Now in its fifth year on the market, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe offers sporty rear-wheel drive and strong power from its four-cylinder and V6 engines. Launched as a 2010 model, the Genesis Coupe benefitted from a refresh for 2013, including a redesigned front end, more powerful engines, an 8-speed automatic transmission and a longer list of standard features.
Changes for the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe are less dramatic, but significant. All models now have standard fog lights, cruise control, heated mirrors, floor mats, and an auto-dimming inside mirror with HomeLink. Engine RPM downshift rev-matching now is standard with the 8-speed automatic transmission. Manual gearboxes gain high-performance carbon-coated synchronizer rings, along with a Hill-start Assist feature. An engine intake sound induction pipe has been added to 2.0L Turbo models for 2014. R-Spec coupes gain enhanced seat bolsters. Hyundai Assurance Connected Care services, for three years, are included in the available Blue Link telematics platform for the 3.8 Grand Touring/Ultimate and 2.0T Premium models. All Genesis coupes with Blue Link have automatic collision notification and SOS emergency assistance, as well as car care features.
The 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that comes standard in the Hyundai Genesis Coupe is rated at 274 horsepower, while V6, which is direct-injected for better efficiency, delivers 348 horsepower. If using Regular-grade fuel rather than Premium, horsepower of the turbo four drops to 260; the V6 to 344. Torque output also dips, especially on the turbo.
The Genesis Coupe comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, and a 6-speed manual gearbox remains available.
Fuel economy for the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T is an EPA-estimated 19/27 mpg City/Highway with 6-speed manual, or 17/27 mpg with 8-speed automatic. The V6-powered 2014 Genesis Coupe 3.8 is rated 16/24 mpg City/Highway with 6-speed manual, or 16/25 mpg with 8-speed automatic.
The cabin, revised for 2013, features electroluminescent lighting. The steering column has a telescoping adjustment. Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system is offered on upper trim levels, including voice text messaging, turn-by-turn navigation and monthly vehicle reporting. Hyundai's Blue Link can be compared to General Motors' OnStar service.
Genesis Coupe R-Spec and Ultimate models have a track-tuned suspension, with firmer front and rear spring rates (7 and 11 percent, respectively). R-Spec seat bolsters are deeper for 2014, to provide added support. On all models, a walk-in assist function provides rear-seat access from the driver's side.
The Hyundai Genesis Coupe can be shopped against the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger as well as the Mazda MX-5, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ.
The Hyundai Genesis four-door sedan is covered in a separate New Car Test Drive review.
The 2.0T comes standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission that includes paddle shifters. The 2.0T R-Spec comes only with a 6-speed manual gearbox, while the 2.0T Premium is offered only with the automatic. Similarly, the 3.8 R-Spec is strictly manual, while the 3.8 Grand Touring comes with the 8-speed automatic. The 3.8 Ultimate comes standard with the manual and offers the 6-speed automatic at additional cost.
The Genesis Coupe 2.0T comes with fabric upholstery; power windows; heated outside mirrors; automatic temperature control; a sport-tuned suspension; fog lights; a leather-wrapped shift knob and manual tilt/telescopic steering wheel; proximity key with pushbutton start; a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with iPod/USB input jacks; and 18-inch alloy wheels. SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Bluetooth capability are also standard across the line.
The 2.0 Premium includes 18-inch alloy wheels; a power sunroof; rear parking assistance; gray leather bolster/gray cloth insert seats; power driver's seat with height adjustment and power lumbar; 360-watt, 10-speaker Infinity audio system with AM/FM/CD player and HD radio; 7-inch touchscreen with navigation; and Hyundai's Blue Link telematics.
The 2.0T R-Spec is a performance model that deletes some trim from the base 2.0T, as well as the base model's automatic temperature control. In exchange, the R-Spec adds 19-inch alloy wheels with 40-series summer tires (instead of all-season tires), a Brembo braking system, Hill-start assist, track-tuned suspension, Torsen limited-slip differential, and black leather seats with black cloth inserts.
The 3.8 lineup begins with R-Spec trim and a long standard-feature list, including a track-tuned suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels with summer tires, electroluminescent gauges, black leather bolster/black cloth seating surfaces, fog lights, and Hill Start assist. The top-of-the-line Genesis Coupe 3.8 Ultimate models blend luxury and performance, including a track-tuned suspension, limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes, black leather seating surfaces, xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights, aluminum pedals, aero wiper blades, and a rear spoiler.
