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2009 Hyundai Genesis Sedan and 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Reviews

 Hyundai Genesis' (select to view enlarged photo)

SEE ALSO: Hyundai Specs, Prices Comparisons-Hyundai Buyers Guide
SEE ALSO: Compare Genesis Models and Trims


by Marty Bernstein
Senior Editor
Detroit Bureau
The Auto Channel

As most know, the Genesis classification is used to mark the beginning of a new era for Hyundai in very desirable new vehicles with similar heritage and DNA. And in the case of the sedan and new coupe with different characteristics, which explains why I’ve opted to update my original review of the sedan and then to review the new coupe in the same column.

I don’t know if what follows has ever been done in an auto review but hopefully it will work for our readers.

Genesis Sedan
Over a year ago I was part of a group of auto journalists who were in Korea to drive the then brand-new Genesis sedan. And it was sensational, but the driving experience was on the Korean company’s test track and through specially designed courses to authenticate the drive and handling of the car.

It was nothing short of remarkable, but was not a real world test of everyday driving.

A situation recently corrected when I drove the Genesis sedan for a week. That’s where the test drive of a car goes above and beyond the test track to provide driving satisfaction to the owner in real life situations and circumstances including the weather.

It was put to the test from driving on the rather ragged roads of Michigan from home to the store, to the airport, to shopping centers, parallel parking, parking in a garage, giving it to a valet at a restaurant, loading up the trunk with tennis racquets and balls, then filling with Costco goodies, giving friends a ride to dinner and other events.

So how did it do? Again it was remarkable! The Genesis I drove was up to the demands of slow traffic roads to the autobahn expressways of Detroit, where going under 60 is considered slow and cautious, and every other situation as well.

Handling was easy and responsive. The automatic drive was smooth and effective. The interior cabin comfortable and, importantly, quiet. The audio was precise and pleasing. The drive with a few quick accelerations for agile merging and dodging was nimble and very satisfying. Friends who sat in the backseat (man is over 6’2”) noted it was more comfortable with better legroom than his German sedan. “And it only costs how much?!” was his comment.

If you are looking for sedan with the comfort, style and ambiance of far more expensive vehicles, this is my choice for number 1. And don’t forget – a 100K mile guarantee too.

2010 Genesis Coupe
This is not the little brother of the Genesis sedan. No, this is a exhilarating, exciting coupe with high powered charm and charisma of its own.

On the way to and on a test track North of Las Vegas the Genesis coupe was put to the test of style, speed, handling, agility and comfort. And it passed the first test – style -- by turning heads as we left Vegas. The second test – speed -- was sorta-passed, based on the Nevada Highway Patrol officer’s admonition to the president of Hyundai that, “He’d better slow down or the entire bunch of Hyundai’s was going to be given a speeding ticket and possibly confiscated.” It passed all the other tests too on the track as well as my week of driving the Hyundai Genesis Coupe in the burbs and area surrounding Detroit in daily driving exercises as I did with the Genesis sedan.

This is a real driving enthusiast’s car and is Hyundai’s most dynamic driver in their current product line-up. The 2010 Genesis Coupe is a purpose-built rear-wheel drive sport coupe featuring two performance-focused engines – a 210-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a range-topping all-aluminum, 306-horsepower, DOHC 3.8-liter V6 engine.

Stopping is quick and efficient. All Genesis Coupe models feature standard four-channel ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) to optimize brake performance under various dynamic loading conditions. The system also includes Brake Assist, which provides maximum ABS-level braking force when a panic stop is detected. Brembo’s are an option on the Track model

Also standard is Electronic Stability Control (ESC), one of the most effective life-saving technologies, is standard in all Genesis Coupe models.

The coupe’s shape is very pleasing to my eyes. Even standing it looks poised for speed and fun with a sports car look. Wheels are either the standard 18” or the optional 19”.The correlation between the front and rear of the coupe is a great design cue; both have large openings, the front for more air to the engine compartment and the rear for the dual exhaust tips.

Inside the car there’s a smart looks without being overly designed. Seating is comfortable buckets with side supports for the more speed minded driver. The steering wheel is well designed for those with either large or small hands and includes controls for the infotainment system. Instrumentation is easy to read and is well located for quick glances while driving. At night the cool blue lighting, a Hyundai signature appears.

For the music lovers there’s a good Infinity audio system which can be upgraded to top of the line sound quality. There are standard auxiliary input jacks (3.5 mm mini-jack and USB input) to accommodate and charge audio devices such as iPodsŪ. The system also allows driver and passenger to view music information

Enhancing the drive for the mid-2010 model year, is a new optional in-dash navigation unit and a new multi-gauge information display screen. This system provides new features including Bluetooth streaming audio capability.

The Genesis coupe is wonderful addition to the Hyundai line-up, especially for those who enjoy the charge of adrenalin that comes from driving a car that has been designed, engineered and manufactured to please the most critical. Do yourself a favor, test drive one very soon.