Family Car Review: 2015 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8

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OK, so last spring I was out shopping for a new "family car" to replace a 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback with 218K+ on the clock. In case you are curious, she is still running and is over 240K now - (sold to an acquaintance). I landed on the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Here is that thread: https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/4086338/1 So, am I still happy with my pick? Yes, yes I am. Here is a picture (when we had some major wildfires in the area). Ok, this is going to sound odd, but bear with me: The Genesis Coupe is/was a 90s-era Japanese GT/Luxury sportscar but made with bluetooth connectivity and side airbags. A buddy with 6 Nissan Z31/Z32s in their owner history coined that idea after a drive so I am not stealing it whole-hog. So, that is the the best way I can explain it and I agree. I think that is why I kinda liked it from the beginning. I have driven stock Z32 300ZX TT (former 280Z owner), FD RX7, SVX and in particular the Mitsu 3000GT and it feels like Hyundai made that type of car 15-20 years afterward. So, it gets the great traits from that world but also some of its disadvantages... ie, it is not a rock-hard 700bhp track-beast. Is it a bit of a knock-off? Maybe, I don't know. It might just be a US perspective thing and maybe that is unkind to the Korean make that has often be considered to be a "knock-off" of something else. It does have its own, hoot-and-have-fun personality that isn't 90s but it feels a bit retro as if it was 90s. It isn't like all of those makes have kept the same broodline going or stayed true to the 90s GT car. Even those that did revive the Japanese sportscar (RX8, 350Z) did not feel like the previous generation. But, making that type of car is not a bad thing. Those were good cars. But it is a a larger, heavier sportscar or non-luxury branded GT car. So it is a sportscar/GT hybrid. It is very good but not "great" as you feel some of those compromises between vehicle classes. You can tell it is a larger and heavier car... but I am coming from a 2195lbs comparison. Sure, there are a few better cars from a handling/balance perspective but not many. 370, 86/BRZ, Miata, but none with a usable back seat. Otherwise, BMW etc make better sporty-GT coupes but for nearly twice the cost. So a compromise is not a bad thing since I still have the MR2 for the hardcore mountain carving. And that is the trick to this car. Other cars are better in the various metrics (handling, power, comfort, fun, personality, usability, amenities, luxury, etc) but this car does all of those items very well without a major flaw (gearbox excluded, get to that in a moment)... other than it is the "best" in one group. It is a jack-of-trades car. Part of the reason why this car won-out over the other major two of MY competitors (WRX and Fiesta ST) was the long-distance ride comfort. Aging parents living elsewhere and other needs made sure than I needed to travel on long trips without any discomfort. In August, I did a 17 hour drive from NC to Connecticut along the 95 corridor. I was completely comfortable. Although tire noise is a bit more than I like (maybe more of an issue with the Bridgestones), it is still a great cruiser. MPG was a bit over 30 for most of the trip, a 5 hour complete traffic jam when a truck turned over on the GW bridge dropped it to 27.5. Still, I drove from Western NC to Conn and back in a weekend and could not complain. Around town it is good I was still able to make the pilgrimage (Genesis hiding in the background) Now, the important part: Does it work as a family hauler? Yes, yes it does. It is the easiest thing? Nope. However, if you are trading in your WRX, GTI, or Fiesta because you have a kid coming, then well... there is no hope for you smile As long as you do not opt for the mega-lazyboy-baby car seat with the 40 cupholders and nuclear assault console, you are fine. I am about 1 position away from sitting in the driver seat and having the child seat behind me. Oh, I am 6'3". So it is behind "Mom's seat" which she still has plenty of room. Here - this is my normal driving position: Now, I am still in rear-facing mode for a few months and this is the most challenging phase. When in a infant carrier, it was a lot easier. Rear-facing is a problem when I am loading him up because I have to get into the back-seat and hope he is not resisting (resists about 10% time). I did injure my back last fall and that made it less comfortable but not impossible. It is getting a lot easier since he is now starting to help load himself into the car. In about a coupe of months (at 2 years), I can have him forward facing and then loading will be a breeze. How about winter weather? This is my winter family car too. Well, it is not a 4WD vehicle... and I was fine. I still made it to work (I don't get snow-days) even with a decent snow/icing of 6in and a road that drops 200ft in 200 yards. Still, I need to get snow-tires. The all-seasons make it possible but I need some Blizzaks by next season. If we get something that is 10+ inches, I always have the Subaru with good winter tires. Here is just a light snow/icing event. Nothing major, just enough to make it a bit more fun... Flaws? Well, I don't like the OEM tires. Those will be changed. Understeer is expected with the dynamics but controllable. I think the base-brakes could be better. It is a heavy car and although the brakes are not "bad" they could be better as a performance car. They made a stock Brembo option but those reviews were "meh" so I am going to do a big brake kit in the future (1-2 years from now). And besides that, it will be stock. Finally, that gear-box/shifter/clutch. It is unforgiving and downright unpleasant with stability control "on". I have to drive on hill with leaves on them. In first, if you have wheel spin on a wet-leaf road, the car stalls because you are releasing the clutch and the CPU decides to kill the throttle. The clutch has a high and sudden grab-point and the shift is not smooth. Not a Honda stick, more feedback than the Toyota I drive, and it is idiot punishing. Not paying attention to your gear-change, you will look like an idiot with a learners permit. If you have only driven VW manuals, you will not be able to drive this car. It took me about a good 3 months to start "getting it" and I am now just starting to get some sense of fluidity... and I have been driving manuals as DD for 18 years. It is a clunky gearbox/shifter with a unforgiving clutch. If you want a challenging to drive quickly/smoothly gearbox, this it it. You can do it, but it requires a full 3/4 more of you brain to do it. Would a better gearbox be worth it. Maybe. Finally, the important question: does my boy like it. Although, be careful with the little ones and push-button start ignition. He also like the MR2... but daycare still freaks out (for the love of all that is beautiful in this world, the airbags are turned OFF!!!!) In conclusion, it is my perfect family car. I don't need two crossovers. One wagon, one roadster, and one GT coupe are fine for the family. Sure, the days of my brother and me in buckled in together in the passenger seat of a 240Z is over. However, 2-door coupes are fine for the little ones if they give you a usable backseat. When picking a family car: pick the family car you like to drive. After 7K miles of driving the care, I don't see me selling/trading it any time soon. I still look back walking away, pause before exiting the car, and get giddy when traffic clears and there is a twisty road ahead. Actually, maybe it will be the little one's first car... only after I wire it so he can not turn the traction control off.
 
