2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Review

Pros & Cons

  • Sharp handling
  • spirited performance
  • livable ride quality
  • sporty cabin design
  • strong four-cylinder fuel economy
  • good value.
  • Lackluster stereo sound quality
  • unintuitive iPod interface
  • no telescoping steering wheel.
Other years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe bundles excellent rear-wheel-drive driving dynamics with brisk performance into an attractive package.

Vehicle overview

Chances are, you're not going to see Jeremy Clarkson blubbering over the 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe on the BBC's "Top Gear." A Genesis Coupe just doesn't have the right kind of TV smarminess, the kind of thing you get from seeing a Bugatti Veyron race against a jet fighter. But if you forget the media hype for a moment and focus on the value presented by performance cars that you can actually afford, the Genesis Coupe turns out to be, as Clarkson might say, "absolutely fabulous."

Though it shares its name with the larger Genesis luxury sedan, the Genesis Coupe is a considerably different type of car. It follows the basic formula for a high-performance coupe with its sleek styling, rear-wheel drive and a pair of small backseats. Hyundai's traditional strengths factor in, too, as the Genesis Coupe is pretty well equipped, comes with a long warranty and has an affordable price tag.

Of course, it takes more than just rear-wheel drive and a generous warranty to make a sport coupe an enticing proposition. Thankfully the Genesis Coupe has the goods to back it up. There are two engines to choose from: a 210-horsepower, turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 306-hp normally aspirated 3.8-liter V6. With either power plant the Genesis Coupe provides some of the best handling you'll find in a sport coupe, with precise steering and plenty of cornering grip.

That said, you'll still want to check out some other choices as well. The most obvious competitors are the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro, 2011 Dodge Challenger and 2011 Ford Mustang. All offer available V8 power, and the revised 2011 Mustang in particular is hugely impressive. You could also look at the premium-branded BMW 1 Series or Infiniti G37 Coupe or the 2011 Nissan 370Z. Among all these cars, though, the Hyundai is a worthy choice for a real-world performance coupe, even if you won't see it doing powerslides on "Top Gear."

2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe models

The 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a performance coupe available in six trim levels: 2.0T, 2.0T R-Spec, 2.0T Premium, 3.8 R-Spec, 3.8 Grand Touring and 3.8 Track.

The base 2.0T comes standard with 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels, keyless entry, tilt (but not telescoping) steering column, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, trip computer, Bluetooth and a CD/MP3 stereo with USB/iPod connectivity and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

The 2.0T R-Spec loses a few minor convenience items (such as cruise control) but adds 19-inch wheels with summer tires, Brembo brakes, a more firmly tuned suspension and a limited-slip rear differential. The 2.0T Premium loses the R-Spec's performance hardware and instead comes with a sunroof, automatic headlights, power driver seat, keyless ignition/entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic climate control, an upgraded audio system plus a navigation system.

The 3.8 R-Spec is equipped similarly to the 2.0T R-Spec but has the V6 engine. The 3.8 Grand Touring is similar to the 2.0T Premium but also has heated outside mirrors with turn signals, a rear parking sensor, leather seating and heated front seats. The 3.8 Track is equipped similarly to the Grand Touring and also gains xenon headlights and the R-Spec's performance-related equipment.

2011 Highlights

The 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe features improved interior materials, including padded door armrests, softer leather for the leather-wrapped steering wheel and more chrome accents for the instrument panel. There's also a new trim level, the Genesis 3.8 R-Spec, which has the reduced feature content of the 2.0T R-Spec trim but with the 3.8-liter V6 engine.

Performance & mpg

The rear-wheel-drive Hyundai Genesis Coupe is powered by either a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine (in 2.0T models) or a 3.8-liter V6 (in 3.8 models). The four generates 210 hp and 223 pound-feet of torque, while the V6 pumps out 306 hp and 266 lb-ft. For the 2.0T, Hyundai offers either a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic with manual shift control. The R-Spec is manual only, and the Premium is automatic only. For the 3.8 models, there's the manual or a six-speed automatic, also with manual shift control.

EPA estimated fuel economy for the 2.0T is 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined with the manual transmission. When the automatic transmission is chosen, these numbers change slightly to 20/30/23 mpg. The V6 models have a 17/26/20 mpg rating with the manual, and the rating improves 1 mpg for EPA highway when the automatic is selected. In Edmunds performance testing, a 3.8 Genesis Coupe with the manual went from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds; the 2.0T takes a second longer.

