Everyday comfortable, yet track-ready, the 2014 Hyundai Genesis is one of the better performance-car picks if your budget is tight.
Now in its fifth model year, the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is edging ever closer to being a real sports car. Last year's refresh and updating--which included retuned steering and suspension, stronger engines, and a new eight-speed automatic transmission--brings it to the point where it could almost rival performance models that start at far more than its starting price below $27,000.
Now, for 2014, Hyundai has continued to update the Genesis Coupe--making it that mch more attractive to enthusiasts. Four-cylinder models have a new engine-intake sound-induction pipe for a sportier sound inside the car. Automatic models now include rev-matching on downshifts. And those on top of the new styling and increased feature set from last year's improvements make it just that much sportier.
As it stands, the Genesis Coupe remains a pretty bold move for Hyundai. Not only did it mark Hyundai’s entrance into an area of the market that Japanese automakers had long since abandoned (rear-wheel-drive sport coupes); it also runs an interesting side game along the brand's strategy as a maker of practical, high-value crossovers and cars.Visually, the Genesis Coupe covers some new ground for Hyundai while combining the brand's 'Fluidic Sculpture' look of recent years with a lot more aggression and extrovertedness. With last year's redesign, it got an injection of extra power and performance, as well as more of a bolder face, better detailing, and more of a premium sports-car look inside.
Hyundai also last year made some major progress in adding the sort of precise feel and finely honed dynamics that some of the competition had but the Genesis Coupe was originally missing. The 2.0T engine—a 2.0-liter in-line four—has a twin-scroll turbocharger and larger intercooler and now makes 274 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, with peak torque reached at just 2,000 rpm; and a new 3.8-liter direct-injection V-6 in the 3.8 models makes 348 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. With either engine, you have a choice between a standard six-speed manual or Hyundai’s new eight-speed automatic, with rev-matched downshifts and steering-wheel paddle-shifters.If you've been around many sports cars, think about how classic Japanese sports-car models like the Nissan 240SX or Toyota Supra might be today, and you won't be far off the mark with the Genesis Coupe. Thankfully, very few of the driving characteristics from Hyundai's front-wheel-drive cars carry over into the Genesis Coupe. Shift action is clean and precise, clutch takeup is neat and, most importantly, the steering is a tried-and-true hydraulic system, tuned just right.
While the Genesis Coupe is a sports coupe first and foremost, it's still pretty impressive inside. It takes good care of front-seat occupants, and with a spacious trunk and a reasonably refined cabin experience—plus improved interior materials—it’s as good for long weekend hauls or the commute as it is for the racetrack. The exhaust note of the 3.8 has been made more urgent (and sonorous) with a soundbox; and for 2014, they've applied a similar strategy to the four. This year, R-Spec models get better seat bolsters for their sport seats, and manual versions get a Hill-Start Assist feature.
Features have been improved on the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, although prices have been raised more than $2,000 so there's no claiming there's a bigger bang for the buck. Those higher prices bring standard fog lamps, cruise control, an auto-dimming inside mirror, and heated mirrors to all models--on top of Bluetooth, an iPod/USB interface, keyless entry, A/C, and a trip computer--and Hyundai Assurance Connected Car telematics are now included for three years if you get BlueLink services on upper trims.
Step up to the R-Spec and you get a track-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels on summer tires, Brembo brakes, a Torsen limited-slip diff, as well as appearance extras.