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Kudos to you for making that work! So many overweight N Americans refuse anything that's considered a "car". This is mostly because they are too out of shape to consider making something like this work. I salute you sir thumbsup
 

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Thanks! dareo: Ha, no. Those are HUGE and do not get the best crash ratings. Plus, when doing the mass of car-seat testing, you learn that there are those 30+ pounds vs those that are 7lbs. I go to for the lighter, models with the better ratings.
 
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NOW THAT'S A REVIEW! Thanks OP. You may have broadened someone else's horizons with this review. Nicely done.
 
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We use the new Roadster car seats, 20lbs not 30+, however they are almost comically large. I find the build quality to be excellent and my boy agrees that it is far more comfortable than a Chicco seat he once used. As far as crast test ratings for car seats, where do you find that data? I know some older recaro seats had some issues.
 

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Originally Posted By: dareo
We use the new Roadster car seats, 20lbs not 30+, however they are almost comically large. I find the build quality to be excellent and my boy agrees that it is far more comfortable than a Chicco seat he once used. As far as crash test ratings for car seats, where do you find that data? I know some older recaro seats had some issues.
One Britax weighted 27lbs. Lord have mercy for that one. I think the install was even a bit tricky which made the weight worse. NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and maybe a few other places. Then they had the big recall. This was also the time I was in the car-seat market, so it me a bit more upfront in my mind. I just was not touching their products after dragging their feet. For smaller kids (<2) , they were fine but larger kids and the CR test (greater forces). The new ones might be better... but it is a trust thing if you drag out a recall when there was a real issue, especially with child products. http://www.techtimes.com/articles/86627/...-resistance.htm http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/...ride-child-seat
 
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Originally Posted By: FutureDoc
One Britax weighted 27lbs. Lord have mercy for that one. I think the install was even a bit tricky which made the weight worse.
We have two Britax Boulevard ClickTight seats that are in that weight range. They are solid and actually easy to install using seatbelts. But you would not want to haul them around. That's why for airline/car rental travel we ended up buying another much lighter car seat. BTW, kudos to you for making a rear-facing seat work in a 2-door coupe. I don't think I'd be willing to sign up for that. smile
 
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It's too bad about the shifting and clutch quality. It's good to hear that you are getting along with a fun car though. At some point it will be a bit of a pain, but if you plan for it you can survive without hauling 100 cuft of air everywhere. You'll be Ok for the first bike size but after that you'll probably need a rack of some sort, unless you can fold one side of the rear seat down? I do like with our cars they haul the same amount of stuff so it doesn't matter who picks up the kids from whatever activity with their bikes or toboggans, but I could also put up with some hassle to drive a sporty rwd manual car too.
 

