Jaguar S-Type ? Acura TL ? The elegant wood inserts in the dash and console speak the words "upmarket". Gauges are large and the simple white on black background and easy to read. All the dials and switches for the heat/air/radio are nicely in reach and have a good feel to them.
This is not an Audi, but not bad, not half bad. The seats have that classic Jaguar understated look, they feel like those in the Honda Accord, not up to Cadillac standards of rear-end pampering, but comfortable, easy to park in for long drives. The lines on the car didn't appeal at first, then they grew on me.
The close to home uphill onramp acceleration literally matched a new Acura 3.2 TL from a dead stop, most impressive ! Route 24 Between Walnut Creek and the Caldicott Tunnel
leading into Oakland is some of the worst paved and most poorly maintained highway in all of California.
A BMW M3, MiniCooper S, Mitsubishi Evo or other stiffly sprung car will make your teeth chatter on 24, a softly sprung boulevard cruiser like the recently departed little Mercedes two-door will wallow all over the road like a ‘60s Oldsmobile supertanker. The XG 350 handled the road waves and potholes like the outgoing version of the underrated Acura RL sedan, that is, rock solid.
Mind you, this no sports car; an attempt at a wide-arc at speed on the exit ramp produced four tires squealing in unison. Back to in-town driving and the engine was as smooth and quiet as the best Japanese sedans while the transmission shifted quickly, obediently, and any without fuss or jolt.
"this is not like the crappy little Hyundai I used to drive." And she's right. In all fairness her old Hyundai from her student days provided good utility on meager service and care. Shades of the early Hondas! My earlier thoughts of ~ oh no, not a Hyundai ~
grew into thoughts that Hyundai has really closed the gap on the Japanese for drivability, design, style and initial build quality, in fact sister company KIA just took top honors in a J.D. Powers Quality Survey, so Hyundai can not be far behind.
Car seats fit well in the back, ride was quite good, fitment was quite good, price is very good,particularly considering the options we would be looking for are standard!
It was not easy to buckle the seat belt around the older-child type child safety seat, the seatbelt receiver flopped around too easily. There was one outside trim piece that was not well aligned.
And anyone not careful in letting kids in and out got whacked in the leg when opening one of the extra-long rear doors.
And while the EPA rates the car at 17 city and 26 highway we got
identical mileage to the last Honda V6 Coupe at 22+ mpg overall in routine driving that rarely saw cruising speed.
Hyundai has really built a solid car in the XG 350. If re-sale prices stay up and 150,000 mile life with no major problems I've heard is true, then this car is really an outstanding value.