Tour of California, stage 1: Sacramento to Santa Rosa via 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

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The start of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California is in Santa Rosa, about two hours from my Sacramento home, and it was my first freeway driving with 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

My weekly driver edition is the Korean manufacturer's 348-hp 3.8L V6 sports car with stealth looks and surprisingly quick acceleration — and an under $30,000 price tag.

Like other high-powered sports cars, the Genesis Coupe does certain things quite well. It's nimble and fast, which affords impressive lane changes and bolting along freeway ramps to merge into traffic with little effort.

The Genesis Coupe has a six-speed manual transmission and it shifts through gears adequately, but not smoothly. One frustration: Shifting into reserve is a struggle, although at least there's a sound alert one you've shifted in reverse.

The Tour of California seventh edition began in Santa Rosa on May 13, it also ended in Santa Rosa. Among other attractions, it's a city full of remembrances to Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, who lived in Santa Rosa until his death in 2000.

Sculptures around town represent various characters from the strip, includings Lucy, who's positioned in front of the Hyatt Vineyard Creek, the host hotel.



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