2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Review

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Trevor Wild Trevor Wild Author
May 26, 2009

For $22,000, the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0t represents a heck of a performance value.

TheCarConnection.com has driven the all-new 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe on the street and the track. In addition, our team has compiled the best, most useful remarks from other reviews of the Genesis Coupe to produce this comprehensive review.

Hyundai's new two-door, four-seat, rear-wheel-drive sport coupe is available in four- and six-cylinder variants. The 2009 Hyundai Genesis Coupe faces off against a wide range of sporty coupe—including the Infiniti G37 and even the new 2010 Ford Mustang.

The Coupe's unique styling uses a bold Z-shaped character line visible along the side plus a dip in the glass toward the rear of the cabin. This dip helps make the interior feel more spacious and aids in outward visibility.

The four-cylinder model uses Hyundai's turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which churns out 210 horsepower and 223 pound-feet of torque. That version gets the moniker Coupe 2.0t. Mileage is estimated at 21 mpg city, 30 highway with the manual, 20/29 mpg for the automatic. Inside the more powerful Coupe 3.8, the engine bay is wedged full with a 3.8-liter V-6 that has 306 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. For comparison, the Mustang Bullitt kicks up 315 hp and the Infiniti G37 330 hp. The most recent addition to this group is the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro; with a V-6, it puts out 304 horsepower. Fuel consumption is 18 mpg city, 26 highway for the manual, 17/26 mpg for the automatic.

Review continues below

Hyundai says its coupe hits 60 mph in about six seconds and go on to a limited top speed of 149 mph. After our time in the driver's seat, this figure feels about right.

A six-speed manual is standard with both engines. The four-cylinder gets an optional five-speed automatic, while the V-6 version can be outfitted with a six-speed automatic made by ZF. The manual gearboxes shift competently with a good mechanical feel.

Like the Infiniti, Camaro, and Challenger, but unlike the Mustang, Hyundai's Coupe sports an independent suspension at all four corners. A five-link setup based on the Genesis Sedan hangs out in back. Even the base four-cylinder car comes with 18-inch wheels; 19-inch rims are also available. Tire sizes are staggered front-to-rear for better grip.

Our only significant complaint about the new Coupe is something most drivers won't notice at first. After many miles behind the wheel, our testers tired of the constant feedback through the steering wheel. We believe the minor but incessant "static" is communicated to the rack-and-pinion steering gear and then up to the wheel.

Dynamically, the four- and six-cylinder Genesis Coupe models are different animals. The 2.0t feels light and balanced. It accelerates with just a hint of turbo lag, but the car never comes across as flat-footed. The turbo's ramp in power gives the car a bit of welcome personality. The V-6 feels powerful and pulls hard. You'll never mistake it for a V-8, but the car has strong legs that like to run.

The interior adopts a pleasant, not entirely edgy theme that includes a big tachometer and speedometer splayed in the driver's sight. A push-button starter and a proximity key are offered. The interior looks sharp with optional leather. Window and mirror controls are on the driver's door, but placed at an odd angle that takes some getting used to.

Regarding safety, the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe includes standard front, side, and curtain airbags. Whiplash-reducing active head restraints are also standard on the front seats. As expected, anti-lock brakes come standard, and an excellent Brembo brake package is a performance add-on. Electronic stability control with integrated traction control rounds out the major safety features. At the time we filed this report, the Genesis Coupe hadn't completed IIHS or government crash tests, but Hyundai representatives told us they expect five-star front and four-star rear crash ratings.

The standard audio system for every 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe includes iPod jacks, a USB input, and Bluetooth connectivity. A 300-watt Infinity audio system is available, as are heated seats. Additional model packages (Premium, Grand Touring, Track, and R-Spec) group features as their names imply. The R-Spec is particularly interesting, as it provides genuine track-readiness in an affordable package just waiting for enthusiasts to modify.

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2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Styling

The 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a looker from the outside, but a few strained interior pieces hurt the overall impression inside the cabin.

