2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec Road Test And Review: Introduction
It turns out thirteen is a lucky number for Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe. For 2013, the fastback has been reworked to assuage complaints enthusiasts have lodged against the svelte, rear-drive Hyundai over the years. Happily, much of what was good about the Genesis Coupe remains, even while those perceived weaknesses got duly needed attention.
Despite being one of the most affordable rear-drive sport coupes out there, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe is quite the desirable automobile. Its attributes include good looks, fine handling, and for 2013, even more powerful engines and an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. Further, the suspension system has been tweaked to improve handling.
The interior has been upgraded too, with nicer materials and a redesigned instrument cluster. Other comfort and convenience features have either been added or improved upon to make what was already an excellent value for the money even more so.
In other words, everything that was good is better and the things that were weak have been strengthened. Long story short, the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe has been improved in every way — except one.
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec Road Test And Review: Models And Prices
For 2013, Hyundai is offering its sport coupe in six states of trim; 2.0T, 2.0T R-Spec, 2.0T Premium, 3.8 R-Spec, 3.8 Grand Touring, and 3.8 Track. Although technically, if you look closely you’ll see it’s really only four states of trim with two different engine choices. This is because each of the trim levels feature largely the same equipment, regardless of the engine fitted to the car.
In other words, both R-Spec cars are configured largely the same. The 2.0T Premium and the 3.8 Grand Touring are also similarly equipped. The 2.0T is the entry-level model and as such is the most lightly equipped of the Genesis Coupe family. Meanwhile, the 3.8 Track is the most comprehensively equipped member of the Genesis Coupe family in terms of performance and equipment.
For 2013, Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe pricing starts at $24,250 for the base 2.0T. The 2.0T R-Spec starts at $26,500, the 2.0T Premium starts at $28,750, the 3.8 R-Spec also starts at $28,750. The 3.8 Grand Touring starts at $32,000, and the most expensive version of the Genesis Coupe, the 3.8 Track model, starts at $33,000.
Hyundai’s $895 destination and delivery charges will apply to each of the prices listed.
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec Road Test And Review: Design
As we said before, the Genesis Coupe has been improved in nearly every way for the 2013 model year. There is however, one aspect of the Genesis Coupe we wish they’d left alone.
While the new hood is marvelously sculpted and hopefully Hyundai’s engineering team will find a use for its fake vents one day, the Genesis Coupe’s formerly delicately aggressive face has been transformed to pick up the new familial look introduced with Veloster late last year. And, while it looks right on the Veloster with all of that car’s quirkiness, to our eye it looks heavy and out of place on the Genesis Coupe.
Of course, that’s our opinion—your results may vary.
After all, there’s no accounting for taste, or the lack thereof…
That aside, everything else done to freshen the car for its mid-cycle refresh (introduced in Korea in 2008, the Genesis Coupe is into its fifth year of production) works really well and improves the look of what was already a good driver’s car.
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec Road Test And Review: Comfort And Cargo
The formerly built-to-a-budget appearance of the sportiest Hyundai’s interior has been shown the exit. Supplanting it is a revised treatment featuring enhanced trim and finishes, a new instrument panel, a new center stack, and a new steering wheel. To say these changes have completely transformed the Coupe would be overreaching a bit, however to say they are a marked improvement is quite accurate.
The telescoping feature added to the steering column makes finding a comfortable driving position a lot easier. Similarly, the sport seats accomplish the two tasks of holding you in place during spirited maneuvers, as well as being comfortable and supportive over long distances quite admirably. Specifically, their deep side bolsters offer outstanding lateral support during enthusiastic driving. Power lumbar support is now available as an option for the sport seats, while front seatback pockets are standard.
On the driver’s side, a rear seat walk-in assist function has been added for more convenient rear seat access. Although, as you might imagine, the back seat is more of an upholstered spot for your briefcase and anything you might like to bring along, than it is a realistic place for a reasonably sized adult to sit for an extended period of time. But that is pretty much how it is in this segment of the market — regardless of the manufacturer.
On the storage front, a center fascia tray with a cover has been added. While most cars with the Genesis Coupe’s profile are hatchbacks, the Hyundai actually has a 10.0 cubic foot trunk.
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec Road Test And Review: Features And Controls
For 2013, the Genesis 3.8 R-Spec’s list of standard comfort and convenience items include remote keyless entry, automatic headlights, fog lights, and a leather wrapped tilt and telescoping steering wheel and shift knob.
The audio system has steering wheel controls and is comprised of an AM/FM/Sirius-XM/CD/MP3 head end feeding six speakers. It also incorporates Bluetooth hands-free telephony and audio streaming, along with iPod/USB, MP3, and auxiliary input jacks.
When an iPod or flash drive is connected through the USB port in the center storage compartment, in addition to facilitating playing music through the Genesis Coupe’s audio system, the port charges an iPod and allows the driver to access tracks with the steering wheel audio controls. The system also allows both driver and passengers to easily view song/artist/title information and control the music from the audio system’s head end, as well as from the iPod itself.
Power windows, door locks, and outside mirrors; along with a manual climate control system, a trip computer, and solar glass round out the 3.8 R-Spec’s standard equipment list.
