Following its mid-cycle refresh last year, the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe continues to mount a full-scale assault on performance coupes everywhere. Typically, automakers will treat their cars to a midlife nip-and-tuck, add a few features and perhaps squeeze out a few more horsepower or miles per gallon, and that's it. But Hyundai has been relentlessly improving the Genesis Coupe as of late, with still more upgrades on offer for 2014.
Last year, the base 2.0T model underwent the biggest transformation of all. Gone was the underachieving 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that made just 210 hp, replaced by the twin-scroll-turbocharged inline-4 from the Sonata with a whopping 274 hp. As for the V6-powered 3.8 model, it received direct injection, bumping output to 348 hp, which is the same as the V6's output in the nearly $50,000 Infiniti IPL G Coupe.
Sadly, the manual transmission still doesn't like enthusiastic upshifts, so you'll feel the power cut out if you rip from first to second too quickly. But the new 8-speed automatic, also offered on the 2.0T, makes for a compelling substitute.
For 2014, the improvements keep on coming, highlighted by additional standard features and rev-matched downshifts with the automatic transmission. But can the Genesis Coupe still cut it with so many capable rivals on the market, many of which are newer designs? We think so, and we suspect you'll agree after a test drive. Never content to rest on its laurels, Hyundai's top coupe continues to impress.
What's New for 2014?
The 2014 Genesis Coupe adds standard features like fog lights, keyless entry with push-button start and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Also, the automatic transmission gets a rev-matching feature, the 2.0T engine receives an intake sound amplifier and the 3.8 Ultimate replaces the 3.8 Track.
What We Like
Outstanding engines; above-average handling; tolerable ride; comfortable and supportive seats; great value
What We Don't
Hit-or-miss interior quality; manual shifter cuts power after hard upshifts
The two available transmissions for the Genesis Coupe are a 6-speed manual and an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. If you want the manual, note that it's only offered on the R-Spec (both engines) and 3.8 Ultimate trims for 2014. All models are rear-wheel drive.
The Genesis Coupe 2.0T gets a 2.0-liter inline-4 with a twin-scroll turbocharger that squeezes out a robust 274 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque on premium fuel, or 260 hp and 260 lb-ft on regular gas, which Hyundai says won't hurt the engine. It's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-rated at 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with the manual (17 mpg city/27 mpg hwy with the automatic).
The Genesis Coupe 3.8 upgrades to a 3.8-liter V6 rated at 348 hp and 295 lb-ft. The EPA rates it at 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy with the manual (16 mpg city/24 mpg hwy with the auto).
Standard Features & Options
The 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is offered in two different ranges, separated by engine type. The 4-cylinder 2.0T comes in base, R-Spec and Premium trims, while the 6-cylinder 3.8 comes in R-Spec, Grand Touring and Ultimate trims.
The base 2.0T ($27,245) starts with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, fog lights, LED taillights, heated mirrors, cloth upholstery, automatic climate control, keyless entry with push-button start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, air conditioning, a trip computer and a 6-speaker audio system with iPod/USB and Bluetooth connectivity.
The 2.0T R-Spec ($28,095) gets a number of performance-oriented upgrades, including 19-in wheels with performance tires, Brembo brakes with larger discs, a limited-slip differential, a stiffer suspension and special front-seat side bolsters. It lacks a number of the base 2.0T's convenience items, however.
The 2.0T Premium ($30,195) ditches the R-Spec's performance goodies in favor of a sunroof, a power driver's seat with lumbar support, a navigation system with a 7-in touchscreen and a 10-speaker, 360-watt Infinity audio system.
The 3.8 R-Spec ($30,245) is similar to its 2.0T counterpart, while the 3.8 Grand Touring ($33,045) builds on the 2.0T Premium's equipment with leather upholstery and heated front seats. The 3.8 Ultimate ($34,295) essentially combines the R-Spec's performance upgrades with the Grand Touring's luxuries, also adding xenon headlamps and a rear spoiler.
Trunk space in the Genesis Coupe is a smallish 10.0 cu ft.
The 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, active front head restraints and six airbags (front, front-side, full-length side-curtain). Optionally, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system provides automatic collision reporting, emergency assistance and more.
Behind the Wheel
The Genesis Coupe's front seats provide strong lateral support and just the right mix of support and squish for long hauls. Thankfully, the wheel telescopes now; prior to 2013, it was tilt-only. The gauges are a bit overdone, in our opinion, peering as they do out of deep cylindrical hoods, but we can't argue with the clarity of the electroluminescent gauges. The center stack was revamped last year, now featuring three round auxiliary gauges (including a boost gauge on 2.0T cars) between the audio and climate controls.
Materials quality remains just average despite the presence of premium stitching; it's good enough to compete with a Camaro, for example, but feels a bit low-rent compared to a BMW. We do very much like the 2014 Genesis Coupe's unchanged low-slung driving position and sloping dashboard, which impart a sense of sporting purpose even when you're just cruising through town.
As for the back seat, it's basically unusable for adults due to a lack of headroom; plan on employing it as a cargo shelf for the most part.
Under the hood, the 2.0T is impressively refined, but it also delivers a big-time wallop of low-end torque, and it sounds pretty fruity, too. Accordingly, it's hard to make the argument for upgrading to the 3.8-liter V6. It's not for lack of motivation -- the V6 is up to 348 hp and 295 lb-ft, matching the Infiniti IPL G Coupe horse for horse. That's some serious pep. But the 2.0T is capable in its own right, and it's simply a better value.
On the road, the Genesis Coupe isn't a small car, but clever suspension tuning makes it feel compact and nimble. Body roll is minimal, and steering response is very good. The ride is reasonably compliant, too, at least by performance-coupe standards, though road noise can be intrusive. We're quite pleased with the way the Genesis Coupe drives, and the engines are finally a good match for the car's dynamic capabilities.
Other Cars to Consider
BMW 2 Series -- Even a base 2 Series costs as much as a loaded Genesis Coupe, but you can see and feel where the extra money goes.
Ford Mustang -- The all-new 2015 Mustang is one of this year's hottest debuts, and the outgoing 2014 Mustang is no slouch.
Scion FR-S -- The FR-S lacks the Hyundai's straight-line speed, but it's untouchable in the twisties.
The 2.0T is our choice. It has plenty of power now, and it even gets solid fuel economy, but V6-powered Genesis Coupes can get a little pricey.