2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
One critique of Hyundai's Genesis Coupe is that four-cylinder models lack low-end punch and are hampered by turbo lag. Hyundai's answer? Spend a little extra cash up front for the available V6. After all, 306 horsepower is better than 210, right?
After spending a week behind the wheel of a 2010 Genesis Coupe Grand Touring with the 3.8-liter V6 and a 6-speed manual transmission, I think the answer is "yes, more power is better."
Hyundai is billing the Genesis Coupe as an answer to pony cars like the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro. Indeed, the V6 engine has only nine fewer horses than the Mustang GT, which has V8 power. So it's no surprise that the company is billing the V6 Genesis Coupe as a more fuel-efficient sports coupe.
The Genesis Coupe is certainly priced right. The Grand Touring V6 arrived at my door with a base price of $28,500. Included in that price are heated leather seats, a power sunroof, satellite radio, fog lamps, a USB port, heated mirrors, and a navigation system, among other features. Available safety features include traction control, an antiskid system, ABS, and side curtain airbags.
The options list was short, including only carpeted floor mats ($95) and a cable that is used to connect MP3 players to the stereo system ($30). Including the $800 destination fee, the total came to $29,425.
Adding more power to a car often solves many sins, and the four-cylinder coupe's biggest flaw is the lack of low-end power. Step on it in the six, and the torque comes on strong and instantaneously. No turbo lag here.
Otherwise, the V6-powered Genesis Coupe behaves much like the four-cylinder model that I tested earlier. Sure, the Track package offers a performance suspension system, better brakes and tires, and some other performance features like aluminum pedals and a rear spoiler, but in daily driving, the Grand Touring still feels plenty sporty.
The handling did not decline noticeably compared to Track models, nor was the ride too soft. Indeed, the ride may have been a bit too hard--a blind-folded passenger might think he or she were riding in a car with the Track package. If the Track package is too extreme for you, or you don't plan on clipping apexes on a racetrack anytime soon, the Grand Touring does offer a nice balance of sportiness and luxury.
Other items of note? The brown leather seats--standard on Grand Touring models--look handsome, as does the dash and center stack. The clutch and shifter generally work well, although the gearbox could stand to be a little less notchy. Entry and exit aren't terribly difficult, but as one might expect for a sports coupe, visibility isn't great. The back seat is on the small side, and the trunk is large enough, but it's usefulness is hampered by an opening that's a bit small.
Fuel economy numbers are pegged at 17 mpg city and 26 mpg by the EPA, and I averaged 20.9 mpg in a combination of city and highway driving. That's not terrible, nor is it great, but it's well within the expected range for the car.
With either engine, the Genesis Coupe is a fine car. But for those willing to lay out a little more cash, the V6 offers plenty of power without sacrificing too much in the way of fuel economy--and there's no turbo lag in sight.
Positives: Sporty styling, athletic moves, V6 power
Negatives: Low visibility, stiff ride, small back seat
Key Competitors: Infiniti G37 coupe, BMW 335i coupe, Mazda RX-8
Engine: 3.8-liter V6
Horsepower: 306 @ 6,300 RPM
Torque: 266 @ 4,700 RPM
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Wheelbase: 111.0 inches
Length: 182.3 inches
Width: 73.4 inches
Height: 54.5 inches
Curb Weight: 3,389 lbs
Cargo Volume: 10.0 cu. ft.
Fuel Capacity: 17.2 gallons
Seating Capacity: 4
Front Head Room: 39.2 inches
Front Leg Room: 44.1 inches
Rear Head Room: 34.6 inches
Rear Leg Room: 30.3 inches
For more info: www.hyundaiusa.com