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Driven by the Love of the Drive
Second Take: Hyundai Genesis Coupe
December 17, 2010Posted by on
So I spent a good three days behind the wheel of a 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe this past week. And I have a couple of things to say…
So if you follow the blog, you’ll remember that I posted up a quick take review when I test drove one a few months back. And I have to say that for the most part everything I wrote still holds true. It’s still a really fun car to drive, and by far one of the better performance bargains out there. But now that I’ve had a chance to really “push” the car through its paces, I have to say that it felt rather soft when the tough got going. That being said, the one I drove was regular 2.0T that didn’t have the track oriented chassis upgrades. And now that I’ve driven a standard setup and the track setup, I have to say that the biggest improvement the track and r-spec have are the tires. The wider and stickier rubber on the track make a huge difference compared to the regular Bridgestones which started (slightly) protesting really early, well before the chassis limits. Overall though even in base trim, about 70% of the time the Gen Coupe felt fine. Even the automatic transmission wasn’t THAT bad. Really, it wasn’t! Sure of course, given the choice I’d take the manual, but still, it wasn’t BAD (like Subaru’s prehistoric automatic is…).
One thing I did note though was that this thing is SLOW. Okay, it’s not that bad power wise either, and I guess my WRX spoils me. But still, when you really put the hammer down, it doesn’t seem to PUSH you, which I’ve kinda come to expect from a turbocharged car. Honestly it didn’t even feel like it was turbocharged. The 2.0T is a good base platform, but it really needs more power and, more importantly, more torque. If you can afford the 3.7L v6, buy it. Unless you’re one to modify, then get the 2.0T and BOOST away!
I remember though the BIGGEST complaint I had about the Gen Coupe was the interior. But after spending a few months behind the wheel of my WRX, and then jumping into the slightly upgraded for 2011 interior of the Genesis, I have to say that it’s actually not as bad as I thought it was. It’s clearly superior to Subaru’s plastic-lake. And also, the seats are good, really good. They had tight enough support (where as the Subaru seats were built for, let’s be honest, fat bastard), and yet were comfortable enough to not make my buttocks bleed after just two hours of driving (which the Subaru does). Also, the Genesis I was driving was equipped with the factory navigation option, which is quite pointless on an island to be perfectly honest, but it’s an interesting toy to have nonetheless.
And as far as the driving position I complained about in my test drive, it’s not as bad as I initially thought it was. I still prefer a car like this to have a lower driving position, but it’s not monster-truck high like the Legacy was. One thing I hate about coupes though is that most of them come with non-adjustable seat belt heights, so for shorter people like myself, I get choked out by the belt no matter how I position the seat. Sure it’s a nuisance that most people grow accustomed to, but I’m not most people. Small things like that bug the crap out of me and are sometimes even deal-breakers. I’m not saying that’s the case here, but it’s something I wouldn’t wanna live with.
You know I have to admit that I’ve grown to sort of like the Genesis. Sure, I’m in no rush to go and trade in my WRX in for one. BUT, if I was in the market for a new car and knew what I know now about it, I’d have a tough time choosing between this and the WRX. They both have the pluses and minuses. The WRX is an absolutely brilliant drivers car, but you can tell it was a car built on top of a regular mass-market model. The Imprezas economic underpinnings become apparent when you live with the car on a day-to-day basis. Whereas the Genesis was designed as a sports-car from the get go, so you can tell they put a little more emphasis into making it a drivers car. Again I stress though, if you are interested in buying a Genesis, if you can afford it get the V6. In my honest opinion, the 2.0T is just too underpowered to compete with the Mustangs and Camaros of the same price range. If they gave this thing 50 more hp and lb-ft of torque from the factory it’d be a whole lot better. I really think big picture though, the Koreans have got this budget sports-car thing down.