Test Drive: 2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 GT car test drives hyundai
Test Drive: 2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 GT car test drives hyundai
Test Drive: 2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 GT car test drives hyundai
2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 GT V6. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Jonathan Yarkony

It took me a while to warm up to the Genesis Coupe, but I finally came around. The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is in the slightly difficult position of being a performance bargain. For too long in my time with it, I was feeling the bargain side of the equation, but after a week in the 2.0T, a track day with generous seat time in both trims, and another week in the top trim 3.8 GT, the performance finally shone through. And it wasn’t the power that won me over in the end, it was the balance and the handling.

Justin Pritchard reported on the Genesis Coupe 2.0T’s efficacy as a track-carving tool, and I second that, but strongly recommend you bring your helmet before you sign anything. Headroom in the Genesis 3.8 GT, which comes standard with a power sunroof is suitable only for shorter drivers, and even the 2.0T in R-Sec trim with all the track-prepped goodies, requires an uncomfortably reclined seat for me to have space enough for helmet. I know that’s how the Formula 1 drivers sit, but I prefer an upright seating position practically on top of the steering wheel for greater arm maneuverability.

And, while Justin advocates for the $30,549 (PDI & A/C Tax in) 2.0T R-Spec, I would absolutely favour the V6 3.8 GT, although its $38,749 price tag is a major leap from the 2.0T. Why? I found the 2.0T’s turbo-aided power laggy, especially on track, and even a bit underpowered (probably because we drove them back to back…). The V6 just rolls out power as the revs climb, and the shift action, which can be difficult in town and traffic, is sharp and quick out on a track, helping you keep the power delivery smooth out of tricky corners. Plus, it’s a sweet-revving V6 that sounds great at the top of the tach, which is where you want to keep it anyway. At the bottom, well, I’ll get to that later. Also extremely impressive on the track were the Brembo brakes, equipped as standard on GT models

How much power are we talking about exactly? The 2.0T is an entirely respectable 274 hp at 6,000 rpm and 275 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm, but the 3.8 GT brings 348 horses to the stable at 6,400 rpm and even improves the torque to 295 lb-ft at 5,300 rpm. No question you want to keep this engine frantically revving, and it rewards with a steady climb of power surging as the tach needle swings past the vertical.

One issue that the V6 did not cure for me was the engine and exhaust note in casual driving. Pretty much anywhere below 4,000 rpm, the whole car feels like a resonance chamber, and it seemed to subtly vibrate my brain in a decidedly unpleasant way. Others swear they love it, but it was just a nuisance for me, and I would often pop the shifter into fourth or third when cruising on the highway just to give myself a break – not exactly healthy for fuel consumption, but my sanity (what little is left of it, at least) took precedence on this occasion.

Test Drive: 2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 GT car test drives hyundai Test Drive: 2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 GT car test drives hyundai Test Drive: 2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 GT car test drives hyundai
2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 GT V6. Click image to enlarge

That low-rpm interference may have sullied the engine’s sweet capability, but as mentioned earlier, it was the handling that finally converted me. It was just one of those moments, an onramp where I was able to attack, lighten up throttle and release the back end, and the somewhat numb steering (in its firmest Sport setting) was at least direct enough to work in concert with the throttle to keep the car perfectly poised on the edge of grip, and shoot out from the ramp at speed for a safe merge. From that point on, the Genesis Coupe felt more alive in every acceleration, every turn, every shift.




About Jonathan Yarkony

Jonathan Yarkony is the Senior Editor for Autos.ca, a Brampton-based automotive writer with eight years of experience evaluating cars and an AJAC member.