Reviews

2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Driving Impressions


Bringing the Genesis Coupe to market at this price point meant compromises. Fortunately, Hyundai made those compromises elsewhere and not in the handling package. It's a pleasant ride in cruise mode and surprisingly fun, and competent, during play time.

If there's a complaint, it's with steering feel at high speeds over anything other than glass-smooth pavement, when too much sensitivity to surface irregularities feeds back through the steering wheel; the best descriptor is high strung. This afflicts the 2.0T more than it does the 3.8, which is more relaxed, but both feel as if they could use a little more damping. Driven hard on a closed track, however, both were a delight, nicely balanced, with just a smidgen of understeer from the mild front-end weight bias. One of the benefits of rear-wheel drive is that it allows the driver to better control the car in a turn using the throttle. Lifting off the throttle after carrying too much speed into a corner (a driving mistake) kicked the rear end out a bit, but a touch of opposite lock and giving it gas put everything back in line.

What was truly fun was turning off the electronic stability control and using that same throttle to manage the line through a turn and then to draw different exit lines in search of the optimum entry line into the next turn. All of which every one of the Genesis Coupe powertrain combinations took in stride, never surprising with some unexpected dynamic resulting from an unnecessary compromise during development. Sure, the Track editions' envelopes were more expansive, especially in the braking category (love those Brembos!) but the other two models were no slouches.

Power delivery in the 2.0T was linear with virtually no evidence of turbo lag. Power was sometimes in short supply for executing a pass on mountain two lanes. Shifts in the automatics were smooth and precise. Upshifts are controlled solely by the driver when the Shiftronic is in manual mode. Shift throws in the manuals were short but could have been more precise.

The ride was comfortable on well-maintained interstates, showing some rough edges only on weathered urban roads, where broad expansion joints and broken pavement sent jolts through the suspension hard points. Road and tire noise was mostly muted, as was wind noise, even at interstate speeds.

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