Our favorite statistic about the Hyundai Genesis Coupe is the take rate for its six-speed manual transmission. Company officials tell us it's 30 percent for 3.8-liter coupes like this one and a healthy 25 percent for the four-cylinder turbo model.
Those are huge numbers in this era of automated clutches and paddle shifters. And it's evidence that true car guys see the Genesis Coupe for what it really is — the most interesting car that Hyundai makes. Whereas every other model in the lineup feels like a calculated move in a chess game with Honda and Toyota, this rear-wheel-drive coupe can only be some long-suffering engineer's labor of love.
For 2013, it's even better thanks to a new direct-injected version of the 3.8-liter V6, not to mention revised styling and better interior materials. Of course, the upgrades come at a price, and in this case Hyundai has bumped the base R-Spec by $2,000. Now we have to decide if Hyundai's muscle coupe is still worth driving when it's not the deal of the century.
Where's the Money Going? The first thing you notice about the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is the updated styling. We're not sure it's an improvement. This coupe was gorgeous before, and although it still has a nice tail, the front end comes at you like an overly aggressive manatee. Actually, make that an overly aggressive manatee with fake hood vents.
Fortunately, you're not just paying extra for these unnecessary details, as Hyundai has added direct injection to the north-south version of its 3.8-liter Lambda V6. Compression increases to 11.5:1, up from 10.4:1 on last year's car. When you fuel it up with 91 octane, it's rated at 348 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at 5,300 rpm versus 306 hp at 6,300 and 266 lb-ft at 4,700 on the port-injected version.
Along with Infiniti's IPL G Coupe, this Hyundai now ranks as the second most powerful six-cylinder, rear-wheel-drive coupe in its class, slipping in just behind Nissan's 350-hp Nismo 370Z. Other key rivals are the regular-strength Infiniti G37 (330 hp), the V6 Chevrolet Camaro (323 hp) and the V6 Mustang (305 hp). The Genesis Coupe has the most torque; the Mustang has the next most grunt with 280 lb-ft.
Good Noises It's no good winning the horsepower race if you don't flaunt it, so Hyundai engineers have fitted the 3.8-liter V6 with a sound resonator tube (à la the honkus in the Mustang GT) that channels various intake frequencies to the cabin.
It's highly effective, as the engine starts sounding really angry when you hit 4,500 rpm, which is also when you really feel its midrange punch. In these moments, its personality feels very different from last year's V6 — it's intense, almost brutal, while the port-injected V6 was relaxed and not far removed from the Sedona minivan.
A Better Manual A six-speed manual transmission is mandatory on the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec, which at $29,625 is the least expensive of the V6 models (a 274-hp, turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder is the base engine on 2013 Genesis Coupes). A new eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is standard on the 3.8 Grand Touring, which offers comforts like leather upholstery and a sunroof, along with a more relaxed suspension calibration and smaller (18-inch) wheels. The top Track model combines those extra amenities, plus HID headlights, with the R-Spec's torsen limited-slip differential, firmer suspension, 19-inch wheels and Brembo brake kit, and allows access to either transmission.
Shifting the six-speed was not that enjoyable on earlier Genesis Coupes, but Hyundai has made various adjustments to reduce shift effort and improve clutch take-up in this refresh. In addition, the gearbox now connects to the driveshaft via a stiffer bolt-type coupling, which helps address one of our main complaints about this car — drivetrain lash. Gearing is the same as last year, but the final drive is snappier at 3.73 versus 3.54 previously.
Although we still wish the shifter offered a more positive feel through the gates, there's little doubt this is a better manual than before and the clutch engages progressively enough that you're not pulling your hair out in heavy traffic.
Fuel economy edges up slightly for 2013, as our R-Spec coupe earns an 18 city/27 highway/21 combined mpg rating from the EPA — up from 17/26/20 for 2012. We averaged 18.2 mpg over 188 miles — the only driving we could complete before our deadline. Of course, you'd get better mpg with the automatic (18 city/28 highway/22 combined), but you wouldn't have as much fun.
