Monthly Archives: April 2009

Hyundai Santa Fe and Veracruz Named 2009 ‘Best Bets’ BY

Two Hyundai crossovers recognized for safety, reliability and fuel efficiency by top automotive website

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 04/06/2009 The Hyundai Veracruz and Hyundai Santa Fe were named 2009 “Best Bets” in the SUV and Crossover category by, the leading destination for online car shoppers.

“Both the Hyundai Veracruz and Santa Fe are exactly what value car buyers are looking for,” said Mike Hanley, an editor at “They offer stylish features, quiet cabins, leading safety features and are backed by the best warranty in the industry. These are vehicles our editors would love to drive.”

To qualify as a “Best Bet,” models must meet three quantified criteria: a “Good” rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests; average or higher reliability ratings; and average or higher gas mileage within their class.

“It’s an honor to have editors recognize the Veracruz and Santa Fe on their list of vehicles to buy in 2009,” said Scott Margason, director, Product & Strategic Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “Both of these models offer industry-leading safety technologies, top-tier quality and a host of luxury and convenience features that offer more value to today’s car shopper than our competitors.”


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.

CARS.COM is the leading destination for online car shoppers, offering credible, easy-to-understand information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. With comprehensive pricing information, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and a large selection of new- and used-car inventory, puts millions of car buyers in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions.

2009 Hyundai Genesis 4.6: The Power Of Tau

DAMASCUS, Md. — “Gee, it is real quiet in here,” was my thought as I first tooled down the interstate in Genesis.

Simultaneously two other thoughts emerged. “How fast am I going,” and “Oh boy!” The new Genesis is so swift and so refined that I no idea that I was well beyond the posted limit. Fortunately, those friendly folk with the radar guns were not around for what would have been a most embarrassing and costly experience. Drivers: set the cruise control!

The bottom line here is that for the first V-8 (known as Tau) and first rear-drive vehicle that Hyundai has produced, the Genesis is one heck of a car, with a couple asterisks that we will get to in a bit.

Under the hood was the 4.6-liter, 375 horsepower V-8, good for 333 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 RPM. Only when really pressed will the engine make its presence known, and then it is a good growl. Those not wanting a V-8 can opt for the 3.8-liter, 290-horsepower V-6 and save a few bucks without losing much in performance.

The V-8 is smooth out on the highway and is EPA rated at 17-25 miles per gallon. In city, country, and interstate travel, I got 22 mpg. For the best performance, Hyundai recommends premium fuel for the 8, and regular unleaded for the 6.

The 8 will scoot the 4,012-pound sedan to 60 in under 6 seconds, aided by a responsive 6-speed automatic that can be manually shifted by moving the husky center console- mounted shifter to the right. In its literature on the Genesis, Hyundai calls it a sport sedan. Then it should have paddle shifts, something that is not available.

The suspension is another issue. For the large majority of those attracted to the Genesis, they will be happy with the ride. Those who enjoy driving will quickly find that Hyundai calibrated the suspension on the soft side, with too many up and down floating motions if you hustle along over less than very smooth roads. Dampening is the problem. You can bet your next candy bar on the fact that the upcoming Genesis coupe will have a stiffer suspension.

Yet, given the soft suspension, the car hung in there better than expected on country roads, helped by very good grip from the 235/50R18 tires.

Inside, the Genesis was full luxury. Exposed stitching on the dash was a nice touch, with lots of soft surfaces. The instruments were easy to read and controls came readily to hand. Yet the seats, like the suspension, were on the soft side, and a bit of added firmness with more side support would make them more suitable for long days behind the tilt and telescoping wheel.


The center console also housed Hyundai’s answer to the BMW i-drive, and it’s much easier to learn. Buttons to the right of a large silver knob select what you want to listen to, while those on the right control the navigation system. The Lexicon audio system cranked out some good sounds and the total feel of the interior was one that was well upscale of the price. I loved the fact that on satellite radio, for instance, one could simply turn the knob one notch to channel surf.

Things remained serene inside even with the sunroof open.

Interior fit and finish were first class.

Real adults, two of them, could fit quite comfortably in the back seat and the trunk will haul home a fair amount of stuff with 16 cubic feet at your disposal through a very low and wide opening.

With the $4,000 technology package, our top-of-the-line Genesis sold for $42,000, including $750 for freight. That tech package included the upgraded audio system, navi system, a good rear backup camera, and front and rear sensors that triggered beeps when I parked the car. Fortunately, this system was easy to turn off.

If that price is too much, Hyundai quotes $33,000 for the base model with the 6-cylinder engine, and that includes a fair amount of standard equipment.

I think if Hyundai were to firm up the suspension and the seats, this would be a perfect car. Even without that, fit, finish, a solid build, and good power were among the reasons why Genesis became the North American Car of the Year. In the words of that old Smith Barney TV pitchman, “They earned it.”

Ron Amadon

Hyundai gets detailed with the Genesis Coupe

Hyundai released details of its upcoming Genesis Coupe this morning (via Webcast). Not exactly the best kept secret in automotive news, the Genesis Coupe is related to the Genesis Sedan in the loosest way possible, sharing very few components such as the 3.8-liter V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission.

