Hyundai vs. BMW: The showdown (BMW, Hyundai).

    by: David Kiley | AOL Autos

    As the baseball season gets underway, grandstand debates and barroom arguments commence: Who is going to win the American League East, Yankees or Red Sox? Who is the better player, the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez or the St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols? And as we enter the thick of the NBA playoffs, sports radio callers are debating who is more valuable, the L.A. Lakers’ Kobe Bryant or the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James.

    Move the discussion to cars and you might get a fight over the Ford Mustang vs. Chevy Camaro, or maybe even the Mercedes S Class versus the Lexus LS. But at a time when marketing experts are theorizing about consumers “resetting” their priorities and whole definitions of value, try this on for a bar-stool debate: Hyundai vs. BMW.

    No way. Ridiculous. What's in that glass, mister?

    On the other hand, is it really that crazy? The bursting of the housing bubble certainly has people rethinking the desirability of owning “vacation” second homes. For the past year, a lot of those 30-year-old single-malt whiskies that were selling so briskly in 2007 have been left on the shelf in favor of blended scotch. Netflix is more popular than ever as people prefer paying a few dollars to watch Up In The Air on their widescreen TV (likely paid for with a home-equity line of credit) rather than $40-plus for a theatre experience, baby sitter and popcorn.

    These sorts of changes have BMW thinking, if not yet worried. Madelyn Hochstein, owner, President and co-founder of DYG, Inc., a marketing intelligence firm that has long counted BMW as one of its clients, has advised the German automaker that the luxury car buyer has changed for good. “The financial crisis of 2008 has people not shunning luxury vehicles, but they are looking for greater value, and scrutinizing their purchases more closely than ever.”

    BMW marketing chief Jack Pitney takes the advice seriously. “I think running scared is a good way to manage a brand... take nothing for granted, and focus on what your customers are doing and saying,” he says.

    But does Pitney go so far as to be worried about Hyundai, in addition to longtime competitors Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus? “BMW has never worried about leading in specific categories like horsepower, or having every feature. Our strength is in tying everything together into an unforgettable and industry leading driving experience, and that’s what we are focused on, no matter what the economy is doing,” says Pitney.

    Which would you rather drive?

    BMW has created a lot of tension in its brand in the last decade. Starting with the controversial styling of the 2001 7-series, followed by the creased sides and duckbill tail of the Z4, the X6 crossover coupe, and the decision to do M versions of the X5 and X6. All that and more has made BMW arguably the most argued-over brand of the last ten years.

    Pitney says BMW doesn't want to lose that "brand energy." It is somewhat telling, though, that for the 2011 model year BMW will sell a 740i that starts at $70,150, $12,000 lower than the entry-model 750i that was the starting point for 2010. That is, in part, for the fuel economy of the V6 versus the V8s in the up-market 7s, but also to give buyers a lower starting price point.

    BMW is launching an all-new 5-Series sedan this summer, two years after Hyundai launched its $33,000 Genesis sedan, which the Korean company modeled after the outgoing 5-Series. Autoblog, a sister site of AOL Autos, noted at the Genesis launch in 2008: “In one breath, the Genesis will simply compete head-to-head with the Infiniti M, Lexus GS, Lexus ES, Acura TL, and Acura RL [while] the German buyers want their badge; the American customers are true to their flag.” Indeed, few were willing to say that Genesis had hit the BMW Roundel bulls-eye on the first try. (Or second, if you will: Hyundai’s Veracruz SUV, costing roughly $37,000 loaded, was launched for the 2007 model year. Its only shortcoming when compared to its luxury competitors has been slow sales.)

    A big part of Hyundai’s strategy is to launch these luxury models in the hope that they will start to elevate the images of the company’s volume sellers like Sonata and Santa Fe, so that the company can better justify raising prices. The Korean company would some day like to sell its Sonatas and Santa Fes at parity or even a premium to Toyotas and Hondas.