Hyundai has made a very strong push in recent years to become a major player in the U.S. auto market, and if it keeps churning out vehicles like the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, the odds are good that the company will achieve its goal.

The 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a new sports car from Korean automaker Hyundai. Hyundai will initially offer the curvaceous Hyundai Genesis 2010 Coupe in six different trims, which Autoblog lists as "2.0T, 2.0T Premium, 2.0T Track, 3.8, 3.8 Grand Touring, and 3.8 Track." The numerical designations refer to the engine under the car's hood, which comes in the form of either a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or naturally aspirated V-6. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com contain wide-ranging praise for the Hyundai Genesis Coupe's exterior styling, which Edmunds says is "handsome and sporty—calling the coupe the best-looking Hyundai ever would be a perfectly reasonable statement."

Don't let the Hyundai Genesis Coupe's name confuse you, however, as Autoblog reviewers note that "the all-new Genesis Coupe is not a two-door version of the sedan." Rather, this vehicle "looks like a race car and acts like one too," according to The Detroit News. Reviewers at The Detroit News add that "the exterior shines with its long hood and sloping roof," while the slippery "front end sweeps back and the elongated headlamps seem to stretch the 182.3-inch car." If you're having a hard time getting the general idea from TheCarConnection.com's pictures of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, just imagine the Infiniti G37 and you'll be on the right track; Automobile Magazine says that "although its similarity doesn't come across as well in photographs, the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a dead ringer for the Infiniti G37 coupe."

The Hyundai Genesis 2010 Coupe's interior also earns praise from reviewers, but many point out a few ergonomic idiosyncrasies. Overall, The Detroit News rates the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe's interior as "excellent," contending that the "simple interior design" keeps the focus on the road, where it should be. Edmunds adds that "the cabin is particularly impressive, boasting an enveloping cockpit-like environment." However, Edmunds also warns that "navigating through the stereo's tonal adjustments is too labor-intensive" and there is an "unconventional sideways orientation for the power window and mirror switches." TheCarConnection.com's own editors also notice the unusual configuration, which definitely requires an adjustment period.

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2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Performance

The transmissions aren't the best available in the class, but otherwise the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe holds its own against its primary competition.

Hyundai sets the bar high with its first serious contender in the entry-level sports car market by trying to tangle with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro right out of the gate. Fortunately, the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe hits the performance numbers to hang with the competition.

The 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe lineup is motivated by a pair of very willing engines. The Detroit News states that "the base model 2.0T creates 210 horsepower with its 2-liter four-cylinder turbocharged aluminum engine," while Motor Trend reviewers note that the "3.8 is tuned to 306 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque." Both of the Hyundai Genesis's engines are quite capable, though Automobile Magazine reports that the "2.0T is tuned for lots of muscle in the low-rpm, daily-driving range, but it runs out of thrust quickly as the tach climbs past 4000 rpm." Even with this limited powerband, Jalopnik says the Hyundai Genesis 2010 Coupe "2.0T takes 6.8 seconds to reach 60 and tops out at 137 mph," both of which are respectable numbers for a low-$20,000 vehicle. Moving up to the V-6 brings a significant boost in overall performance; Automobile Magazine is pleased to find the "V-6 works surprisingly well in a sporty application" and features "a ferocious intake honk, a sonorous exhaust wail, and just enough coarseness to say 'sporty' without ever saying 'thrashy.'" When it comes to acceleration numbers for the V-6-powered Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Motor Trend reveals that "two 3.8 Track models each hoofed from 0 to 60 in 5.5 seconds."

Pairing up with the V-6 engine on the Hyundai Genesis Coupe is either a "six-speed manual or six-speed automatic [transmission] with paddle shifters," according to The Detroit News. The four-cylinder Genesis Coupe gets the same standard six-speed manual but only five speeds on the optional automatic. Reviews of both are average, but one recurring theme emerges in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com: The manual's shifter is located a bit too far toward the rear of the car. Motor Trend in particular points out that the shifter's "placement on the center console seemed an inch or so too rearward," and they add that "its rubbery feel generally led to imprecise experiences, especially when attempting to shift quickly." Jalopnik seconds that opinion, noting that if you rush the third-to-second downshift, "you'll encounter something akin to a false gear to the left of 2nd." Among the positive reviews, Automobile Magazine says the manual "is a pleasure to row through the gears." The automatic, meanwhile, is "smooth and predictable in operation when left alone, and responsive when shifted manually," remark Autoblog reviewers.

Aside from offering decent performance numbers, the engines underpinning the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe lineup are also relatively thrifty, at least by sports coupe standards. TheCarConnection.com's editors surmise that the four-cylinder Hyundai Genesis Coupe should return 21 mpg city, 30 highway when equipped with the manual, while the numbers fall to 20/29 mpg when the automatic is hooked up. For the V-6 version of the Genesis Coupe, the estimates are 18/26 mpg with the manual and 17/26 mpg with the automatic.

The Hyundai Genesis 2010 Coupe manages to achieve a sort of hallowed ground for entry-level sports coupes by striking an incredible balance between handling and ride quality. The Detroit News reports that the "ride [is] extremely smooth and never [feels] too stiff for daily driving," while Jalopnik agrees that this is a "near-ideal budget trackday car that you could also drive everyday on the road." The Hyundai Genesis Coupe features nimble handling, with Motor Trend raving that the steering "offers crisp turn-in and solid linearity," although it "disappoints with a somewhat gluey feel." Car and Driver has a more favorable impression, claiming that "cornering forces load the wheel naturally...and a ratio tuned for snap-to quickness sharpens your aim." Although there is some disagreement among reviewers regarding the steering feel, all of them find common ground when reviewing the brakes, which are very solid. Automobile Magazine points out that the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe boasts "very impressive braking performance...figures, which are a near match for the BMW 335i's numbers," while Autoblog says the brakes can haul "the Genesis Coupe down from speed without any sense of drama."

9

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Comfort & Quality

Don't let the four seatbelts fool you—the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is essentially a two-passenger car with additional storage space behind the front buckets.

Like most 2+2 sports cars, the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe's rear seat is only marginally capable of containing two adults. On the plus side, the front seats of Hyundai's new Genesis Coupe are comfortable, and the interior materials and build quality exceed expectations for this price range.

Hyundai bills the new Hyundai Genesis 2010 Coupe as a four-seat sports car, but TheCarConnection.com's research indicates that two occupants is the practical limit. The Detroit News reports a "lack of room in the back makes this strictly a two-passenger vehicle." Up front, Autoblog reviewers note "plenty of room for our six-foot two-inch [frames]" thanks to the "generous" head and shoulder room. The seats themselves are "comfortable and well bolstered to hold you in place on hard turns," according to The Detroit News. Meanwhile, the back of the Hyundai Genesis is rather cramped, and Automobile Magazine says that rear occupants will have "their noggins...firmly planted against the hard rear glass." The reason for this is almost purely aesthetic; Car and Driver reviewers point out that "Hyundai opted—wisely, we think—to favor a foxy roofline over adult-rated rear headroom."

The 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe emphasizes performance and front-occupant comfort over practicality, but many reviewers find that the Hyundai Genesis 2010 Coupe makes an agreeable errand-runner. Edmunds calls the trunk "surprisingly useful, particularly with the rear seats folded down." Car and Driver agrees, reporting that the "folding rear seats help make the 10-cubic-foot trunk more useful, even if there's no hatchback to widen the narrow entry hole."

Interior materials and build quality can be a sore point on cars with a base price that hovers around $20,000, but reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the Hyundai Genesis Coupe manages to avoid this pitfall. The Detroit News reviewers report that "the Genesis Coupes are comfortable and well appointed," while Automobile Magazine agrees that "the cabin is finished with nice materials." Car and Driver is noticeably harsher in their review, sniping that "Soviet-era hard plastics adorn the seatbacks, dash, doors, and rear-quarter trim," and Jalopnik notices that Hyundai seems to be "skimping on the dash and door covers." While some of the materials bear the brunt of some criticism, Motor Trend declares that the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe "feels sapphire solid" and "build quality seems first rate."

