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February 26, 2013

Review: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 V6

Photos by Ulysses Ang
We’ve driven the Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 V6 before (full test drive here), albeit stickered and sporting aftermarket rims (it was for an experimental factory-backed drift car project). Though highly sought-after and successful, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) has upgraded the Genesis Coupe for the 2013 model year. And that’s the subject of this Quick Spin.

What’s New Outside?

The Genesis Coupe retains its title as “the sexiest” in the entire Hyundai range. Although the brand’s sex appeal has already oozed onto more mainstream products, the Genesis Coupe with its wide stance, low roof, flowing lines, and two door shape still ranks as one of the best head turners (and this is despite seeing a lot of them on the road already). The Genesis Coupe is also one of the first in the Hyundai’s stable to receive the Fluidic Sculpture design language, so the car’s ripe to undergo a metamorphosis.

Now designed to mimic the rest of the Hyundai passenger car line-up, the 2013 Genesis Coupe underwent a heavy front-end redesign. From the smiling, simplistic, and almost bland face of before, the Genesis Coupe is now angry, snarly, and aggressive. It moves from feminine to more masculine lines—almost saying that it’s the Korean take on the American Muscle Car. The headlamps are now sharper and larger, featuring blacked-out complex interior clusters. Meanwhile, the small grille has been replaced by a large gapping mouth that still contains a bit of the “waterfall” theme seen in the Sonata. Flanking the grille are two arrow-shaped fog lamps with LED park lamps. Capping off the changes is a new alloy wheel design and new tail lamp with LEDs.

At first glance, the Genesis Coupe’s 2013 redesign looks fussy and awkward. However, as time passes, you’ll grow to like it. It works very well and continuous to make this car a design standout. All in all, the design remains timeless, sexy, and handsome. However, if there’s one thing worth changing, it’s the faux hood vents: they should have been made functional or axed altogether.

What’s Different Inside?

The Genesis Coupe’s redesign may take all the headlines, but the most worthwhile changes actually happen inside. For 2013, Hyundai’s venerable sports car receives a slew of welcome upgrades. First, the instrument panel has been changed to incorporate nicer and more legible dials (the fuel and engine temperature gauges are now LCD) complete with a multi-function trip computer nestled in-between. Second, all the bright aluminum trim has been removed in favor of a darker, classier looking brushed applique. This hides all minor scratches while doing wonders to uplift the entire cabin. Third, the entire center console has been redesigned to include a new higher-resolution (but still monochromic) LCD screen and a triple-meter cluster (Accelerator %, Torque, and Oil Temperature). It’s cheesy and gimmicky, but nonetheless entertaining. Lastly, the shifter’s new and so is the shifter console which removes the gated pattern for a more traditional vertical PRND set-up (though a manual override is still present).

Aside from the triple-meter gauges, the entire cabin of the 2013 Genesis Coupe is certainly more straight-forward, more upscale, and more serious than before. It’s always been a joy to use with stellar ergonomics and visibility, but now it’s a greater joy even just to look at. The cabin’s still not perfect with things like the USB audio input awkwardly placed in front of the shifter, but at least Hyundai has addressed the glaringly missing creature comfort features such as automatic dual-zone climate control with air ionizer and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity.

What’s It Like to Drive?

In other markets, this Genesis Coupe refresh has seen power bumps to both the 2.0-liter turbo and 3.8-liter V6 engines. On the 4-cylinder models, power has gone up from 210 horsepower/302 Nm of torque to 260 horsepower/373 Nm of torque while the V6 goes up from 303 horsepower/361 Nm of torque to 350 horsepower/400 Nm of torque. Sadly, since the local fuel quality isn’t up to standards (according to HARI) only the forced-fed 2.0-liter gets the power increase. Although the Genesis Coupe you see in these pictures soldier on with the old Lambda 3.8-liter engine, it does receive a new 8-speed automatic.

At idle, the Genesis Coupe is smooth with a nice, steady rumble hinting at the available power. Although peak torque doesn’t arrive until 4,700 rpm, the engine is strong from 2,000 rpm in almost any gear. Floor it and a sweet sound permeate the cabin, improving only as the engine speeds climb. The eight-speed automatic shifts quickly, going through the gears as soon as possible; employ the accelerator with a little more enthusiasm though and the gear holds sending the Genesis Coupe to terminal velocity rather quickly. There’s a manual override mode and even steering wheel paddle shifters, but the response is a bit delayed, meaning things are left best in Auto. During a week’s city driving, the Genesis Coupe returned a commendable 6.13 km/L.

Besides the new gearbox, the 2013 Genesis Coupe receives minor tweaks to its springs, dampers, and bushings for better control, road holding, and comfort. It sits in the middle of the Ford Mustang/Toyota 86 handling and ride equation. While the Ford is wafty and soft while the Toyota is precise and firm, the Genesis Coupe soaks up road irregularities and is comfortable while allowing for a progressive and predictable handling. The steering is also fairly accurate and together with the excellent ergonomics, it allows confident placement in corners and precise control in traffic. The addition of Torsen limited slip differential and a traction control re-tune allows also for better fun through the corners and improved ability going up steel parking ramps.

 What’s the Bottom Line?

Typically, a heavily refreshed car sees a modest price increase. Thankfully, that’s not the case with the entire 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe line-up. Though the 2.0-liter does see a P 120,000 uptick in price, Hyundai has actually axed the poser “entry-level” model and instead concentrated on providing “bang for the buck” performance. Items such as climate control, leather seating, and Smart Key push button engine start/stop are all standard, for example. The 2013 Genesis Coupe 3.8 V6 tops out at just P 1,988,000—a price adjustment of P 2,000 DOWNWARD versus the older model and that’s with the optional Brembo brake package (the car tested here is actually P 1,958,000).

Despite not getting the upgraded engine, all the improvements done to both the exterior and interior are worthwhile enough to justify the Genesis Coupe’s price tag. Although the Toyota 86 and to some extent, the Subaru BRZ and Ford Mustang have made this Hyundai lose its luster somewhat, it still remains as a great value sports car and a true testament that the Hyundai brand has made it to prime time.


  1. The unit you drove is the top-of-the-line version? If so, does it still have the Infinity sound system?

  2. dont buy this yet. the new hyundai genesis 2017 will be revealed late 2016. rumors say it will have a V8 engine.. whoami

    1. Wow a V8! I'd like one with a manual please. :)

  3. Lol. 5 years later and it NEVER came with a V8. Only an upgrade V6 engine. Your source may not be reliable or you're just plain stupid ;)


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