    Having earned considerable kudos for the Genesis among enthusiast writers, as well as North American Car of the Year for 2009, Hyundai is now gearing up to launch the $50,000-plus Equus sedan this fall.

    So, can we have that conversation? Hyundai vs. BMW. This is how it would go?

    Hyundai Genesis Sedan vs. 2011 BMW 5-Series

    Appeal: The J.D. Power and Associates APEAL survey asks car buyers to rate how pleased they are with their vehicles, from styling to interior design execution, over 90 factors in all. In the 2009 APEAL Genesis topped the 5 Series.

    Power: Both are available with six- or eight-cylinder engines. 290 hp for the V6 Genesis versus 300 hp for the turbocharged, six-cylinder BMW. 385-hp for the V8 Genesis versus 400 hp for the turbocharged V8 BMW.

    Price: The 3.8-liter Genesis V6 starts at $33,000, while the 535i starts at $49,600.

    Extras: Both the 5-Series and Genesis get 3-star ratings from Automotive Leasing Guide for resale value.

    Bottom Line: This all depends on how much fifteen grand is worth to you. The Genesis is a fine machine. But where BMW excels is the integration of all the parts into one spectacular day-to-day driving machine. Plus, the 2011 5-Series design is a sleeker, more traditionally taut design than the outgoing model. The Genesis seems to have a clearer advantage over the $45,600 Lexus GS350 whose ride and handling is closer to that of the Genesis.

    Advantage: BMW, but not by as wide a margin as you might have thought.

    Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 vs. BMW 328i Coupe

    Appeal: Neither vehicle placed in the top three within their category in Power’s last APEAL ranking.

    Power: Both of these models offer six-cylinder engines: 300 hp for the turbocharged BMW versus 306 for the V6 Hyundai.

    Price: The 328i coupe starts at $36,200, while the Genesis coupe starts at $25,000 with a V6. A smaller engine is available in the Genesis coupe, while the BMW doesn't go any smaller than the inline six found in the 328i.

    Extras: The BMW 3-Series gets a four-star rating from ALG, while Genesis coupe gets three stars. Both vehicles get a combined 20 mpg.

    Bottom Line: This is sort of unfair. The Genesis Coupe actually seems disconnected from the sedan. That's because the coupe has a shorter wheelbase and weighs some 600 pounds less. The Genesis Coupe is offered at a much lower price, making it more of a challenger to the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro.

    Advantage: BMW 328i over Genesis Coupe, but the Hyundai ties with a comparably priced and equipped Mustang.

    2011 Hyundai Equus vs. 2011 7-Series

    Appeal: We’ll just have to wait for these results.

    Power: The Equus has a 4.6-liter V8 that generates 385 hp, versus 315 for the base Bimmer with a 3.0-liter, turbocharged 6-cylinder.

    Price: The Equus is expected to sticker at $50K-$60K. This is right in the middle of 5-Series territory. But the 2011 BMW 740i starts at $70,150 and stickers at $82,000 when typical popular features were added.

    Extras: Said Autoblog at the debut of Equus: “If Hyundai ever decides to gamble and attack the next price segment up from the Genesis sedan, they clearly have the ammo to do so. The Equus is the real deal."

    Bottom Line: Hard to give an advantage when the Equus isn’t here yet. But getting what is believed to be a great, luxurious car that’s this well detailed, and for about $30,000 less than the comparable 7-Series? That has our attention.

    Advantage: Hyundai.

    Hyundai Veracruz vs. BMW X5

    Appeal: The X5 is ranked second to the Porsche Cayenne on J.D. Power’s most recent APEAL study, while the Veracruz did not place in the top three in its category.

    Power: The 3.8-liter V6 in the Veracruz produces 260 hp, while the Bimmer’s new 3.0-liter, turbocharged inline-six churns out 300.

