By on February 15, 2010

The Genesis Coupe has all the right bits: sleek styling, relatively compact size, DOHC engines, rear-wheel-drive, $22,750 starting price. Yet the Hyundai’s sales are a fraction of those for the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. Why aren’t enthusiasts more enthused?

To begin with, there’s the name. The coupe shares its name—but little else—with the Genesis sedan. The two cars don’t look alike. They don’t drive alike. They’re much different in size and price. So, “Genesis” is bound to be associated with the characteristics of one or the other, or neither, but certainly not both. In this case, the sedan arrived first and so got dibs. If people happen to hear that there is a Genesis coupe, they’re likely to assume it’s larger, more luxurious, and more expensive than it actually is. At the very least Hyundai should—and I cannot believe I’m suggesting this—append an alphanumeric. C20T and C38 would be preferable to “Coupe.”

Like the Genesis sedan, the Genesis Coupe has an attractive but derivative exterior. Where the sedan cribs from Lexus (which in turn cribbed from the Germans), the coupe cribs from Infiniti. In both cases, the Hyundai has a premium appearance and is arguably more attractive than the cars that inspired it. The problem: with one exception the coupe’s design is not itself an original. Even people who don’t know cars can identify a Camaro, Mustang, or Z on sight. The Genesis Coupe’s styling provides no such basis for a clear, unique visual identity.

The exception: an odd beltline that dips downward after the B-pillar. According to one Hyundai employee, this novel detail was added to counter criticism that the company was simply borrowing from the designs of more established competitors. Viewed from the front or rear quarter, this detail doesn’t look bad, and some people might even find it appealing. Viewed directly from the side it doesn’t work well with the character line below it. For some reason, the rear window opening doesn’t extend any further down than the front window. The dipping beltline merely results in extra blacked-out glass–there’s no functional benefit.

Inside, the Genesis Coupe is, if anything, overly conventional, with none of the bizarre details that afflict many recent car interiors. While the exterior and specs suggests an Infiniti competitor, aside from the soft-touch IP upper the materials and switches are those of a decent $25,000 car. Most notable: the silver center stack trim just doesn’t look “premium.” Hyundai is aware of this shortcoming, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a revised center stack in two or three years. More upscale detailing would also be welcome.

As sport coupe cockpits go, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe’s is airy and open. The cowl is fairly low, the windshield header is above your sightline, and the pillars aren’t too thick. You don’t feel like you’re sitting in a bunker peering through a slit, the way you can feel in some competitors.

The Genesis Coupe’s front seats are comfortable and provide such good lateral support that larger drivers might find the nonadjustable bolsters too tightly spaced. A very welcome but increasingly rare feature: the headrests have a fore-aft adjustment. All is not perfect on the seating front, though. Despite the shared name, the Genesis Coupe is aimed at a much lower price point than the Genesis Sedan, and this translates to a much shorter features list. The steering wheel only tilts–it does not telescope–and this adjustment is manual. The seat heaters are simply on-off, without multiple levels. No power recliner is available for the driver seat, even though this feature isn’t rare at this price. No power adjustments are available for the passenger seat. Only the driver gets a lumbar adjustment, and it is again manual. Finally, no surprise given the limited number of power adjustments, no memory is available to store your settings.

Back seats in 182-inch-long coupes tend to be short on space, and this one is no exception. Passengers over five-foot-six will have to scunch down to avoid hitting their heads on the hatch glass. Knee room is similarly scarce. The rear seat does fold in a single piece to expand a trunk that, at ten cubic feet, is already among the largest in the segment.

The Genesis Coupe is available with two engines, a 210-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four and a 306-horsepower 3.8-liter V6. Since the latter has been reviewed here already, by Capt. Mike, I’ll only note that the sound it emits is all throaty exhaust and, while powerful, at no point does it quite “come alive” and rush for the redline. The sound and feel of the Nissan Altima Coupe’s V6 proved more addictive.

The best that can be said for the turbo four in stock form is that you only hear it much over 4,500 rpm, and even then it doesn’t make much noise or sound bad for a four. The not so good: though boost lag isn’t excessive, power delivery surges and lulls a bit in casual driving–a common turbo trait. Unlike with some turbo fours, this one has little punch at lower rpm, and is only adequate in the midrange. Let’s face it—210 horsepower isn’t much for a 3,300-pound car. Luckily the aftermarket loves to offer power enhancements for turbo fours. If you don’t plan to mod the engine, though, the V6 is a better choice.

The six-speed manual has moderate throws, and isn’t the most precise. A few times it took an extra moment to find the desired gear. The clutch requires a moderate amount of effort, and engages a little too abruptly just above the floor.

In terms of agility and feedback, the Genesis coupe is no sports car. But the same is true of every competitor save the Mazda RX-8. Considered as a grand tourer, the Genesis coupe handles well. The steering, neither too light nor too heavy, firms up naturally as the wheel is turned. The car doesn’t feel too large or sloppy with the base suspension, and lean is further reduced with the Track Package’s sport suspension. There’s a bit of initial understeer, and oversteer isn’t too easy to come by even with the otherwise overly assertive stability control turned off.

The 2.0T feels significantly more agile than the V6, with quicker, more communicative steering. Supposedly the only difference is that the turbo four has about 100 fewer pounds over the front wheels. If so, it’s amazing how much difference this makes.

