Interior photos courtesy of Hyundai and Audi.
Last week, in my review of the 2012 Kia Rio SX Sedan, I posited that the default answer to the question of “what makes the best road trip car” was a big, soft luxury car—a wafter, if you will. This week, we’re looking at two such machines to see how well they do against each other, and how well they represent the traditional cruiser market. They’re our null hypothesis, if you will, as we try to decide whether a small car can do the job just as well or better. Oh, and there will be some back roads and on-ramps involved, too. Don’t fret.
We’ve done some fairly off-the-cuff comparisons over the years, but today we bring you the rare showdown that actually features similarly-priced competitors with very different approaches to midsize luxury. The defending champ is the Audi A6 S-Line, equipped with their now-ubiquitous 3.0L supercharged V6. The challenger: Hyundai’s new Genesis 5.0 R-Spec, delivering traditional luxury power from a 5.0L V8 with a non-traditional luxury badge. Both cost $50k. The Hyundai has the edge in power and boasts hoon-friendly rear-wheel drive; the Audi offers up quattro and the promise of superior fuel economy. Which will best devour an 800-mile sprint from suburban Maryland to Daytona Beach, Florida? Will they both leave the Rio in the dust? Click on through to find out.