    Price: The Hyundai Veracruz Limited AWD with both the nav and entertainment package stickers at $35,895. The X5 xDrive35i with AWD hits the wallet starting at $45,800 and goes up from there.

    Extras: Combined fuel economy is 18 mpg for both the Hyundai and the Bimmer. The X5 gets a three-star ALG rating for resale value, while Veracruz is unrated.

    Bottom Line: If you are a single person, or perhaps married with one child, the X5 is unquestionably a better-tailored suit. The Veracruz is an amazing value. It has a nicely appointed interior, attractive styling and a handy amount of utility if your family has a couple of kids. Both keep you clear of the minivan salesman.

    Advantage: It’s a tie. Take the X5 if you don’t have kids, and the Veracruz if you do, and stick the difference in the college fund. No regrets.

    Hyundai Santa Fe vs. BMW X3

    Appeal: Neither SUV ranked in the top three of their Power APEAL categories.

    Power: Santa Fe packs a 3.5-liter V6, which produces 276 hp, while the X3 makes 260 hp from its 3.0-liter inline-six. The Santa Fe also offers a four-cylinder; the X3 does not.

    Price: A Santa Fe Limited AWD stickers at $30,295, while the X3 starts at $38,850.

    Extras: Santa Fe fuel economy is 22 mpg, and it has a 3-star ALG rating. X3 gets 19 mpg and also scores a 3-star rating.

    Bottom Line: A loaded Santa Fe is very tempting compared to an X3 that has not been a favorite of many reviewers. The Hyundai even gets better fuel economy from its larger displacement engine. And the extra $10k or so could buy a Hyundai Accent for another, less deserving, family member.

    Advantage: Hyundai.

    And since you asked: LeBron James over Kobe Bryant. Ted Williams over Joe DiMaggio. Ford Mustang over Chevy Camaro. Albert Pujols over Alex Rodriguez.
Marianne over Ginger. Shirley Partridge over Carol Brady. Captain Kirk over Captain Picard. Muhammed Ali over Joe Louis. And Catwoman (Julie Newmar) over Batgirl.

    Our Verdict: Hyundai vs. BMW

    Mid-size SedanHyundai Genesis Sedan BMW 5-series (Our Pick)
    CoupeHyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 BMW 328i coupe (Our Pick)
    Full-size SedanHyundai Equus (Our Pick) BMW 7-series
    Mid-size Crossover Hyundai Veracruz (Tie) BMW X5 (Tie)
    Small CrossoverHyundai Santa Fe (Our Pick) BMW X3