With the best cars, the drivers forms a close connection and driving them quickly becomes almost intuitive. This connection doesn’t quite happen with the Genesis Coupe. The chassis generally does what it’s asked to do, but doesn’t communicate the way the best ones do. In general the car is short on character. While thoroughly competent, it’s not an engaging thrill to drive. The Mustang and especially the Camaro do not handle as well, but driving either is a more memorable experience.

On the flip side, the Genesis is smoother, quieter, and more refined than a true sports car. Need to drive long distances without becoming fatigued? No problem. In this respect it does feel like a car with a higher price tag.

Some reviews have criticized the ride quality with the Track Package. Even repeatedly driving a regular and a Track car back to back I didn’t notice a large difference, as might be expected since Track’s spring rates are only 7 to 11 percent firmer. On the other hand, the 2.0T with Track Package did have a significantly busier, almost nervous ride compared to the 3.8 Track. Even in this case, though, the ride isn’t harsh or irritating. Expansion joints don’t effect a rhythmic bouncing the way they do with some firmly sprung cars.

So, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe has many strengths and no glaring weaknesses. As Hyundai’s first attempt to create a rear-wheel-drive sport coupe, it’s quite an achievement. It comes close to matching an Infiniti G37 in those areas enthusiasts most care about, for considerably less money. But this is the end of it, and the sales figures suggest it’s not enough. As a new entrant, the Genesis Coupe needs to be outstanding in some way. It needs to deeply engage the driver. It needs a clear, distinctive identity. A sedan can get by without these things. But a coupe, a much more emotional purchase, cannot.

Hyundai provided the vehicle, insurance and gas for this review

Michael Karesh owns and operates TrueDelta, an online provider of auto pricing and reliability data

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76 Comments on “Review: 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T...”

  • avatar

    Looks like it will be a nice $10k used car in two years.


    • 0 avatar

      Maybe if Baruth drives it.

      Hyundai residuals are not the joke they used to be:

  • avatar

    Great review. I’d consider the lack of power seats a plus (really, they break expensively and weigh a ton), but I really don’t like the lack of telescoping steering. This seems like a car that I would enjoy driving with the wheel close.

    I can vouch for the availability of turbo goodies. There’s a red one of these in my neighborhood that I see tear-assing around constantly, making so much blow-off noise that it simply cannot be stock. It leaves a good impression.

    • 0 avatar

      If the turbo four is making much noise, it’s not stock.

      It has a power driver seat, but 6-way not 8-way. If you’re going to have a power adjustment, the one to have is power recline to avoid the stepped lever or hard-to-reach knob. Chevrolet might do the same in the Camaro. VW does it right, with manual for height and power for recline in some models.

  • avatar

    I don’t think it’ll get to $10k that quickly without a lot of miles. $15k should happen, though.

    Hyundai has a fine platform here. Some tweaks here and there should improve both models in coming years. I’m also hoping they’ll offer additional models off this platform. I’d especially like to see a sedan sized and priced like the Coupe, with perhaps 2-3 more inches of wheelbase for more rear seat legroom.

    On the reliability front, we’ve had excellent participation by owners in TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey. We had some initial reliability stats back in November, and will update these this week. The Coupe has been about average, though not too far from “worse than average.” A small number of owners have gotten cars with a multiple minor problems, generally trim and electrical.

    Not yet participating in the survey? Details here:

  • avatar

    I actually like it and find it much more appealing than the Camaro when comparing V6 to V6. When the Mustang gets a competive V6 and transmission I think I’ll have to drive all three of them. BTW Camaro V6 vs Hyundai Genisis V6 in Car and Driver the Camaro won but only because of the clearly stupid “Got To Have It” catergory.

    BTW I assume I’m in the Genisis coupe’s target demographic, early to mid thirties professional male?

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    Seems like a tall order for Hyundai to successfully compete with the Camaro and Mustang right out of the box. That’s like going up against Detroit’s big trucks. Perseverance — and lots of money — are in order.

    If Hyundai really wanted this to be a pony car then it needed a distinct name. Sounds like they instead were trying to brand the Genesis as an upscale mini-brand of sorts.

    I have mixed feelings about the styling. It’s much more “modern” than the Camaro, Mustang or Challenger. For example, the Genesis’s aerodynamics are light years more appropriate for a sporty car. Here the Not So Big Three have boxed themselves into a corner by clinging too closely to iconic styling of the past. Where the Genesis goes wrong is with cheap tricks like the rear window sag. That needs to go ASAP.

    I think this car has a lot of potential, particularly if Detroit continues to be slow in modernizing its pony cars. However, Hyundai needs to more sharply define the Genesis coupe’s target market.

    • 0 avatar
      tooling designer

      I’m callig BS on that little nugget in your last paragraph. How are the Camaro/Mustang not modern?

      Oh wait the tired IRS argument in the stang? Please, The Camaros got it and the Mustang even with it’s stick out back is still every bit as good a driver is this thing. And now for 2011, dollar for dollar the Mustang and the Camaro blow the Genesis away when it comes to engines and trannies.

      Styling? Try looking inside the 2010+ Mustang. It’s much nicer inside with better options than the Genesis (the Camaro is a mess inside so I’ll give you that one). Exterior wise what Ford and Chevy are trying to do is nothing different than what the Vette, Porsche and the newest 370z are doing, they are simply evolving an iconic shape that many others kill themselves trying to achieve.

