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Hyundai sells two cars under the Genesis name, but they could hardly be more different. The softly sprung Genesis sedan is a luxurious shot across the bow of high-end European and Japanese carmakers. The Hyundai Genesis Coupe, on the other hand, is a serious rear-wheel-drive sport coupe that gives more established performance marques a run for their money.
Available with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a naturally aspirated V6, the Genesis Coupe is a typically impressive Hyundai value, but with a high-performance edge. Sending power to the rear wheels makes for a superior driving experience, and the Genesis Coupe also boasts distinctive styling and ample feature content. These virtues make Hyundai's taut two-door one of our favorite affordable performance cars.
Current Hyundai Genesis Coupe
The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is available with either a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a 3.8-liter V6. The turbo ("2.0T") makes 274 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, while the V6 cranks out 348 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
For the base 2.0T, Hyundai offers either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic with manual shift control. The R-Spec trim is manual only, while the Premium level is automatic only. The V6 models follow suit: a choice of manual or automatic for the Track trim, manual only in the R-Spec, and automatic only for the Grand Touring.
Hyundai's reputation for generous standard equipment continues with the Genesis Coupe, which offers features like 18-inch wheels, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and Bluetooth and USB/iPod connectivity on 2.0 models. Moving up to 3.8 trim levels unlocks additional niceties like leather upholstery, heated front seats and rear parking sensors. The performance-minded R-Spec models add a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels, Brembo brakes and a limited-slip rear differential.
In testing, the V6-powered Hyundai Genesis Coupe Track made the 0-60-mph sprint in a quick 5.3 seconds. The 2.0T did the same in 6.5 seconds. The 2.0T's lighter weight, however, makes for a slightly more balanced driving experience, but driving dynamics for both levels are a study in classically sporty rear-wheel-drive behavior. Steering response is quick and crisp, balance is excellent and body roll is kept nicely in check. The ride is nonetheless agreeable, and non-Track trims are even more compliant.
Inside, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe has relatively high-quality materials with good fit and finish. The driver seat has ample bolstering and provides a low, cockpit-like driving position. Buyers should know that the small backseat is strictly for children. Overall, though, the Genesis Coupe is a great leap forward for the South Korean carmaker, helping define it as a value leader in both luxury and performance cars.
Used Hyundai Genesis Coupe Models
The Genesis Coupe debuted for 2010 in seven trim levels. For 2011, Hyundai dropped the 2.0T Track trim and added the 3.8 R-Spec (basically a 2.0 R-Spec with the V6 engine). Coupes through the 2012 model year had more mundane front-end styling and were not as powerful compared to the current model. Engine output topped out at 210 hp for the 2.0T and 306 hp for the V6 and the automatic transmissions were limited to only five (four-cylinder) or six (six-cylinder) speeds. Elsewhere, steering response was a bit more relaxed and a telescoping steering column was not offered, something taller drivers should consider.
Read the most recent 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Hyundai Genesis Coupe page.