The 2015 Hyundai Genesis Coupe first hit the scene just over six years ago, injecting a dose of welcome style and sport into the Hyundai brand. The car didn’t really hit its intended mark at first, but over the intervening years, Hyundai has honed the Genesis Coupe to sharpen and focus its mission.
As it stands, the 2015 Genesis Coupe remains a pretty bold move for Hyundai. It's Hyundai’s entrance into an area of the market that Japanese automakers had long since abandoned (rear-wheel-drive sport coupes); it also runs an interesting side game along the brand's strategy as a maker of practical, high-value crossovers and cars.
For 2015, Hyundai is dropping the turbo four models all together, while reshuffling and streamlining its V-6 offerings. The entry price goes up only slightly ($400) thanks to new base V-6 versions, available with either a manual or automatic transmission.
Visually, the Genesis Coupe covers some new ground for Hyundai while combining the brand's 'Fluidic Sculpture' look of recent years with a lot more aggression and extroversion. With its 2013 refresh, it got an injection of extra power and performance, as well as more bold face, better detailing, and more of a premium sports-car look inside.
The sole available engine, 3.8-liter direct-injected V-6 makes 348 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, while Hyundai’s own eight-speed automatic is available and features rev-matched downshifting and steering-wheel paddle-shifters.
While it's still not quite the Mustang or Camaro competitor that it was intended to be, the Genesis Coupe is a pretty effective successor to older Japanese sports cars like the Toyota Supra or Nissan 240Z. Thankfully, very few of the driving characteristics from Hyundai's front-wheel-drive cars carry over into the Genesis Coupe. Shift action is clean and precise, clutch takeup is neat and, most importantly, the steering is a tried-and-true hydraulic system, tuned just right.
While the Genesis Coupe is a sports coupe first and foremost, it's still pretty impressive inside. It takes good care of front-seat occupants, and with a spacious trunk and a reasonably refined cabin experience—plus improved interior materials—it’s as good for long weekend hauls or the commute as it is for the racetrack. The exhaust note of the 3.8 is enhanced by a soundbox, giving it an appealing growl.
This year, in addition to losing all four-cylinder trims and gaining base V-6 versions, the Genesis Coupe's V-6 Grand Touring model is no longer available. The 2015 changes bring some feature updates as well: LED daytime running lights are now standard on all models, and the R-Spec model gets pushbutton start as well as automatic climate control.
Standard equipment includes LED daytime running lights, fog lamps, cruise control, an auto-dimming inside mirror, heated mirrors, Bluetooth, an iPod/USB interface, keyless entry, A/C, and a trip computer. Hyundai Assurance Connected Car telematics are now included for three years if you get BlueLink services on upper trims.
Step up to the R-Spec and you get a track-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels on summer tires, Brembo brakes, a Torsen limited-slip diff, as well as appearance extras.
Like the rest of the package, the Genesis Coupe's styling has evolved over the years to more accurately convey the car's intentions. It starts with classic front-engine, rear-drive proportions in a fastback body.
The Genesis Coupe looks smartly at home next to sedan models like the Elantra or Sonata—or even the funky Veloster coupe—yet there's no mistaking that this is the assertive, slung-back profile of a rear-wheel-drive coupe.
With its blacked out grille and lower air dam, combined with recently revised lower aero work, running lamps, and fog lamps, the Coupe has a visually wide look in front. The headlights and dual-intake hood help emphasize the aggressive look. Newly standard LED running lights help give it an upscale look regardless of trim level.
From the side, two rising ripples in the sheetmetal almost meet to create a Z-shaped component at the back of the side doors, while the window line itself drops just slightly at the rear window, meeting up with one of the ripples.
In the rear, LED taillamps set off a pretty conservative treatment. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, while the R-Spec and Ultimate trims include 19s.
The cockpit-like layout of the interior includes a hooded gauge cluster. A neat center-stack design, soft upper dash pad, and piano-black finish altogether keep the ambiance upscale.
