2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec Review

Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Holy crap, do I love this car. Now that that’s out of the way, we can start with the review. 🙂

As a systems consultant with Oracle, I have to drive. A lot. Between customer visits and the fact I live 60+ miles away from the office, it really takes a toll, both on the vehicle and my wallet. My primary mode of transportation up until a month ago was a 2008 Jeep JK, or “Wrangler” to you non-Jeep people. Although I love that vehicle more than anything, it rides like shit, is loud as shit, uncomfortable as shit, and gets shitty gas mileage. As great of a vehicle as it is, it’s just not the perfect daily driver, especially when you drive as much as I do. So, the hunt was on for another vehicle.

Lemme just say, I looked at and considered a lot of cars/trucks. Audi A4, Audi TT, Hyundai Veloster, used Dodge Magnum, Dodge Ram, Mercedes C-Class, Cadillac CTS, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger…and many, many more. When it came down to it, though, I went with the Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec. To me, it was THE perfect blend of looks, price, performance, mileage, comfort and exclusivity out there.


The 2012 Genesis Coupe is available with either a 210 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder or a 306 horsepower 3.8-liter V6 either mated to a 6-speed manual (my preference) or a 6-speed automatic in a multitude of trim levels.

2.0 I4

  • Base w/ manual – $22,250
  • Base w/ auto – $23,500
  • R-Spec w/ manual – $24,500
  • Premium w/ auto – $26,750

3.8 V6

  • R-Spec w/manual – $26,750
  • Track w/ manual – $30,750
  • Track w/ auto – $32,250
  • Grand Touring w/ auto – $29,750

For me, the only choice is the 3.8 R-Spec model. It offers all the performance goodies of the track, but looses heavy junk such as navigation, cruise control, and an ugly rear wing.


  • Horsepower – 306 @ 6300 RPM
  • Torque – 266 @ 4700 RPM
  • Transmission – 6-speed manual
  • Drivetrain – Rear-wheel drive
  • Brakes (front/rear) – Brembo 4-wheel disc brakes
  • Tires – (front/rear) – 225/40-19, 245/40-19
  • Fuel tank capacity – 17 gallons
  • EPA City – 17 MPG
  • EPA Highway – 26 MPG
  • Combined – 20 MPG
  • Misc. – 4 airbags, foglights, ABS brakes, stability control, traction control, torsen limited-slip differential, TPMS


The Genesis Coupe is the classic rear-wheel drive, front-engine coupe. It has a great road presence, and although I wouldn’t call it gorgeous, it’s very distinctive and sexy, in a slutty sort of way. The only part of the body I don’t like is the grill. It’s black and looks very, very cheap, especially considering how expensive the rest of the car looks. That, however, is something that an aftermarket mesh grill will easily fix.

To me, the whole car flows pretty nicely. Starting with the wrap around tail lights, through the widened stance over the rear wheels, to the hood and the headlights, everything comes together seamlessly. I’ve even had some people mistake it for an Infiniti G Coupe or a Nissan 370z (meh, I don’t think so).

Rear of Genesis Coupe

The huge 19” wheels – 225/40-19 up front, 245/40-19 in the rear – fill the wheel wells quite nicely and are a perfect size for this car (22” spinners need not apply).

19" Wheels w/ General G-Max Ultra High Performance All-Season Rubber

All in all, this is a great looking car. Hyundai did a great job with restraint and didn’t go overboard with scopes and wings. Nice job, Hyundai.


The interior in the Genesis Coupe is very tastefully done as well, if not just a wee bit drab. Again, just like the exterior, the door panels, dashboard, and seats flow very nicely as well.

I’d definitely give the seats an A+. They’re good looking, very supportive and comfy, even on long trips. You genuinely sit in the seats and not on them. They provide outstanding lateral support for tearing through corners without being too stiff and claustrophobic. In The R-Spec, the seats are black leather with a wide strip of contrasting red running down the middle (back and front).

Leather seats with contrasting red stitching and seat bottoms

The back seats are….well, there. I haven’t spent a lot of time in the back and don’t plan to. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t even stick a Michigan grad back there. The back seats are best left for groceries, toddlers, and dogs.

Because this is the R-Spec, a lot of  “comfy” items such as navigation and cruise control are not included, in the interest of saving weight. However, you still get items such as power windows and locks, AM/FM/XM radio with CD and iPod control, A/C,  and Bluetooth with streaming audio. The steering wheel will tilt, but doesn’t telescope.

All of the controls on the dash are big enough and easy to use. I liked how Hyundai decided to stick the radio LCD screen at the top of the dash. It does a great job at keeping your eyes up near the road. One bitch I do have, though, is the screen itself. At night it’s freakin’ bright. I’m talking “let me stick a blue spotlight in your face” bright. I’m glad Hyundai included a button to turn the screen of (while keeping the radio on), but why not include a dimmer? If I want to change the radio station (which I do quite frequently), I have to keep turning the screen on and off. Admittedly, it’s a minor annoyance, but I honestly can’t believe Hyundai would overlook this.

Speaking of the radio, the audio kinda blows. It’s plenty loud, I guess, but it could be a lot clearer. I’m contemplating replacing a couple of the speakers with a quality set from Memphis Audio or Kicker.


This car really kicks some serious ass. Although you’ll get the biggest smiles between 4000 and 5000 RPMs, overall it has a pretty flat power curve, and has plenty of grunt for stoplight drag racing. It just pulls through all the RPMs, and really never feels like it’s going to run out.

The shifter is nice, but it could be better. Although I love the short throws, it feels a tad rubbery, and I sometimes find myself missing shifts. I’d love a pistol grip-style shifter, ala Dodge Challenger. 🙂

The exhaust note is one of the best I’ve ever heard for a 6 cylinder. It has a nice growl at low RPMs, then turns into an amazing wail between 4000 and 5000 RPMs, then subdues at highway cruising speeds. I really have to commend Hyundai for getting such a lovely exhaust note without making it irritating on longer drives. Wonderful job.

The brakes are pretty outstanding as well. They’re big Brembos at all four corners and do a wonderful job of slowing the car down fast. In addition, they don’t seem to fad all that much with repeated stops.


I think the suspension is from heaven. I truly do. The ride is “tight” without being too stiff. Because I travel so much, I switched out the stock 19” Bridgestone Potenza summer tires for a set of “ultra high performance” all season General G-Max rubber. It made the ride that much better at soaking up bumps in the road, although I did lose a little bit of road feel. I was willing to do the trade-off for much longer tire life. In addition, you get an amazing torsen limited slip differential. That’s right, a posi rear end. 🙂


One word: WOW. The warranty on this car kicks ass.

  • 5-years/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper
  • 10 years/100,000 mile powertrain
  • 5 years/unlimited miles 24/7 roadside assistant


Although the V6 Genesis Coupe with a manual is rated at 18 MPG city/27 MPG highway, I routinely average between 28 and 31 MPG on the highway. I don’t mean every once in a while, I mean, like, almost all the time.


All in all, this is truly a wonderful car. There are a couple of mods I’ll end up doing soon, including a new grill and cold air intake, but that’s about it. If you’re looking for a comfortable, stylish coupe/sports car that won’t break the bank, the Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec would be a great choice. It’s fast, fun, handles “like it’s on rails”, and you won’t see one on every street corner.

Genesis Coupe Badge

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