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HEELS ON WHEELS: 2010 HYUNDAI GENESIS 3.8 REVIEW


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2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

SEE ALSO: Hyundai Specs, Pics and Prices-Hyundai Buyers Guide


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HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE GENESIS VEHICLE
The 2010 Hyundai Genesis coupe offers muscle car aficionados a trifecta other competitors cannot match – cheap, fast and good. The Genesis has a 312-horsepower V6 engine under her hood, a sleek design, and generous interior features. Hyundai has thrown down the speed gauntlet with this vehicle, stepping outside of a careful carmaker box that is known for offering more functional daily rides.

I drove a 2010 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 in the Track trim, featuring the 312-horsepower 24-valve DOHC 3.8-liter V6 tuned to 266 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm. Standard highlights on any 3.8 include Electronic Stability Control (ESC); Traction Control System (TCS); foglights; trip computer; leather seats (plus leather-wrapped steering wheel); keyless entry; XM and CD player; Bluetooth; and steering wheel audio controls. The Grand Touring trim adds Xenon headlights; heated exterior mirrors; sunroof; Infinity Premium audio system; power and heated front seats with lumbar support; and Homelink. My manual-only Track trim takes it a step further by adding above plus track-tuned suspension; rear spoiler; aluminum pedals; Torsen limited-slip differentials; and the Brimbos and 19-inch alloy wheels. Total vehicle price for my Track came to $30,375.

The Genesis also offers a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which comes in 2.0T, 2.OT Premium and 2.0T Track trim. Also, the coupe comes with a smaller 210-horsepower 16-valve DOCH 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 223 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rmp.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results:
Heavily bolstered seats are a new experience if you've never tried them before. You'll feel like a racecar driver, wonder where the seat harness is (and the visibly as this type of seating makes it hard to see behind). No navigation is available; just an annoying and elongated single warning beep every time you stick the car in reverse. Competitors can learn a lesson from Hyundai about all-exclusive packing. With just three all-inclusive trims offered, it is easy to see and understand what you're paying for.

Reliability & Safety Factor:
The Genesis is loaded with everything you'd need safety-wise: Electronic Stability Control (ESC); Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); Traction Control System (TCS); plus front, side and roof-mounted airbags. Also, front seatbelt pretensioners reduce slack in case of impact and better position the body in preparation for airbag deployment. Hyundai offers a warranty a bit above the regular with a 5-year/60,000-mile New Vehicle Warranty, which also includes Roadside Assistance.

Cost Issues:
The 6-speed manual or automatic Genesis 3.8 coupe ($25,000) is available as is or in a Grand Touring ($27,500) or Track ($29,500) trim. Any hidden costs are easy to find (ie. delivery, carpet mats, iPod cable). You really can negotiate a loaded Genesis for these prices.

Activity & Performance Ability:
If you have been running the stats in your head against competitors, you'll figure out the 3.8 Genesis Track pretty much out-builds the rest. That 312-horsepower V6 is a fast beast of a drive; but you need to get on the good side of the 6-speed Aisin manual transmission so it doesn't feel more like struggle than a pleasure to dance with this animal. Shifting can be stiff and third gets lost a lot. This is also a vehicle that is not a lot of fun to drive in traffic situations. To get that track-tuned suspension feeling a little tighter on the Track trim, you'll notice firmer springs and shock absorbers along with larger stabilizing bars.

The Green Concern:
With 17-city/26-highway driving on the V6, you'll get an average of 20-21-mpg. The 2010 Camaro with the 304-horsepower V6 gets 18-city/29-highway; and the 2010 Mustang 210-horsepower V6 gets 18-city/26-highway.

FINAL PARTING WORDS

The Genesis 3.8 coupe has thrown a monkey wrench into both the Camaro and Mustang's game. Affordable muscle car price, great rear-wheel driving and all-inclusive trims means Hyundai has come out to play hard with this market.

©2009 Katrina Ramser