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2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
I drove a 2013 Genesis Coupe yesterday (6 speed manual), and I was very impressed. The interior fit and finish, IMHO, was very nice. The front seats were very comfortable (I am 5'11", 185lbs), the gauges were well placed (although I don't really care for turbo, oil, etc monitors in the center of the dash). I was not sure I would like a coupe again, but the exterior was attractive to me. The rear and side profile is quite nice (I actually do not like the spoiler and prefer the look of the 2.0 base with no spoiler). The front end is not perfect. Hyundai made some aggressive moves to attempt to give the Genesis coupe some distinguishable character. For that, I am glad they did not go too bland, but for some, they may have gone a little too far.
I digress. I had a great salesman and we went out for an extended (over 40 minutes) test drive. The salesman was very knowledgeable of the car and knew all the features, and specifications about the car. He knew what he was selling. It took me about 5 minutes to get used to the 6 speed manual in the Genesis Coupe (my current car is a 5 speed, and I have owned nothing but manual transmissions). It is not my favorite transmission I have driven as far as smoothness but I was getting used to it by the end of the test drive. The car handles quite well, better than I was expecting, and the 2013 has very nice acceleration and torque. I did feel that the turbo was a little delayed, but you could really feel it kick in between 30-50mph. The backseat is pretty limited, if you have someone that is 6' or taller, they would be very uncomfortable. I realized how I missed rear wheel drive, and the overall control I felt I had with the Hyundai. Little to no under-steer with the turbo. Very nice car, inside and out. Car turns sharp, and I practiced doing some tight corners, and parking in a tight spot. Also did a little slalom practice in an empty lot. I really did not want to stop driving this car and nearly drove it home....
After I drove the Hyundai, I headed down the street to drive a Ford Focus SE hatchback. It was about $4K cheaper (this one was pretty loaded), so let's be fair to the Focus (the Mustang would be closer competition). The Titanium Focus hatchback would be pretty close in price to the Genesis coupe.
I like the look of the new Ford Focus hatchback. Nice looking car. Inside is where I started to get disappointed. I was expecting better fit and finish. Seemed like a lot of cheap plastic. The controls and knobs felt cheaper. Overall, the Hyundai felt like a car that cost $10K more to me than $4K more. The seats were comfortable, and there was more headroom for passengers than the Genesis.
As far as driving impressions go.. Well it was a mixed bag for me. The Focus has a great 5 speed manual that is very smooth. I wish it was a 6 speed, but not a deal breaker. The car handles well. Did not notice any excessive body roll, and it corners and brakes very well. The concern I had was the engine. It is just lacking for me. My 2006 Mazda 3 (2.0 liter) just feels much quicker to me. I was noticeably let down because I really wanted to like the Focus as it has some very good things going for it. I also was not impressed with the salesman. He was having a hard time showing me all the MyTouch and other Sync features. The car was literally running on empty and we only drove for about 15 minutes before it nearly ran out of gas. I was just really letdown on the acceleration and some of the fit and finish. That said, the Focus is cheaper and gets about 4mpg better gas mileage than the Hyundai.
Today I am going to drive a Mazda Speed3 and a 2.0 liter Mazda Hatchback and compare. I am really leaning towards the Hyundai, but living in Minnesota, I like that the Speed3 is front wheel drive and that it has 4 doors.
Will post my thoughts, but I have to say Hyundai has a winner!