The 7th generation Grandeur is running on a road with cherry blossoms in full bloom The 7th generation Grandeur is running on a road with cherry blossoms in full bloom

2023.04.28 Hyundai Motor Company 분량6min

Baekri Cherry Blossom Road guided by Grandeur

Spring has arrived, when everything in the world becomes colorful again. Spring symbolizes a new beginning; And Grandeur, transformed wirh a new look, now became the guide for the cherry blossom tour.

In search of the center of spring, Hyundai Motors Grandeur headed to Hapcheon, Gyeongnam, famous for its Baekri Cherry Blossom Road. It would be a great combination to be at the center of the season with the meaning of ‘new beginning’ with a car that has been reborn with a completely new look. The road with Grandeur was full of excitement even before departure. Its sleek design thrilled me.

The 7th generation Grandeur is standing on the roadside where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom

Future and heritage coexist in the design of the new Grandeur - like the combination of Seamless Horizon Lamp and integrated grille. The horizontal lamps create a future-oriented presence that has never been seen in large sedans. The fact that the 230 LED lamps play the role of daytime running lights, turn signals, and dynamic welcome lights clearly shows its technological development.

The 7th generation Grandeur is standing on the roadside where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom

The C-pillar with ‘Opera Glass’, a design feature of the first-generation Grandeur, is an example of a design element that follows tradition. The opera glass of the first-generation Grandeur was for the privacy and openness of rear seat passengers, symbolizing that the Grandeur was the best luxury sedan in Korea at the time. The C-pillar of this Grandeur will be a reminiscence for the middle-aged and elderly. This means that the power of design naturally combines two opposing elements - cutting-edge technology and heritage.

Interior view of the 7th generation Grandeur and second row seats

The harmony of future and heritage extends to the interior as well - especially to the steering wheel, which is a reinterpretation of the first-generation Grandeur. Holding the steering wheel felt like holding the history of Hyundai Motor Company’s flagship. The vertical stripes on the dashboard, door trim, and seats also looked similar to the pattern of the fabric interior used in the past. As such, the cabin of the 7th generation Grandeur houses a variety of design elements that imply the automaker’s heritage.

7th generation Grandeur’s climate control display and shift column

The composition with advanced technology and future-oriented image is also impressive. Various new technologies were applied, such as a next-generation infotainment system based on a panoramic display, a 10.25-inch full-touch air conditioning controller, and an electronic shift column. As such, the new Grandeur sets the standard for harmonizing tradition and advanced technology in many ways.

The 7th generation Grandeur is running on a road with cherry blossoms in full bloom

After calming myself down, I set up the navigation. It is more than 300 km from Seoul to the destination, Baekni Cherry Blossom Road in Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam-do. Even with no traffic, I was afraid I would get too tired after driving close to 4 hours on the freeway. But thanks to the Grandeur’s meticulously crafted body and sophisticated suspension, driving it couldn’t be more comfortable. Specifically, the Grandeur’s electronically controlled suspension with road preview utilizes the front camera and navigation map information to maintain a comfortable ride by recognizing bumps or potholes in advance and controlling the damping force.

The engine room of the 7th generation Grandeur

The engine that provides the desired amount of power at all times is also essential - just like the 7th generation Grandeur’s drivetrain, including 2.5, 3.5 (gasoline, LPG), and 1.6 turbo hybrid. Each driving system is optimized according to the environment and driving purpose. Among them, the 3.5 model used on this trip clearly reveals the charm of a quiet yet smoothly rotating V6 engine. In particular, this car, which boasts the highest output of up to 300 horsepower, demonstrated enough power both in the city and on the highway. There’s plenty of power at low revs, and there’s no need to rev up the engine, as the eight-speed automatic transmission constantly shifts gears for optimum efficiency; The engine speed at 100 km/h is 1,400 rpm, and at 110 km/h it is only 1,600 rpm, so the car runs very comfortably.

