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2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe: Great Car; So-So Infotainment

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track: Telematics And Infotainment
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Hyundai Blue Link is a useful feature for drivers who want to know emergency services are within easy reach. Although the system isn't something we'd consider must-have, we do understand that parents, road warriors, and the elderly might be more interested in it. You can think of Blue Link as a fancier technology-based AAA membership that automatically steps in when you crash your vehicle, forwarding your coordinates to nearby emergency personnel. The pricing structure isn’t too bad if you stick to the Assurance package.

Stepping up to the Blue Link Essentials tier is another story entirely. The higher-end subscription promises a long list of features. But unless you plan on using all of them, it doesn’t seem worth $179 per year. Sure, remote control of the locks is fun, as is the ability to start the engine. They're novel features, though, unless you have a real problem remembering to lock your doors. The nanny features are intriguing, and yet we're still bothered by their privacy implications. Theft assist looks great on paper, though it's only a matter of time before car thieves catch on and start gutting communications features when they rip off a new ride. The social features are downright useless.

Although we didn't test Blue Link Guidance, due to the fact that our test mule already had integrated navigation, we'd recommend skipping the feature anyway, particularly if you have a smartphone with its own navigation software. Because you have to call into Blue Link to get directions, it'd take just as long.

At the end of the day, Blue Link is one of those features that you pay for if you consider its $80/year to be an affordable insurance of sorts. We can't really recommend Blue Link Essentials or Guidance, though, until Hyundai adds more utility to those pricier packages.

The company's infotainment system, designed in-house, is still in its infancy. It's a second-generation refresh that starts playing music and boots up quickly, but is still nagged by a couple of quirks. For instance, Hyundai could work on improving the time it takes to connect to smartphones. Also, playback from USB-based media could be enhanced with cover art and the ability to let drivers look at track information by default. Meanwhile, HD Radio and SiriusXM could use more presets. The car's navigation capabilities work very well. Its maps are up to date, and route computation is incredibly fast.

Hyundai also needs to work on the speed at which voice commands are processed. Currently, its solution is a lot slower than Kia's UVO or SYNC with MyFord Touch. In fact, it was easier for us to simply pull over and manually input navigation cues. Phone calls were handled a little more elegantly, but only because placing a call requires far fewer commands (two, at most).

As for the 2013 Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track itself, we loved it. Disregarding Hyundai's infotainment implementation, we had a blast driving the Genesis around. The naturally-aspirated V6 packs enough power to throw you back in your seat (which, incidentally, is both very comfortable and supportive). And its Brembo brakes slow it back down very effectively. The Genesis is a sporty vehicle, yet it's fairly quiet inside, and the car's suspension isn't stiff to the point where you feel like you're in a track car. 

Does Hyundai's reputation as a purveyor of low-cost automobiles keep you from considering its greater-than $30 000 sports coupe? If so, we'd recommend taking it out for a spin. We did, and our experience helped eliminate preconceived biases against the company. Kudos to Hyundai for making such a fantastic first-generation RWD sports coupe. Apply that same philosophy to polishing up your in-car infotainment and you'll have a great combination of mechanical and technological achievement.

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  • 9 Hide
    shahrooz , September 19, 2012 5:52 AM
    waiting for the Crysis guy
  • 0 Hide
    Nintendo Maniac 64 , September 19, 2012 6:15 AM
    I thought at first the car in the thumbnail was a Tesla Model S... I mean, it IS essentially a computer (runs Linux on dual Tegra 3s and all).

    Now THAT'S something Tom's should review. :p 
  • -2 Hide
    assasin32 , September 19, 2012 6:50 AM
    My stereo which is primitive by comparison has a far faster "boot up" time than any of these "infotainment" systems these cars have. It starts when I turn on the car there is mabey a 1sec delay and another 1sec if I decide to put in a cd as it has to start spinning it.

    And if you want the fancy features I still think an AUX connection from the stereo to the phone is the best bet. If its a smartphone you have the internet/mp3/pandora/gps and if you want an OBD2 scanner like Torque in case your car breaks down. And people usually upgrade these things once every few years and there will be no compatability issues using an AUX connection.
  • -4 Hide
    stellato12 , September 19, 2012 1:19 PM
    .....but can it play Crysis?
  • 0 Hide
    cknobman , September 19, 2012 1:36 PM
    Waiting for an STI version of the Subaru BRX or TRD version of the Scion FR-S. From most reviews I have read the Hyundai handles like a pig on the track and those Brembo brakes have issues after a few laps.
  • 2 Hide
    tuanies , September 19, 2012 2:00 PM
    Quote:
    I thought at first the car in the thumbnail was a Tesla Model S... I mean, it IS essentially a computer (runs Linux on dual Tegra 3s and all).

    Now THAT'S something Tom's should review. :p 


    We're trying to get one in for a week but considering how well they're selling it'll be a while.


    Quote:
    My stereo which is primitive by comparison has a far faster "boot up" time than any of these "infotainment" systems these cars have. It starts when I turn on the car there is mabey a 1sec delay and another 1sec if I decide to put in a cd as it has to start spinning it.

    And if you want the fancy features I still think an AUX connection from the stereo to the phone is the best bet. If its a smartphone you have the internet/mp3/pandora/gps and if you want an OBD2 scanner like Torque in case your car breaks down. And people usually upgrade these things once every few years and there will be no compatability issues using an AUX connection.


    They still have aux inputs. However, I have an article idea that'll appeal to smartphone users such as yourself - just waiting for the Windows Phone 8 launch to commence ;)  I'm open to any ideas you want to see covered though.

