The Hyundai Genesis Coupe has always been a little bit of an oddball in terms of its position in the market. The entry-level 2.0T (no longer in production) is often suggested as a slightly porkier and grown-up alternative to the Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ. Now though, the Genesis Coupe has gone V6 only, and rear-wheel-drive V6 coupes from Japan are becoming extinct. The Nissan 370Z still exists, but nobody really seems to buy it because of its price point. I grabbed the keys to a 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8GT and put it through my daily routine.
The thing is, I’m grown up now. I’ve been through the phases of modifying and tinkering with 4-cylinders to get more power while sacrificing refinement, and I no longer care for it. However, I still am a car guy through and through, so something like this seemed to be right up my alley. In fact, Hyundai’s PR team even fitted this Genesis with an axle-back exhaust that’s available as a Hyundai accessory. The result is a noise that makes people snap their necks to see what that car was that just went by. The 3.8GT is equipped with a 3.8L V6 that puts out 348 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic is available, but my car was equipped with the better choice, the 6-speed manual.
Acceleration is more than adequate, and the traction/stability control systems make sure you don’t lose grip. Should you choose to disable these and are on a closed course, the Genesis Coupe is willing to play. I have previously had the chance to drive one of these in a track setting, and the 3.8GT Coupe slides like it’s nobody’s business. Oh, and not to mention the noise that emits from the axle-back exhaust (manufactured by Vibrant). This Genny feels like a proper sports car in every way, shape, and form. The transmission is a bit of a weak point though; the shifter is a bit notchy and the clutch takes some getting used to. It took me a little bit of time, but I was very quickly rev-matching and heel-and-toe downshifting.
Stopping happens pretty quickly too, with the help of Brembo brakes all around. Hyundai really did pull out all they have here; just a few minutes behind the wheel of this Genesis had me convinced. I put on more mileage than I usually do with test cars because I just wanted to keep experiencing the joy this coupe provides. I had the opportunity to attend a friend’s barbecue almost 100km north of the city, and rather than take the obvious highway route, the Genesis tempted me to explore some of Ontario’s hidden back roads. The car handled like a dream through sweeping curves and some small hills.
Yes, the Genesis 3.8GT is the sports car for grown-ups. It has every bit of personality that smaller and cheaper alternatives do, but is livable on a daily basis as a grand touring coupe. Its wide doors make entry/exit very easy, and the seats are sporty but don’t hug you in a way that will wrinkle your suit before that important meeting. The ride is decent too; you do feel the bumps but it’s not an invasive amount. Plus, at $35,521 as-tested, the 3.8GT comes with a plethora of toys that will make your drive that much more pleasurable.
My tester was fully loaded minus the automatic transmission (I wouldn’t opt for this anyway). It came with navigation, high-quality leather seats, HID headlights with LED strips, USB, Bluetooth, a power sunroof, satellite radio, a reverse camera, and rear parking sensors. On the older Hyundai systems, a proprietary cable was required to use an iPod. This is no longer the case; a regular Apple-branded USB cable will do. The Hyundai corporate navigation system has begun to show its age in terms of resolution and overall quality, but it’s very responsive and gets the job done quickly.
There were a few little things that kept popping up at me that I wasn’t a huge fan of. For example, though the performance exhaust sounds incredible 90% of the time, it does drone pretty significantly at highway speeds. Rather than staying in sixth gear, I opted to stay in fifth on a few short runs just to reduce the noise. Also, the Genesis Coupe has beautifully sculpted lines. The MY2013 refresh has grown on me and I now think it’s one of the best-looking coupes out there. However, I can’t help but feel that the reverse camera and parking sensor “dots” ruin what’s otherwise a lovely rear end. Finally, the little pocket in the dash meant to house a media device won’t actually close with an iPod plugged-in. An extra inch there would be of great help.
Painted in a stunning Ibiza Blue mated to black leather upholstery, my Genesis Coupe looked presentable in any environment it was parked in. The red Brembo brake calipers are an excellent touch. Even with an observed 10.4L/100km on premium fuel over the course of my week, I had next to no negative things to say about this car. The rear seats can actually house real people; a trait not possessed by too many performance coupes. If I didn’t have the need for a real back seat and trunk space, I would have no hesitations and there would be one of these in my garage. I’ve got to admit, I really miss this car; few test cars spark this much enthusiasm for this low a price.