By on November 16, 2016

2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that — all things considered — might just be the primo choice for that particular model. Here’s an example.

No one talks about this car anymore. When it was introduced a scant seven model years ago, many noises were made about Hyundai’s newfound ability to compete with the Camaro, Mustang, and G37 of the day. Since then, marketeers at Hyundai carved Genesis into its own brand, leaving the Hyundai-badged Genesis Coupe an outlier on the Korean automaker’s showroom floor. Headed for the chopping block at the end of this year, dealers are likely eager to shift these two-door coupes off their lot and out of their floorplan.

That’s great news for bargain hunters seeking performance.

Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe bangs out a not insignificant 348 horsepower from its 3.8-liter direct-injected V6, all of which is shuttled to the rear wheels. Buff books report a 0-60 mph time in the low five seconds. That’s a heady dose of powertrain performance for $26,950. A six-speed manual transmission is standard; buyers who find the stick a bit notchy can take the money they saved and install an aftermarket shifter.

Just because they’re killing it at the end of the year doesn’t mean the overlords at Hyundai have stopped development on the Genesis Coupe. For 2016 they’ve seen fit to replace the old infotainment screen (which made a dot-matrix printer look like the last word in image quality) with a new six-inch color display. The base model is fitted with 18-inch hoops, shod with 45-series tires of 225 mm in the front and 245 mm in the rear. Cloth seating surfaces (leather bolsters appear as a no-charge option with certain exterior colors) hold the driver and passenger in place during spirited driving, and a six-speaker stereo is equipped with satellite service.

Economies of scale ensure the base model is fitted with upscale niceties such as automatic climate control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel that adjusts for reach and rake. Sure, the R-Spec trim offers up Brembo brakes, but a trip to your friendly neighborhood speed shop will likely net you a set of performance stoppers for less than the $3,000 walk from the Base to R-Spec trim. Simply put it on your tab at Harry’s.

Hyundai has seen fit to equip all Genesis Coupes with fog lights; I mention this because few things look more tragic than a flat-black plastic plate blocking off a portion of the front fascia where there should obviously be fog lights. Colors of all shades are gratis to Genesis Coupe buyers and it’s worth mentioning that this thing actually looks fine in Casablanca White — one of the shades in which buyers can choose the leather seat bolsters. I selected the bold Tsukuba Red, natch.

Nearly 350 hp, rear-wheel drive, ten-year warranty … considering its price of $26,950, and the potential for extra discounts given its dead-brand-walking status, the Genesis Coupe sounds like a good Ace of Base candidate to us.

Not every base model has aced it. The ones that have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Freedom Dollars. Hyundai is discontinuing this thing after the 2016 model year, so deals are likely to be had. As always, do your research and bargain hard.

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33 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I just can’t get past its looks. It looks every bit its age, if not older. Its proportions are OK but not great. And various exterior details- that goofy rear window cutout, the Altima coupe ish C-pillar, the general lack of aggression needed in a sporty coupe…. I just could never get past that. These are not “park, stop, look back and smile” cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      You know, I’ve always thought a different front clip could handle all the concerns you mention. But the first gen with that atrocious grille reminded me of the design language of sad Hyundai’s of early naughts, and I don’t know what this front end is. Otherwise a neat car, and I never cared for the fact that people couldn’t decided whether it was a mustang competitor or not.

  • avatar
    Old Man Pants

    Ah… STRETCHED Crampy Car.

    Bravo!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I suppose the GC is the last holdout for the 3.8. I though H/K had long ago moved on to the 3.5.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Would this make a good track day car?

    • 0 avatar
      boozysmurf

      I’m an owner, and I’ve recently started taking my now-eight-year-old 2.0T to the track.

      My thoughts are thus:

      In Base trim, not awesome out of the box. Plenty of power, the brakes need upgraded pads & fluid (but the calipers/rotors themselves seem to be fine). The base 18’s with stock all-seasons are…. they’re shit. Heavy wheels, and rollerskates for tires.