      Deal with it this car just can hang with the Mustang and Camaro

    • 0 avatar

      “For example, the Genesis’s aerodynamics are light years more appropriate for a sporty car.”

      Do you mean its perceived aerodynamics? It sure LOOKS more aerodynamic, but that doesn’t mean much. Remember that the Lamborghini Countach sure looks aerodynamic, but in fact it’s less aerodynamic than the first generation Scion xB – a box on wheels if there ever was one.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr Lemming

      Tooling designer: One man’s truth is another man’s BS. I see Detroit’s pony cars as evolutionary dead ends in an era of escalating gas prices and stricter emissions standards. To survive these cars need to get lighter, smaller, more aerodynamic and more space efficient (e.g., a return of hatchbacks). Hyundai’s Genesis coupe fits this new era at least somewhat better than any current Detroit pony car.

      Mekkon: Your point is well taken, but I’m willing to bet you that the Genesis coupe easily beats the Challenger, Mustang or Camaro in wind tunnels tests.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m agreeing with Dr. Lemming.
      Why does a ‘sporty’ 2+2 need to be as big and weigh as much as the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger trio? To pander to the retro look.

  • avatar

    Enthusiasts aren’t enthused because they haven’t tried it yet. The Camaro and Mustang have a built-in following and history – and expectations.

    Hyundai is on the rise and when enough people try the car and like the result, it will be more successful.

    interior note,
    Please figure something other than black interiors. Hard to keep clean. The “silver” console might be okay if it was actually some durable material other than silver painted plastic. It will mar very easily.

  • avatar

    Karesh – weren’t you lobbying the industry a while back citing that there was a gaping product hole in the marketplace for a lightweight $20K/affordable RWD coupes? I believe this is an example of exactly why other companies don’t play in this arena in the USA.

    The Genesis sales volume isn’t because the vehicle lacks the ability to drive an emotional response; It’s due to the fact that an affordable $20K coupe has too many alternatives to pick from.

    People who want track-tastic performance get it with the more expensive (and thus better performing) German and Japanese offerings. Surprisingly, when you pay more you also get more performance. But even if a customer really wants to go cheap then there are cars in the secondary market to soak up the interest. And worse, the must-be-new-and-affordable-performance market is a very paltry volume to begin with… and the Miata has that market locked down.

    People who just want to do burn outs and don’t care about hitting an apex get their fix with their heavy and crude Mustang/G8/Camaro/Challenger cars. They couldn’t care less about how crisp the turn-in feels. But the car better look good when they’re driving down the street.

    Either way, the affordable nature of the Genesis appeals to no one; because people who desire an affordable (and pragmatic) car don’t pick RWD coupes. And if a car-junkie truly wants RWD on the cheap then they buy used. The first comment to your post was simply someone waiting for the car to hit the secondary market. This isn’t a coincidence, it’s the way the budget-market works.

    I don’t think the name of the vehicle has anything to do with how its accepted – it’s about whether or not the vehicle delivers what people want. As a new car, there are too many substitutes to consider. Sure, things may be slightly improved if it sold under a different name with some wacky styling cues, but that wouldn’t address the underlying market issues.

    So the question remains… Pretend you actually worked at an automaker. Would you have put your career and reputation on the line 3 years ago to push for billions of spending to deliver this Hyundai RWD to the car-buying public?

    • 0 avatar

      They didn’t spend billions to develop this car. Perhaps one billion, since the platform was new. The big money would be in high volume tooling, which I assume wasn’t used.

      I’ve been pushing for a SEDAN or four-door hatch/wagon this size, not a coupe. Coupes rarely make business sense. Even when they’re hot at launch sales usually cool within 12-18 months. The Mustang is partial exception, but it’s very much the exception not the rule.

      I don’t buy the used arguement. Some people always buy used. Others refuse to. If you can afford a $25,000 Hyundai you cannot necessarily afford a $25,000 German car–maintenance will probably be much more expensive for the latter.

      I do buy that there simply aren’t many buyers these days for sport coupes. Much of this market now buys CUVs.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not like they badge-engineered the car for a few hundred million. Luckily they save on sharing some common facilities costs at the plant, but you’ve got a lot of unique content on this vehicle. Also, don’t forget marketing costs, advertising spend, and the all those other soft-costs requiring homologation, crash testing, etc.

      The dollars add up quickly – I think that’s one of the biggest eye-openers for anyone the moment the step into product/lifecycle planning for volume autos. If you’ve ever wondered why part of the car market is “unmet” it’s because nobody wants to put themselves on the line to make that particular car happen. I would wager you’d be cautious as well if you were on the other side of the fence.

      I think it’s a bit awkward to paint all car buyers in this segment as “new only or used only.” There’s no way a good marketing person feels that the new-car market is fixed and exists separately from the used-car market.

      Many people want bang for the buck and how many bucks they’re willing to spend is usually the bigger factor than the age of the vehicle. If a new RX8 is the best alternative; then so be it… but a 3 year old 3-series coming off a lease can sway the decision making process if the price is right.

      My bad about the RWD sedan/coupe thing… the message I heard was just “why no cheap RWD?” But really, A RWD pragmatic/sporty sedan is an even bigger rat hole – and the arguments against it just get magnified versus the budget RWD coupe.

      They couldn’t reliably drive it in the snow belt (majority of buyers do not think it’s easy to simply swap snow tires); you’d have massive cannibalization against your own product line of affordable FWD, and there are way more semi-luxury used-car substitutes against your RWD sedan.