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    1 - 20 of 292 Comments
    Hisspiritinme777 Dec 19, 2010 2:59 AM
    We just traded my wifes BMW 530I for a new 2011 Hyundai Sonata. Having driven all types of high end cars like Infinity, BMW, Lincoln, and so on so forth I am astonished at the quality and ride of this car. I still cant belive its a Hyundai. I am geting a Genesis for myself soon . Just so you all know I could afford to buy any car but today I like the Hyundai product better.
    Report This
    coneman2004 Oct 03, 2010 5:17 PM
    Ohh I forgot to mention that Hyndai's warranty is crap, and classifies everything on the vehicle as a "wear item." Also it is non- transferable. They count on everybody getting sick of their car, selling it, and then not having to fulfill warranty claims. Third. Warranties are for Vagina's. If the car is well made, you won't ever have to use it. If neither BMW nor Hyundai had any warranty at all, which would you trust?????? Also, BMW has pushed back the release of a car before, simply because the steering did not have enough feedback at a harsh turn angle while on rough terrain. They entire steering system was redesigned from the ground up. Hyundai shoots for quality for the price, BMW shoots for perfection. BMW costs more because every single detail is well thought out, and I'll pay for it every time. If you like Hyundai more, you are wrong, and your opinion is therefore void!!!
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    coneman2004 Oct 03, 2010 5:00 PM
    HAHAHAH!. Work on a Hyundai, and then tell me they are made well. Won't happen!. I also love how in the new Genesis commercials they claim that it handles better than a 760 BMW. The biggest and heaviest car BMW makes will not come close to handling as well as an all plastic Korean POS. Comes down to people not ever driving a nice car. If you haven't driven one, then you have no idea where your car actually ranks. Drive one! You will very quickly change your mind. The reason Hyundai can make a car for $10,000, is because it is made Cheaply. Cheap materials, Cheap Labor. and very little product development. I'm just sick of seeing 3 year old Kia's and Hyundai's in my shop with broken tie rod links, head gaskets going out, cam position sensors going bad. Never seen a 3 year old BMW with any of those problems that soon. As bad as this feels to say, I think even GM might build a better car than Hyundai. And that is nothing to brag about!
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    DevAutos Oct 03, 2010 7:25 AM
    If the price of the vehicle is of no relevance, I believe BMW will win most the match ups, let it be performance numbers, or quality. On the other hand, I have many of my parent's friends who consistently drive higher end German cars and your Lexus and Infinity and so on. Many have switched to Hyundai (Genesis) and they all love it. Like one of the posters said, if people still have the image of Hyundai as being a econo-tin can car makers, they are mistaken. I'm one of them. I now actually WANT, not settle less for, a Hyundai. I still scratch my head every time I think of this. Me for a Hyundai? Really? For most of us, money does make a difference. So what if BMW can go faster from 0 to 60mph? by what, one or two seconds? If that is that important to you for your everyday driving, who's to argue? Both have reliable safety feature, which is the most important feature, why rag on Hyundai? Yes you can post how poor people drive Hyundais because you are so well-off. Good for you. But, let's still give recognition when it presents itself. So no, Hyundai does not beat BMW, but BMW can no longer dismiss Hyundai as its direct competitor. I have ridden, driven, both makers. Yes, the "spirit" of the cars are very different. Consider the cabin design, the solid feel, and road handling aspect, I'd prefer BMW. I did notice though, I was driving faster around town with the Hyundai, it didn't feel as heavy, and engine didn't feel as I was demanding too much from it when compared to BMW. I'll skip over BMW for now, when I have more disposable income, I'll go for the propeller emblem.
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    ssm256303 Oct 03, 2010 2:49 AM
    All of them are trying to be like BMW...What about the ///M cars and Alpina? Have some respect Hyundai BMW was and still is your dady. And for all of those people who say bmw this and that...why dont you drive one (take it out for a test drive) and see for yourself. oooooh wait didnt thay have buy one hyundai, get one free??? Is that deal still on :)~ NEXT TIME BMW vs. MERCEDES please
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    ssm256303 Oct 03, 2010 2:35 AM
    heheheheh BMW ALL THE WAY!!! IS THIS A JOKE???
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    rtyrejones Oct 02, 2010 12:33 AM
    WHAT??? DiMaggio over Williams? Are you nuts?
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    shepposki Aug 04, 2010 4:42 PM
