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Recently Driven

2020 Genesis G70

By: Ron Corbett, APA Staff Writer    

Photos by: John Raymond  

The bright chromed grille is a feature of the Prestige trim. The rectangular panel at the top centre of the grille contains sensors for the active safety equipment  

History
The Hyundai Genesis morphed into the first Genesis branded car, the G80. Following the luxury class G90, the compact G70, meant to compete with high-volume compact luxury cars like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, is the third model released by Genesis. There is little new for the G70 in 2020, except that the luxury-oriented Prestige trim can now be twinned with the turbo V6.  

Pleasant shape is highlighted by massive wheels and nicely rendered bright trim for the door handles, window surrounds and the superfluous boomerang-shaped trim accent on the front fenders 

Model Mix
Two turbocharged engines, a 252 horsepower 2L four and a 3.3L-V6 with 365 horsepower, are offered. While most G70s will funnel torque to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, traditional driving enthusiasts can opt for rear wheel drive model powered by the 2L four hooked exclusively to a six-speed manual, a rare combination in this segment. Genesis notes up to seven percent of buyers opt for the rear-wheel drive model. 

 Vehicle tested  2020 Genesis G70 Prestige 3.3t
 Body style  Four-door sedan
 Engine  3.3L V6 turbo (365 horsepower)
 Transmission  Eight-speed automatic
 Drive system  All-wheel drive
 Price as tested  $56,000
 Observed fuel economy  11.3L/100 km (on premium fuel)

Mechanical
Our G70 Prestige test car featured the V6 and all-wheel drive.

Styling
The six-corner grill that fronts all Genesis cars finds pride of place on the G70. The grille and other exterior trim on the Prestige model bears a traditional bright finish versus the dark chrome embellishments on the sport-themed models. The front end is completed by slim-line headlamps and some jagged openings at the lower extremities of the front fascia bearing fog-light nacelles and air intakes. Other than the purely decorative boomerang-shaped gills on the front fenders, the G70 is, if not visually arresting, a neat enough styling job. The exterior reflects excellent panel fit and a lustrous paint job.
 

 

The conservatively-styled cabin is fashioned from sumptuous materials

Interior
The G70's cabin is elegant and sumptuously outfitted. Our Nappa leather-swathed Prestige model possessed quilted, perforated centre seat panels flanked with plain leather bolsters accented by contrasting piping. The ivory seats and door accent panels contrasted beautifully against the black trim elsewhere in the cabin but might be hard to keep clean. The driver faces crisp instrumentation and the controls for the climate and audio systems are straightforward and easy to live with. The front seats, which locate well but don’t pinch, are very comfortable. Legroom is ample up front but headroom is tight and the very wide centre console intrudes on the space available for the front seat passenger. The rear bench seat is substantial and supportive, but legroom is very tight, and there is little room for your feet under the front seats. The rear seat of the G70 is the tightest of the mainstream cars in its class and its space constraints will be a deal breaker for those who need a true four seater car.

The G70’s cargo hold has enough space for most prospective buyers.

The Lexicon-branded 15 speaker audio system delivers an impressive audio experience. 

The rear seat is substantial and supportive but legroom is tight, as is space for feet under the front seats

Performance
The acceleration delivered by the G70's 365 horsepower turbocharged 3.3L V6 is breathtaking and passing power feels relentless. Cultured, precision sounds emit from the V6 under normal driving and it takes on a polished snarl when pushed hard. While the sophisticated small-capacity engines in many luxury cars deliver impressive performance, few of them deliver a great soundtrack and the stirring sounds produced by the Genesis V6 really makes buyers feel like they got what they paid for.

The eight-speed automatic transmission goes unnoticed until the driver commands a downshift, at which time it responds obediently. Unless slippery conditions are detected, the G70’s sophisticated all-wheel drive system defaults to a 100 percent rear-wheel drive bias, enhancing the sporty feel of the car.

Steering is precise, quick and communicative. On our V6 test car the crisp, neutral handling, aided by the gigantic 19 inch wheels and low-profile tires was complimented by a compliant ride, free of any road shocks. Compared with the more performance-oriented Sport trim, the more cosseting ride characteristics of the Prestige model don’t come at the expense of handling precision.

With Smart, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Custom settings, the Driver Mode Control system can accommodate the tastes and/or whims of most drivers and really does offer altered performance parameters discernable to the driver.

The Brembo-branded brakes of the G70 Prestige arrest progress with authority and feel great doing so.

With a forward collision warning, including pedestrians, autonomous emergency braking, driver awareness and blind spot warnings, a lane keep assist system and adaptive cruise control with stop and go, the G70 Prestige features a wide variety of active safety system which all work as intended.

Like most current vehicles, outward vision is not a high point of the G70. Large door mirrors, a comprehensive 360 degree camera system and blind spot monitors meld together to help balance out the limited visibility.

Pricing
While the cheapest G70, the 2.0T Advanced all-wheel drive, is priced at $42,000, our G70 3.3T all-wheel drive Prestige test car topped out at $56,000. Genesis cars are sold either online or from a limited number of boutiques in high-prestige locations. The cars are sold on a fixed-price basis with no haggling and all maintenance, including a service loaner and car pick-up and drop-off, are included. Genesis cars in Canada come with a comprehensive five year/100,000 kilometre warranty. The G70 is an excellent lease value for 2020.

Reliability
While no long-term reliability data is available for this comparatively new model, reliability should be above average at least for the warranty period. Durability problems with many current Hyundai engines leave long term engine reliability a potential weak point.

The exhaust tips are neatly integrated into the rear styling of the Genesis G70

Summary
While not a head turner, the G70 is a reasonably elegant spin on what a contemporary sports-luxury sedan should look like. The cabin, where most owners spend their time, more than makes up to for the exterior. It is elegant and rigorously assembled from high-quality components. Those up front are well-catered for, but rear seat legroom is tight, tighter than all competitors save the Alfa-Romeo Giulia, and could be a deal breaker for buyers who regularly carry adults in the back seat

Where the G70 V6 Prestige shines is on the road. The 3.3L turbo V6 delivers unrestrained energy combined with a soundtrack that can either sooth or intoxicate, depending how eager the driver is to make progress. The more compliant suspension of the G70 3.3t Prestige delivers confident road manners with a more cosseting ride than the 3.3t Sport model, with little loss inhandling crispness. A G70 V6 Sport easily vanquished the Audi A4, Infiniti Q50 Red Sport and a Mercedes C-Class in a group vehicle test in 2018 and the car is still a world beater today.