    • 0 avatar

      Whether or not Mr. Karesh was calling for the affordable RWD coupe or not, I know I’ve seen countless posts and messageboards that have. Everyone seemed to be beggin for a cheap RWD coupe with a turbo four that wasn’t just a straight line hauler, but was just fun to drive.

      Now, when it comes, there’s no sales. But perhaps that’s because this is not what everyone visualized when they asked for a cheap RWD coupe. Part of the plan was a LIGHT and cheap RWD coupe. Why the hell does this weight 3300 pounds? If they got this thing under 3000, the driving dynamics would change. It would be “tossable” and “engaging” and all those things that the review said it wasn’t. It may even have “character.”

      And, if it were super fun to drive, who cares if it has power, memorizing, super adjustable, heated seats? Throw some recaros in and call it a day.

      This is the same issue I fear will strike the upcoming Toyobaru coupe with its boxer four. If it weighs in at 3400 pounds with leather options and powerseats, I (and a bunch of message board posters) will be pretty disappointed.

    • 0 avatar

      I think that this is pretty good indication of how many enthusiasts who cry for cheap (non ponycar)RWD coupes are willing to spend their own money on one.
      The Mustang and Camaro labels are going to sell a pile of cars – even if they were crappy, which they’re not. Mention either of those names to anyone familiar with NorthAmerican vehicles and it drags up good memories and images. (we all remember bad ones too, but I think that we prefer to remember the good ponycars of the past).

  • avatar

    I’m surprised a bit at some of the percieved issues mentioned. I’ve never owned a car with a telescoping steering wheel so I wouldn’t miss it. Heated seats? I nearly burned my butt in a rental car before I found the off button – no thanks. No 10-way electric seat with 3 memory settings? The only person allowed to drive my car is ME, so I’ll only need to tweak it once.

    Think up-scale Tiburon, not Infiniti, and the car makes more sense. It’s like my current car but with more power, a better suspension (in the 3.0 Track), better brakes, a larger interior, and sound-deadening matting (mentioned only because mine has none). From my point of view, it’s all good.

    When you say it needs something to make this car outstanding, just look back a couple of sentences. ‘It comes close to matching an Infiniti G37 in those areas enthusiasts most care about, for considerably less money’. That’s pretty outstanding.

    +1 Twotone – I’m just glad there will be cars like this to choose from when I’m in the market to buy another car.

    • 0 avatar

      You’ve never had a mechanic “adjust” the seat? The memory is very useful for getting that sweet spot setting back without a lot of fussing.
      A telescopic steering column is just one more adjustment to get comfortable. If your physical size can use the measurement that the manufacturer set, the good for you. But for people of other arm/leg sizes , the adjustment can be useful.

    • 0 avatar

      I only brought up the missing features because of the Genesis name. If they intend for the Genesis to be an upscale subbrand, then the car should have an upscale feature set. It doesn’t.

      For what it’s worth, the Suzuki Kizashi has all of these features with a price in the mid-20s.

      And if the seat heater has multiple settings you’re much less likely to fry yourself.

    • 0 avatar

      I never get people’s obsessions with seat position, it is not like it is rocket science. Hell, most of the time I move my seat around just because my old setting doesn’t work for me today.

      I’d love to get rid of those heavy ass seats for some nice light ones – I’ve been waiting to see a manufacturer come out with an Aeron style seat which would save space and weight.

  • avatar

    I’m convinced the front end is a result of Photoshop’s smudge filter. Where the Genesis Sedan looks expensive in person, this thing seems like a high-teens car. The interior does look a fair bit better than anything I’ve seen in the Mustang or Camaro, though.

    Michael, did you notice any throttle cuts near redline in the V6 model?

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t remember any cutoff, but it’s been a little while since I drove these cars. I had this one “in the can” because another contributor said he wanted to review the GenCoupe for TTAC. But he hasn’t, and then the Altima Coupe led me to return to my notes on the Genesis.

  • avatar

    And if they do want RWD on the cheap then they buy used.

    It’s certainly more financialy responsible to buy a new $22k Hyundai than a 4 year old $22k 3-series.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s also more financially responsible to buy a 3 year old Civic than it is to buy a $22K new Hyundai coupe.

      People who value responsibility, pragmatism, and the need to get to work on time tend to go for reliable but still enthusiastic FWD.

      You don’t see many RWD die-hards balancing financial responsibility very often. Maybe they do when posting on blogs, but they tend to change their tune when it’s time to spend money. When financing/cost are extremely important, FWD is almost always a better option.

      The Genesis coupe isn’t competing against a new BMW or a new Z. It’s competing against a used BMW and a used Z.

    • 0 avatar

      No, not if you factor depreciation into the total per-mile cost. I bought my 1998 328i for $13,000 five years ago and it’s now worth $8,000, 50,000 miles later. If I bought a new Hyundai (or any Asian car for that matter) five years ago it would have cost me more than twice that much in depreciation costs.


  • avatar

    My question is a new Hyundai or a 3 year old 350Z/S2000?

    • 0 avatar

      You’ve got to sort out what you’re looking for. These are three very different cars. The S2000 is a real sports car with no low end torque and a ragtop, the Hyundai is really a grand tourer, and the Z is somewhere in between, while being harsher riding than either.

      Unless the top is down in the Honda, I enjoy driving the RX-8 more than any of them.

