The all new Genesis G70 has been several years in the making. Genesis, the brand, rose from humble beginnings as a pair of premium Hyundai models, the mid-size Genesis and full-size Equus. With the US launch of the brand in 2016, the models were renamed the G80 and G90 respectively. We’ve greatly enjoyed our experiences in both cars, but we always knew a compact sedan was in development. And after our week-long test, we’re confident in naming it one of the best new cars of the year.
The G70 is available with a 2.0T four-cylinder or 3.3T V6 and either rear and all-wheel drivetrains. Surprisingly, the 2.0T RWD can be had with a six-speed manual transmission, but all other trims are paired exclusively with an 8-speed automatic. Rumors are that the 2.0T, and with it the manual transmission, could be replaced in the mid-cycle refresh, however. Our tester was an AWD 3.3T Presteige, putting it atop the model range as far as features go. However, a Sport trim does exist that includes unique 19″ wheels with performance summer tires, dark copper trim, and electronically controlled suspension. Our late Autumn test was cold and wet, so we were just fine with the 18″ wheels and all-season tires.
Wearing it’s Genesis grille well, the G70 is a smart looking sedan. The long hood and short overhangs are class cues of a sport sedan. In a stunning shade of Siberian White with LED lighting and elegant use of brightwork, the design is both youthful and understated. Inside, the cabin uses quality materials like brushed aluminum trim, stainless steel speaker grilles, and quilted Nappa leather seats. What isn’t metal or leather is wrapped in soft-touch material, resulting in an experience that is on par with the best of the Germans. Genesis does better, though, by dispelling with complicated infotainment interfaces. A simple stack of buttons and a bright, responsive touchscreen feel modern and intuitive. We can’t say that about anything coming from Germany or Japan these days. The cabin is bright with great ergonomics and visibility all around. It’s also surprisingly quiet, but we noticed the window seals had been greased to prevent noise.
Bury the throttle to unleash the 365 horsepower from the twin-turbo V6. The G70 pulls smoothly and effortlessly with no signs of letting up. It’s an engine we loved in the G80 Sport and Kia Stinger, and it feels right at home in the G70. We just wish it didn’t sound so artificial in the cabin. The chassis is shorter than the other two models, which results in tight rear seats and a shallow trunk. It feels smaller inside than the previous-gen German offerings, which could turn some people away. But behind the wheel, the G70 outshines any other platform that packs this 3.3T. The chassis is fantastic with a well-balanced suspension setup and direct, but light, steering. The G70 absorbs bumps and stays composed, but isn’t quite as crisp as we’d like. There’s a bit of roll and you can feel the AWD system trying to keep up when you start to push the pace. We haven’t had a chance to test the G70 Sport’s electronically controlled suspension, but we bet it tights things up.
Clean lines, a top-shelf interior, and one hell of a powertrain, the Genesis G70 is an all-around brilliant package. Priced competitively, it is a disrupting force in its class; one of the most surprising new cars of the year. The G70’s interior has its fair share of frills, but the quality and innovation don’t get in the way of the core features. Simple buttons and dials combined with a single touchscreen that works more like a cellphone and less like how-many-menus-deep-is-this-that-option puzzle is exactly how controls should be. Smooth linear power and a well-balanced platform combine comfort and control that really let you explore all 365 horsepower. Other than wishing we could have snagged a warm, dry-weather test of the G70 Sport, we couldn’t ask for much more.
|2019 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Prestige
|As Tested MSRP||$50,995|
Related: Quick Spin: 2018 Genesis G80 Sport