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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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