  • avatar

    It looks like Hyundai has found the hole in Acura’s lineup (and theirs). Seriously, the much beloved Integra/RSX was hardly a luxury ride. Rather, it was a no-nonsense but well engineered small hatch/coupe that wasn’t a huge financial jump from basic transportation. From this review, it sounds like this Genesis is exactly that.

    • 0 avatar

      This car is much larger than an RSX. It’s close in size to the departed CL. And Honda is still finding reasons why Acura doesn’t need a RWD car.

    • 0 avatar

      Honda has a *much* longer list of things that it’s forgotten about rather than RWD. At the current cost of Acuras, there should be only AWD offerings . . . I wonder where the recession is going to lead them?

      As for Honda, they need to go on the Mazda diet . . . the Accord Sedan is almost as heavy as the more powerful Genesis Sedan — I couldn’t find a weight on the Genesis Coupe, do you happen to have it?

      How many miles did you get on this one Michael?

  • avatar

    What I think this car needs is a serious halo model. It should still be affordable but be a total world beater in some performance measure, ie. offering a bulletproof turbo 4 boosted to 30psi with ~350hp, or a stripper 2500lb track pack. That would help establish the enthusiast cred it needs.

    Overall, I think this was a good effort and I’m not sure this vehicle can’t find a market. Quite a few Mustangs, Camaro’s, and Z’s manage to find homes and Toyota and Subaru have seen enough of an opportunity to warrant a try. In any case, the more RWD sports, sorry sporty, cars there are, the better.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m all for more affordable RWD options. But Ford and (maybe) Chevrolet are the only ones who seem to be able to earn a buck in this segment.

      Not many Zs are currently finding homes–Nissan sold only 673 last month. The 2009 redesign certainly didn’t get a market reaction like the 2003 did.

      Toyota and Subaru have both failed in this segment before. Good to see them having another go at it. Their car is smaller and lighter, and has an odd configuration coutesy of Subaru. It’s RWD, but the engine is mounted ahead of the front axle. Was this really necessary?

    • 0 avatar

      The 370Z is so well-executed. It’s a genuine sports car. I wonder if people want those anymore.

  • avatar

    I think there is a glaring weakness here. The 2.0T in stock form doesn’t put out a lot of power. You could get 260/260 hp/tq from a Cobalt/Solstice/Sky. Later, if you got a dealer installed upgrade, you could have close to 300/350 (I don’t remember the exact numbers on the upgrade). The point being, I am sure there is more on the table for the 2.0T. The V6 is more expensive and I think misses the market for the cheap RWD Coupe. I think the problem is it doesn’t excel in any category. It is an also ran trying to get into a performance oriented market, and it looks forgettable.

    Also, the back seat is absolutely terrible. I understand that it is a short vehicle, but I have been in Coupes before that don’t force my head to look down at the seats, with the back of my head against the glass, trying to fit into the back seat. I am 5’11”. It would be better if it didn’t pretend to have a back seat. I can sit in the back of the last Firebirds, today’s Camaros, Mustangs, etc. If that is the segment it is going for, it needs more power and a better back seat. It should also a be good at something and not an also ran.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Why aren’t enthusiasts more enthused?

    Because the car is ugly.

  • avatar

    I’m starting to wonder if a faction within Hyundai wanted to launch Genesis as an separate brand, like Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus. If Genesis were a marque, rather than a model name, the names would make a lot more sense.

    • 0 avatar

      Those rumors have been flying around the interwebs, along witht the rumor that the new Equus would arrive here bearing the Genesis Equus moniker. Of course the same rumor mill says that the crashing global economy has reigned in plans to spin off Genesis as a brand.

  • avatar

    This comment dovetails with the BMW tagline change. Marketers obviously feel that if they aren’t making changes –never mind the need– then they aren’t earning their paychecks. Hyundai should have stayed with the Tiburon name. Even if the car has moved up the scale it gives people some connection as to what the car is all about (if they know what a Tib is, that is). Toyota is a four-letter word nowadays, but the Celica and Supra has seen all kinds of changes, big and small, over the years, but the point is Keep The Name. Build a history.

    Marketers… line ’em up against a wall already.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    Michael… at the end of the day, would you choose a Hyundai Genesis coupe or a Nissan Altima coupe? Neither car is perfect but if you had to choose between the two, which would it be – and why? Also, have you driven an Altima Coupe with the 2.5-liter four? With all of the traction problems in the V6 version of the Altima coupe, I’ve been thinking about the four-banger edition with manual transmission. That and the Genesis coupe 2.0T with manual transmission.

    I’ve already ruled out the Mustang and Camaro – with their outdated emphasis on the muscle-car chapter in pony-car history. And I can’t bring myself to buy a Honda Civic coupe – Si or regular. I hate the control panels in the Hondas and don’t want to see myself going and going every mile or so. But a four-cylinder sport coupe is appealing as I don’t believe for a second that the price of fuel will remain this low for many years.

  • avatar

    As already said, it’s ugly…either the Z-shaped side creases OR the wonky side greenhouse might work, but both together is overkill.

    Say what you want about ‘stangs and Camaro’s…they haven’t always been the most high-tech cars, or the most reliable over the course of their runs, but they have almost always been good looking machines…Even the ‘lil runt Mustang II was a decent looking car (by mid-70’s standards).

