Monthly Archives: June 2009

Cnet Reveiw: 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track

As a rear-wheel-drive dedicated sports coupe, the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe occupies a unique position amongst current car models. The Nissan 370Z is its closest competitor, with the only other powerful rear-wheel-drive coupes being retro American muscle cars, such as the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, and Chevrolet Camaro. Other rear-wheel-drive sport coupes tend to be sedans with the rear doors welded shut.

The Genesis Coupe, with its curvy body, looks nothing like a muscle car, but its power train feels as solid. Handling seems equivalent, if not better. Hyundai also uses the Genesis name for its luxury sedan, which is a strange marketing decision, as the coupe is built from the ground up to be a sports car. The Genesis Coupe offers some of the cabin tech found in the Genesis Sedan, although interior materials reflect its lower price point.

On the road
We tested a 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track model with a manual transmission, the highest-end version of the Genesis Couple available. At the low end is the Genesis Coupe 2.0T, using a smaller engine. The Track trim gives the Genesis Coupe a specially tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, and 19-inch wheels with summer tires.

A quick press on the start button gets the 3.8-liter V-6 burbling. Putting the car into first, the shifter for the six-speed manual and the clutch all feel particularly solid. Unlike the petite six-speed manual in the Honda Civic Si, which you can flick from gear to gear, the shifter in the Genesis Coupe requires a little determination.

The gas pedal also needs a firm push to get the car going. Its long amount of play gives room to modulate the power more finely. We quickly find the same is true for the brakes. Tapping them won’t stop the car–you can easily apply quarter or half braking power. These attributes help in sport or track driving but aren’t great for heavy traffic, where all that pedal work becomes tiresome.

Driving at speed down the freeway, the track-tuned suspension doesn’t prove too rigid for comfort. Fifth and sixth gear work well for cruising at speed, but fourth is geared low, making it useful for situations where power is required. Over an extended freeway cruise, we saw the trip computer go above 25 mpg, climbing toward the car’s 26 mpg highway rating.

But in city and mountain driving, fuel economy stayed between 18 and 19 mpg, closer to the car’s 17 mpg city rating. Blasting along winding roads, we found a lot of crossover between the second, third, and fourth gear power bands, giving a lot of flexibility in which gear we chose for any particular corner or stretch of road. Hitting the corners hard, traction control found many opportunities to intervene, and we got used to seeing it light up on the instrument panel.

We also had tested the Genesis Coupe at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to see if the Track model actually lives up to its namesake. The car remained flat and predictable in the corners, while the beefy Brembo brakes stood up to lap after lap of abuse without losing their great pedal feel and easy modulation.

Most impressive was how much the Genesis Coupe communicates with the driver. Through the steering wheel, the pedals, and the seat, the car keeps the driver in the loop on how the wheels are gripping and how the vehicle is responding to inputs without being jarringly rough.

Unencumbered by such banalities as speed limits, stop signs, and traction control, we were able to explore the limits of the 3.8-liter engine and found that the power plant was right at home on the track. The V-6’s flat torque curve offers plenty of power for blasting down straights and powering out of corners without constantly hunting for gears. Thanks to grip afforded by the wide summer tires and the Torsen limited-slip differential, the Genesis Coupe is able to put its power to the road early and often.

In the cabin
The cabin tech interface in the 2009 Hyundai Genesis Coupe looks pretty conventional, with up/down buttons for selecting songs, tuning radio stations, and going through satellite radio categories or MP3 CD folders. These buttons surround a big volume knob topped by a power button. These buttons are supplemented by switchgear on the steering wheel that has a nice, solid feel.

The display is a simple monochrome LCD at the top of the stack, well-placed for the driver to glance at. A navigation system isn’t currently available, although we understand that Hyundai will make one optional later this year, and we assume it will be similar to that found in the Genesis Sedan.

A USB and iPod jack comes standard on all trim levels of the Genesis Coupe, an excellent move by Hyundai. But the interface for browsing music isn’t very intuitive. Pushing the Tuning button, on the far right, lets you choose to look at music by album, artist, genre, or playlist. Hit the enter button, and you drill down to lists of content on the iPod. If you have a lot of albums, you’ll spend a lot of time pushing that Tuning button to go through them all sequentially.

But our bigger complaint comes from how quickly the display reverts to showing the currently playing track. If you get interrupted for a second while trying to choose music, such as making a gear shift, the display will revert and you will have to drill down through menus again to find the music you want.

Satellite radio is easier to browse because the buttons seem more designed for it. Likewise, the buttons are fairly standard for controlling MP3 CDs, which the car’s six-disc changer can read.