Hyundai used the Infiniti G37s Coupe, the Mazda RX-8, and the BMW 335i coupe as benchmarks for the Genesis Coupe’s performance.

The Genesis Coupe will be available with a choice of two engines: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that builds 210 horsepower at 6,000rpm with 223 pound-feet of torque peaking at 2,000rpm, or the a meatier version of the 3.8-liter V-6, which in this configuration is rated at 306 horsepower at 6,300rpm (16 more ponies than the sedan) and 266 pound-feet of torque at 4,700rpm. Hyundai has published horsepower and torque numbers using 87 octane fuel and, like the Genesis Sedan, the engines make more power with higher-octane fuel, although Hyundai’s people couldn’t give an exact figure as of yet.

Transmitting power to the wheels are three transmission options: a five-speed Shiftronic automatic for the 2.0T; a six-speed Shiftronic automatic for the 3.8; and a six-speed manual option for both variants (with appropriate gearing for each engine). Interestingly, that six-speed ZF automatic tranny available on the V-6 coupe is one of only a few major components shared between the Genesis Coupe and Sedan.

Equipped with manual transmissions, the Genesis 2.0T reaches an estimated 20 city/29 highway mpg, with the 3.8 being estimated at 17 city/26 highway mpg. Swap in their respective automatic trannies and the numbers drop to 20 city/30 highway for the 2.0T and rise to 18 city/26 highway for the 3.8. If Hyundai’s estimates hold through EPA testing, the Genesis Coupe will be the most fuel efficient rear-wheel drive car this side of a diesel or a Smart fourtwo, barely nudging out the Lexus IS 250 and GS 450h.

The Genesis Coupe features staggered-width tires wrapped around 18-inch wheels. Keeping the rubber in contact with the road is a dual-link MacPherson strut setup up front, and a five-link independent rear suspension out back. And 12.6-inch disc brakes (12.4-inch rear) bring the Genesis to a halt.

Upgrade to the Track trim level to add a Torsen limited-slip differential and the Brembo brake package for a boost to 13.4-inch ventilated rotors (13-inch rear) with four-piston monoblock calipers. Also uprated in the track package are the spring rates (boosted 7 percent and 18 percent for front and rear, respectively), thicker stabilizer bars for front and rear, and larger 19-inch wheels.

Standard ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and electronic-stability and traction control will keep things in check if you run out of driving talent. If you want to do something stupid have some fun, there is a one-touch button to disable stability and traction control for competition driving; although we’re fairly certain that the system won’t actually turn off 100-percent.

Cabin tech
The Genesis Coupe has a pretty good amount of standard and optional cabin tech. Every Genesis Coupe will be equipped with Bluetooth hands-free calling, USB/iPod connectivity, and XM satellite radio. Also available as part of the 2.0T Premium or 3.8 Grand Touring trim levels is a proximity key system with push button start, fully automated climate controls and a 360-watt, 10-speaker Infinity premium audio system. It’s interesting that Hyundai didn’t use the fantastic Lexicon system utilized on its Genesis Sedan, but then again, the Coupe is a very different vehicle.

Navigation won’t be available for the Genesis Coupe at launch, but Hyundai says that it will add the option by this summer. Details are sparse, but the sedan features voice command and traffic, so we’re holding the Coupe to a high standard.

When equipped with navigation the Multi-Information Display (MID) at the top of the instrument panel displays a torque meter, instantaneous fuel economy, or the time.

The Genesis Coupe starts at $22,000 for the six-speed manual equipped 2.0T. Add $1,250 to have the car choose its own gears, another $2,250 for the Premium package with the Infinity stereo and the option to add navigation, and yet another $2,500 to add the Track package goodies. The $26,750 2.0T Track model is only available with the manually shifted gearbox.

V-6 enthusiasts get in on the ground floor with the Genesis Coupe 3.8 for $25,000 before adding $2,500 for the six-speed automatic, $2,500 for the Grand Touring package. The 3.8 Track model with the automatic transmission starts at $31,000.

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe will begin arriving at Hyundai dealerships in late March.

by Antuan Goodwin

Driven: 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

We had a chance to drive several Hyundai Genesis Coupes this week at Hyundai’s launch event outside of Las Vegas. Our summary: The Genesis Coupe is both intriguing and confusing; kind of like a girlfriend you probably had once (or have now).

The basic car is an all-new design, done with the attention to detail that we saw on the much-praised Genesis sedan. But don’t let the name fool you; the Genesis coupe is not a Genesis sedan without the rear doors. Genesis, in Hyundai-speak, indicates a rear wheel drive car with premium aspirations. You can almost see Genesis being a sub-brand at the top of the Hyundai line.

The Genesis Coupe is a short car (182 in. long) on a long wheelbase (111 in.). Two engines are offered, a 3.8-liter V-6 with 306 horsepower, and a 2.0-liter turbo four, with 210 horsepower. You might be tempted to write off the turbo, but remember that intriguing bit? Well, the 2.0-liter is related to the 4B11 engine used in the much loved Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart and Evo X. The intriguing part is what Hyundai calls “scalable power potential”. Basically, tuners can increase the turbo boost level for more power and torque.