      So, for me, if I were doing it again, I’d consider the $3k up to the rspec to be the base. The Brembo’s are worth it, the 19’s that the rSpec comes with are lighter than the 18’s, and the summer/hi-performance tires (Potentza RE050a’s) are sticky and useful. Throw the LSD that doesn’t come at base level in, and that $3k becomes a bargain, if you want to track out of the box.

      It’s a bit porky (about 3400lbs) but no more so than a lot of other performance vehicles out there these days.

      I was really surprised at how my half-the-horsepower-of-the-current-car 2.0T managed on the track. Yeah, it was a novice day, and I am DEFINITELY a novice, but I was able to stay with higher class cars. It’ll let your driver mod shine, for sure, I think, and it’s probably a good place to start, along with the obvious Miata, and FRS/BRZ/GT86, Mustang, and Camaro, if RWD is your thing.

      If you’re not all about RWD, the competition gets a lot more intense, because then you’re looking at the Focus ST, Fiesta ST, WRX & STI, etc.

      Worth a test drive, says I, with my obvious bias.

      Even cheaper, you can probably pick up a used one for in the mid-to-high teens (2013+ V6 rspec) and around $10k for a good first generation (2010-2012) if you just want something to beat up on the track.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        Muchas Gracias, senor.

        I’m thinking about getting into tracking, and still haven’t figured out which way to go, but I always thought that the Genesis had potential.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        boozysmurf – is it safe to assume the brakes, wheels and the LSD are direct bolt ons? IE: one could buy them separately or source them from a wrecked car. I ask because that is what I did on my Z – my ’03 has ’08 wheels (wider) plus ’10 brakes which are ever bigger then the optional Brembos that “Track” model Zs came with.

        Pads plus a fluid change is normal for ANY track car. For tires while the 19″s might be lighter your rubber will be cheaper if you stick with 18″s (provided they clear the brakes). I had Potentza REs and recently upgrade to Hankook Ventus RS3… resulted in a big improvement in grip.

        • 0 avatar
          boozysmurf

          JM – they are, but the sum of the parts is cheaper than the whole. The rSpec package is about $3k USD more (about $4k CDN, these days) but the Brembo’s alone run about $4500 USD separately new (I’ve seen $1200 used for the calipers, plus new pads & rotors for about $500), the LSD runs about $1200 on the aftermarket ($500 for the whole pumpkin out of a wreck at the scrapyard) and wheels/tires… well, tires are consumables anyway. I just bought some lightweight 18’s with 245/40 & 275/40 hiperformance tires, that all cost me about $3500 CDN.

          So, yeah, if you just want to GO out of the box, get the r-spec. It’s the only regret I have with mine, I bought the premium, and now I’m looking at the expenses bringing the car up to where I want it (the extra 130whp over mine wouldn’t hurt either. ;) )

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      No, especially from a $$$/fun ratio. Weight is the enemy of a track car and this will devour consumables shamelessly.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Its not bad per say with upgraded brakes & tires, I considered one. However as mentioned its really heavy. While the specs say its only 200-300lbs more then my Z I’ve talked to guys at the track running them that report the real weight is more like 600-800lbs over. Most people will tell you the BRZ/FRS is a better “toy” however it requires a supercharger or turbo since its engine is gutless.

      Personally I’m not a fan of the looks, but an aftermarket front bumper cleans things up and in some colors (like green) its kind of interesting.

    • 0 avatar

      Jack did a video of the FRS vs Genesis vs Miata, on the track back in 2012 I took away that the Genesis would make a pretty decent track car and every day driver.

