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2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe w/Nav – Click above for high-res image gallery

It's been less than a year since the Hyundai Genesis Coupe hit the streets, but the Korean automaker isn't sitting on its hands. Just as it's done in the past, Hyundai is launching a steady stream of refreshed and redesigned models, and even new models – like the Genesis – are benefiting from the updates. At the top of Hyundai's list of early cycle improvements is fitting the Genesis Coupe with a satellite navigation system, something that's been missing since it's launch earlier this year. So after getting an exclusive glimpse of a prototype system in May, Hyundai invited us back to sample the production version in a few Coupes and one Sedan. How's it work? We hit the road to find out.

Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

When we arrived at the Hyundai America Technical Center (HATCI) outside Ann Arbor, MI, we were greeted by Electronics Engineering Manager John Robb, along with three Genesis Coupes and one Sedan, each fitted with Hyundai's new navigation setup. Robb gave us a thorough overview of the Coupe's system and explained that Hyundai opted for a touch-screen unit on the two-door model, versus the console mounted iDrivesque knob employed on the Sedan, due to the tighter interior packaging of the Coupe.

Hyundai Electronics Engineering Manager John Robb demonstrates new nav system

The screen replaces the audio system controls in the upper part of the center stack, with the AM/FM/SAT/AUX switches pushed to the upper edge of the console and seek and track switches to the left. Most of the audio controls are now contained within the screen, and since the touch screen is capable of displaying audio system information, the small display nestled into the pod on top of the dash of non-nav Coupes is superfluous.

The touch screen measures 6.5 inches diagonally, making it larger than most portable units, but smaller than some of the latest systems, including the nine-inch unit offered by Ford. While the Sedan's nav system offers real time traffic data, it doesn't have the ability to automatically re-route around blockages. The Coupe, on the other hand, can detect traffic on the current route, offer a detour and then reroute if the driver chooses.

However, the problem with real-time traffic is that it isn't exactly real-time – at least not yet. Currently, the traffic monitoring infrastructure isn't built up to the point of providing complete information, causing a delay in data transmission to vehicles. We had the chance to experience this firsthand when we drove from Ann Arbor to the Cedar Point amusement park near Sandusky, OH. There were several construction zones in the Toledo area that the system warned us about and asked if we wanted to re-route. When we approached the affected area, traffic was moving along freely, so we were able to decline the detour and proceed along as planned.

One handy, and incredibly simple, feature we enjoyed with in Coupe is the mute button displayed in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. While all modern sat-navs provide voice prompted directions, some have a tendency to pester you a bit too often, breaking up conversation in the vehicle and interrupting the dulcet tones of your favorite podcast. Unlike other systems that require you to trudge deep into the menu structure to mute the audio alerts, with the Genesis Coupe, you just tap the screen to toggle the voice prompts on and off. Easy peasy and something we'd like to see employed on every system out there.

While Hyundai does have a voice recognition engine built into the system, it's not as robust as others on the market, particularly the industry standard set by Ford's SYNC system. Voice commands in the Genesis generally worked well when inputting basic navigation, point-of-interest (POI) categories and higher level functions, however, one key feature – specific POI input – is missing. So if you want to speak the name of a restaurant, you're out of luck. And while you can use the voice commands to pull up POI categories, then make a selection by speaking the number corresponding to the destination, it requires you to take your eyes off the road, somewhat negating the benefit of voice commands in the first place.

Another minor issue we encountered – and something we've experienced in other sat-nav equipped vehicles – is the screen's lack of clarity when wearing polarized sunglasses. When viewed from behind the wheel, the angle, combined with the touch technology, causes the screen to fade and the text becomes harder to see. It's not a deal-breaker, but other systems don't have this problem, causing us to wonder how the screen technologies differ between brands and suppliers.

Opting for the nav system also provides integrated Bluetooth functionality, making phone calls and wireless audio streaming a breeze. When a phone is paired and you look up a point of interest in the directory, if an associated phone number is provided you can simply tap the number on screen and it dials automatically. Furthermore, the Hyundai system is equipped with AD2P technology, meaning you can stream music from any Bluetooth-equipped MP3 player or phone without having to plug in.

Another feature available on the Genesis Coupe is an auxiliary torque and fuel economy gauge integrated into the screen. Since the 3.8-liter V6 in the track edition provides plenty of twist, the torque display is somewhat unnecessary -- even if it is cool to look at. We figure the gauge would be more useful with the turbocharged four-cylinder model, particularly if you've made a few modifications. Although we're generally not fond of center-mounted gauges, the system works well enough, and we're keeping our fingers crossed for Hyundai to create a heads-up system to display navigation and performance information directly onto the windshield.

