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