We were really impressed by the 10-speaker Infinity audio system. It uses door tweeter and woofers, plus a subwoofer and center channel, to produce truly excellent audio. The clarity is outstanding, making all the subtle sounds you don’t normally hear on a song audible. The sound is extraordinarily clean, reproducing music without adding unnecessary effects.

Bluetooth mobile phone integration is also standard at all trim levels. We had no trouble pairing an iPhone to the system, and the sound quality was reasonable. It works with a voice command system, which does a good job of understanding spoken numbers, but it doesn’t make a phone’s contact list available through its interface.

Under the hood
The 3.8-liter V-6 powering the 2009 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track model uses a dual continuously variable valve timing system along with a variable intake system to optimize efficiency for low and high engine speeds. That gets it 306 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque.

In practice, the low torque number limits theatrics off the line, while the low gearing ratios of the six-speed manual make the horsepower, which peaks at 6,400 rpm, more generally available, as high engine speeds are easily achieved. Hyundai claims a vague under 6 seconds to 60 mph, but other reviews have reached a more specific 5.5 seconds.

As we pointed out above, EPA fuel economy for the Genesis Coupe 3.8 is 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Our average for a mix of driving came in at around 22 mpg. An emissions rating isn’t currently available for the Genesis Coupe.

The six-speed manual transmission is standard, but you can get a ZF six-speed automatic with manual gear selection. Given this car’s performance, we recommend the manual.

In sum
The base price of the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track model is a low $29,500. You have to pay an extra $30 for the iPod cable, otherwise you only have a USB port. Our car’s total, with a $750 destination charge, came out to $30,375, undercutting a similarly equipped Nissan 370Z by about $3,000.

In rating the Genesis Coupe 3.8, we give it high marks for performance. Handling is excellent, and the manual transmission gives you a good set of low gears for track driving. The engine strikes a good compromise between power and economy. For cabin tech, we like the inclusion of standard iPod connectivity, and that Infinity audio system really impressed us, but the Bluetooth support is only average and the current lack of navigation hurts it. Design is a mixed bag, as we didn’t particularly like the cabin interface, but the looks get it noticed. Our staff disagreed about the car’s exterior look, with some loving and some hating it, but that polarizing style gives it design credibility.

Wayne Cunningham
Antuan Goodwin

Hyundai Santa Fe Named Least Expensive 2009 Vehicle to Insure’s “20 Least Expensive 2009 Vehicles to Insure” list also ranks the Hyundai Entourage in third place

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 06/04/2009 The Hyundai Santa Fe topped the “20 least expensive 2009 vehicles to insure” list by, an online consumer insurance information service that caters to the needs of self-directed insurance shoppers. According to research, the Santa Fe is the least expensive vehicle to insure at an estimated average annual premium of $832. Following closely behind on the list, the Hyundai Entourage minivan ranked third with an estimated average annual premium of $848.

“Low rates tend to reflect a vehicle’s safety, which is why larger cars and minivans dominate the least-expensive list,” said Amy Danise, editor of “If you are a car buyer not looking to spend an inflated premium on car insurance, both the Hyundai Santa Fe and Hyundai Entourage are great options.” compiled average car insurance rates for almost 300 model year 2009 vehicles. To compare rates, used a driver profile of a 40-year-old single male who drives 12 miles to work. Rates across multiple ZIP codes and insurance companies were averaged. Individual rates will depend on driving history, age, location and other factors.

Hyundai has always been a strong proponent of providing consumers with the best all-around value, without sacrificing quality and safety,” said Dave Zuchowski, vice president, National Sales, Hyundai Motor America. “With this recognition from for both the Santa Fe and Entourage, Hyundai continues to hit the mark with today’s value-minded shoppers even after leaving the car lot.”

The 2009 Santa Fe continues to raise the bar with a the convenience of Hyundai’s USB/iPod® auxiliary inputs, a roomy interior, and leading safety technologies earning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) top five-star crash test rating for front and side impacts and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) highest honor — Top Safety Pick.

Hyundai’s minivan, the Entourage, combines top safety ratings and new technologies to redefine value in 2009. Entourage now sports standard XM Satellite Radio and iPod® integration with its top five-star crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) — the best rating ever for a minivan.


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 790 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by The Hyundai Advantage, America’s Best Warranty. In addition, the Hyundai Assurance Program is now offered on all new vehicles leased or purchased from a certified Hyundai dealer. The program is available to any consumer, regardless of age, health, employment record or financed amount of the vehicle. The program is complimentary for the first 12 months.


Originally founded in 1984 as Quotesmith Corporation, owns and operates, an online consumer insurance information service that caters to the needs of self-directed insurance shoppers. provides a comprehensive array of comparative auto, life and health quotes, including a vast library of originally authored insurance articles and decision-making tools that are not available from any other single source.

