Oftentimes when you're shopping for a sport coupe, you'll zero in on one car that seems to get it all right, whether it's performance, styling or pricing. But just on the horizon are compelling new rivals that you could end up liking even more. So what to do? This could very well be your dilemma when looking at the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
To its credit, Hyundai is doing its best to keep its aging Genesis Coupe fresh. Last year, we lauded Hyundai for making numerous improvements, including fresh styling and serious power upgrades for both engines. And true enough, the Genesis Coupe really does have a lot to offer. Right out of the box, the base 2.0T version gives you 274 horses, while the 3.8 models crank it up to a formidable 348. As expected from Hyundai, features are plentiful for the price, including a welcome rev-matching feature this year for automatic-transmission models. Less expected is the Genesis Coupe's handling prowess, which has established Hyundai as a legitimate performance-car player. That's a pretty impressive resumé for an affordable Korean two-door.
But is it enough? One new entry for this model year is the 2014 BMW 2 Series. It isn't a direct alternative, but the base four-cylinder 228i costs about as much as the top-of-the-line Genesis Coupe 3.8 Ultimate and is a more refined and prestigious car. You've also got the 2014 Scion FR-S and related Subaru BRZ, which lack the Hyundai's power but compensate with superior handling precision. Or, there are always the V8 performance coupes from Detroit, which offer superior acceleration. And hot upcoming models like the impressively redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang and 2015 Subaru WRX and WRX STI sedans will make your decision even harder.
Nonetheless, we feel the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe still merits consideration, particularly if value is a top priority. There's something to be said for buying a fully developed car near the end of its run, and if that's your thinking, there has never been a better time to give the fun-loving Genesis Coupe a shot.
The 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a performance coupe available in six trim levels: 2.0T, 2.0T R-Spec, 2.0T Premium, 3.8 R-Spec, 3.8 Grand Touring and 3.8 Ultimate.
The entry-level 2.0T comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, LED taillights, heated exterior mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic climate control, cruise control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio input and a USB/iPod interface.
The aggressive 2.0T R-Spec sacrifices a few luxuries (including keyless entry/ignition and automatic climate control), but it adds 19-inch wheels with summer tires, Brembo brakes, firmer suspension tuning, a limited-slip rear differential and sport front seats with black leather bolsters and black cloth inserts.
The 2.0T Premium loses the R-Spec's mechanical upgrades but regains all of the base 2.0T's standard features while adding a sunroof, rear parking sensors, a power-sliding driver seat with power lumbar, the BlueLink telematics system (with voice text messaging, turn-by-turn navigation and monthly vehicle reports), a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system and a 10-speaker Infinity audio system with HD radio.
The 3.8 R-Spec is equipped similarly to the 2.0T R-Spec with the addition of the 3.8-liter V6 engine. The 3.8 Grand Touring starts with the 2.0T Premium's features and adds illuminated door sills, leather upholstery and heated front seats. The 3.8 Ultimate tacks on a rear spoiler, auto-leveling xenon headlights, "aero wipers" that Hyundai claims are more effective at higher speeds, a rear spoiler and the R-Spec's performance-related hardware.
The Hyundai Genesis Coupe's interior is generally sporty and attractive, though the three auxiliary gauges in the middle of the center stack are a bit tacky. While materials quality is class-competitive overall, there's enough hard plastic trim to remind you that this is a value-priced coupe. A signature Hyundai flourish is the way the dashboard flows smoothly into the door panels, though it requires an odd sideways location for the window and mirror switches.
We like the Genesis Coupe's simple two-knob climate controls, and we're also fans of the optional navigation system's large, clear touchscreen. The standard iPod interface, however, isn't as intuitive as we'd like. Also disappointing is the 10-speaker Infinity audio system's sound quality, to say nothing of the base six-speaker setup.
The driving position is excellent, affording ample outward visibility, and the exceptionally supportive front seats are welcome companions on both back-road blasts and long trips. A telescoping steering wheel was finally introduced last year, making it easier for shorter and taller drivers to get comfortable. The rear seat, though, is strictly for kids and cargo, as headroom and legroom are insufficient for adults. At least the 10-cubic-foot trunk is surprisingly useful, particularly with the rear seatbacks folded down.
The 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is equipped with rear-wheel drive and a choice of two engines. The 2.0T models feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder that generates 274 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic with shift paddles is mandatory on the base 2.0T and 2.0T Premium, while the 2.0T R-Spec comes only with a six-speed manual. The EPA's estimated fuel economy stands at 21 mpg combined (17 mpg city/27 mpg highway) for the automatic and 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city/27 mpg highway) for the manual.
The 3.8 models feature a 3.8-liter V6 engine that cranks out 348 hp and 295 lb-ft. The 3.8 R-Spec is manual-only, while the 3.8 Grand Touring gets the eight-speed automatic. The 3.8 Ultimate offers both. In Edmunds performance testing, a 3.8 Genesis Coupe with the manual went from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. That's a respectable time, though V8-powered coupes such as the Camaro and Mustang are quicker still. At the pump, you're looking at 19 mpg combined (16 city/25 highway) with the automatic and a similar 19 mpg combined (16 city/24 highway) with the manual.
On the road, the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe continues to be one of the better-balanced cars in this segment. Although the steering lacks feel, we can't argue with its sharp responses, and there's a poised playfulness here that's reminiscent of pricier luxury-brand coupes. The R-Spec and 3.8 Ultimate models are even more capable, but their tauter suspensions and larger, low-profile tires compromise the Genesis Coupe's otherwise decent ride quality, adding extra road noise besides.
Get on the gas and the 2.0T's turbocharged four-cylinder serves up more than enough power for most drivers. Unlike the Genesis Coupe's original 210-hp turbo-4, which was rather weak and wheezy relative to the V6, the current 274-hp version is a serious mill. Of course, if you take a V6 on a test-drive, you might not go back. Its prodigious 348-hp output exactly matches that of the much pricier Infiniti Q60 IPL (coincidence? we think not), and its burly exhaust note trumps any noise the 2.0T's new tuned intake can muster.
Although we've recommended the six-speed manual in the past, now that the eight-speed automatic matches revs on downshifts, it's likely to be the more appealing pick for many shoppers. The manual transmission gets the job done, but if you're a connoisseur of manual gearboxes, you might notice the Genesis Coupe's shifter doesn't feel very precise as you're moving between gears.
Standard safety features for the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe include stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.
The available BlueLink telematics system provides roadside assistance, crash response, remote access and monitoring features for parents with teenage drivers (speed, geo-fencing and curfew limits).
In Edmunds brake testing, Genesis Coupe stopping distances from 60 mph have ranged from 112 feet (2.0T R-Spec) to 116 feet (3.8 R-Spec) against a sport coupe segment average of 112 feet.
The 2014 Genesis Coupe gets some additional standard features, including foglights, heated outside mirrors, keyless ignition and entry and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The automatic transmission now matches revs on downshifts, while all manual-transmission models receive standard hill-start assist. Also, the 2.0T engine gets an intake resonator for enhanced sound, and the 3.8 Track trim level has been replaced by the 3.8 Ultimate.