So How Fast Is It? After ripping off more than a few heel-and-toe downshifts on Glendora Mountain Road (GMR), we arrive at our test track, where the 2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 R-Spec hits 60 mph in 5.3 seconds (or 5.0 seconds with 1 foot of rollout like on a drag strip) and completes the quarter-mile in 13.6 seconds at 104.1 mph.
Compare that to the last 3.8 R-Spec Coupe we tested, which ran a 5.9-second 0-60 (5.6 seconds with rollout) and a 14.3-second quarter-mile at 98.0 mph and cost $2 grand less.
Our 3.8 Genesis Coupe is also quicker than the V6 Mustang, which does zero to 60 in 5.6 seconds on its way to a 13.9-second quarter-mile at 101.2 mph, as well as the G37 coupe (5.7 seconds zero to 60, 13.9-second quarter-mile at 101.4 mph) and the IPL G coupe (5.8 seconds zero to 60, 14.0-second quarter-mile at 102.1 mph). And it's right in line with our long-term 370Z (5.3 seconds zero to 60, 13.6-second quarter-mile at 103.2 mph) and the Genesis 5.0 R-Spec sedan (5.3 seconds to 60, 13.5 at 105.2 mph).
Yet our 2013 3.8 R-Spec tester probably would have been even quicker if it weren't for the drivetrain protection measure that Hyundai continues to program into all manual-shift Genesis Coupes. Upshift at the marked 6,750-rpm redline and you get a momentary cut in power in the next gear. As in the past, the tachometer seems to lag behind the actual engine speed, so upshifting just before the redline will sometimes still trigger the power reduction. You can drive around this, but it's certainly an annoyance, and more demanding drivers won't put up with it.
Still Fun Through Turns Redline upshifts aren't really necessary on GMR, and here we remember why we like V6-equipped Genesis Coupes. Our 3.8 R-Spec is too big to attack the really tight corners, but to Hyundai's credit, it's a rear-drive car for people who really want a rear-drive car. You can change its attitude with the throttle, and there's enough steering feel to give you confidence in what you're doing.
The steering ratio is quicker for 2013 (13.8:1 vs. 14.9 previously), and the engineers have dialed back the front spring rates slightly on R-Spec and Track models. In combination with the previous rear spring rates, this tweak produces less understeer and better overall balance, according to David Dutko, senior engineer for ride and handling. New front dampers have been specified to improve the ride over smaller impacts.
And while the ride can still be a little busy on Southern California freeways, it's acceptable for a car with 19-inch wheels and 225/40R19 front and 245/40R19 rear Bridgestone Potenza RE050A summer tires and compliant enough for commuting. The brakes on our 2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 R-Spec are also carryover hardware. The pedal is still a little soft for our taste on Glendora Mountain, but the car stops predictably.
During instrumented testing, our coupe cut between the slalom cones at 67.4 mph and circled the skid pad at 0.89g. That's not quite as good as the 2011 3.8 R-Spec Coupe we tested, which slalomed at 68.1 mph and managed 0.91g on the skid pad. The V6 Mustang performed similarly — 68.6 mph and 0.90, respectively.
Our 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe stopped from 60 mph in 116 feet, again approaching the 2011 3.8 R-Spec (111 feet) but not as short as the Mustang (103 feet).
Worthwhile Upgrades Inside Although the entry-level R-Spec is meant to be sort of a car-guy special, a bare-bones starting point for someone wanting to modify a Genesis Coupe for track use, it really doesn't feel stripped down on the inside. The seats have sufficient lateral bolstering for GMR, yet aren't so confining you can't commute in them. We also like the telescoping steering wheel Hyundai has added for 2013, as it makes it much easier to find a good driving position.
We're used to mediocre materials quality in rear-drive coupes under $40K, but Hyundai has made some improvements in this department, too. The plasticky metallic trim that once covered the center stack is gone, and we get a couple more dials for radio tuning and fan speed adjustment.
