bars and dampers.

2015 Hyundai Genesis specifications

Price driveaway (as tested): $91,000 driveaway
Engine: 3.8-litre V6 petrol
Power: 232kW @6,000rpm
Torque: 397Nm @5,000rpm
Claimed fuel economy: 11.2Litres/100km
ANCAP Rating: 5 stars
CO2 Emissions: 261g/km