The new navigation system is priced at $1,000 which while more expensive than most third party portable units is still about half of what most factory in-dash units cost. Hyundai hasn't announced pricing for the navigation system in the Coupe, but it's Premium four cylinder and Grand Touring and Track models with nav are due to arrive in dealerships in the next few months, so expect official figures soon. After the Coupe is available with navigation, Hyundai will begin offering the same touch-screen system as a lower cost stand-alone option in the Sedan. Currently, Hyundai only offers sat-nav as part of the $4,000 technology package, which also includes adaptive lighting, the multi-media controller and heated and cooled seats, among a host of other items.

Overall, the new system is about mid-pack at this point. It has better voice control than some of the systems available on more high-end vehicles (read: BMW and Mercedes), but Ford remains at the head of its class. John Robb assured us that Hyundai's engineers are continuing to work on enhancements to the system to add functionality and reliability, and given Hyundai's track record of incremental improvements, we're confident it's only a matter of time before this system leaps to the front of the pack.

Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

Our travel and lodging for this media event was provided by the manufacturer

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    • 1 Second Ago
      JDM Life
      • 5 Years Ago
      OMG a NAV system in a car?? NO WAY !
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice Cedar Point photo shoot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        haha for sure! First thing I thought was hey! that's the Raptor and Blue Streak! And I used that ramp every summer for my Bayliner.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I work right next to this hyundai place!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hyundai might want to talk to their map data supplier about updating their POI database...the B Dubs in the video hasn't been open for a while.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess I'll wait and see when this shows up in the sedan *sigh*

      I like the idea of the Genesis Coupe. I like the interior of the Genesis Coupe (a lot). I wish I could muster more enthusiasm for the EXterior.

      The last Tiburon was a tighter design than this overdone mess.

      (and, yes, I realize the Coupe and Sedan are two entirely different markets; haven't completely decided if I want to go "sporty" or "luxury" for my next buy...)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sorry, I had to laugh at the "..dulcet tones of your favorite podcast."

      But don't get me wrong, I listen to each podcast.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cedar Point is the only reason I clicked on this article...... ahhh no stars boo boo boo
      • 5 Years Ago
      As is, the looks let this car down imo

      but I can see if Hyundai gives the car a refresh in 2 yrs time they can really turn this into alloker
      they have the performance figured out, they need to update the exterior asap

      and i've seen plenty and i think the pictures look better and I think looking at Audi should help Hyundai get the design just right
      • 5 Years Ago
      @xtasi Yes, Hyundai is the next automaker in line to get sync. Look for the 2011 Genesis coupe to have syncish (sync is a trademark of Ford) features and then some. The Microsoft Auto technologies are sweet in that automakers internal departments work with them to customize the experience.

      Zune HD on that screen would be sick as hell.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Get rid of the window side dips.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cool. It's nice to see navigation come to the Coupe. That'll help sales.. Hyundai certainly doesn't stand still. Whether it's the drivetrain, suspension or various technologies in their vehicles, they're always moving forward. The new Genesis Sedan has a revised suspension for 2010.. The Coupe hasn't even been around for a full year and navigation has been added. And even the Tau has been updated (not yet available) to 5.0 liters with a good bit more power...

      Sal Collaziano
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great job Hyundai. Now this is exactly what I am talking about.

      Now for those for you that just don't seem to get it, or still stuck in the glory days of American automotive history and still thinks that Hyundai are nothing but a bunch of cheap low quality cars, well this article is for you. Now this is what one would call true innovation, which means consistently making continual improvements on your end products, especially improvements that the end user benefits from.

      This is what the other Detroit 2 need to get through their heads, mainly GM, and even some Japanese competitors. Once you have a hot product, don't just sit on your hands and wait for the competition to catch up. This goes for any line of business.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe hyundai should take of of your advice, ya great a nav system in a sports car.
        What it should of gotten instead is more power so the "detroit 2" don't easily walk away from their car that is in the same price range.
        This car can't even compete with the previous model mustang or even the old ls1 camaro from a performance standpoint.
        Congrats hyundai, you have given us a car in 2010 that is slower than cars from the 90's.

        Either the genesis isn't selling well, or it looks too much like a tiburon, because i rarely see one on the road.
        • 5 Years Ago
        jcar, you're not looking. I see at least three of these a day.
        • 5 Years Ago
        but.... but.... you can still buy the S2000 for 34k+ !

        Japanese automakers are actually behind... (except Nissan with their new Z)
        Toyota/Subaru finally working on a RWD coupe.
        Mazda RX-8 needs update (where is my RX7)
        Acura just plays dead.

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