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We don't get that vehicle in Oz, but a great review nonetheless. Your son is obviously well past the "baby" stage, how long does he need to be in a rear facing seat? After the kids hit 6 months here, they can go forward facing.
 
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I have a 2010 Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track Edition with around 155k miles on her now. Only thing I've had to replace aside from general wear and tear items was that $8 door switch that drops the window when you open the door. I do have a few comments about the Genesis for you, though. 1. The stock Potenza RE050 tires grip amazingly but have a god awful treadwear rating and are summer tires only. They wear out so fast you basically spend more on the tires than you do in gas per mile. I recommend the Pilot Sport AS3+ (#1 ranked) and the Continental DWS 06's (#2 or 3 I think) because they both have great treadwear ratings (500 and 560) and are all seasons. If you have the 19" wheels you can do 245/35/19 up front and 275/35/19 in the back as that's what I've been running on mine for the last 4 years. 2. Some 20mm wheel spacers will work wonders for the stance of that thing. I have 20/25 on mine but wouldn't mind 20/20's. 3. Yes, the clutch system with the dual mass flywheel sucks. It is difficult to drive smoothly. Easy to stall. Etc. However, I am somehow still on the OEM clutch at 155k and have no sign of it slipping, but I do plan on replacing it with a slightly upgraded aftermarket stage 1 clutch and slightly lighter weight flywheel for less than half the cost of the OEM clutch system in parts alone. I still stall the [censored] thing and I've been driving stickshifts for a while now. 4. The shifting gets a little more precise with an aftermarket transmission mount from Megan Racing. I've had one for the last 55k miles and it's a minor improvement worth getting. 5. The transmissions are known as the weak point in the Genesis. Do yourself a favor now and do a drain and refill of the gearbox with the appropriately rated Redline fluid. Or the correct Mitsubishi DiaQueen fluid - they've determined those are the two best for the transmission. I use the Redline and it shifts pretty smoothly, even got a gearbox oil analysis done on it and luckily it turned out a-ok. 6. The base brakes suck, but the OEM Brembos only got "meh" ratings as you would say because the OEM pads that come on the car are cut down and a horrible compound. When I got the car I thought Brembos would be better than they were until I changed the pads to EBC Redstuff pads and feel like I nearly doubled the braking force. The Brembos were not the problem, the awful OEM pads were. I also upgraded the lines to stainless as well. Don't be afraid to hit the redline with that thing once it is warmed up, mine has seen that almost daily for the past 4 1/2 years and the UOA's come back great at anywhere from about 6.5k-11k. Castrol Edge EP 5w20 seems to run the smoothest to me in that engine with better results than the Pennzoil Ultra, I'm about to get a UOA with M1 EP to see how it holds up compared to the Edge. There's a TSB for using non-OEM filters causing some knocking noise, it's old and probably no longer a valid issue but I still use the OEM ones. I also have a stage 1 ECU tune through Seoulful Racing (SFR) because the OEM clutch supposedly doesn't like anything above that, and the tune makes the car much more driveable with less lag, etc. Consider it. Also have an AEM cold air intake along with an Ark Performance exhaust. If you have any Genesis Coupe specific questions let me know, I've been learning for the past few years and have a decent bit of knowledge on them.
 

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Originally Posted By: hpb
We don't get that vehicle in Oz, but a great review nonetheless. Your son is obviously well past the "baby" stage, how long does he need to be in a rear facing seat? After the kids hit 6 months here, they can go forward facing.
Here it is 1 year minimum here but recommended to stay rear-facing for two years. "Mom" has demanded he stay rear-facing until two. The US is fairly "crazy" about some of their child safety (all informal). It is not that they mandate a lot, but rather if you "can", US perspective puts a lot of pressure on you to have a command center for a carseat, carry 500kg of baby-support materials, and have a giant vehicle. That is why my daycare spazzes out when I pick him up in the MR2. MR2 duty is only when something changes to our daycare pick-up routine and it is a nice day. Granted, I will be a goner in the MR2 if I am hit with something used to haul around baby stuff.
 

