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2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track review:

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track

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The display is a simple monochrome LCD at the top of the stack, well-placed for the driver to glance at. A navigation system isn't currently available, although we understand that Hyundai will make one optional later this year, and we assume it will be similar to that found in the Genesis Sedan.

A USB and iPod jack comes standard on all trim levels of the Genesis Coupe, an excellent move by Hyundai. But the interface for browsing music isn't very intuitive. Pushing the Tuning button, on the far right, lets you choose to look at music by album, artist, genre, or playlist. Hit the enter button, and you drill down to lists of content on the iPod. If you have a lot of albums, you'll spend a lot of time pushing that Tuning button to go through them all sequentially.

But our bigger complaint comes from how quickly the display reverts to showing the currently playing track. If you get interrupted for a second while trying to choose music, such as making a gear shift, the display will revert and you will have to drill down through menus again to find the music you want.

These buttons aren't really designed for iPod control.

Satellite radio is easier to browse because the buttons seem more designed for it. Likewise, the buttons are fairly standard for controlling MP3 CDs, which the car's six-disc changer can read.

We were really impressed by the 10-speaker Infinity audio system. It uses door tweeter and woofers, plus a subwoofer and center channel, to produce truly excellent audio. The clarity is outstanding, making all the subtle sounds you don't normally hear on a song audible. The sound is extraordinarily clean, reproducing music without adding unnecessary effects.

Bluetooth mobile phone integration is also standard at all trim levels. We had no trouble pairing an iPhone to the system, and the sound quality was reasonable. It works with a voice command system, which does a good job of understanding spoken numbers, but it doesn't make a phone's contact list available through its interface.

Under the hood
The 3.8-liter V-6 powering the 2009 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track model uses a dual continuously variable valve timing system along with a variable intake system to optimize efficiency for low and high engine speeds. That gets it 306 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque.

Rather than cover the engine in lots of plastic, Hyundai shows off its mechanical glory.

In practice, the low torque number limits theatrics off the line, while the low gearing ratios of the six-speed manual make the horsepower, which peaks at 6,400 rpm, more generally available, as high engine speeds are easily achieved. Hyundai claims a vague less than 6 seconds to 60 mph, but other reviews have reached a more specific 5.5 seconds.

As we pointed out above, EPA fuel economy for the Genesis Coupe 3.8 is 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Our average for a mix of driving came in at around 22 mpg. An emissions rating isn't currently available for the Genesis Coupe.

The six-speed manual transmission is standard, but you can get a ZF six-speed automatic with manual gear selection. Given this car's performance, we recommend the manual.

In sum
The base price of the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track model is a low $29,500. You have to pay an extra $30 for the iPod cable, otherwise you only have a USB port. Our car's total, with a $750 destination charge, came out to $30,375, undercutting a similarly equipped Nissan 370Z by about $3,000.

In rating the Genesis Coupe 3.8, we give it high marks for performance. Handling is excellent, and the manual transmission gives you a good set of low gears for track driving. The engine strikes a good compromise between power and economy. For cabin tech, we like the inclusion of standard iPod connectivity, and that Infinity audio system really impressed us, but the Bluetooth support is only average and the current lack of navigation hurts it. Design is a mixed bag, as we didn't particularly like the cabin interface, but the looks get it noticed. Our staff disagreed about the car's exterior look, with some loving and some hating it, but that polarizing style gives it design credibility.

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