The 7th generation Grandeur standing behind the cherry blossoms in full bloom

After a long drive, I opened the window and a warm breeze, which I hadn’t felt in Seoul yet, came into the car; The air in Namdo was definitely warmer than in Seoul. I set foot in Hapcheon with the feeling that I have arrived in spring. Hapcheon’s famous tourist attractions include Gayasan Mountain, Haeinsa Temple, Maehwasan Mountain, and Hambyeokru Pavilion. Traditional beauties such as quiet temples and pavilions lie here as well as superb scenery that changes with each season.

Side view of the 7th generation Grandeur standing behind the cherry blossoms in full bloom

Since Hapcheon Lake is an artificial lake created by the Hapcheon Dam (completed in December 1988) that blocks the Hwanggang River, a tributary of the Nakdong River, Hapcheon Lake and the Baekri Cherry Blossom Road are relatively recent members of the ‘Great Eight Spots of Hapcheon’. Hapcheon-gun province planted a lot of Cherry Blossom trees to create a beautiful lakeside road when building Hapcheon Dam. Now, 30 years later, it has become a beautiful driveway where bright cherry blossoms bloom every year. The Baekri Cherry Blossom Road leading to Hapcheon Lake is considered one of the most beautiful roads in Korea.

Rear quarter view of the 7th generation Grandeur standing behind cherry blossoms in full bloom

Listening to Tchaikovsky’s 〈Waltz of Flowers〉, I slowly passed the cherry blossom road, enjoying the scent of spring with the smell of cherry blossoms. The experience of viewing the cherry blossoms outside the car window with background music was special. The new Grandeur’s Boss Premium Sound System delivers beautiful music through 14 speakers. The clear sound that captures even the smallest sounds while maintaining the sense of space necessary for orchestral music was admirable. Thanks to the excellent sound system and music, I could feel the spring with all my senses.

A driver is steering the 7th generation Grandeur

The clear sound stands out more thanks to the quiet interior. When Hyundai Motor Company improved the noise and vibration of the new Grandeur, it put a lot of effort into improving the sense of shielding, which is the feeling of separation between the exterior and interior spaces. To deal with major noise sources such as engine noise, road noise, and wind noise, engineers plugged gaps in the body and reinforced soundproofing materials everywhere. Thanks to this, the Grandeur runs very quietly, and you can enjoy your favorite music more clearly.

The 7th generation Grandeur is running on a road with cherry blossoms in full bloom

Soon after, the cherry blossom tunnel opened up. The fluttering cherry blossom petals made it clearer how quickly spring was passing. We waited for a year, but the cherry blossoms were already losing their petals and trying to say goodbye to us. On the one hand, it seemed that nature was trying to teach us about meeting, parting, and the new beginning.

The 7th generation Grandeur running on a road full of cherry blossoms

Leaving Baekri Cherry Blossom Road, I had to pass through a mountain on the way to Seoul. I pushed the accelerator a little deeper. The Grandeur responded quickly by lowering the gear and keeping the engine revs high. I enjoyed the lively driving with the pleasant vibration of the V6 engine. I was excited by the unexpected charm of the engine, which seemed to be just quiet and smooth at first.

The 7th generation Grandeur is running on a road with cherry blossoms in full bloom

Contrary to my excitement, the Grandeur has always been calm and reliable. The new Grandeur’s four-wheel drive system adjusts the driving force sent to the front and rear wheels in real time. Thanks to this, it always stably transmits power to the road surface. This is the key to giving the driver the feeling of being able to go anywhere with confidence.

The 7th generation Grandeur is running on a road with cherry blossoms in full bloom

The cherry blossom tour guided by Grandeur was short and intense - just like spring itself. That short moment left a lasting impression. Even if it’s just a little bit, I couldn’t stop wanting to enjoy the scent of spring that filled Namdo more. After this cherry blossom trip, my daily life will start again. Nonetheless, driving back home in such a crowded city never bothered me; My Grandeur would make it comfortable.

Filmed by Do-yeon Nam, Hee-don Jeong, Yong-shik Woo

Photography by Dae-il Choi, Bum-seok Kim