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Originally Posted By: IndyIan
It's too bad about the shifting and clutch quality. It's good to hear that you are getting along with a fun car though. At some point it will be a bit of a pain, but if you plan for it you can survive without hauling 100 cuft of air everywhere. You'll be Ok for the first bike size but after that you'll probably need a rack of some sort, unless you can fold one side of the rear seat down? I do like with our cars they haul the same amount of stuff so it doesn't matter who picks up the kids from whatever activity with their bikes or toboggans, but I could also put up with some hassle to drive a sporty rwd manual car too.
Rear seats fold down, but only as a whole piece. I can get the BOB running stroller in the trunk! I have done the running stroller, kid, dog, Mrs, and gear for a mountain trail run in that car... but we normally use her Outback for that. We still use the Outback for 95% of the trips, but we can pile into the Ginny for those weekend drives. Oh, no worries about the bikes. I am banned from bicycles... and anything else with two wheels. Too many trips to the ER (bicycle and motorcycle). I have had "big" crashes for both. It might apply to my boy as well. I am a runner so my gear tends to be less cumbersome. The trunk is a good size, but I think it is a conspiracy with automakers to make the trunk opening as small as possible to push crossovers onto folks. If it was a lift-back, I could get a 70" TV in there I think. As for the shifter... it was a known thing going in. Hyundai is not known for making a great gearboxes (and it shows) and I think that is one reason why the car was less well received. Still, it is not a "bad" shifter/gearbox, it just was not perfected. It is about 85% there. its a shame that Hyundai is taking a break from the production of the Coupe to move it to the luxury mark... we will see if they improve it. But hey, it is more fun concentrating on it in traffic. I still prefer they Hyundai's imprecise oddness to the Subaru WRX gearbox oddly enough. While the Subaru is definitely the better gearbox, it is a bit bland and rubbery (Says the MR2 owner) That imperfect shifter is character. I know I am the crazy one for thinking that but flaws of vehicles car part of what makes them great too. It is not a gearbox that makes you feel like a great driver, it reminds you that you need to work to be average.
 

