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.
Torque and fuel economy gauges occupy a display at the top of the stack.
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.
XM NavTraffic is integrated with the navigation system and will warn of congestion on a programmed route.
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.
The addition of the navigation system to the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe proves its cabin tech credentials; its excellent driving performance already proved its sports car capabilities. We previously tested the manual transmission of the Track-trimmed Genesis Coupe at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Under these conditions, we found that the car remained flat and predictable in the corners, while the beefy Brembo brakes stood up to lap after lap of abuse without losing their great pedal feel and easy modulation.
Brembo brakes come standard with the Track trim.
Most impressive was how much the Genesis Coupe communicates with the driver. Through the steering wheel, the pedals, and the seat, the car keeps the driver in the loop on how the wheels are gripping and how the vehicle is responding to inputs without being jarringly rough.
Unencumbered by such banalities as speed limits, stop signs, and traction control, we were able to explore the limits of the 3.8-liter engine and found that the power plant was right at home on the track. The V-6's flat torque curve offers plenty of power for blasting down straights and powering out of corners without constantly hunting for gears. Thanks to grip afforded by the wide summer tires and the Torsen limited-slip differential, the Genesis Coupe is able to put its power to the road early and often.
In spirited driving on public roads with the automatic transmission, we still found loads of grip and flat cornering, letting us take corners at much higher speeds than we would have expected. The car remained composed as we urged it through turn after turn, leading us to believe that we hadn't quite tapped all it had to give.
But a couple of things held it back from being a star under these conditions. The car's traction control is fairly intrusive; when it kicks in, the Genesis Coupe's speed is brought down drastically. Hyundai could use a program better integrated for sport driving.
Paddles let you manually shift the six-speed automatic, but this transmission isn't up to track standards.
The automatic transmission is also not a good choice if you like to drive fast. Being a six speed, it is modern enough, but its shifts involve typical torque converter slush. It doesn't offer a sport mode, and the standard drive mode doesn't downshift aggressively enough for the turns. In manual mode, there is nothing particularly sporty about the shifts.
The 3.8-liter V-6 powering the car 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, and should be good for about 5.5 seconds to 60 mph.
EPA fuel economy for the Genesis Coupe 3.8 with the automatic transmission is 17 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. Our average for a mix of driving came in at around 20.2 mpg, although in strictly freeway and highway driving we saw the average fuel economy rise above 25 mpg.
The 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track offers a lot of performance for a little money, but you'll have to live with an economy car interior. For cabin electronics, it offers high-quality navigation, Bluetooth, and stereo systems, but no bells and whistles beyond those essential features. Performance is impressive, although Hyundai could probably squeeze a little more power out of the engine. The track-tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, and limited slip differential make all the difference in handling. We also quite like the design of the car's electronics interface. The exterior is a little ostentatious for our tastes, but, from its looks, there is no denying that the Genesis Coupe is a sports car.
|Model||2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe|
|Power train||3.8-liter V-6|
|EPA fuel economy||17 mpg city/27 mpg highway|
|Observed fuel economy||20.2 mpg|
|Navigation||Standard, flash-based with traffic|
|Bluetooth phone support||Standard|
|Disc player||Single CD with MP3 compatibility|
|MP3 player support||iPod integration|
|Other digital audio||Satellite radio, USB drive port, auxiliary input, Bluetooth streaming stereo|
|Audio system||Infinity 10 speaker 360 watt|
|Price as tested||$32,975|