    Of course, nationalism and red-white-and blue patriotism also plays a factor, and like the Silverado/F-150 market where the Titan and Tundra have struggled, many ‘pony car’ buyers (the men anyway) don’t want no furrin’ made car.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I read somewhere, I think it was “Gofer Trend,” that Kia has been given the green light to develop a sedan on the front engine/rear wheel drive Genesis platform.

    A coupe doesn’t work for us. We’ve got kids. An affordable, fun-to-drive front engine/rear wheel drive sedan without BMW or Mercedes-Benz repair bills could be pretty damned appealing.

  • avatar

    The less-than-tepid sales of this car are not surprising at all.

    This thing was endlessly hyped (like the sedan) and once it was released there was nothing but crickets. Why? It’s easy to see why.

    It’s first big problem is that it’s Hyundai. Yes, Hyundai makes money. Yes, Hyundai’s products aren’t so bad anymore (but then again the same can be said of GM and Ford). Yes, Hyundai’s are cheap (but both Genesis cars with options really aren’t). None of these things tick enthusiast boxes. They tick the boxes of casual buyers, who aren’t interested in coupes like the Genesis.

    Another big problem is performance. No matter how you spec this car it is a dog compared to virtually everything else you can buy for the money. The wheel can feel better than a BMW when you twitch it but that doesn’t matter to anyone really, not when you get blown away in turns and stoplights. The modding argument was made endlessly on forums running up to this car’s release. But part of the appeal of owning a new Hyundai is the 10 year warranty, which is out the window the instant you start tuning. Stock for stock and under warranty virtually every other performance car will shame this one.

    Styling, Mr Karesh as usual is being very generous to this car’s looks. Basically, the car’s face is offensive, the side windows are weird. It looks like a Jackolantern, it is the subject of some unflattering photoshop jobs online. The first thing you do when making a performance coupe is make it look genuinely sexy. The Genesis looks like something that washed up on the beach from the dark depths of the Marianna Trench. The Camaro and Mustang are epic and iconic to behold inside and out, they turn heads, they look and feel special, people will lust after them for years after they’ve rolled out of the factory and been through numerous owners. The Genesis coupe won’t likely ever inspire that kind of coveting and it doesn’t turn any heads.

    The car should have never been touted as a Mustang/Camaro competitor. It should have been touted for it’s general coupiness, low price, and long warranty and not against anything in particular. If anything putting it against muscle cars did Hyundai, this car (and the fanboys) a huge disservice and wildly inflated expectations.

    I also can’t understand why they didn’t put the Tiburon name on it. The car looks like an next-generation, RWD Tiburon and it’s already a known coupe name from Hyundai with much more recognition, for better or worse.

  • avatar

    Well, I liked the 2.0T Track when I tried it. And, FWIW, I’m an F-body owner.

    In fact, if it wasn’t for a noticeable rev-hang issue on my test drive and the major incentives on the G8 at the time… I would have got a Lancer Ralliart.

    So in my personal ranking, the Genesis Coupe ended up third. But, it was a close third, and I would have bought it over the Mustang or Altima.
    I also had never considered a Hyundai/Kia vehicle in my life and this car got me into their showroom.

  • avatar

    I think the RWD coupe market in this price range besides being very small is very difficult to crack. I don’t see potential Mustang/Camaro buyers giving this car any consideration. The pony car market is a unique one and this car simply doesn’t come close to being a pony car. While the styling overall isn’t objectionable it isn’t pony car distinctive either. For the most part this car is looking for a market that just minimally exists. The coupe market overall is tiny whether RWD or FWD so the fact that this doesn’t sell in appreciable numbers should be no surprise. Hyundai could have better spent their efforts in another market segment.

  • avatar


    “Yet the Hyundai’s sales are a fraction of those for the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. Why aren’t enthusiasts more enthused?”

    Because buyers in this segment want big, effortless power, and a turbo four doesn’t cut it. The Genesis is too nice for its own good. It needs a strong shot of badass.

  • avatar

    I test drove a 2.0T, got to take it through some twisty roads; I thought the performance and handling were great, especially for the price. But my car has to serve as at least a secondary family car, so I’m looking at a Mazda 3 as a good fun/practical/price compromise. If THIS Genesis came as a sedan or 5 door, I’d scoop it up in a second.

  • avatar

    i don’t think the styling is all that bad… the front bar and quarter window are troubling but are fairly minor

    i think what their issue was is that they tried to emulate the Nissan Silvia S15 which wasn’t all that fast stock but has a wild following for enthusiasts… who are pretty brand loyal. And never made much money for Nissan anyway.

  • avatar

    This enthusiast isn’t enthused b/c at 6’2 (an above average but modest height for an American male) my head hits the ceiling in it with the seat adjusted in an otherwise comfortable position. IMHO, since this was designed for the American market, there is no excuse for such an oversight.

    In addition, I’m a 29 yr old clean-cut engineer and, although I spent about five minutes investigating the car in the showroom, not a single salesman made contact with me.

    Ended up with a used S2000 that I am quite happy with.

  • avatar

    I think if I was in the market for a coupe I would wait for the Toyobura FT-86 to come out. I bet the NA 2L Boxer engine will make about the same amount of power as this 2L Turbo.

