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2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track Review

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By Dan Poler
Rocky Mountain Bureau
The Auto Channel

As the automotive landscape has evolved over the past decade or so to reflect the pressures of rising fuel prices, fuel economy has improved greatly but often at the detriment of performance. Very few vehicles manage to check all the boxes – good fuel economy, good looking, and still have a significant amount of power under the hood. Enter the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

The Genesis Coupe brings a number of new features and updates for the 2013 model year. Exterior styling gives the Genesis a sporty, aggressive look – with updated headlights, fog lights, and grille, this look is particularly evident at the front end. A number of refreshments show up under the hood as well: The base 2.0-liter turbo I4 engine has been boosted from 210 HP to 274 HP (you read that right, a 64 HP increase), and the 3.8-liter GDI V6 increases significantly as well, from 306 HP to 348 HP. Hyundai is quick to point out that at 348 HP, the Genesis features more power than the BMW 335i, the Audi S5, and the Infiniti G37, and the enormous power increases for both the 2.0 and the 3.8 haven’t come at the expense of fuel economy – EPA estimates are the same from 2012 to 2013, or even slightly improved. A new 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is also available, and updated suspension and steering components have been included to handle the additional power and keep the car comfortable.

A number of trim options and styles are available; our tester came in Track configuration with the 3.8-liter V6 and a proper six-speed manual gearbox. As the top-level trim, Track trim level comes very generously equipped with both appearance and performance features such as 19-inch wheels with summer tires, Brembo brakes, a more firmly tuned suspension, a rear spoiler, and a limited-slip rear differential, and with comfort features including a sunroof, automatic climate control, a power driver seat, keyless ignition and entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a navigation system, leather seats, xenon headlights, and a 10-speaker Infinity sound system.

Inside the cabin, materials are mostly tasteful, although we could live without the faux-stitching integrated into the dash. The front sport seats are comfortable and supportive – particularly lending excellent side support. As in most coupes, rear seats couldn’t be viewed as comfortable for adults, although children may not mind. Our largest quibble with the Genesis coupe is the driver’s overall seating position. Although the power seat affords a fair degree of adaptability, the clutch requires quite a long throw, and a driver of average height must have their seat close enough to accommodate this, which leads to a feeling of crowding close to the steering wheel and gearshift. Despite numerous attempts to adjust, and despite the tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, it was a challenge to get comfortable.

That said, however, instrumentation is mostly easy to read and controls are well-placed within easy reach. We particularly enjoyed the analog clusters displaying instantaneous fuel economy, torque, and oil temperature – the first two are fun to observe the vehicle’s response to driver input, and the last being useful, since the car just doesn’t feel as good as when the oil has come up to temperature – about 175 degrees F. The gas and coolant temperature gauges are a bit of a challenge to read – set into the center of the tachometer and speedometer, respectively, they are composed of dim LCD segments which disappear in polarized sunglasses. The gas gauge in particular is a challenge, as it’s composed of six sections, not the traditional four, making it take a long look to determine if a half-tank is left, a quarter-tank, and so forth.

Out on the road, the Genesis Coupe is pure fun – with two doors, six speeds, and 348 HP, what’s not to like? Off the line, acceleration is thunderous, and the Genesis marches obediently through the gears. The traction control is ever-present but not overly intrusive – it’ll still let the rear wheels spin a bit when needed. This is good, as the Bridgestone Potenza summer tires are not in the least bit accommodating of sand or gravel in the roadway. The shifter is neither overly short nor long, but it does not lend itself to quick transitions – one must pay close attention to not miss their intended gear. We found ourselves occasionally coming out of 5th, looking for 6th, and finding 4th instead, which can become frustrating.

It’s hard to overstate the value that the Genesis Coupe represents, as well – with an as-tested price of $34,015, there are very few choices at this price point which will get you under 10 pounds per horsepower (the Genesis Coupe clocks in at 9.9). Fewer still will do it with a combined fuel economy of 26 MPG. Although premium fuel is required to unlock all 348 horses, Hyundai tells us that the Genesis will happily accept regular unleaded – at the expense of just 4 HP.

Despite our minor concerns, we feel the refreshes to the Genesis coupe for 2013 have made a good car even better. There’s something about the primal nature of a straightforward sport coupe. Three pedals, a steering wheel, and a shifter. A front-row to the road and to the driving experience. It’s hard to beat that, and Hyundai has found a recipe for success.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track

 Base Price: $24,250.00 Price as Tested: $34,015.00 Engine Type: V6 Gas Direct-Inject w/ Dual CVVT Engine Size: 3.8-liter Horsepower: 348 / 344 @ 6,400 rpm (Premium / Regular unleaded) Torque (lb-ft): 295 @ 5300 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Close Ratio Manual Transmission Wheelbase / Length (in): 111 / 182.3 Curb Weight: 3,433 lb Pounds per HP: 9.9 Fuel Capacity (gal): 17.2 Fuel Requirement: Premium unleaded (recommended) Tires: Bridgestone Potenza RE050A: 225/40YR19 (front), 245/40YR19 (rear) Brakes: Ventilated disc Suspension, front/rear: MacPherson strut / Multi-link Ground clearance (in): 5.1 Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive EPA Fuel Economy - MPG city / highway / observed: 18 / 27 / 26 Base Trim Price: $33,000.00 

Options and Charges

 Carpeted floor mats: $105.00 iPodŽ cable: $35.00 Delivery: $875.00

Price as tested: $34,015.00