2010 Genesis Coupe New Car Test Drive
When the 2009 Hyundai Genesis sedan took home North American Car of the Year, some doubters thought it a fluke, a lucky shot by a rookie. The 2010 Genesis Coupe shows it wasn't, that Hyundai not only is serious in its upmarket intentions, but also can deliver serious contenders and at impressive prices.
This new coupe is not merely a shortened, two-door, four-passenger version of the larger, four-door, five-passenger sedan. While it shares some of the sedan's underpinnings, in almost every way that matters, and in some that probably don't, it's a unique, sporty coupe that offers remarkable value for dollar.
There's a choice of engines, between a turbocharged, 210-horsepower four-cylinder and a 306-hp V6. Both come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, increasingly a rarity, if offered at all, in the sporty coupe market. The optional automatics are Shiftronic manu matics with steering column-mounted shift paddles. In a hat tip to the car's rear-wheel drive, the rear tires and wheels are wider than the fronts, making for a better managed, more efficient delivery of power to the road.
Inside you'll find leather upholstery on most models, but the fabric seats are more than up to the dual challenges of keeping their occupants comfortable over long distances as well as reassuringly restrained on winding mountain roads. For the multi media generation, iPod and USB audio inputs are standard along with a simple auxiliary jack.
All of this, though, is icing on the cake. This is a very competent, nicely balanced sporty coupe that feels as at home on a closed track as slogging through daily commute traffic. Rear-wheel drive is generally regarded as being better for sporty handling than front-wheel drive, and the Genesis takes advantage of this. We found the ride and handling on the street and on the track to be remarkably good, especially for a car with a starting sticker price of $22,000.
The 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe comes in two basic models: the 2.0T and the 3.8. Each model has three trim levels: The 2.0T ($22,000), the 2.0T Premium ($24,250), and the 2.0T Track ($26,750), the 3.8 ($25,000), the 3.8 Grand Touring ($27,500), and the 3.8 Track ($29,500). The 2.0T's optional transmission is a five-speed automatic with Shiftronic ($1,250). The 3.8's optional transmission is a six-speed automatic with Shiftronic ($1,500). Also available is the 2.0T R-Spec ($23,750) available only with the six-speed manual.
The 2.0T comes with fabric upholstery, power windows, outside mirrors and central locking; leather-wrapped shift knob and manual tilt steering wheel; six-speaker multi-media stereo; and XM satellite radio and Bluetooth capability are all standard across the line. Premium adds power driver seat, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with compass and programmable garage/gate remote, a 360-watt multi-media stereo with 10 speakers including woofer, power tilt-and-slide moon/sunroof, and proximity key with push-button start/stop, its feature list matches the Premium trim.
The 2.0T Track comes with leather seat trim complemented with color-coordinated leather door trim accents, Xenon headlights, body color spoiler, aero windshield wipers, 19-inch wheels with 40-series summer tires (instead of all-season tires), aluminum foot pedals, Brembo braking system, track-tuned suspension, limited slip differential and fog lights.
The 3.8 feature list mostly tracks the 2.0T's but also includes leather seat trim and door trim accents, automatic climate control, and fog lights. The Grand Touring and Track editions add folding and heated features to the outside mirrors, which also get integrated turn signals; the Xenon headlights; the moon/sunroof; the uplevel stereo, the auto-dimming rearview mirror; the power driver seat; and the proximity key with push-button start/stop. The 3.8 Track shares the 2.0T Track's aero and handling bits.
Options are limited to floor mats ($95) and an iPod cable ($30). These are added after the Coupe leaves the ship at the port of entry.
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.