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Originally Posted By: Lethal1ty17
I have a 2010 Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track Edition with around 155k miles on her now. Only thing I've had to replace aside from general wear and tear items was that $8 door switch that drops the window when you open the door. I do have a few comments about the Genesis for you, though. 1. The stock Potenza RE050 tires grip amazingly but have a god awful treadwear rating and are summer tires only. They wear out so fast you basically spend more on the tires than you do in gas per mile. I recommend the Pilot Sport AS3+ (#1 ranked) and the Continental DWS 06's (#2 or 3 I think) because they both have great treadwear ratings (500 and 560) and are all seasons. If you have the 19" wheels you can do 245/35/19 up front and 275/35/19 in the back as that's what I've been running on mine for the last 4 years. 2. Some 20mm wheel spacers will work wonders for the stance of that thing. I have 20/25 on mine but wouldn't mind 20/20's. 3. Yes, the clutch system with the dual mass flywheel sucks. It is difficult to drive smoothly. Easy to stall. Etc. However, I am somehow still on the OEM clutch at 155k and have no sign of it slipping, but I do plan on replacing it with a slightly upgraded aftermarket stage 1 clutch and slightly lighter weight flywheel for less than half the cost of the OEM clutch system in parts alone. I still stall the [censored] thing and I've been driving stickshifts for a while now. 4. The shifting gets a little more precise with an aftermarket transmission mount from Megan Racing. I've had one for the last 55k miles and it's a minor improvement worth getting. 5. The transmissions are known as the weak point in the Genesis. Do yourself a favor now and do a drain and refill of the gearbox with the appropriately rated Redline fluid. Or the correct Mitsubishi DiaQueen fluid - they've determined those are the two best for the transmission. I use the Redline and it shifts pretty smoothly, even got a gearbox oil analysis done on it and luckily it turned out a-ok. 6. The base brakes suck, but the OEM Brembos only got "meh" ratings as you would say because the OEM pads that come on the car are cut down and a horrible compound. When I got the car I thought Brembos would be better than they were until I changed the pads to EBC Redstuff pads and feel like I nearly doubled the braking force. The Brembos were not the problem, the awful OEM pads were. I also upgraded the lines to stainless as well. Don't be afraid to hit the redline with that thing once it is warmed up, mine has seen that almost daily for the past 4 1/2 years and the UOA's come back great at anywhere from about 6.5k-11k. Castrol Edge EP 5w20 seems to run the smoothest to me in that engine with better results than the Pennzoil Ultra, I'm about to get a UOA with M1 EP to see how it holds up compared to the Edge. There's a TSB for using non-OEM filters causing some knocking noise, it's old and probably no longer a valid issue but I still use the OEM ones. I also have a stage 1 ECU tune through Seoulful Racing (SFR) because the OEM clutch supposedly doesn't like anything above that, and the tune makes the car much more driveable with less lag, etc. Consider it. Also have an AEM cold air intake along with an Ark Performance exhaust. If you have any Genesis Coupe specific questions let me know, I've been learning for the past few years and have a decent bit of knowledge on them.
Thanks Leathal! Glad to get the feedback. Oh, it gets redlined plenty after warm-up. Michelins PS A/S3 are going on the car in about a year, before next winter. Keeping it all-season because it is my "winter" car. AVL has a fair amount of rain and cold rain in the winter with the snow/ice issues. While I need the winter tires for the snow, I need the all seasons for the cold rain. The rain makes it difficult even for winter tires here. The MR2 is the summer and dry-day vehicle... and AutoX toy so A/S 3 will be fine. I am on the fence about increase the front tire/wheel size and going with a wider tire. My problem there is that I like the stock wheels. I am using it more as a GT car so keeping the ride comfort a priority (for now). I am keeping the suspension mostly stock... and actually went with base trim with the 18" wheels for that reason over the R-Spec. My plans are 1) tires, 2) brakes, 3)stiffer sway bars. It is already fairly ridged but sway/strut upgrades would be good for the size of vehicle. I have been considering a canned tune but I am happy with the current level of power (granted the GDi Lambda RS II is a bit sharper). On the fence. Going from 138bhp momentum vehicle to 348bhp is already enough for me to be in a bit of trouble. I have fewer places around here to put the power down as it is. Plus, I have to make sure that the goodies go to the MR2 as well. The brakes are a weak-point in base form. The compound is is the weak-link there. I am fighting the urge not to buy hawk pads for the stock brake ... just hold out when I replace them completely. If/when I decide to track, the consensus that I read was that the R-Spec Brembos were still not quite adequate and that upgrading from them to something more robust was not a bad idea. If it is going to cost a few grand to get the OEM Brembos (I will by new) then might as well can spend a little more for the "real" things. Confession:I am a bit of a shifting nerd. The unfriendliness was a weird part of the car's appeal, I know that is not what a lot of folks look for. I drove home yesterday without using the clutch (save for going into first)... just for fun. I used to do that a lot when living in DC low-speed traffic going from 2nd/3rd/2nd/1st/2nd etc. Just matching the engine speed and having a good test-of-skill. When learning to drive stick, my father took me to 7-11 for a big gulp first in a car without cupholders. Old 240Z/280Zs had a heavy clutch for the size of vehicle. Sadistic. I have gotten to the point that I am 94-95% smooth (smooth as in I can have a cup brimmed on the dash and it not slosh out) and I really have a noticeable shift if I start spacing out. It took a bit before I was finally not worried about stalling. Mountains help. Granted, I am weak "heel-toe" shifter and the Ginny does not help. Big feet (size 14) with dress shoes make it so I roll my foot than "heel-toe" in an imprecise manner. [censored]-toe double-clutch is downright bad..... meh, don't practice enough. It will get a tranny fluid swap at around 20-30K, so that is a apart of the plan.
 
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I understand the all-season tires part, I had summer tires on it when I had to deal with a winter in Kentucky in 2012-2013 and not only was it a death trap for a lack of grip but it also got stuck in a flat area in my yard. To fit big brakes on it, you'll probably have to increase that wheel size. But I'm not sure why anyone would need more than the stock Brembo brakes with some good compound pads and stainless lines - it took me about 30 minutes of messing around on country roads to get them to the full point of fading - they're pretty robust. But to each their own. The canned tune makes them more drivable with a minor power upgrade. The improved drivability part is mostly what I wanted anyways, it's worth it. Also, improve the shifting with a new transmission mount because the OEM one is laughably squishy. The shifter bushings - though I don't have them - should help as well as I've heard good things and they're less than $40. As far as the gear oil, here's the UOA of mine with Redline.
 

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Thanks for the info! The Ginny is still not as bad in the winter as the MR2 on summer tires. It was fine in SC but not up the mountains.
 
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