As the 2009 North American Car of the Year, the Hyundai Genesis may be the most unheralded car to win the honor. Still, many critics have bombarded it with hard-to-dispute praise. Without its badge and without what ever stigma remains against Korean cars, the Genesis is nearly as luxurious and nearly as unmistakable as its Lexus and Acura competitors.
Yet the Genesis sedan and Genesis coupe couldn’t be two more different vehicles. Introduced at the 2008 New York International Auto Show, the 2010 coupe shares its sibling’s sedan chassis. And, of course, the two cars have the same name. But that’s where the similarities stop. Are the Genesis sedan and couple actually made by the same manufacturer? They just couldn’t be more different.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
The Genesis coupe is the manufacturer’s first rear-wheel sports car and it appears Hyundai has gone directly after the strong Infiniti G37 market niche. I would have liked to have taken the car on a longer haul, but maybe it was best my test week ended just prior to a week of steady, strong rain. Sports cars are a lot of fun, but not-so-much in inclement when a large sedan or SUV is more appropriate.
Gauges, additional instrumentation and design are all efficient, but the position of the driver’s seat and its relationship with the steering wheel never seemed right. I tried several options, all seemed low and not conducive to adequate side and rear window vision. As a coupe, there’s not room in the back seat except for small children and limited number of grocery bags. Overall, the Coupe is not nearly as refined as the sedan.
The Infiniti G37 and Genesis coupe share more than a similar driving feel. They look alike. The hatchback style is long, sloping and handsome. The dual exhaust pipes are cool, but the tight, sleek curves make access to the rear seats more difficult.
What’s not to like? The car accelerates and maneuvers exactly like it’s supposed to . . . like a sports car with a long legacy . . . and with 306 horsepower. The Genesis coupe is the new kid on the road, yet it acts like it’s all grown up. It’s smooth, fast and confident.
Commands the road like it’s on a racetrack at all times.
Interior is thoughtfully designed with an architect’s touch via good use of cabin and trunk space.
The manual shifting isn’t smooth.
Tight front seats.
Limited leg and head room.
Never cared for rear spoilers, with the exception of race cars.
Exhaust noise doesn’t seem genuine.
Facts & Figures: 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 5.9-6.4 seconds (depending upon testers and trim).
Airbags: Driver and passenger front, side and front and rear side curtain.
Antilock brakes: Standard.
Fuel economy (EPA estimates) 17 mpg (city), 27 mpg (hwy).
Government Safety Ratings (stars): Frontal crash (not rated); Side crash (driver 5, passenger not rated); Rollover (5).
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $32,000.
Price As tested: $32,875.00
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles; Powertrain, 10 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion, 7 years/unlimited miles; Roadside assistance, 5 years/unlimited miles.
Web site: www.hyundaigenesis.com.
What Others Say:
“There’s no denying that the Genesis coupe is simply a fun car. From the laterally supportive driver seat, you can tell there’s ample front-tire grip, so you get back on the throttle early to tease out the tail. Certainly, you can throttle-steer any rear-wheel-drive car, but not many make it feel this accessible and safe.” —- InsideLine.com.
“Overall, the 2010 Hyundai Genesis proves that, when it comes to affordable luxury, you can buy the real thing from the dealer who sold you your Sonata.” —- FamilyCarGuide.com.
“There’s very little wrong with the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe from a style or design perspective. The exterior sheet metal is handsome and sporty. Calling the coupe the best-looking Hyundai ever would be a perfectly reasonable statement.” —- Edmunds.com
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“Anyone who still scoffs at Hyundai doesn’t get just how much the South Korean manufacturer’s cars have improved. Luxury sedan to performance-impressive coupe, Hyundai’s the real deal. But I guess I’m just not that into growling sports cars. I’ll take the sedan.”