2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8GT Coupe… Is it still any good?

The first time I drove the Hyundai Genesis coupe was back in 2009, when this car was new to the market. I found it to be comfortable, well balanced and fast. In fact, I called it a mini-Jaguar XK.

Fast forward to today, and Hyundai now offers a revised version of the Genesis coupe. Both the 4-cylinder turbo and V6 motors are now pumping out more power, which is a good thing; but the new nose job is not as good as the original. The new styling works well on certain colors, but not all. I am also not a fan of fake hood scoops, and this has them unfortunately.

Still, the overall look is attractive enough, so it will pull in those buyers who are just interested in the way a car looks.

Step inside and I can’t think of anyone who will have much to complain about. The Genesis coupe has a well-made, well-equipped interior. To make matters better, it has comfortable seats, and the backseats (which are normally just for decoration in 2+2 coupes) are spacious enough to carry adults.

My biggest gripe with this car is with the area just behind the passenger cabin. I’m talking about the trunk. It is not as spacious as you’d think, and when you bend down to see the finishing touches, you’ll find that Hyundai cheaped out on a few pieces because you can see exposed wiring, a speaker and bare metal. It’s not the end of the world, but I wish Hyundai had spent a few extra dollars on covering up the exposed bits.

OK enough about fittings and fixtures, time to tell you all about how it drives.

For my test, Hyundai gave me the keys to a 3.8GT version. This model has a 3.8-liter, V6 engine that produces 348-hp and 295-lb/ft of torque. This motor can be linked with either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic gearbox. I had to row my own gears in my tester, and while this is not a bad manual gearbox, it isn’t my favorite. The clutch pedal for instance lacks feel and has a long travel. The gear shifter itself has a smooth feel to it, but the throws are rather long. I remember that it was the same with the old Genesis coupe, and hence I preferred driving the automatic version more, and I think I still would. Plus the auto would go more hand in hand with the character of this grand touring coupe.

However, the Genesis coupe is not just fun on a long distance highway run. You can have lots of fun in the twisties also. The chassis and suspension set-up is just excellent. The car rides well over broken pavement, but also hangs in well when you are pushing through corners. The steering does feel like it loads up when pushed in corners, but it’s not that big a concern. Plus, having bags of torque in a rear-wheel drive coupe just about compensates for anything the car lacks.

Despite all the pluses I’ve mentioned before, there is another quality this car possesses that makes it just about the best sports coupe I’ve come across for under $50K, and that has to be the noise its motor creates.

This 3.8-liter motor has got to be the best sounding V6 engine I’ve ever come across. As soon as you step on the loud pedal, the thing just barks in the best internal combustion engine manner and it would always plant a huge smile on my face. I could never get bored with its noise and probably burnt more fuel than I should have (yet I still averaged a decent 11.2-liters/100km in my week), just because I enjoyed the soundtrack. Trust me, it’s worth buying one of these for the noise alone.

It backs up the noise with good performance numbers also. 0-100 km/h takes just 5.2 seconds, and top speed is well into the 250 km/h range. So this is a quick car.

OK, so if I have convinced you to buy one, you’ll need to come up with at least $26,499. That will get you into the base 4-cylinder Genesis coupe. The 3.8GT, V6 coupe (like my tester) starts at $36,999. If you want the automatic gearbox, spend an extra $1,800.
So even loaded and on the road with all taxes and new car fees paid, it’s under $50,000 (in Canada). That makes it remarkable value for money in my books, and trust me, you have to spend a lot more on anything else that comes close to this cars overall abilities.

The Genesis coupe is still good, Hyundai – now please work on the areas you cheaped out on and it’ll be perfect.

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