  • avatar
    Oregon Sage

    At 6′ 2″ I have always had trouble buying in the coupe market. I was pleasantly surprised when I sat in a 2002 Honda Accord EX V-6 Coupe a couple of weeks ago. Comfortable, quiet, the best seats I have experienced outside a SAAB, airy feeling cabin without a pillar next to my head. On top of that the car only had 40k miles on it. And now I own my first 4 wheeled Honda. Revving that V-6 reminds me of my old VFR750; sweet and smooth.

  • avatar

    A next gen Tiburon would have sold like gang busters, those Tiburon owners are a loyal bunch and LOVE their cars, but are not interested in a much more expensive RWD car.

    On the off chance someone really wants a Genesis Coupe, with 2 motors, 2 transmissions and a total of 7 different trim levels, no dealer has a selection and the customer will never find the exact one they want. And you can’t factory order. Frustrating for the customer and the salesman, because the customer can’t get what they want and the salesman knows the whole thing is a waste of time. So the few out there just sit. At least the Mustang and Camaro buyer can factory order their exact car – which is what the enthusiasts that buy these things want to do.

    In the year the Genesis Coupe has been on sale, my dealership has only gotten the V6 automatic base car, no other trims. What’s the point?

  • avatar

    I bought my 1998 328i for $13,000 five years ago and it’s now worth $8,000, 50,000 miles later.

    But, we aren’t comparing $13,000 328is to $22,000 Hyundais we’re comparing $22,000 used 3-series to $22,000 new Hyundais.

    Question: How much should the average owner of a 10 year old BMW with 100,000 miles budget for maintenance and repairs each year?

    • 0 avatar

      For the five years I’ve owned it, it has not cost me more than $500/year for oil changes, brakes, tires, etc. Nothing more than scheduled maintenance. Maybe I got a good one. All my 3-Series owning friends have had great luck with their cars. The 7-Series, however, can be a horror story.


    • 0 avatar

      The 5-series has been pretty bad as well…and the X series. The 3-series (non M) seems to be BMW’s least troublesome car. Probably partly because it is also the one with the least technology heaped on it. Of course, it is still pretty bad compared to Infiniti, Acura or Lexus.

  • avatar

    I think it’s a decent looking car. They have a lime green one at the local dealer, and I like crazy colors. Issue for me is the performance: not on par with its competitors. The 4cyl turbo is the right idea, but every review I read says this thing is a bore.

    And the interior looks cheeeeep. Seriously, everyone complains about the 350z interior, but it’s an Audi compared to this rental-car design.

    • 0 avatar

      Love it in green. They should sell more colors like that. Overall, however, I’m not enamored by the styling. The front end looks more droopy than sleek. Don’t care for the way the nose seems to have melted down from the rest of the fascia. Love the tail…very Aston Martinish.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Question: How much should the average owner of a 10 year old BMW with 100,000 miles budget for maintenance and repairs each year?

    Well, according to my neighbor who still has his bought-new ’93 3-series coupe, $2000-2200. Except when the engine has to be rebuilt (twice now), or a major electrical (3 compressors, ABS brain)goes out. Then it’s more.

  • avatar

    I was surprised at how big the Genesis coupe is when I finally got to see one. I was hoping it was more Tiburon sized it almost seems to be double that size.

  • avatar

    Passengers over five-foot-six will have to scunch down to avoid hitting their heads on the hatch glass.

    Small point: it’s not a hatchback and, as such, you don’t need to worry about inflicting skull fractures on your rear passengers.

  • avatar

    This car is just LAME in my opinon. If you want a bargain G35 coupe, look on – they’re more affordable than ever these days.

  • avatar

    The extra cost of a G35 will be worth it in the long run.

  • avatar

    I’m not really in the market but the main thing stopping me is that it’s just ugly. Trying too hard on the styling, adding a tiny bit of sizzle to a no-meat powertrain. And if you’re going to be slow, at least get me some RX8-ish handling chops.

    As-is, it’s just a grand tourer with a plain interior. Not the worst first effort I’ve ever seen (Solstice interior packaging anyone?) but definitely things to correct in the refresh. It’s trying to straddle the line between G35 and a GTI and winds up nowhere. Refocus the 2.0T for performance and the 3.8 for luxury and you may have something. A warrantied performance package like the JCW for the Minis perhaps.

  • avatar
    Mr. Gray

    As someone who’s into sport compacts, I had high hopes for the Genesis Coupe. The prospect of an affordable, tunable, performance-oriented, rear-drive car is exciting. I would have liked to see the return of such cars as the Nissan Silvia, but alas, the Genesis Coupe weighs 3300 lbs. and according to this article, is not very exciting to drive. Too bad.

    By the way, 6-way adjustable power seats don’t belong in a “Track Package” equipped sport coupe, in my opinion.

    And some people have been complaining about the sport springs being too harsh a ride? But… they’re sport springs! I don’t know why anyone who would buy this option would have this complaint!