    Quote:
    .....but can it play Crysis?


    No but if you want to port Angry Birds or Duke Nukem 3D to QNX and find a way to get them loaded onto the infotainment system, go for it :p 

    Quote:
    Waiting for an STI version of the Subaru BRX or TRD version of the Scion FR-S. From most reviews I have read the Hyundai handles like a pig on the track and those Brembo brakes have issues after a few laps.


    You and i both. The Hyundai is a fun daily, but that extra weight doesn't help it around a track.

  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 19, 2012 2:13 PM
    What is this on Tom's again....?
  • 1 Hide
    travish82 , September 19, 2012 5:28 PM
    348 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque... WTF? I feel like I've been living under a rock. I guess this is what happens when you only buy used cars with cash. Suddenly Hyundias are freaking fast.
  • -4 Hide
    xsamitt , September 19, 2012 5:36 PM
    I come here for Commuters not cars.This site has really lost it.
  • -3 Hide
    xsamitt , September 19, 2012 5:37 PM
    Make that computers lol.
  • 2 Hide
    tuanies , September 19, 2012 5:45 PM
    Quote:
    Make that computers lol.


    We still have the same computer / tech coverage as before, but with cars becoming so technologically advanced with the equivalent of a smartphone built in, the two paths are crossing.
  • -5 Hide
    xsamitt , September 19, 2012 6:03 PM
    I get that I do but i am just about done with coming here...No offense intended.
    It's like Elvis leaving the building and thinking he's still here kinda deal.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , September 19, 2012 7:46 PM
    Nintendo Maniac 64I thought at first the car in the thumbnail was a Tesla Model S... I mean, it IS essentially a computer (runs Linux on dual Tegra 3s and all).Now THAT'S something Tom's should review.

    Tegra 3s, is that for infotainment or does it run the drivetrain and safety systems too? I guess I'll do some Googling

    EDIT: Looks like it is just the infotainment and instrument cluster (http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-57458212-48/nvidia-touts-its-place-in-the-tesla-model-s/). Curious what computers control the rest of the car.
  • 2 Hide
    tuanies , September 19, 2012 7:50 PM
    Quote:
    Tegra 3s, is that for infotainment or does it run the drivetrain and safety systems too? I guess I'll do some Googling


    I believe the entire system is based on Tegra 3, or at least T3 powers the gauges as well. Interesting tidbit I learned from NVIDIA - the Tesla Model S was designed with Tegra 2, but thanks to NVIDIA's VCM module, they just swapped it for T3 when it launched without having to make too many changes.
  • 0 Hide
    billyboy999 , September 19, 2012 9:11 PM
    cknobmanWaiting for an STI version of the Subaru BRX or TRD version of the Scion FR-S. From most reviews I have read the Hyundai handles like a pig on the track and those Brembo brakes have issues after a few laps.

    It's not as bad as they say. A dude in a Genesis kept up with my STi and my friends' M3 and Evo X on the track. Then again he could have been a better driver and made up the difference in performance.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 19, 2012 9:19 PM
    Hmm, Tom's Hardware doing a review on automobile technology...interesting
  • -2 Hide
    ahnilated , September 19, 2012 9:31 PM
    Hmm... now we are reviewing cars? The computer environment must really be slowing down.
  • 1 Hide
    XZaapryca , September 19, 2012 11:53 PM
    assasin32My stereo which is primitive by comparison has a far faster "boot up" time than any of these "infotainment" systems these cars have. It starts when I turn on the car there is mabey a 1sec delay and another 1sec if I decide to put in a cd as it has to start spinning it.And if you want the fancy features I still think an AUX connection from the stereo to the phone is the best bet. If its a smartphone you have the internet/mp3/pandora/gps and if you want an OBD2 scanner like Torque in case your car breaks down. And people usually upgrade these things once every few years and there will be no compatability issues using an AUX connection.
    Makes it hard to use steering wheel controls. Fiddling with your phone while driving is pretty bad. I know a guy who thinks he good at it. He's not.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , September 20, 2012 3:32 AM
    It's kind of funny how it takes a while to boot up the infotainment system. Looking at the benchmarks it seems slow and I can't help but point out that the processors used are probably $30 or less in cost (Smart phone/Tablet ARM chips) and so they could jump to a better processor for more performance without too much of a price hike. That or make the software better take advantage of all cores while booting up and ensure that the onboard SSD isn't a big bottleneck.

    OR, I don't know, suspend to flash or sleep (keep LPDDR active)? Why does the infotainment system have to boot up every time the car is on?
  • 0 Hide
    tuanies , September 20, 2012 1:53 PM
    Quote:
    It's kind of funny how it takes a while to boot up the infotainment system. Looking at the benchmarks it seems slow and I can't help but point out that the processors used are probably $30 or less in cost (Smart phone/Tablet ARM chips) and so they could jump to a better processor for more performance without too much of a price hike. That or make the software better take advantage of all cores while booting up and ensure that the onboard SSD isn't a big bottleneck.

    OR, I don't know, suspend to flash or sleep (keep LPDDR active)? Why does the infotainment system have to boot up every time the car is on?


    Most of the cars have a preboot procedure they go through when the proximity key is detection / the driver opens the door, which doesn't make the boot-up time too noticeable. They can't go to sleep due to battery life concerns. Even at the minimal amounts of power, the system would still drain power from the battery and the car companies have to think about long-time parking.

    As for the hardware equation, automotive technology is about 5-years behind. The companies have to plan and source all the components during the development cycle, which is typically 5 years prior to the vehicle release, hence why it can't always have the latest and greatest.
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