For 2015, the Genesis Coupe focuses on just one powertrain, which means jettisoning the turbo four-cylinder that it originally launched with. We can't say we'll miss the 2.0T much, as it was a coarse little thing, with uneven power delivery.
That leaves just the 3.8-liter direct-injected V-6, which makes a stout 348 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It's offered with a choice of a standard six-speed manual or Hyundai’s own eight-speed automatic, which includes paddle-shifters and can perform rev-matched downshifts.
Thankfully, very few of the Hyundai driving characteristics from its front-drive cars carry over into the rear-drive Genesis Coupe. Shift action is clean and precise, clutch takeup is neat (carbon-coated synchronizer rings added for 2014 should make manuals even quieter) and, most importantly, the steering is a tried-and-true hydraulic system, tuned just right.
The V-6 is not intensely torquey down low in a muscle-car sense, but it’s an engine that you ‘get’ right away, with a nice build of power and torque up the rev range. The engine is paired with a sound box, which helps make it more vocal inside the car by piping some of the intake sound into the cabin. This sounds a little boy-racerish—and we were skeptically expecting something along the lines of old Chevy Eurosport resonators—but it's well executed, with a rich, sonorous note that waits to kick in until you're deep into the throttle or in the engine's upper ranges.
In a nod to Hyundai’s frugal, practical side, the V-6 can run on regular gas if you so desire, which cuts output only slightly to 344 hp and 292 lb-ft.
Handling remains a Genesis Coupe high point. Forget about the iffy, unrewarding steering of some other Hyundai models; here, the quick-ratio hydraulic steering and well-tuned suspension give the Coupe better, more predictable body control and better control over rough surfaces. Staggered width tires are paired with a dual-link MacPherson strut front suspension and five-link independent rear, with a Torsen limited-slip diff in R-Spec models. It all has a performance slant, giving the car poise even at its limits.
The Genesis Coupe’s recent suspension improvements, including a new damper design as well as slightly smaller stabilizer bars for some models, should help ride quality, especially when cornering over rough surfaces. Overall, the Genesis Coupe handles rough pavement surfaces a bit better than some other performance coupes like the Infiniti Q60 or Nissan 370Z, with less humming and booming in the cabin.
All Genesis Coupes come with four-wheel disc brakes; while base cars come with single-piston floating calipers, R-Spec models get strong Brembo brakes (four-piston and ventilated, front and rear). These stoppers are fade-free, as far as we could tell from an early track experience, and ready for performance driving. And a specific traction mode for the stability control system still allows anti-lock braking if you get too far out of line yet doesn’t cut engine power if you get the tail out; track-day purists will like it.
While the Genesis Coupe is primarily a sports coupe, it's still pretty accommodating inside. It takes good care of front-seat occupants, and with a spacious trunk and a reasonably refined cabin experience it’s as good for long weekend hauls or the commute as it is for the racetrack.
Provided it's the front seat you're talking about, you'll have no problem getting comfortable. Taller drivers will want to set the height-adjustable seats (power for the driver on upper trims) to their lowest position, given the rather low roofline. Recent updates brought a telescoping steering column, something that was noticeably absent on early models.
Those front seats could use a little more side bolstering, but they’re likely proportioned the way they are to accommodate wider hips as well. R-Spec models get better seat bolsters for their included sport seats.
The Genesis Coupe remains a low-profile two-door, with the back seat seemingly designed in as an afterthought. While it’s a bit easier to get back there than in some other coupes, thanks to a useful mechanism and long doors, it’s strictly kids’ territory, as adults will likely have issues with headroom even if they can splay their legs to the side and get in.
One ergonomic nit-pick: The big auxiliary gauges are handsome, and show marginally useful information like torque output, but they’re located a bit too far down on the dash to be visible in normal line of sight.