  • avatar

    I used to have miata, supra and prelude in the 90s. After going through various lifestyle changes (getting married, having kids, etc), I decided to buy something fun again for a second car. Reading numerous reviews and some test drives narrowed it down to G37, 370Z and Genesis coupe. G37 is undoubtedly luxurious and sophisticated. Although it may not be as fun to drive as RX-8 or Miata, it is an awesome car. On the other hand, I was a bit disappointed with 370Z. Although its styling was perfect to my taste, driving it wasn’t really pleasant. Too harsh, too noisy. Besides, being a 2-seater is a minus when you have kids. I felt that the Genesis coupe was a mixed bag of G37 and 370Z. It has all the necessary (or unnecessary) features, decent performance, great handling, rigid chassis, practicality (compared to the Z). The exhaust note was also impressive.
    In the end, I bought the Genesis coupe 3.8 track last summer. I see some negative comments here on its looks. I could have agreed if I didn’t see the car in person. Its wide stance and low profile is substantial. The front was not too bad either. The rear window has grown in me. After all, I just couldn’t pay $10k more for a similar package but something less pretty (G37).
    I think the Genesis coupe is a great car (especially in terms of engineering imho). It puts smile on my face every time. That’s what really matters, isn’t it?
    Nevertheless, I probably would never buy a used sports car, especially Germans.

  • avatar

    Frankly, I don’t get all the mean-muggin’ on the Coupe. I bought a 2.0T and I happen to think it’s a helluva deal for $25K. Yeah, it’s not as sophisticated as a $40K Infiniti, but then again, it ain’t $40K. The list of options is very impressive for a $25K car: push button starting with proximity keyless entry, 10spkr sat/cd/radio system, voice-activated bluetooth, 6sp, leather wrapped steering wheel with controls, power one-touch everything, nice comfortable seats (I’m 6’6″), plenty of power (I’m sorry, but 210hp and 223torque gets my ass around town with plenty of people in my rear mirror), decent sub 20’s mpg, sunroof and killer looks. Yeah, it may rip from a G37, but I think it’s better looking. Much more interesting. Sure you could buy a better used German, but then you’d be shelling out big bucks for all those repairs. I got a 75K mile warranty and a guarantee they’ll take it back if I loose my job. I get comments and looks every day I drive it and it makes me feel good. I’m not gunna hoon it around a track, so I don’t need 300+hp. Most people don’t. It wasn’t built to be a high end sports car and I appreciate the value. I didn’t buy it for a family of 4 or to cart people around. It’s a 2dr sports car. Who gives a crap about the back seat or the passenger, for that reason. Yeah, I’d probably like it more if it was 7/8ths it’s size and a smidge lighter, but the ride is good and it doesn’t cramp me.

    If yer gunna dog it, then dog it for what it is…a $25K sports car. For me, it’s the best thing for the money.

  • avatar

    Changing the perception that Hyundai are only known for good value (cheap) cars and not just copying the competition is probably this vehicles primary goal. So even if it’s not a financial success if it changes people’s minds about what kind of cars Hyundai are capable of making it’s a victory. The Tiburon hardly counted.

  • avatar

    Im frankly not surprised this isnt doing so hot.

    They are finally not getting what they want, simply because they CRIB it from others.

    The Mustang has the highest chance of being around in 5yrs.
    Camaro has that massive belt line that makes me crazy, on top of the weight issues.
    Challenger has the many of the same issues as Camaro..

    Yet who would trade one of THESE for a Hyundai?!

    Yes, I can see guys from Civics, trading into GTI’s or Imprezas, and maybe into M3s from there.

    But GOD DAMN!
    Id love for HYUNDAI to FINALLY figure out, that CRIBBING others designs with the only point for the vehicle.. being how cheap it is.. IS WRONG.

    Its just blatant.

    It doesn’t matter others do it.. its the DEGREE that its done. 10-15% v 45-70%.

    And power seats, that’s an issue.

    Its frankly nice to know what is on this vehicle, and how this could be compared to others, but I don’t see its importance vs Mustang / Camaro and or Challenger.

  • avatar

    I would buy the Hyundai in a heartbeat. The Genesis may not have the heritage of the muscle cars, but it is lighter than the lot of them and isn’t crippled by a hopeless suspension.

  • avatar

    I’ve owned many cars. Some of my fondest memories are of the handling while driving S curves in a Toyota Supra. The Genesis coupe track model reminds me of that. Different, but close. And the GC is faster and more stable at higher speeds. I’ve have it up to 130 and there was far more car than road left. I traded an ’08 Accord Coupe for the Genesis. The Accord’s leather was better but the GC’s seats are more comfortable. As far as looks, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I like it and get thumbs ups and comments all the time. I think the front on the Accord looked better. The rest of the GC wins. Car sales are all about marketing and the economy. Many of the comments here are just. The GC will eventually find it’s own market. It is not a pony car! But it can move. I have the 3.8 V6, get decent gas mileage and have a smile on my face each day I drive it. If you haven’t spent any time in the car then you don’t really know what the experience involves.

  • avatar

    OK, here we go!
    The 2010 Genesis Coupe is a pure BLAST to drive. Responsive to the nth degree; it continually gets appreciative stares from all who see it! Granted, mine is red (My wife and I named her “RED”), but the lines on her are classic! I’m 54 years old (today!!) so I have seen a LOT of cars-and when I tell you she is ‘all that and a bag of chips’, I’m not kidding! Now, my model was tricked out by the dealer (Brembo brakes, LCD ligts, 18 inch wheels…), but this car under any circumstance is HOT! Now, I would like it if the steering wheel was more adjustable; and as my wife is 7 inches taller there is a WHOLE lot of moving of the drivers seat (so I’d love those memory settings), but the interior is plum, the sound system rocks and the car handles like a dream. You want to move around that slow poke in the left lane? Hey, down shift brother! Want to keep pace with that corvette or camaro or lexus up front? Don’t worry-they have to keep up with you! Enjoy this car guys and gals-Enjoy!

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