Reviews

2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Introduction

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is not merely a shortened, two-door, four-passenger version of the larger, four-door, five-passenger Genesis sedan. While it shares some of the sedan's underpinnings, in almost every way that matters, and in some that probably don't, it is a unique, sporty coupe that offers remarkable value. Using rear-wheel drive makes it a driver's car.

The Genesis Coupe was launched as a 2010 model. The 2011 Genesis Coupe has been upgraded inside to make the cabin an even more pleasant place to pass the time, from more soft-touch materials and higher-grade leathers to added chrome and metalgrain trim. The model lineup has been revised for 2011, also.

The Genesis Coupe offers a choice of engines, between a turbocharged, 210-horsepower four-cylinder and a 360-hp V6. Both come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, increasingly a rarity, if offered at all, in the sporty coupe market. The optional automatics are Shiftronic manu matics with steering column-mounted shift paddles. In a hat tip to the car's rear-wheel drive, the rear tires and wheels are wider than the fronts, making for a better managed, more efficient delivery of power to the road.

Inside you'll find leather upholstery on most models, but the fabric seats are more than up to the dual challenges of keeping their occupants comfortable over long distances as well as reassuringly restrained on winding mountain roads. For the multi media generation, iPod and USB audio inputs are standard along with a simple auxiliary jack.

All of this, though, is icing on the cake. This is a very competent, nicely balanced sporty coupe that feels as at home on a closed track as slogging through daily commute traffic. Rear-wheel drive is generally regarded as being better for sporty handling than front-wheel drive, and the Genesis takes advantage of this. We found the ride and handling on the street and on the track to be remarkably good, especially for a car with a starting sticker price of $22,250.

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