The Genesis coupe hit the enthusiast world with no real warning. Not only did people not think that Hyundai could make a sporty car, but to produce one with as much potential as the new coupe seemed to be a shock. Then it hit the streets, and even more so, the community was blown away. This coupe was well priced, had a decent interior, had good power pushing the rear wheels, and actually handled well in the corners. It seems then that Hyundai hit it’s mark.
In Texas, we don’t so much seem to fancy hard track cars. Our big highway system and rough country roads beg for real grand touring cars. You want a car with good power to bolt down I-35, you want good traction and balance for the windy roads of the hill country, and you want a comfortable interior for those long trips from DFW to Austin – or wherever you might be headed. In this case, you’ll want to pick up a new Mustang or Camaro, right? Not so fast. The Genesis Coupe now comes in GT trim, so we decided to test that out on a grand tour blast from Dallas to Austin.
First impressions of the GT Genesis are positive. The lines and shapes of the body are curvy and swoopy, elegant like an infinity G coupe. This is no accident as the G37 was the ultimate benchmark for the Genesis. The interior isn’t quite Infinity standards, but is no slouch, and blows your mind when you remember that you’re sitting in a sub $30,000 Hyundai. The GT package on the Genesis coupe affords you a beautiful and comfortable saddle leather interior. This interior is only offered in the GT and is on par with the best out there. The seat bolstering is firm as it never let’s you forget that you’re in a sporty GT car. The center stack is surrounded by silver plastic and is much cheaper than the rest of the interior. The navigation system and other controls though are great and don’t let this car down a bit. The biggest complaint I often hear about the interior of this car is with the steering wheel. It’s wrapped in leather, but it’s really hard feeling and not as fat as I’d like for a sporty coupe. My ideal steering wheel for this car would be along the lines of the wheel in the new 2011 Scion tC, but I can live with it as is.
What makes everything easy to live with is power. This is another area where the Genesis Coupe offers up a surprise. There are two engine options offered and two transmission choices for each engine. The Genesis coupe is offered with a 2.0 turbo engine producing 210 horsepower. The Grand Tourer is only offered in the 3.8 liter, naturally aspirated, all aluminum V6 pushing 314 horses and 266 lb-ft of torque. With a curb weight of only 3389 lbs, you can push the coupe from a standstill to 60mph in just 5.4 seconds. Yeah, no slouch. When you push it into the bends this 2+2 coupe handles them pretty well too. With the heavier 3.8 liter engine in the front, you do get some understeer, but for a GT car, it’s never out of control. If you plan on tracking this car, a strut tower brace and rear brace would work wonders.
This car eats miles with the best of them. Our 4 hour blast down I-35 was both comfortable and handled with ease. The navigation system helped find a fast food stop in an unknown small town and the audio system kept us in music bliss the whole time.
So how does it stack up to one of the best GT cars we’ve tested on txGarage, the Mustang GT? The Mustang, surprisingly enough, has become more and more refined and well rounded. I’d say that it’s still one of the best bang for the buck GT cars, and love every minute I spend in the Mustang. The Genesis coupe though, has stepped in and is making it’s mark. It doesn’t look like the big muscle car, and as much as I like the new looks of the Mustang, that’s a good thing. The big show piece of the new Hyundai GT car is the price. This is where the Mustang used to rule, but over the years it’s gotten bigger and more expensive. The Genesis Coupe Grand Touring with navigation and all the bells and whistles can be had for right at $30k, that’s at least $2000 less than a similarly equipped GT Mustang. So if you’re looking for something comfy and fast that looks great and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and you don’t want a Mustang, the Genesis Coupe Grand Tourer might just be for you.