The new instrument cluster features electroluminescent gauges.
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec Road Test And Review: Safety And Ratings
Stability control, antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, and active front head restraints lead the list of standard safety gear. The Hyundai’s four-channel ABS setup is fortified with Electronic Brake-force Distribution as well as Brake Assist, which provides maximum ABS-level braking force when a panic stop is detected. Basically, if you lift off of the throttle suddenly, the braking system pre-charges itself in anticipation of a panic stop situation.
The Electronic Stability Control is configured with three driver-selectable modes. The default mode steps in immediately when it senses a skid, or that a loss of traction is imminent. The intermediate mode permits the car a bit of slip to accommodate more aggressive driving before interceding. The Full-off setting leaves everything in the hands of the driver.
The only safety ratings available are the NHTSA roll over test in which the Genesis Coupe scored five out of five stars. The IIHS has not tested the Genesis Coupe at all.
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec Road Test And Review: Engine/Fuel Economy
Freshly fortified with direct injection and a higher compression ratio, the 3.8-liter V6 fitted to the Genesis Coupe R-Spec now makes 348 horsepower and 295 ft-lbs of torque, up from the 306 horsepower and 266 ft-lbs the engine produced before the mods.
Feeding the coupe’s rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, the revised engine, in our admittedly unscientific observations, consistently hurtled the coupe to 60 miles per hour in just over five seconds. The aggressive sound it makes under full acceleration marks the engine as something significant as well.
The 3.8-liter V6 pulled strongly throughout the range of its tachometer’s travel and provided a most satisfying shove in our backs while doing so. It winds fairly freely, though its smoothness will never be confused with that of a BMW inline six by any stretch of the imagination.
Fuel economy for the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe R-Spec is 18-miles per gallon in the city and 27-miles per gallon on the highway.
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec Road Test And Review: Driving Impressions
Adding to the gratification supplied by the revised powerplant is the sharpened feel of the shifter. With shorter throws than before, the gearbox feels considerably more accurate and its shifts feel quicker too. Clutch take-up is equally improved, as Hyundai’s engineers spent some quality time recalibrating that aspect of the Genesis Coupe’s powertrain as well.
In the handling and braking department, changes to the front suspension have softened it a bit. This improved both the car’s balance and steering feel when the Hyundai is asked to change directions quickly and repeatedly.
Further, the hydraulic, engine-speed sensing rack-and-pinion steering system has been recalibrated. This was done in an effort to deliver both improved road feel, along with more precise and agile response to driver inputs. It worked. Turn-in is nice and predictable and you’ll get good communication from the front end.
No, it isn’t as sharp as a Porsche or a BMW, but it is better than a Mustang or a Camaro.
Brembofour-piston calipers bite into 13.4-inch ventilated front brake rotors and 13-inch ventilated rear rotors on the R-Spec. This configuration is actually unchanged from the 2012 model Genesis Coupe R-Spec. And trust us, this most assuredly isn’t a bad thing in terms of stopping the car—the Brembos do so accurately and with good determination—though the brake pedal still feels a bit mushier in operation than we prefer. This can make modulating brake pressure a bit trickier, but it can be accomplished nonetheless.
That aside, all in all, mechanically speaking, this is a greatly improved Genesis Coupe.
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec Road Test And Review: Final Thoughts
The profile of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe is still one of the most rakish on the road. In fact, if Ferrari built $30,000 cars, their profile view might well look a lot like the Genesis Coupe. What’s more, the level of gear — both for creature comforts and performance — Hyundai has baked into this car’s spec sheet is very impressive. For the money, one would be hard pressed to find a car this good looking with the attitude, size and personality of the Genesis Coupe.
The changes the company have wrought to the Hyundai for its mid-cycle refresh have improved it noticeably. So much so, that if we were asked to recommend buying a new Genesis Coupe or a pre-owned one, for the most part we’d give the nod to the new coupe. Dynamically it is that much improved over the version of the car it replaces. The only two things we don’t like about what they’ve done for 2013 are the $2000 price increase for the R-Spec over the 2012 car (though it’s still something of a bargain) and that new front end.
For drivers who don’t need the sharp edge supplied by the R-Spec version of the Genesis Coupe, there is another iteration of the two-door Hyundai available with the V6—albeit more costly. The 3.8 Grand Touring version of the Genesis Coupe can also be had with an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission and a higher level of comfort and convenience gear. Interestingly, the Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track model can also be had with the automatic transmission.
Further, to get even more agility—albeit at the cost of living with less power—there’s also the 2.0T R-Spec Genesis Coupe fitted with a 274-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four with 16 valves. This engine can also be had with two other versions of the Genesis Coupe, the base 2.0T and the 2.0T Premium.
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec Road Test And Review: Pros And Cons
• Handsome styling (for the most part)
• Good looking and comfortable interior
• Very enjoyable driving experience
• Nicely affordable for what it represents
• $2000 price increase over the 2012 model
• Rear seat might as well not be in the car
• New front fascia ought to be on the back because it is butt-ugly
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