  • avatar
    StarAZ

    I emailed my local Hyundai dealer asking for a test drive a while ago. They asked me to pay a $500 security deposit beforehand. I can’t understand why a $27k car needs a security deposit for test drives while I can pretty pop in to any BMW dealerships and test drive any car I want.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      How lame is that? Wonder if it applies to walk-in customers? “Here let us swipe your credit card for 500 bucks and we’ll credit you back if you don’t purchase.” Ugh…

    • 0 avatar
      boozysmurf

      I’ve had both Dodge (2010 Challenger) and Honda (2017 Ridgeline) try that garbage on me. Both times, it was dealership specific. Both times, I walked out and went to a different, same-brand dealer, and had zero issues. Haven’t pulled the trigger on the Ridgeline yet, but the more I test drive, the more it looks like that’s what the wife is gravitating towards. And I know which dealership/sales person will get the sale, when it happens.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    I always found it odd in this day of fuel economy that they would drop the turbo and stick with the V6. My guess was the turbo would be popular with the tuner crowd and such. Anyone know was it due to sales or something else?

    I’d consider it, with a decent set of winter tires for the upcoming season. Hopefully smaller rims fit to give a little more sidewall flex for winter driving.

    Hey, now that I look at it on Hyundai Canada’s site, I see the price is $29749CDN before the $3400 rebate. Not bad given the exchange right now. Not only that, the R-Spec is the base trim (and manual only, ThankUVeryMuch).

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The marginal fuel economy gains from the 2.0T did not offset the significant sacrifice in performance:

      http://fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=32215&id=32217

      And the 2.0T basically ended where the 3.8 started with mods. IMO the 3.8 sounds a million times better, and would probably have significantly better response too

  • avatar
    kosmo

    One of a few RWD coupes that I would buy quickly, if it came in a 5-door hatchback.

    But that’s just me!

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    A very solid buy in a performance coupe. Dealers will probably damn near pay you to drive one off the lot right now.

  • avatar

    I like these but only 2 back seats make it a little impractical as a daily driver with 3 kids.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    I *almost* bought one of these instead of the RX8 in 2012. I’m glad I didn’t, but only because the RX8 in final MY design turned out to be such an awesome car. I was cross-shopping the 370Z at the same time as well, but couldn’t get over the look or the viscous LSD in the Z. Also the Camaro, but that fell off my list pretty quickly.

    I actually don’t mind the look of this car and would have said it looks better than the 2004-2009 RX8, the latter of which always came off a bit goofy. I hope Hyundai resurrects the Genesis coupe as something awesome in its new incarnation. There aren’t enough cars in this class anymore :/

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    At a time when the Scion brand has failed, they push forward with Genesis. Wonder if this is gonna work? Are there going to be actual Genesis dealers or just a slice of the Hyundai store? I will say since Hyundai is a fairly new brand most of their stores are in decent locales and fairly up-to-date buildings.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This I am liking.

    Thanks for reminding us how good this completely ignored car is. Driving around the Albuquerque Metro Area I’ll see 2 or 3 FR-S/BRZ for every 1 Genesis Coupe.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Not bad if you don’t mind old-school Hyundai interior quality and refinement (I do). But I think the Gen Coupe’s real problem is the Mustang. The Mustang is down on spec sheet power a bit unless you spring for the V8, but it’s not much slower, it’s got a nicer interior and about eight times the charisma even without the V8, and it’s cheaper on paper.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I’ve always felt this Coupe should have been cancelled years ago. It never matched with the sedan style-wise, and looked too cheap for what the Genesis name was trying to do. IMO the new front clip is much worse than the original. It’s too mushy, and looks like it’s grinning.

      Almost like the Altima Coupe. It doesn’t fit in the lineup, and people wonder why it has existed for so long.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Yeah. The specs are nice, but looks are just, meh. A coupe should look good, and when you can get a nice V6 Mustang that will nip at this things heels and look ten times better while doing it, it’s a hard sell.

  • avatar

    This car looks great on paper.

    Until you actually drive it – then you realize the chassis is made of plywood and the people who designed the suspension never actually went to college.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I was very interested in this about 6 years ago until I attended a driver skills day to polish my very rust track skills.

    There was one there, red like in the picture. It couldn’t hold up even on the very simple and short exercise we were doing. A cone strike broke the clips on the front bumper cover to add insult to injury.

    Off my list.

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