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Motoring: Genesis of a coupe with grand touring design

Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | September 28th, 2009

This week, I was intending on delivering the road test for the Toyota Venza, but honestly, I just can't bring myself to do it. The cars found in Kinder Surprise Eggs could beat the quality of the Venza! The Venza had lousy brakes, numb steering, and poor fuel economy - all for the amazing price of $28,900 for its basic model. So, suffice it to say, if you're looking for a SUV/crossover that seats five, instead, I highly suggest going with Toyota's FJ Cruiser or the Toyota Sienna minivan.

Moving on then to something that is actually worth your while, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

In the year that has given us the bizarre BMW X6, and the missile-fast Lexus ISF, the Genesis coupe is certainly a surprise entry onto the list. But, don't be too quick to judge as we all know that surprises frequently (though not always) have pleasant side-effects.

While the Genesis coupe is a simple front-engined, rear-wheel drive sportscar, you'll only need to take it for a spin in a parking lot to come to the realization that this is a finely tuned transportation machine. Once out on the main roads, you'll get a chance to appreciate its firm, but never harsh ride, and like a tiger gripped to grassy soil by its sharp claws, you'll also take note of how the Genesis sits perfectly square on the tarmac ready to pounce at the first sign of competition.

But that's not all. Its steering handles like a dream allowing the driver to virtually scan the road and imprint its information into his/her hands. Then comes its power.

Available in either a 2.0-litre, turbo-charged, four-cylinder engine that produces 210 hp, or a mighty 3.8 V6 that can reach a top speed of 306 hp, the very second you touch the Genesis' accelerator, it lunges forward with the speed and sleekness of the aforementioned jungle cat.

This car easily has the most healthy 306 hp I have ever encountered. For all of you spec enthusiasts out there, it is a necessity that you give this vehicle a try. She sprints from zero-100km/h in 5.6 seconds, and keeps going all the way to 250 km/h (not that I tried, of course)!

Not only is she fast in the straight line, the Genesis can also dance around corners too. Thanks to her torquey engine (266 lb/ft), you can rotate this car's balance, and its fully independent suspension can cope with pretty much anything you throw her way. Not to mention she's loaded with a stability control system designed to keep everything else perfectly in check.

When you're finished carving up the road, you should also pay notice to the attention invested in giving the Genesis its elegant design; a feature that entitles it to the status of a grand touring car. The seats are lovely, the ride superb, and it's well-insulated. On top of all of that, its interior is a magnificent place to spend time, made all the better by an incredible sound system. While most two plus two coupes seriously lack in the backseat department, the Genesis provides luxury for all of its passengers. Its C-pillar windows are particularly clever. Dipping down ever-so-slightly below the seatbelt line, their positioning allows better over-the-shoulder blind-spot visibility.

So are there any complaints? Just one, and it's really only a minor quibble in fact, I had to really dig deep. While the Genesis' shifting, under normal driving conditions, works effectively, when you accelerate hard, its cog swapping reaction is, at times, quite slow. Plus, when you downshift, it doesn't blip the throttle. In addition, while Hyundai engineered paddle shifters in its design, in order to change gears, you actually just push a button — which, to some, may feel a little less satisfying.

But, honestly, I had to be very picky to come up with those grievances, and if you purchase the six-speed manual version instead, all of said issues can be avoided entirely.

In my view, the Genesis coupe is equivalent to a budget-priced Aston Martin DB9. It is just as practical, and even has some resembling features such as the same front-engine/rear-drive layout, the same eagerness to accelerate, as well as the same feel when it comes to its steering. In fact, for prices between $24,495 for the 2.0T and $38,295 for the loaded 3.8 GT V6 with automatic, you really can't go wrong with this car.

Oh, and I almost forgot, in today's economy, the Genesis has the added benefit of being frugal too! I averaged 10.7-litres/100 clicks during my test week, and that is despite my rather heavy right foot.

So there you have it, the Genesis coupe, undoubtedly, one of the most impressive cars launched this year. I wouldn't be surprised if she finds herself the recipient of several automakers' awards.
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