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."