New & Used Hyundai Genesis Coupe: In Depth
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The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is Hyundai’s only true sports car that’s economical, yet still able to deliver great driving dynamics. The rising success of the Genesis Coupe is a testament to Hyundai’s effort to gain some credibility for cars with exceptional driving feel.
For a more detailed look at the Genesis Coupe, see the full review of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
The 2+2 Genesis Coupe shares its name and some components with the Hyundai Genesis sedan, but the two are very different in character. The Genesis Coupe has a wide range of rear-drive competitors, including the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ twins and pony cars like the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang. Based on general size and price, the two-door Genesis can also call Honda's Accord and Civic Si coupes rivals.
The Genesis Coupe was first introduced as 2010 model, then it got a hefty dose of improvements for 2013, including new front styling, new engines, and interior updates. When the 2010 model launched early in 2009, it offered a choice between a 210-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a 306-hp, 3.8-liter V-6—although current models only feature the V-6.
From 2010 through 2012, six main trim levels were offered for the Genesis Coupe--three for each engine. They were 2.0T, 2.0T Premium, 2.0T R-Spec, 3.8 R-Spec, 3.8 Grand Touring, and 3.8 Track. Even on base-model Genesis Coupes, Bluetooth hands-free and a USB port were standard, while at the top of the line Grand Touring models came with xenon headlamps, Infinity premium audio, heated seats, and leather upholstery. Track models were as the name hints configured for weekend track excursions, yet comfortable enough for a daily commute. Interior materials were a bit of a sore point on the earliest cars, but for 2011 Hyundai remedied that somewhat with a few new trims and a brightened cabin look.
Our editors found the first Genesis Coupes to offer extroverted and attractive styling, as well as strong performance (from the V-6) and enjoyable driving. But the choppy ride, lack of steering feedback (though it was well-weighted), and missing telescopic steering adjustment kept the Coupe from appealing to everyone. And the cabin was rather tight, which you wouldn't necessarily expect from its visual size. Throughout these models, however, trunk space is surprisingly spacious and accommodating.
For the 2013 model year, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe was significantly refreshed. It received new engines, new front and rear details, a reconfigured instrument panel, and spruced-up interior trims and materials. With the four-cylinder boosted to 274 hp, with peak torque at just 2,000 rpm and a much sharper throttle response and less lag, the four-cylinder now delivers enough power, with enough immediacy, for track driving—and can deliver up to 31 mpg on the highway. V-6 models now get direct injection and make 348 hp; and with either engine you have a choice of a six-speed manual or an all-new eight-speed automatic (replacing the previous five- or six-speed automatics), with paddle-shifters. Hyundai also retuned the steering and suspension for improved ride, better steering feel, and improved dynamics.
Prices rose with this latest redesign, but the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe still offers a strong level of feature content for the money, with base models including A/C, keyless entry, and a trip computer, and top-of-the-line models now offering a navigation system with integrated climate and audio controls, the BlueLink suite of services plus HD Radio, XM NavTraffic, and Bluetooth audio streaming. The R-Spec remained at the top of the line, adding track-oriented extras like Brembo brakes and a Torsen limited-slip differential.Hyundai continued to update the Genesis Coupe for 2014--making it that much more attractive to enthusiasts. Four-cylinder models got a new engine-intake sound-induction pipe for a sportier sound inside the car, while automatic models now include rev-matching on downshifts.
The 2015 model year brings a much-simplified Genesis Coupe lineup. The turbo four-cylinder and all of its models have been dropped, leaving just the V-6. Hyundai created a Base trim level for the V-6 and added some standard equipment to keep the price somewhat low, and the Grand Touring model that used to sit atop the range has also been axed.
Looking to the future, some of the design elements of the next-generation Genesis Coupe may be previewed in the Hyundai HND-9 Concept shown at the 2013 Seoul Auto Show. Rumors also point at a possible turbocharged V-6 option for the next Genesis Coupe.