The dash trim is new and soft and actually has some stitching on it for a more upscale look. More importantly, every place we typically rest our arms (the center console, the door panel cut-outs) has feel-good vinyl trim on it — not something we can say about the other interiors in this class.
One thing that hasn't changed in this midcycle refresh is the rear seat: Due to the angle of the rear glass, it's still ridiculously tight on headroom.
Bargains Don't Last Forever A $2,000 price increase is no small thing in this price range, but the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec is certainly the best Genesis Coupe to date. It's quick, it sounds wonderful, it handles well, it's comfortable enough to drive every day, and in time we'll get used to the fake hood vents (maybe).
However, there's no denying that we could get into a V6-equipped Mustang or Camaro for less money. Their engines aren't nearly as potent or sweet-sounding, but if you just want a rear-drive coupe with respectable acceleration, they'll fill the bill.
On the flip side, a couple grand more would get us into a much quicker Mustang GT or a more focused 370Z.
You have to want the Genesis Coupe on its own merits this time around — not for its rock-bottom price tag. And while we could easily see ourselves going out one day and buying a 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec, the next day we might wish we'd spent the extra dough on a 5.0 Mustang.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation, which originally appeared on insideline.com.
Is the 2013 Hyundai Genesis a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2013 Hyundai Genesis and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2013 Genesis featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process All of our reviews are written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
How do people like the 2013 Hyundai Genesis? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2013 Hyundai Genesis and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2013 Genesis 4.2 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2013 Genesis.
Vehicle 2.0T Premium 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Review I love my car, but it has some minor flaws common to all of them. First off the turbo waste gate does rattle but only till the car warms up, then your good. It's not loud like everyone says, just annoying if your windows are down and the radio is off and you near a wall or something. Some people are just sensitive to any noise at all. Second, don't get the Navigation, because the touchscreen sucks and always needs re-calibrated. But that does not last and you push in one place, and something else goes off. Bad design and Hyundai's warranty sucks on the interior. Don't get sold on the 100K warranty. It has a lot of holes in it. If your not the first owner, it only good to 60K not 100K. And it's powertrain only, nothing else. Other than these small things, it's a fun quick car and reliable. I have about 65k miles, and no problems yet. For the money USED, it's a great deal if you can get it around 16K, like I did. Don't buy new, they depreciate like crazy cause their a Hyundai, not a Toyota or Honda by any means for resale value. But for reliability, they do hold their own, great daily driver. Gets a lot of looks and questions on what it it, especially with the wing badge kit deleting the Hyundai logos. People can't believe its a Hyundai. Overall, I love the car, it's great for the money.
How can Edmunds help? Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
What options are available on the 2013 Hyundai Genesis?
Available Hyundai Genesis 2013 Submodel Types: Coupe
Available Trims: 2.0T, 3.8 Grand Touring, 3.8, 2.0T Premium, 3.8 Track, 3.8 Ultimate, 3.8 R-Spec, 2.0T R-Spec
Exterior Colors: Tsukuba Red, Caspian Black, Bathurst Black, Becketts Black, Casablanca White, Empire State Gray, Ibiza Blue, Karussell White, Circuit Silver, Mirabeau Blue, Monaco White, Silverstone, Gran Premio Gray, Nordschleife Gray, Santiago Silver, Acqua Minerale Blue, Shoreline Drive Blue
Interior Colors: Black cloth, Black leather, Brown leather, Gray leather/cloth, Black leather/cloth, Red leather/cloth, Tan leather
Popular Features: Alarm, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Aux Audio Inputs, Bluetooth, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Tire Pressure Warning, Trip Computer, USB Inputs, Auto Climate Control, Power Driver Seat, Sunroof/Moonroof, Navigation, Leather Seats, Heated seats, Parking sensors, Upgraded Headlights, Post-collision safety system, Keyless Entry/Start, Multi-Zone Climate Control