Safety

The 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe comes standard with stability control, antilock disc brakes with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, active front head restraints and full-length side curtain airbags.

In government crash tests, this Hyundai earns five stars (out of a possible five) for driver protection in frontal impacts. For front passenger protection it earns four stars. Five stars were awarded for driver side-impact safety. In Edmunds brake testing, a 3.8 Track model stopped from 60 mph in an impressively short 111 feet.

Driving

On the road, the 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is notably impressive for its excellent body control, responsive steering and sophisticated ride quality. R-Spec models and the 3.8 Track offer even better handling thanks to their tuned suspension and stickier tires, though this does come at the expense of some ride comfort. Acceleration from the turbo four-cylinder is merely adequate for this segment, but the big V6 delivers brisk acceleration and a pleasantly throaty soundtrack.

Interior

The cabin of the Genesis Coupe boasts an alluring mix of eye-catching contours and generally high-quality materials. The dash's swooping curves flow into the door panels, although this interesting design requires an unconventional orientation for the power window and mirror switches.

The driving position is excellent (especially with the available power seats) and offers abundant outward visibility despite the low-slung seating position. However, the lack of a telescoping steering wheel means that a driver with shorter legs might find the wheel uncomfortably close to their chest. The controls are generally intuitive except for the standard iPod interface, and despite being an upgrade, the Infinity audio system generates only mediocre sound.

The front seats are superbly shaped for both enthusiastic driving and long-distance cruising. The rear seat, though, is strictly for kids and cargo. The 10-cubic-foot trunk is surprisingly useful, particularly with the rear seats folded down, but the folding procedure requires an awkward reach deep into the trunk.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Superb sports car for the money.
UpInSmoke,11/04/2010
After researching various vehicles, I decided on the Genesis Coupe, and boy am I pleased with my decision. Walked into a dealership without any intention on buying that day, but after one test drive, I was sold. The car handles great, performs even better, is surprisingly refined inside (especially with the new 2011 interior changes), and literally screams "Look at me!" from the outside. Even things that other critics cited as potential issues, such as a very bumpy ride on the track model and sub par sound from the infinity sound system, didn't seem justified from my experience so far. My only advice, leave the ESC "ON" until you become accustomed to the power and handling of this beast!
Best Bang for the Buck
merft,01/10/2011
I've been watching the GC for a couple years and waited to see first year impressions. After test driving the equivalent Camaro and Mustang, by price, what sold me was the handling of the Genesis. Going fast is nice but where other than the track can you do it legally? However, get the Genesis on some curvy mountain roads and the competitors pale in comparison. I am in love with this car and have no regrets or complaints.
Fabulous Car
rphello101,02/05/2015
3.8 Track 2dr Coupe (3.8L 6cyl 6M)
I've had my car for almost 2 years now and I love it. Ride is acceptable. Handling is very good. Power is phenomenal. Absolutely no issues with it. Build quality is quite good. Sat nav is next to useless - maps are outdated. iPod and Bluetooth connectivity are fantastic - interface lacks a bit. Infinity sound system is fantastic. Maintenance is cheap. I have two formal complaints: the traction control is absolutely horrible. It allows for 0 tire slip - very safe, but not fun. It will practically put your head thru the windshield when it kicks on. Take it off and you'll end up backwards. Secondly, the exhaust sounds like it came off the Elantra. I'm in a big V6 sports car - sound like it!
Fast, Fun to drive coupe at a budget price
po_an,07/06/2011
I love my gen coupe - its fast, its sexy. Not the best looking from the front, but the shape rocks and the rear is superb. Turns more heads than any other car under 50k The 3.8 GT and track features are more than those found on the base models of cars upwards of 30k.. Superb value at its price the rear seat has great legroom, although headroom is limited. Short people and kids will fit in comfortably

Features & Specs

See all Used 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe features & specs
More about the 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Used 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Overview

The Used 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is offered in the following submodels: Genesis Coupe. Available styles include 2.0T 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 2.0T Premium 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 3.8 Track 2dr Coupe (3.8L 6cyl 6A), 2.0T 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 3.8 Grand Touring 2dr Coupe w/Brown Leather (3.8L 6cyl 6A), 2.0T R-Spec 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 3.8 Grand Touring 2dr Coupe w/Black Leather (3.8L 6cyl 6A), 3.8 Track 2dr Coupe (3.8L 6cyl 6M), and 3.8 R-Spec 2dr Coupe (3.8L 6cyl 6M).

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Should I lease or buy a 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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