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2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 12/8/2016

Con: Uncomfortable ride quality in R-Spec and Ultimate trims; rear seat is too small for adults; fuel economy is below-average compared to the latest sport coupes; low-quality materials used for the stereo and infotainment system.

Interior: Inside, it's clear the 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe was designed for people who like to drive. This is especially true with the R-Spec and Ultimate models' front sport seats, whose larger side bolsters are designed to keep you planted during enthusiastic cornering. On the downside, the seat cushions are quite hard and become tiresome on long road trips. The tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel makes it possible for drivers of all sizes to fine-tune the seating position. Visibility is decent out the front and sides thanks to narrow pillars, but there are substantial blind spots at the rear three-quarter view.

The two tiny rear seats, with their scarce head- and legroom, limit their usefulness to transporting the occasional small child -- or serving as a cargo shelf. To be fair, most sport coupes struggle in this regard, including the rival models we've mentioned. The trunk offers an adequate 10 cubic feet of cargo space that can be expanded by folding down the rear seatbacks. Small-item interior storage is about average for smallish coupes, with a good-size center armrest bin and reasonably large door pockets.

Generally speaking, the passenger cabin sports an attractive design and decent-quality materials, though a smattering of rudimentary plastics and the center stack's tacky auxiliary gauge trio remind you that this isn't a BMW 2 Series. Most controls are clearly marked and well-placed, and the available navigation system's 7-inch touchscreen is user-friendly, if graphically underwhelming. We aren't fond of the clunky standard iPod interface, or the sound quality from both the standard audio system and the Ultimate model's premium 10-speaker Infinity setup.

Apart from an eight-speed automatic transmission, there are no factory options for the 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

Body: The 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a four-passenger sport coupe that's offered in three trim levels: base, R-Spec and Ultimate.

The base Genesis Coupe comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, heated outside mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, keyless entry and ignition, automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, folding rear seatbacks, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a universal garage door opener, cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio input and a USB/iPod interface.

The R-Spec adds 19-inch alloy wheels with summer tires, firmer suspension tuning, larger Brembo brakes and a limited-slip rear differential. It also features front sport seats with more substantial side bolsters and a combination of leather and cloth trim.

Springing for the top-of-the-line Ultimate gets you all the R-Spec performance-oriented hardware along with xenon headlights, "aero wipers" said to perform better at higher speeds, a sunroof, rear parking sensors and a rear spoiler. Inside, the Ultimate adds illuminated door sill plates, leather upholstery and door panel trim, a power-sliding driver seat with power lumbar adjustment, heated front seats, metallic interior trim, aluminum pedals, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics, a touchscreen navigation system with real-time traffic info and a 10-speaker Infinity audio system with satellite and HD radio.

Beyond the eight-speed automatic transmission, there are no factory options for the 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

Driving: From behind the wheel, it quickly becomes apparent that the 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe aims to entertain, with the gutsy 348-hp V6 producing both frenzied acceleration and a throaty exhaust note. Yes, a sound tube ducts extra noise into the cabin for your listening pleasure. While the six-speed manual gearbox might seem to be the natural choice for a sport coupe, its long throws and somewhat imprecise feel left us cold. The optional eight-speed automatic transmission is the better option thanks to its standard paddle shifters, crisp upshifts and rewarding rev-matched downshifts.

The Genesis Coupe's standard suspension strikes a satisfactory balance between responsive handling and a livable ride quality. Moving up to the R-Spec or Ultimate's firmer suspension and larger wheels definitely ups the performance ante, but the downside is greater road noise and significantly reduced ride comfort. That's a big compromise, particularly given that the better-riding base Genesis Coupe is also more affordable.

What’s New: Beyond a new 6-inch color center stack display, the 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is unchanged from last year.

Power for the rear-wheel-drive 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe comes from a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces 348 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque. Transmission choices include a standard six-speed manual gearbox and an optional eight-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles.

The Genesis' 348 horsepower splits the difference between V6 and V8 offerings in other muscle cars.

EPA fuel economy estimates are 19 mpg in combined driving (17 city/24 highway) with the manual transmission and an identical 19 mpg combined with the automatic, which delivers a slightly better 25 mpg highway rating.

In Edmunds performance testing, a Genesis Coupe with the manual went from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, a competitive time for a V6-powered sport coupe.

Safety: The 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe's list of standard safety features includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, dual front airbags, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

The available Blue Link telematics system provides roadside assistance, crash response, remote access and monitoring features (speed, geo-fencing and curfew limits) for parents with teenage drivers.

In Edmunds brake testing, a 3.8 R-Spec Genesis Coupe stopped from 60 mph in 116 feet, which is rather disappointing for a performance car with summer tires.

Pro: Responsive handling when going around turns; standard V6 engine is strong; lengthy warranty coverage.

Edmunds Say: During your search for a rear-wheel-drive performance coupe, you'll probably notice American muscle cars dominating the scene. But don't forget about the 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. We think it provides enough performance to keep you satisfied, and Hyundai backs it with a long warranty. Read more to learn all the details on the Genesis Coupe.

Introduction: This is a great time to be in the market for a new sport coupe, with a plethora of exciting examples from which to choose. While a car from Korea might not seem the first choice when you think of performance cars, the 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe should be on any shopper's list. Consider that this sport coupe comes standard with a V6 engine that puts out a whopping 348 horsepower. Yes, you read that right: 348 hp. Standard. Combine that with rear-wheel drive, eager handling and a reasonable price tag and you have the ingredients for fast, affordable fun.

The 2016 Hyundai Genesis brings a bit of Asian flair to a segment typically dominated by American muscle cars

Previously a turbocharged four-cylinder was available in the Genesis Coupe, but starting last year the big V6 became standard across the board. The base suspension delivers a good compromise between ride comfort and sporty prowess. True performance geeks will want to check out the R-Spec and Ultimate trims levels and their stiffer suspension tuning, but you'll need to put up with a teeth-rattling ride. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, but if your commute involves traffic then the highly capable eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters could be the better choice. The Genesis Coupe carries on Hyundai's philosophy of more car for your dollar, making things like 18-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, keyless entry and ignition, automatic climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror all standard, even on the base model. Of course, you also get a warranty that rivals simply can't touch.

Even with the Genesis Coupe's great bang-for-the-buck quotient, you'll want to take a hard look at the numerous other entry-level sport coupes on the market. The Nissan 370Z is only a two-seater, but like the Hyundai it offers a powerful V6 as standard equipment while also sharing the Hyundai's sometimes unrefined driving experience. The BMW 228i is priced similarly to the top-shelf Genesis Coupe Ultimate model, but is a considerably smoother, more suave operator. It's just as quick, too, even though it only has a four-cylinder engine. The compact Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ twins offer nowhere near the horsepower of the Genesis Coupe but offer a level of driver feedback that's almost unheard of these days. And we can't forget the original bang-for-the-buck car, the Ford Mustang. The V8-powered GT model in particular is one of the most fun-to-drive cars you can buy today.

It's true some of those competitors show more polish than the Hyundai, but few offer as much content and value. Plus, if you take the 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe out on a curvy road, we know you'll be come back with a big grin.

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