Because of its low-volume status, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe hasn't been tested very extensively for crashworthiness. It carries a relatively standard complement of safety gear, with few surprises.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn't tested the Genesis Coupe, only its name-sharing sedan sibling. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has only tested the Genesis Coupe's crashworthiness in rollover accidents, awarding it a perfect five out of five stars.
All the expected safety equipment is here, though, including anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist for maximum braking performance, front seat-mounted side airbags, side air curtain bags, and active front head restraints.
With the demise of the lower-priced 2.0T models, the entry cost of a Genesis Coupe only increases by $400. That's thanks to new base V-6 models, available with either the six-speed manual or eight-speed auto.
Other changes for 2015 include making LED running lights standard on all models and adding pushbutton start and automatic climate control to the R-Spec model. The Grand Touring V-6model is also no longer available.
Three trim levels are offered for 2015: base, R-Spec, and Ultimate.
Standard features on the base car include those LED running lights, fog lamps, cruise control, an auto-dimming inside mirror, heated outside mirrors Bluetooth, an iPod/USB interface, keyless entry, A/C, and a trip computer. Hyundai Assurance Connected Car telematics are now included for three years if you get BlueLink services on upper trims.
On top 3.8 Grand Touring and Track models, as well as 2.0T Premium models, there's a seven-inch navigation system on offer; it includes the Blue Link suite of services, as well as HD Radio, XM NavTraffic, Bluetooth audio streaming, and integrated audio and climate controls.
The 3.8 Grand Touring is the pick, as the name suggests, for those who plan to tour in comfort; it adds full leather upholstery, heated seats, push-button start, a power driver seat, a nav system with live-traffic functions, and a backup warning system. Top-of-the-line 3.8 Track model, with the automatic transmission, only edges slightly above the $35k mark.
Step up to the R-Spec and you get a track-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels on summer tires, Brembo brakes, and a Torsen limited-slip diff, as well as appearance extras.
The Ultimate features the same performance options as the R-Spec but adds a navigation system with seven-inch touchscreen display, leather upholstery, heated front seats, reverse parking sensors, HID headlights, and a 360-watt audio system.
The eight-speed auto is a $1200 option on either the base or Ultimate model, while the track-oriented R-Spec is manual-only.
With only one engine option and two transmissions, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis Coupe's gas mileage becomes pretty consistent. Hyundai notes that the powerful V-6 prefers premium fuel for maximum output but will happily run on regular gas with just a slight decrease in performance.
Although we still haven't had an extended drive with the Genesis Coupe since the 2013 refresh, we're assuming that the engine improvements, along with the wide span of ratios afforded by the eight-speed automatic, should result in impressive real-world mpg.
The EPA estimated fuel economy for the six-speed manual is 16 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. The automatic returns very similar numbers, with 16 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway.
- 2015 Infiniti Q60
- 2015 Scion FR-S
- 2015 Ford Mustang
- 2015 Nissan Altima
- 2015 Subaru BRZ
Even with the loss of the four-cylinder model, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe lands in an interesting, value-focused area of the market, overlapping with the sportiest two-doors and those with more of a luxury bent. Compared to the Nissan 370Z, the Genesis Coupe feels far more sophisticated, without the choppy ride and overwhelming road noise in the two-seat Z. The Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S are perhaps the biggest threats to the Genesis Coupe; they sacrifice straight-line brute force for a nimble, light, and balanced character that simply gives the driver a lot more confidence. The 2015 Ford Mustang, with its 2.3-liter turbocharged four, will take over part of what the Genesis Coupe gave up this year; we're eager to drive the '15 Stang and make that comparison. Expensive alternatives include the BMW 435i and Infiniti Q60, althogh both are more refined in both their ride and handling characteristics. And at the low end of the Gen Coupe market, the Honda Civic Si and Nissan Altima Coupe, front-drivers that are either more focused on sport (the Honda) or comfort (the Nissan).