The night I signed out the Genesis coupe, I had to make an unexpected, late-night trip to Flint (about an hour’s drive away) to pick up my husband at the airport. About twenty minutes into the trip, it was evident that US-23 — which, like most Michigan freeways, is marred by uneven surfaces — was not the place for the Genesis coupe to show off its best qualities. The combination of a stiff suspension and road irregularities resulted in a weird pogo-like motion that was not only uncomfortable but gave me a headache as I tried to keep my eyes focused down the road.
This is not to say that the Genesis is all bad. In fact, after driving it on the racetrack during last year’s All-Stars testing session, I found myself thinking that it might be an All-Star candidate. However, real-world conditions count too, and while this car excels where the road is twisty and the pavement is smooth, it needs to be a more comfortable driver in the conditions that most Americans experience every day.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
The Genesis Coupe 2.0T is a great idea that falls a bit flat in the execution. On paper, the two-door Genesis offers ninety percent of what people look for in an Infiniti G37 for about sixty percent of the price — what we’ve come to expect from Hyundai, in other words. Once you’re driving it, however, it seems like less of a value and more of a pale impersonation. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is harsh, noisy, and sluggish, and the ride is overly stiff. Steering is quite precise but is liable to develop a mind of its own over every bump in the road, and it has a disconcerting dead spot at highway speeds. There are also good bits here, including a pleasant six-speed manual, sticky nineteen-inch tires, and strong Brembo brakes, but as a package, the coupe needs a bit more time in the oven.
And then there is the matter of value. Yes, the base Genesis is a lot of car for $23,000 and change. But for about the same price, Ford and Chevrolet offer stylish rear-wheel-drive pony cars with 300-hp V-6s. Step up to the Genesis 3.8, and the Americans counter with honking V-8s. Some will argue that import-oriented Genesis buyers won’t look at a Mustang or a Camaro. Well, they should.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor
Like David, I love the idea of the Genesis coupe, but I’m not really a fan of its execution. The engine sounds very buzzy, the gearbox is far from silky, and the ride quality, at least of this R-Spec example, is quite rough. And after my 25-mile commute, my elbows ached considerably, since there are no armrest soft points to speak of. On the plus side, though, Hyundai’s 2.0T offers plenty of passing power. Plus, this sporty coupe’s back seats provide easier access for baby duty than all current pony cars except possibly the Dodge Challenger.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor
2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T R-Spec
Base price (with destination): $24,500
Price as tested: $24,690
2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
6-speed manual transmission
Electronic stability control
4-wheel disc brakes with ABS
Tire pressure monitoring system
Track-tuned suspension calibration
Front strut tower brace
Brembo brake calipers
Torsen limited-slip differential
Leather-wrapped steering wheel
Leather shift knob
AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system
Options on this vehicle:
Carpeted floor mats –$105
Cargo net — $50
iPod cable — $35
Key options not on vehicle:
Rear spoiler — $295
21 / 30 / 24 mpg
Size: 2.0L turbocharged I-4
Horsepower: 210 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 223 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
Curb weight: 3294 lb
Wheels/tires: 19-inch aluminum wheels
225/40R19 front; 245/40R19 rear performance tires