Sub 30k Sports Car Showdown - GenesisCoupe3.8 vs WRX vs BRZ

Today I had the opportunity to drive the Genesis Coupe, WRX, and BRZ back to back to back. And by back to back to back I mean I literally stepped out of the Hyundai, took two steps to the WRX in the next stall, and after the WRX another two steps to the BRZ. I drove the same exact route for each car which included a windy freeway onramp and some twisty back roads.

 The first car I was handed the keys to was a Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 which was by far the most powerful car of the bunch with 348 peak horsepower. However, before we talk about power the first thing you notice about this car was the extremely tight steering. It might not be such a bad thing considering you are getting a bicep workout every time you drive the car but it almost felt a little awkward with how tight it was. The second thing I noticed was how heavy the car felt; it doesn't look it but this car weights 3,400 lbs. While it did remain flat and had a firm suspension every corner clearly felt like I was throwing around a lot of weight.

As a naturally aspirate car the torque was weak down low, almost comically so when you are flooring the pedal and getting very little acceleration. Peak torque doesn't arrive until 5300 rpm but from there the power comes on very linearly as we would expect from an NA engine until the redline of 6,700 rpm where the peak hp of 348 does put you in the back of your seat. The linear acceleration can cause one to perceive the car isn't pulling as hard as it actually is. Overall the Genesis seems to be getting you a lot for you money, if you can find me another car with 348 hp for 27k please point me to it.

The WRX was the next of the bunch and instantly I could feel the difference with the turbo and throttle response. In the WRX peak torque of 258 arrives at 2000 rpms so you can feel though pull of the engine in most gears while in the Hyundai you have a lot of power but it is in a very thin band of rpm. The WRX definitely felt more nimble and on its toes through tight corners but handling wasn't incredible. Even though the WRX is only about 100 lbs lighter than the Genesis it sure felt like a lot more, that is until I got into the BRZ…

The BRZ turned out to be my favorite of the bunch unexpectedly. It felt just about as fast as the WRX even though I know it isn't with its measly 200 hp but it felt much more like a sports car than the other two. It was clear this was a car you can throw into a corner and trust it to get you out. To put into perspective in the WRX and Hyundai I took the curved on ramp to the next freeway in the 60s vs 77 MPH in the BRZ.

In the end these are all great cars for your money that come with nice acceleration and handling as long as you remember what you are paying for them.