The 3.8 Grand Touring builds upon the Ultimate's luxury features, but deletes some of its performance equipment (including the Brembo brakes and stiffer suspension) while dialing back to 18-inch wheels and tires. Standard equipment includes unique black or tan leather seating surfaces, two-stage heated front seats, power driver's seat with height adjustment and power lumbar, 360-watt 10-speaker Infinity audio with subwoofer and external amplifier, navigation, sunroof, rear parking assist, metalgrain and chrome interior accents, and fully automatic temperature control
Safety equipment includes frontal, side-impact and side-curtain airbags. The front seats have active, anti-whiplash head restraints. All four passengers get three-point seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters. The rear seat comes outfitted with child safety seat anchors. Active safety features include antilock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, electronic stability control with traction control and tire pressure monitors. A backup warning system comes on the Grand Touring model.
Fog lights are standard on all 2014 models. In back are LED tail lights and chromed asymmetric dual exhaust tips, integrated into a blacked-out rear diffuser panel. Exterior colors are named for noteworthy places in the world, including Casablanca White and Ibiza Blue.
From the side, the Genesis Coupe keeps its signature Z-shape character lines. Styling features include an arching roofline and tapered greenhouse, coupled with a wide stance. Genesis Coupes have minimal depth between the fenders and greenhouse. Large openings in front fenders permit optimal engine breathing.
Unfortunately, some interior materials weren't up to our expectations, such as the plastic bezels and lenses on the three gauges near the bottom of the center stack. Though they were designed to look sporty, they end up looking more like a 1980s Swatch. Though Hyundai touts the genuine stitching on the dash, it's plastic-looking and flat. We had to ask a rep to slide a needle under the stitches to prove it wasn't pressed on. We found some fit and finish issues with interior panels near the driver and passenger knee areas, too, although Hyundai reps told us the pre-production cars we were driving wouldn't necessarily be identical to the versions that would soon go on sale.
The front seats are comfortable but sufficiently assertive to hold one's backside in place during spirited driving, especially in the 2.0T with its basic black cloth. The 3.8's leather is a nice touch of semi-luxury. The back seats are only for small children and, in some states, lower insurance premiums.
The steering wheel feels good, with just the right rim thickness and cross section. On automatics, the column-mounted shift paddles are easy to reach. But on manuals, the rectangular shifter might feel awkward to those used to a round shift knob that fits nicely in hand. Foot pedals are where the driver's feet expect, although placement isn't ideal for those enthusiasts who like to employ heel-toe shifting.
While we aren't fans of the three plastic gauges near the bottom, the center stack layout is easy to use and intuitive. The 7-inch touch screen that comes with the 2.0 Premium trim is sufficient, but not spectacular.
Front-seat roominess is very good by coupe standards. If rear seats must be considered, the Coupe does not fare so well. But what do you care? You won't be sitting back there. Drivers who want rear-seat room may want to opt for the Genesis sedan instead.
Cargo space total 10 cubic feet. The rear seat of the Genesis Coupe folds down to increase cargo capacity, but the opening is small.
When equipped with the 2.0T turbo four engine, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe accelerates with ample aptitude. In the pre-2013 model, driving at higher speeds made for some unpleasantly rough feedback through the steering wheel. But thanks to the revised suspension for 2013, the Genesis Coupe feels more in control.
On the track, both the 2.0 and the V6 versions were a delight and felt nicely balanced. On 3.8 models, the Genesis Coupe channels engine noise into the cabin, which gives the driver and passengers increased aural satisfaction at higher revs. On regular roads, that sound might be less pleasing.
With the previous engine, we found power lacking in situations like passing on a mountain road. But with the recent hearty bump in horsepower, the Genesis Coupe had enough oomph to maneuver with relative ease. As with the previous incarnation, power delivery in the 2.0T was linear, with virtually no evidence of turbo lag. Shifts in the automatics were smooth and precise. In manual mode, upshifts are controlled solely by the driver, which makes for a closer car-to-driver interaction.
The ride was comfortable on well-maintained Interstates, showing some rough edges only on weathered urban roads, where broad expansion joints and broken pavement sent jolts through the suspension hard points. Road and tire noise was mostly muted, as was wind noise, even at Interstate speeds.
The 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe offers abundant features, track-worthy performance, and competitive power, if uninspiring fuel economy, from its four-cylinder and V6 engines. The current-generation Genesis Coupe was launched as a 2010 model, so it is getting long in the tooth at this point. A re-engineered version is on its way.
NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Laura Burstein contributed to this report after her test drive of the Genesis Coupe near Las Vegas. Tom Lankard contributed to this report.