Hyundai evolves with the Genesis

Carmaker’s luxury vehicle surprises

I was a little surprised and quite a bit concerned when I heard Hyundai was coming out with a high-end luxury car, the Genesis.
Hyundai’s 2010 Genesis Coupe

“What was the carmaker thinking?” I said.

Hyundai has a lock on the market for inexpensive vehicles and it decided to make the leap to luxury. To my surprise, it worked and when it decided to roll out the Genesis Coupe I waited to see the finished product before I put my foot in my mouth.

The Coupe is now on the showroom floors. Once you slide behind the wheel of this 3.8-liter dual overhead camshaft 24-valve V6 you will be pleasantly surprised.

My tester from Drew Hyundai had the six-speed manual transmission, which I loved; smooth and very direct. The dash layout is simple but functional. You also get performance suspension, which includes a five-link rear suspension, a front tower brace for rigidity, 18-inch alloy wheels, and front-engine and rear-wheel drive.

The instrumentation includes auto temperature controls, keyless entry with an alarm and audio and cruise controls on the leather steering wheel. The sound system doesn’t skimp a bit; the AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers has the ability to hook up an iPod and comes equipped with a USB port too. You also get Bluetooth standard.

In terms of safety, the Hyundai Genesis offers the best out there; electronic stability control, traction control (which can be turned off), six air bags standard (front air bags, side air bags and curtain air bags), plus beams in the doors, crumple zones surrounding the occupants and active head restraint.

You have engine choices with the Genesis Coupe. You can choose the manual transmission 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder that delivers 210 horsepower, 223 pound foot of torque, and 21 city mpg and 30 mpg on the open road.

You lose one mile per gallon if you opt for the five- or six-speed automatic transmission, but if you choose the 3.8-liter V6 you will get 306 horsepower and 266 pound foot of torque. Mileage drops a little with the 3.8 V6; city ranges from 17 to 20 miles per gallon, and on the open road 26 to 30.

Car and Driver pitched the 2010 Camaro against the Genesis on a race track and the Camaro beat out the Genesis – just barely. The Hyundai turned heads with its styling and great looks. Pricing is comparable to the Camaro starting out at a low $22,000 and pushing upwards to around $31,000 plus tax and license.

And, if you’re a car enthusiast they have a car for you: the Track Version, which comes with a 3.8-liter V6 and choice of transmissions, but you get Brembo brakes, 19-inch alloy wheels, track-tuned suspension, Torsen limited slip differential, aluminum pedals, Aero wipers, a rear spoiler, and Hyundai eliminates the chrome lower fascia and the back-up warning system.

Check this sleeper out at your local Hyundai dealership today, and don’t forget there’s a great 10-year 100,000 mile warranty, and 5-year 60,000 bumper-to-bumper warranty. You can’t beat a company that believes in its product – the proof is the warranty.

The perfect mix: Hyundai Elantra combines popular features from many vehicles

With the best parts of a sedan, wagon and hatchback combined into a great-riding, roomy and attractive vehicle, I’ve found the next car I want to buy.

Remember those books when you were a kid, in which you could mix and match body parts, (head, torso and feet) to make funny concoctions like a police officer with horse legs and a cowboy hat on? That’s what the Touring Elantra is like.

Up front, it looks like a sporty, small hatchback. Inside, in the rear seats, it looks and feels like a midsize sedan, and the cavernous rear cargo area is like what you’d find in a wagon. It’s the best of three worlds.

The 2009 Elantra Touring is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower and 137 pound-feet of torque. These 138 horses work hard to give the Elantra Touring a get-up-and-go takeoff.

Gas mileage is great in the Touring. I got a whopping 25 miles per gallon during the week I drove the Touring — on the highway and in city traffic.

As good as the drive is in the Touring, the real selling point is inside the cabin. As a hatchback, the Elantra Touring provides a surprising amount of space. According to Hyundai, it can hold a maximum of 65 cubic feet of space, which is twice that of a Mazda 3 and a few more cubic inches than many compact SUVs.

Some standard features include air conditioning, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power windows and door locks, heated mirrors, remote keyless entry, eight-way adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, a 172-watt AM/FM/XM audio system with six speakers and fog lights. USB/iPod auxiliary inputs are also standard.

The Elantra Touring comes fully stocked with antilock disc brakes with brake assist, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, side-curtain airbags and front seat active head restraints.

In government crash tests, the Elantra Touring received a perfect five stars for its performance in a frontal collision and four stars in a side collision.

The price tag for the Elantra Touring is a reasonable $18,500, less than most of its competitors.

by Jenny White
New York Daily News