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 presents 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 in six trim levels: 2.0T, 2.0T R-Spec, 2.0T Premium, 3.8 R-Spec, 3.8 Grand Touring and 3.8 Ultimate.
Power is provided by either a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine ("2.0T") or a 3.8-liter V6. The turbo-4 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 (with hill-start assist) or an eight-speed automatic (with rev-matching downshifts and 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 Ultimate trim, manual only in the R-Spec, and automatic only for the Grand Touring.
Hyundai's reputation for generous standard equipment continues, as even in base 2.0T trim standard features include 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition and entry, automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and USB/iPod integration. The performance-focused R-Spec loses a few luxuries (including keyless ignition), but adds 19-inch wheels with summer tires, Brembo brakes, firmer suspension tuning, a limited-slip rear differential and front sport seats. The 3.8 R-Spec gets the same upgrades.
Instead of the R-Spec's performance add-ons, the 2.0T Premium adds perks such as a sunroof, rear parking sensors, a power driver seat, the Blue Link telematics system, a navigation system and an upgraded audio system. The Grand Touring and Ultimate trims further add niceties like leather upholstery, heated front seats and rear parking sensors.
In testing, a V6-powered Hyundai Genesis Coupe ran the 0-60-mph sprint in a quick 5.3 seconds. The 2.0T did it in 6.5 seconds. The 2.0T's lighter weight, however, makes for a slightly more balanced driving experience. That said, either version provides the engaging and athletic driving dynamics expected from a well-engineered, rear-wheel-drive sport coupe. Steering response is quick and crisp, balance is excellent and body roll is kept nicely in check. On the other hand, the ride in R-Spec and Ultimate trims is a bit rough due to their firmer suspensions and bigger wheels, so make sure you go over some bumps on a test-drive.
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 winner in the South Korean carmaker's lineup, helping to further 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, which are for the most part similar to those of the current car. Key exceptions would be the "Track" trims ? the 2.0T version was dropped after the first model year, while the 3.8 version was eventually replaced by the Ultimate for 2014. Originally, the 2.0T's turbo-4 produced 210 hp, while the 3.8-liter V6 produced 306 hp. The available automatic transmissions were different as well, with a five-speed paired to the 2.0T and a six-speed for the 3.8.
The most notable changes occurred for 2013. Front-end styling became more aggressive, the eight-speed automatics were introduced and both engines received their current outputs. That year also saw revised, sharper steering and the availability of a telescoping steering column. A year later saw the addition of keyless ignition and entry, hill-start assist and rev-matching downshifts for automatic transmissions.