Hyundai also offers different packages with each engine. Essentially the three packages are Base, Premium/Grand Touring and Track. The Premium level gets you some luxury features and the Track gets you a more responsive suspension along with a limited-slip differential, better brakes (Brembo), and bigger tires.

We started our driving with the 3.8 Track model ($30,250) with manual transmission. More intrigue. The interior finish of the Genesis Coupe is to a high standard. The design is pleasant and the materials are of high quality. You won’t confuse it with an Audi, but you won’t confuse it with a Hyundai either. The seats are very comfortable, and we quickly found a good driving position.

More importantly for the driver, the body structure feels very solid. Hyundai used the last generation (E46) BMW M3 as a benchmark and built the Genesis Coupe to have 24% more torsional rigidity. You can clearly feel this, which is a good thing because you can’t really modify a car to solve problems with a flexible chassis. The structure also pays dividends in terms of ride quality and quietness.

The 3.8-liter V-6 sounds great as you run it through the rev range. The torque curve feels pretty linear and torque is modest to begin with (266 pound-feet at 4700 rpm), so this engine feels ample but not amazing in a 3389-pound car. While the shifter feels solid, it has wide gates, which make it notchy. We also thought it was placed a tad too far back and to the right of the driver.

The suspension calibrations on the Track model are about what you’d expect for a sport suspension on other cars. In other words, if you mostly drive on the street, there is no reason to avoid the Track model. Highways around Las Vegas are pretty smooth, so we couldn’t fully assess ride quality, but the Track suspension seems moderately firm, with good compliance. The long wheelbase and stiff structure worked well on those highways. Stability is good at 80-90 mph, and in this setting the Genesis coupe feels a lot like luxury coupes at more than 2X the price.

Even on the street, the Genesis Coupe Track is clearly set up to understeer at the margin. You can feel the rear roll a bit more than the front, which is a telltale sign of an understeer bias. 55 percent of the weight in the Genesis Coupe is on the front tires, as well, supporting that tendency.

On the track the understeer was more evident. The 3.8-liter Track is fun on a track (sounds right), but that isn’t its natural habitat. The car is easy to control and is great for practicing good race habits because it punishes overdriving. The track environment also revealed that Hyundai’s traction and stability control system is pretty aggressive. Fortunately, you can switch it completely off.

Not fully satisfied with the 3.8-liter on the track, we jumped in a 2.0T Track model, again with manual shift ($26,750). Switching to the turbo four removes 95 pounds from the car and it removes it in the right place–off the front end. You instantly feel this as you dive into the first hard corner. The 2.0T feels more balanced and rotates more willingly. If you’re really hardcore, the 2.0T could use a stiffer set-up with bigger roll bars (especially in back). But for quick street driving, this is a well-calibrated suspension.

The intriguing and confusing limitation of the 2.0T Track is the engine. This may share DNA with a Mitsu 4B11 deep down inside, but Hyundai has tuned the turbo and ECU for a much smoother torque curve than Mitsu would ever dream of. The result is that the 2.0T seems to have just adequate power. On a short track it isn’t bad, but on the street it lacks the character and fun that we think it could show. As a point of comparison, the Genesis Coupe 2.0T engine delivers 210 horsepower, while the Lancer Ralliart version musters 237. When it comes to torque (a better indicator of what you feel on the street), the Hyundai makes just 223 pound-feet, while the Mitsubishi is good for 253. Those differences aren’t huge at a little over 10 percent, but you feel it even though the Lancer Ralliart is about 150 pounds heavier. You really feel it because of the artful, non-linear way Mitsubishi ramps the torque curve. On the other hand, Hyundai delivers the Genesis Coupe with a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

In our view, this leaves room for an uprated 2.0T version in the future. Hyundai may address that itself (the company knows that coupes need to be freshened regularly), but it also plans to let the tuner community pursue it. To that end, in the fall of this year, Hyundai will release a 2.0T R-Spec version. This has the Track model suspension, wheels, tires, Torsen LSD, and Brembo brakes. It deletes a bunch of small items (sunroof, xenon lights, power seat, Infinity audio, Bluetooth, Homelink, etc). And, instead of charging more for this basic performance model, Hyundai intelligently has taken $3000 off the MSRP, bringing the R-Spec in at $23,750. If you invest your $3000 savings in suspension and ECU upgrades, you could well have a very fun car. To make this really attractive, Hyundai needs to work with a few tuners to create a dealer-installed package that retains the factory warranty and which can be rolled into the financing for the car.

Walking away from a full day in these cars, we’d say that the Genesis Coupe has real potential. For our tastes the current lineup is too slanted toward middle-of-the-road smoothness and inoffensive behavior. This should go down well with first-car buyers, young women, and empty nester couples. But the basic car could eventually be tweaked to live up to the Track name, and tuners could do a lot with the basic elements on hand. We hope they do.

Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch