Five years ago, when Hyundai launched the XG as the flagship of its fleet, luxury was not a word associated with the brand. After all, this South Korean car maker had made its reputation with bargain-basement compact cars, some seriously lacking in quality. Recently, Hyundai has done more than just keep up. Quality has improved dramatically in its bread-and-butter economy models, and it now offers a range of models that provide serious competition to mainstream brands. With continuing improvement in power, convenience, and styling since its launch, the spacious and elegantly styled four-door, five passenger Hyundai XG350 offers the trappings of cars in the so-called near-luxury class. There is still one difference, however: price. The two XG350 models still have sticker prices closer to those of plain midsize sedans in the mid-20s. Add in Hyundai's five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty coupled with its standard-setting 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and the Hyundai XG350 represents real value. A full range of luxury features is standard on the base model, and the only slightly more expensive upgraded model adds a few more nice conveniences. Equally pleasing is the competent 194-horsepower engine, which delivers good acceleration performance. Anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, and traction control come standard, active safety features that can help the driver maintain control in an emergency maneuver.