2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 GT

After a major redesign in 2013, Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe is largely unchanged, but returns with a few notable tweaks. The coupe now features front fog lights, available Hyundai BlueLink Telematics interface, downshift rev matching on automatic transmission-equipped models, and Hill-hold Assist for manuals.

What is the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 GT?
The Genesis Coupe is Hyundai’s first rear-wheel drive coupe, which arrived in North America in 2009. It replaced the front-wheel-drive Tiburon as the Korean company’s flagship sports car.

2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Price & Specs
The engine choices remain the same: the base 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder with 275 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, and the 3.8L V6 (my tester) with 348 hp and 295 lb-ft While a 3.8 GT with manual transmission is $37,199, it’s available with automatic for $38,999.

The optional $799.95 axle-back exhaust is an absolute must for performance fans.

Driving the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 GT

I’d driven the V6 coupe back in 2011 and decided it was an interesting car if not perfect. What I liked (the looks, the engines) balanced out with what I didn’t (the suspension, the shifter).

Those flaws have all been addressed and the result is that the Genesis becomes a nicely balanced sports car that’s really enjoyable to drive. A strut-style suspension setup keeps the front end planted with a multilink rear setup behind. Springs, dampers, and bushings were all re-engineered for 2013 providing noticeably tighter handling with less roll. Track enthusiasts will probably opt for the Torsen limited slip differential of the Track and R-Spec packages, which also feature stiffer suspension settings.

While previously on the numb and rubbery side, the speed-sensitive hydraulic steering has been recalibrated to be tighter and quicker. Much improved, it could still use a little more feedback.

Previously, the shifter was one of the Genesis’ biggest faults. Lifeless and floppy, it had the personality of a limp handshake. Happily, this has been rectified and while there’s no satisfying “snick” of a well-performed shift, it’s much easier to find the correct gates. The transmission has also been updated with carbon-coated synchronizer rings. Combined with the improved clutch take-up and shifter, the 6-speed Genesis is fun to drive aggressively, yet smooth enough for the urban commute.

The performance exhaust adds a nice burble to the V6′s mellow tone. Although not an obnoxiously loud system, it does tend to drone while highway driving.

Inside and Out of the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 GT
While Hyundai’s Fluidic Design has done a bang-up job transforming the rest of the lineup, nowhere is it more effective than on this low-slung, sporty coupe. Razor sharp creases divide the sheet metal into planes like the facets of a prism creating a play of light over the body that the camera just loves. Last year’s addition of LED running lights lend a more upscale look to its wide face. The hood vents, while adding a snarky look to the long hood, are merely decorative and not functional. Red Brembo calipers peeping through 19″ alloys hint that this Genesis has just as much “go” as it does “show.”

My Casablanca White tester featured tobacco-coloured seats and contrasting charcoal cabin. The level of craftsmanship and style is decent for this segment with tight seams and gaps, and contrasting stitching. However, the hard plastics remind us that this is a budget-priced sports coupe. The sweeping centre stack features a 7″ touchscreen with backup camera, and the interface is easy to use. The 10-speaker Infinity sound system is decent, but many buyers will replace it with a custom unit.

Drilled aluminum pedals, stitched leather hand brake, leather-wrapped wheel and push-button start are among the sports-oriented touches. Analog gauges relaying fuel economy and oil pressure add a racing element to the cabin. Sports style seats feature plenty of bolstering, but they’re comfortable for long road trips, too with excellent support. As expected for a raked-back coupe, rear seating is somewhat limited. Trunk space at 283 litres (10 cu. ft.) is about average for the segment, and rear seats flip down to increase cargo space.

Comparing the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 GT
The Genesis’ more aggressive character is necessary in a segment where attitude is everything. While it’s fun to drive and great to look at, its name lacks the status of the BMW 1 Series or the muscle-car heritage of the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger. It also faces tough competition from the more expensive (but less roomy) Nissan 370Z and the less expensive, less powerful, yet fine-handling Scion FR-S.

Hyundai continues to impress with its extensive list of standard content, reliability, and high safety ratings at an affordable price. At the rate the Genesis has continued to improve, it may overtake some of those segment leaders yet.

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