    garthdvoigt is a prime example of a person that feels inferior because of what he drives, he is obviously someone that doesnt have the means to own a BMW!! He doesn't own a Porsche, I think thats pretty obvious, people with Porsches dont go on a rampage to defend Hyundais!! People who own Porsches understand why BMWs are so good and know that they arent cross shopped because they are in different categories. Its pretty obvious he has no interest in cars he is just on here to take some stabs at a car he doesnt know because he cant own and it makes him mad. It seems like something bad in his life happened like his wife probably left him for some guy with a BMW and took everything but his Hyundai!!
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    shepposki Aug 04, 2010 4:38 PM
    Some people just dont care that much about cars or performance so they may decide to buy a Hyundai or something cheap because they have no need for anything else. Then they're those who can't have a BMW and want one ******** not in their budget so they will settle for a Genesis coupe or something and trash talk all the cars they know are better just because they can't stand the people in society who can afford one. I see this all the time it's pure jealously fueled by a persons perceived place in society. I've been in the car business for 15 years, started as a sales guy and am now a General Manager for a premium car dealership. I have worked for GM, Honda, Benz and BMW, my brother is a sales manager for Hyundai and he knows that Hyundais can't hold a candle even close to BMW's. Thats a fact!! I know the way most car brands build their cars, I know the way cars really hold there value in the wholesale market and I know the way most cars really perform from my years in the automotive business. I know more about the true value of cars then 99% of people out there and I can say without a doubt that BMWs are not even close to being overpriced and they are definitely not overrated. BMWs hold there value extremely well, they win more engine awards than any other car company on earth, they put more profits in R&D then any other car company and it shows in the way the cars drive and the rep that they have attained. They lead their competition in drive technology and are rated safer than Volvo!! Their near perfect 50/50 weight distribution and handling and steering characteristics are second to none in the luxury/sport segment. BMW's are the most sought after and best driving machines in the Premium luxury/sport segment, this is why they sell the most in their class world wide and why most people always want to compare the size of their "cars dick" to a BMW. Ever notice why everyone compares their cars to BMW's or why BMW drivers are so hated. It's defiantly not because they don't make the Great cars, it's because of jealousy. Pure jealously and it stands out so obvious people can smell it a mile away. Hyundai is no where near being competition for BMW and the very thought of it makes everyone I know in the car business laugh. Even my brother who works for Hyundai laughed his ass off at that Super bowl commercial. Everyone on this site knows that this article is a joke. The writer knows this too, he only wrote this because he knew it would cause a stir and people would be talking about it.
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    fordawm Jun 24, 2010 2:25 PM
    I'll take the Ford SHO Taurus, Mustang GT, Lincoln MKZ, MKX, MKS, MKT ...............................over any of the junk offered by Hyundai and BMW. Plus, reccent quality ratings have Ford products ranked superior to BMW and Hyundai. Not to mention the fact that Ford is an American company
    Report This
    lrobertsonbooks Jun 24, 2010 1:32 PM
    Hmmm. Most people who drive Bimmers can't afford them? According to whom? The braggart who leases his Porsche? How about this for a topper. My wife and I bought our last auto with our American Express Card (we always pay in full each month).
    Report This
    fordf350va Jun 24, 2010 11:56 AM
    The only vehicle I like less than a BMW is an Audi. Both are over rated, and over priced. Norman Prevatte Fredericksburg, VA
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    hunter651 Jun 24, 2010 9:34 AM
    i just got back from korea studyin' abroad working closely with the Kia and Hyundai R&D Department and must say-it's only a matter of time before people do start comparing Hyundai to BMW. They have started making the same leaps in quality that Honda and Toyota did in the late 1980's to early 1990's. Hyundai has already started producing the Equus overseas, it comes standard with a 9" navigation and a refrigerator between the 2 back seats, and it's well planned out. You know how you buy a car and love it, then a few weeks later you realize how some little things could have been changed in the design of the vehicle, whether it be a cup holder location or the way in which the dash box opens? well Hyundai has definitely thought ahead and has overcome a lot of the little things that most would overlook. And btw, They pride themselves in always testing their competition: which happened to be a BMW when we were there!
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    unclejane1 Jun 24, 2010 8:09 AM
    you don't mention anything about safety features and ratings. that's important. what's the story there?
