2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Road Test Review
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe updates keep this drifter ahead of the pack.
Scores High: Playful driving dynamics, impressive standard features list, industry-leading warranty coverage
Scores Low: Automatic transmission reluctant to downshift, no available V8
Total Car Score Analysis The revised 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is yet another sign Hyundai is serious about meeting, and even exceeding, expectations. The company has been riding the “value” (some might call it “low cost”) wave for decades, and it added “piece of mind” several years back with an industry-leading warranty (10-years/100,000 miles on engine and transmission components). The last few years have seen strides in performance, fuel efficiency and styling, giving Hyundai products increased resale value while upping owner satisfaction scores.
The 2013 Genesis Coupe reflects all of these trends with revised, aggressive styling that includes LED taillights, optional LED daytime running lights, a revised front fascia and upgraded 18- and 19-inch wheels. The V6 engine now offers 348 horsepower, rivaling the performance of premium coupes, and the newest Genesis Coupe sports an 8-speed automatic transmission – the first in this segment. Hyundai also added its Blue Link telematics system with available voice-activated text messaging, point-of-interest web searches and turn-by-turn navigation when connected to a smart phone. This combination of performance, feature content and aggressive styling should put the 2013 Hyundai Genesis at the leading edge of a competitive market segment.
Driving Experience Introduced just three years ago, the latest 2013 Genesis Coupe still rides on a MacPherson strut front suspension and five-link rear suspension. But spring, damper and bushing calibrations have all been revamped to match the increased horsepower from the standard 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine and available 3.8-liter V6. Both engines are more powerful, with the 2.0-liter jumping 64 horsepower (to 274 hp) and torque jumping 52 pound-feet (to 275 lb-ft). And at 348 peak horsepower and 295 lb-ft of maximum torque the V6-powered Genesis Coupe boasts a Power-to-Weight ratio of 10:1 (better than a 2012 Infiniti G37 or BMW 335i).
As expected, these horsepower figures provide the 2013 Genesis Coupe with enough thrust to hit some impressive performance benchmarks, with the V6 getting to 60 mph in the low 5 second range and topping out at an (electronically limited) 149 mph. But as capable as this Hyundai is when posting acceleration figures, the real fun begins after turning off the standard three-stage stability control system, dumping the six-speed manual transmission’s clutch and getting the tail sideways. Every rear-drive coupe is a theoretical drift machine, but the Genesis Coupe takes to such behavior like a Hollywood has-been to reality TV. These latest suspension recalibrations worked, as this car literally wants to be drifted, and it’s got the balance, steering feedback and at-the-limit confidence to slide the back-end until you (or the rear tires) give out.
If straight-line blasts or tail-out high-jinx aren’t your thing…well, you might want to consider another car. But as a daily driver the Genesis Coupe also works in terms of ride quality, passenger accommodation (at least for two) and overall practical transportation. We did notice the 2.0-liter turbo doesn’t have the broad powerband of the 3.8-liter V6 (not surprising). And the 8-speed automatic, while impressive in terms of gear count, didn’t respond to throttle input very quickly. Buyers who don’t want to deal with a third pedal will be needing those steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters to make full use of all eight gears.
Interior Design and Function A driver’s car needs to do more than drive well. It has to engage the driver with an effective gauge cluster, supportive seats and easy-to-use controls. The 2013 Genesis Coupe manages all three. Electroluminescent lighting in the primary gauges, along with auxiliary dials in the center stack for instantaneous MPG, oil temperature and torque readings (on 3.8 cars) or boost pressure (on 2.0 models) give the Coupe’s cabin a purposeful atmosphere. Standard equipment, like heavily-bolstered sport seats and a thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel, suggest Hyundai knew which key features should not be extra-cost options. Hyundai also added a standard telescopic steering wheel this year to increase the Genesis Coupe’s comfort range for drivers of varying size and shape.
Other standard features, like an iPod/USB connection, steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth connectivity, a 170-watt audio system and dual power points confirm the Genesis Coupe can do more than just smoky burnouts. A central display screen also comes standard, but it can be upgraded to a 7-inch touchscreen if the optional navigation system is ordered. The nav upgrade includes a 360-watt Infinity audio system with 10 speakers, HD Radio, a dedicated subwoofer and 8 GB of storage.
Primary Features and Options While even the standard front seats offer excellent support they only come in black cloth. But cloth-and-leather or even all-leather seats are available (in gray, red, black or tan) by stepping up to the Premium, R-Spec, Grand Touring or Track trims. Power lumbar support can also be added, as can metallic interior accents, illuminated door sill plates and contrasting door panel inserts, depending on which Genesis trim is chosen. The standard 18-inch wheels on 2.0 and Grand Touring models can be upgraded to 19-inch alloys on R-Spec/Track models. A sunroof, body color spoiler and HID headlights are also available. More aggressive spring and shock tuning, as well as larger stabilizer bars, are included in R-Spec and Track models. Those trims also include front camber adjustment bolts for owners that want to increase negative camber to -1.5 degrees on track days.
It’s Perfect For… The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is competing in the rear-drive coupe segment against nameplates with far longer histories and far greater heritage. If you’re a rear-wheel drive fan looking to finally own that American muscle car (or Japanese sport coupe) you never had as a teenager, the Genesis Coupe probably isn’t for you.
However, if you’re looking for a sport coupe with a powerful combination of performance, refinement, technology and value, the latest Genesis Coupe will likely meet (or even exceed) your expectations.
Vehicle Tested: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T Premium A/T
Base MSRP of Test Vehicle: $28,750
Options on Test Vehicle: None
MSRP of Test Vehicle (including destination charge): $29,625
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The manufacturer provided Total Car Score this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Photos Courtesy of the manufacturer.