2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Review

More proof that you can't manufacture muscle.

By: David Merline

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: July 25th, 2014

You can't fault Hyundai for wanting to gain a foothold in the luxury-sport market - the brand has made an incredible comeback and has a clear vision of where it wants be - but the Genesis Coupe shows that South Korean carmaker still has a way to go if it wants to play with the big boys.

It's as though Hyundai isn't entirely sure what it wants this car to be - a track-ready luxury car or a modernized take on the American muscle car? Unfortunately, there is more of the latter than the former, which is evident from the outside, which is where the trouble begins.

Now, there's nothing that says that muscle cars need to be American, but there is a school of thought (of which I am the proud alumnus) that considers all modern attempts at muscle cars doomed to disappoint, since safety regulations have made it near impossible for modern cars to have even a trace of the outlaw spirit of the classic Mustangs, Chargers, and GTOs.

But it doesn't really matter what the Genesis Coupe is trying to be. It's just plain ugly. It's a more or less moot point now, since Hyundai has already given a facelift to their entire line (a new Genesis Coupe is expected for 2015), but still.

Let's talk about fake air vents. You know what fake air vents are good for? They're good for taking money out of the pockets of people who don't care that their car is playing dress up, pretending to be a sports car when it's really just an adequately powered sedan that handles poorly and costs more than it should.

And if you must put fake air vents on your car (and you mustn't), could you please not make them look like the mustache of a cartoon villain? In fact, if you could go ahead and not make the entire car look like a cartoon version of a muscle car, that'd be great.

The Genesis Coupe may look tacky on the outside, but it's positively underbaked on the interior, which is far too plain and plasticky to have any air of luxury. The "sporty" interior touches, like the jumbo-sized gauges on the center console, are hamfisted and not particularly useful.

On the road the Genesis Coupe struggles mightily to manage its heavy carriage, in spite of the impressive power numbers (348 horsepower and 344 lb-ft of torque). Rounding corners you feel every unnecessary pound this car packs on, and even on the freeway the V-6 feels like it had to drag the rest of the car behind it, rather than propel it forward.

The transmission is also an issue, as it doesn't perform well at low RPMs, which would be far less of an issue if the shifter wasn't so mushy that it gives you the impression that it would really rather not be in any gear.

We're hoping that the new generation of Genesis Coupes will erase all memory of the outgoing version. The Genesis is a fine car, and Hyundai is a fine company. We'd love to see them come up with an Audi/BMW/Lexus beater.

But this one ain't that.

  • Specs & Prices

    Engine: 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V-6

    Transmission: 6-speed manual

    Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, rear wheel drive

    Power Output: 348 hp / 344 lb-ft

    Fuel Economy (mpg): 16 city / 24 highway

    Price (base): $33,400

    Price (as tested): $34,295 (includes $895 destination charge)

    Available Features: Heated front seats with seatbelt guide, track suspension, LED running lights and tail lights, 7-inch touchscreen with navigation, Infinity 10-speaker audio system, Bluetooth hands-free, tilt/telescoping steering wheel.

Shopping for a used
Hyundai Genesis Coupe?

• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, click here: 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe.