Earlier this year, we looked at a 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 with the track package, and criticized it for not making a navigation option available. Hyundai rectified that problem recently, shipping new Genesis Coupe's with an optional navigation package. As we put more emphasis on cabin electronics than most automotive publications, we decided to take a second look at the Genesis Coupe with the new navigation system.
The car Hyundai sent us was, again, a 2010 model with the 3.8-liter V-6 engine and track pack. Besides the new navigation system, the main difference with this car was that it had the optional six-speed automatic transmission, as opposed to the six-speed manual on the previous review car. As equipped, our new review car is the most expensive Hyundai Genesis Coupe you can buy, but at a little over 32 grand, it's a low price for a fast car loaded with tech.
The interior of the Genesis Coupe goes a long way to explain the low price. The cabin looks good, with dashboard and console accents that would look at home in a Honda, but the materials all feel a bit cheap. Hard plastics cover the dashboard and fake metal runs down the center stack. The steering wheel is a good excuse to wear driving gloves or buy a leather steering wheel cover.
With the navigation system present, occupying a smallish, 6.5-inch touch screen, what was the radio display at the top of the stack becomes two virtual gauges showing instantaneous fuel economy and available torque. Given the nature of these gauges, generally when one is up, the other is down.
The maps on the navigation system are functional but don't show the incredible resolution we've seen recently on cars such as the Audi Q5 and the BMW Z4. But they do display XM NavTraffic information, with traffic flow information shown next to major roads and incident information. The system will proactively warn of traffic congestion on a programmed route.
Using the system, we found slight hesitation when using the zoom functions, but the map scrolls very quickly, making it easy to find destinations when you're not sure of the exact address. That scrolling speed is partly because the maps are stored on a flash drive, providing solid state durability and an easy update process.
Voice command works very well with the navigation system, letting you say city and street names for input. The POI database is extensive, with categories for retail shops such as convenience stores. Under route guidance, the system uses text-to-speech to say the names of upcoming streets. Its graphics to illustrate upcoming turns are clear and easy to understand.
One big advantage of having that navigation system present in the Genesis Coupe is that the touch screen also works with the phone and stereo systems. In our previous review of the Genesis Coupe, we found it a little difficult to browse iPod libraries, but the touch screen lets you select music from a connected iPod by artist, album, genre, and playlist. Likewise, although it displays the contents of MP3 CDs and USB drives by directory and file, it is easier to select music from these sources. For XM Satellite Radio, the touch screen shows graphics for each channel.
The 10-speaker audio system delivers very clear sound, with crisp, snappy percussion and pleasing highs. Although clarity is good throughout the frequency range, bass isn't particularly strong, as the 360-watt amp doesn't really make the subwoofer thump. The system muddles its staging a little, as well, not placing instruments and vocals very precisely in the cabin. Still, we would rate this audio system as well above average.
As we've seen with models from sister company Kia, such as the Soul, the standard Bluetooth phone system is top notch, not only ingesting a phone's contact list and making it available on the touch screen, but also letting you use the voice command function to dial by name. The Genesis Coupe joins models from Ford and Lexus in this advanced and very useful functionality.