    Report This
    viking500 Jun 23, 2010 11:28 PM
    BMW all the way.
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    rixquest4wisdom Jun 23, 2010 9:20 PM
    Anybody who thinks the new genesis and other hyundai models arent an incredible leap in quality over vehicles they were producing only 5 or so yrs ago is hugely mistaken. hyundai is definately closing the gap at an incredible pace, something akin to what toyota nissan and honda did back in the early 90's when they launched their lexus infinity and acura badges. Of course to say that the Genesis is equal or superior to a 3-series is blasphemy to most gearheads, but that isnt taking anything away from what hyundai has accomplished recently. I think hyundai will be able to compete in any price category, (save for super car territory) very soon. As for the beamer, i have always loved the 3-series styling(even the most bangelized versions) the genesis coupes styling is still too reminiscent of sport compacts such as the mitsu eclipse and toyota celica to be taken seriously as a contender to a refined and classy yet sporty coupe such as the 3-series. Perhaps the sedan is a closer competitor, but the design of the coupe is a little generic to me, except of course for that sweet grill. performance wise i am glad to see the genesis get a truly excellent little engine and that they went with RWD. i myself would never even consider a FWD car due to the horrible handling characteristics of most such cars.
    Report This
    donisland Jun 22, 2010 1:15 PM
    I HAVE OWNED BMW: 535i, X-3, 328. THE 535 HAD LOTS OF PROBLEMS, THE X-3 AND 328 WERE VERY GOOD. I NOW OWN A GENESIS 4.6 (THE V8 MODEL). The Genesis is Excellent!! I agree with AOL Autos - the Genesis is a winner - my whole family loves it. All kinds of Standard features in the Genesis (you pay extra for everything with BMW's). I drove to Las Vegas last week with my family of 4, all adults, everyone was very comfortable in the front and rear seats, the Air Conditioning was excellent in the hot weather, and no ones butt got sore from the 4 hour drive in each direction. I now have 5,000 miles on the car and still enjoy driving it every time. THE GENESIS drives and feels like a luxury automobile. EQUUS - I have already put a deposit on the coming new Equus model.
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    dennis954 Jun 21, 2010 10:08 PM
    For those of you who say that BMW's break down all the time, you obviously have never owned one. I suspect a little jealousy and envy there. I am on my 7th BMW. In the past, I have had a 5 series, an X5, a 335i convertible, a 745i, and 2 750Li's. I never had a problem with any of them. The 4 year 50,000 mile service warranty covers everything so all you pay for is gas and insurance. I must admit that I have become a little spoiled. BMW's are extremely well built; there are no creeks, squeaks, or rattles. I have driven other cars and nothing else comes close. Even a 6 hour road trip is a comfortable pleasure, not a torture trip to hell like some other cars. I am not saying that Hyundai cannot build its image. Lexus certainlydid it but they started from scratch and in less than 10 years was very highly regarded. Hyundai started with low end cars and it will take a long time to upgrade the brand. People will have a hard time paying $60k for a Hyundai, regardless of the quality. THe brand at this point, just does not justify that kind of price point. It will be interesting to see how well it sells. For those of you who complain about the cost of maintaining a BMW, one thing I have discovered is that BMW has structured their sales and marketing to induce people to lease the car for 3 years and then trade it in and get a new one. That is the most economical way to own a BMW, assuming that you are not on the road 7 days a week, racking up the miles. Then it can get expensive !
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    monkeydude72 Jun 21, 2010 9:41 PM
    $50,000 for a hyundai...get serious! and this study is so one sided; they're not comparing the most popular bmw models. I have seen few if any 740's where i see countless 760IL and 750IL's. and to compare a 328i instead of a twin turbo charged 335i...yes there is a cost difference but people want the more expensive modeled bmw's. Lastly, BMW's 4 year 40,000 mile warranty also has 0 cost maintenance
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    joshlpz23 Jun 19, 2010 6:05 PM
    comparing BMW to Hyundai? hey why don't we compare bentley to acura? i mean people of different pay grades buy different cars, of course people are going to rate hyundai better in some catagories, because the people driving hyundai's, never driven BMW, and BMW owners, critisize the crap out of there cars becuase they want the best money can buy. hyundai is a poor mans BMW at best, and BMW's styling is beyond what hyundai will ever come up with anyways.
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    At a time when marketing experts are theorizing about consumers “resetting” their priorities and definitions of value, try this on for a debate: Hyundai vs. BMW.


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