One area where the superior build quality becomes evident is in terms of road noise, which is kept to a minimum inside the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Autoblog reviewers comment that "wind noise was low" during their test-drive of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, and other reviews present similar opinions.

9

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Safety

Hyundai's own four- and five-star crash-test estimates indicate the company's confidence in the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe's safety credentials.

The low-slung Hyundai Genesis Coupe has not yet been crash-tested by either NHTSA or the IIHS, but it still stands out in the safety category thanks to its long list of standard features.

Neither NHTSA nor the IIHS has gotten around to crash testing the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, but Hyundai has set some clear goals for the new Hyundai Genesis Coupe. In conversations with TheCarConnection.com, Hyundai has indicated that it expects the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe to earn a perfect five-star rating in frontal impact categories and four-star rear impact ratings. Stay tuned to TheCarConnection.com for the latest info on the Hyundai Genesis 2010 Coupe's crash-test scores.

The 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe features all of the safety electronics that you would expect on a vehicle in this class, as well as a few that go above and beyond the MSRP. Car and Driver reports that "standard anti-lock brakes, stability control, and six airbags will help keep drivers out of trouble" when piloting the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Edmunds reviewers add that "brake assist" also comes standard, along with "full-length side curtain airbags." The other major standard safety feature on the Hyundai Genesis 2010 Coupe is a pair of active front headrests, which move forward to meet the driver's head in the event of an impact and help reduce the likelihood and severity of whiplash.

There is one unique styling element on the Hyundai Genesis Coupe that serves more than just an aesthetic function. The drooping, teardrop rear window on the Hyundai Genesis Coupe both looks good and helps improve driver visibility, which is already very good. Car and Driver notes that "the low dash opens up forward vision," while Edmunds says there is "abundant outward visibility despite the low-slung seating position." Autoblog credits the rear window design with helping to improve visibility, proclaiming that "outward visibility is excellent, thanks in part to that drop-down styling in the rear window."

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2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Features

Few cars offer the combination of performance and value that the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe boasts.

Hyundai launches the new 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe with a surprisingly low base sticker price, but the company still crams quite a few standard features into even the most basic model.

The 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is available in six total trims, three for each engine type, which are designated 2.0T, 2.0T Premium, 2.0T Track, 3.8, 3.8 Grand Touring, and 3.8 Track. Car and Driver reports that "the standard-equipment list is decent and includes a six-speed manual, power locks and windows, cruise control, stability control, a trip computer and stereo auxiliary jacks." Autoblog agrees that "all models are very well-equipped" and mentions that "an AM/FM/CD/MPS stereo with six speakers" is standard fare on the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. According to Edmunds reviewers, the Hyundai Genesis 2010 Coupe "2.0T Premium adds a power driver seat, keyless ignition, an Infinity audio system, a sunroof and an auto-dimming rearview mirror." TheCarConnection.com's research shows that the available Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T Track edition adds mostly performance equipment, but also includes xenon headlights and a pair of fog lamps. Moving up to the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Grand Touring brings "rear parking sensors, xenon headlights, foglights, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals...a sunroof" and "heated front seats and the Infinity audio system," according to Edmunds.

For those who want a little extra technology inside the cabin of the Hyundai Genesis 2010 Coupe, The Detroit News reports that "Hyundai also includes lots of premium options." Fortunately, none of these options is particularly expensive, and most of them are simply the features available on the higher-end models. Autoblog remarks that "any of the option packages will automatically upgrade the audio to a 360-watt, ten-speaker, Infinity system," and they go on to list some of the options as "power/heated seats, proximity key, HID headlamps, a sunroof, and a backup warning system." Perhaps the only thing missing from the Hyundai Genesis Coupe's optional features list is a navigation system, but Automobile Magazine says that navigation "will become available later this year."

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April 17, 2015
For 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Great car ,performance at a reasonable price.

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Love the car, great performance,rides hard, corners well,a lot of car for the money.
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