2019 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Prestige Review

A German in Korean clothing


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: Superb handling and steering, the kind of balletic balance BMWs long for, sublime interior, excellent infotainment tech, attractively styled, powerful engine, manual transmission available
Negatives: Rear legroom is on the lean side, trunk space is on the small side, V6 is automatic only.
Bottom Line: The first wholly new Genesis product knocks the sports sedan equation out of the park with great looks, stellar handling worthy of a BMW, and an interior that's truly special. Genesis has a winner on their hands, and the available manual thumbs its nose at the new 3-Series, which is automatic only.
Creating a new car from the ground up isn't easy work. Creating a great sports sedan from scratch is even harder, and it doesn't exactly make sense in the dominant world of the crossover. But the luxury arm of Hyundai did just that with the G70. Though it shares a platform with the excellent Kia Stinger, the G70 is the first brand new vehicle from Genesis, and it's going up against the likes of the legendary BMW 3-Series. We drove the G70 with the potent V6 engine in Prestige trim for a week to see how good the car is purported to be. Read on for the full review.
 

Driving Experience

9.4

 

Cars like the Audi A4 and the Alfa Romeo Giulia are sports sedans worthy of praise, and now the G70 can join the ranks. It was one of the most thrilling sports sedans we've driven in a long time, and that's a huge achievement for the brand and the model.

Ride Quality: The G70 strikes a great balance between sport and luxury. The firmness is properly dialed in so you don't feel isolated from the road, but it's still luxury-minded, handling pavement imperfections very well.

Acceleration: The 3.3-liter turbo V6 is perfectly powerful without going overboard, and the 8-speed automatic shifts quickly. 60 mph arrives in a quick 4.5 seconds. We'd love to try out the 6-speed manual when we get to test the four-cylinder turbo mill.

Braking: Brembos bring the G70 to a stop quickly, and the pedal feel is excellent.

Steering: The rack-mounted electrically-assisted steering is very good. Turn in is quick, and the steering precision is excellent. There's not much feedback, but it's better than the current BMW 3-Series.

Handling: The G70 exhibits some body roll, but the car is very balanced, and the shortened length compared to the Stinger pays off. It could use fatter rubber, especially when you push it in the turns.

Technology

9

 

Genesis is just like Hyundai when it comes to infotainment and in-car tech. Everything looks and works incredibly well. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are standard.

Infotainment System: The 8" screen is pretty standard in terms of size, but the G70 is great when it comes to an easy-to-use system. We would've like to have seen nicer graphics that befit a luxury vehicle, though, to make it look more upscale.

Controls: Genesis controls are all well laid-out, with buttons in linear, crisp format and with some of the best climate control knobs in the business. Steering wheel controls are similarly excellent.

Styling

8.9

 

More than the rest of the Genesis lineup, the G70 just looks handsome and not as derivative as the G80 and G90. Sure, it borrows some elements from the Germans, but it all looks very good and more cohesive than the other models.

Front: The creased hoodlines look great, and the big mesh shield grille is prominent, albeit unoriginal.

Rear: The taillights are very Mercedes, but still look great here. The wide stance and partial trunk spoiler give it presence from the back. Ovular exhaust tips are a nice touch, as well. The rear 3-quarter view is the best angle, of all.

Profile: It's well proportioned and not over-styled. We're still not sure about that chevron on the front quarter panel. It copies BMW, but it's a decent highlight.

Cabin: The cabin, especially with the diamond quilted leather seats, is marvelous. Materials quality is better than BMW and up there with Audi and Mercedes. It's a very well-executed cabin that looks properly upscale.

Comfort

8.8

 

We love just about everything in the cabin. From the front seats to the open feel, as well as the excellent ergonomics. Genesis paid a lot of attention to things in there, with one exception... the rear seat space.

Front Seats: Great support, cushioning, and adjustability. The leather also feels of very high quality.

Rear Seats: Comfortable seats without the commensurate legroom. The Stinger platform gets shortened, so it's no mystery what had to get cut.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): It's quiet and well-built. We didn't hear anything we weren't supposed to.

Visibility: Visibility is very good, and you can place the G70 wherever you want it thanks to good pillars, a sloping hoodline, and a good seating position.

Climate: Great response from the HVAC and the heated/cooled seats. The system blows plenty of air when needed, and the vents are well-sized.

Safety

9.5

 

The G70 can be proud of its status as one of the safest sedans on the road. It's also full of great standard and optional features that make it class-leading.

IIHS Rating: Top Safety Pick+in a near perfect scoring that netted "good" for all crash tests, "superior" for accident avoidance tech, and "marginal" in LATCH ease-of-use, which we actually didn't find all that difficult when we used it.

NHTSA Rating: The G70 earned the top score of five stars from the federal government in crash tests.

Standard Tech: There's a lot to love here, including Forward Collision Avoidance Assistance with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Collision Warning with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning, a Rearview Camera, and High Beam Assist

Optional Tech: Our upgrades included low beam assist, rain sensing wipers, Parking Distance Warning, and a convenient Surround View Monitor.

Storage/Cargo

6.7

 

Though there are some convenient spaces within the cabin, the trunk room is lacking. At least there's a convenient hands-free, auto-opening function in the trunk latch that recognizes your proximity key.

Storage Space: The center console has a nice cubby in front of the shift knob, and the armrest is well-sized, along with good door pockets.

Cargo Room: A small-ish 10.5 cubic feet in the back means limited space for golf bags or luggage. At least the back seat is 60/40 split folding to make more room.

Fuel Economy

6

 

We have yet to be wowed by Hyundai & Genesis efficiency, but we can't say we're surprised by the lack of it in the G70. Hell, theh damned things is a turbocharged V6 sports sedan. It's not supposed to be a miser.

Observed: 16.5 mpg

Distance Driven: 241 miles

Driving Factors: We drove in Sport mode the entire time and pushed the car on local roads and highways whenever we could. We were not conservative in our driving habits.

Audio

8.9

 

The Lexicon 15-Speaker Audio system with Quantum Logic Surround Sound is a fantastic system that's loud, clear, and distortion-free. Bass levels were great, and it's an excellent match for this upscale sedan. Did we mention it comes standard on the 3.3T Prestige? Nice.



Final Thoughts

So far this year, the G70 is the car that's impressed us the most, both as a sports sedan and as a new model. It combines great looks, a rich interior, premium tech, and truly exceptional driving manners. the fact that you can get it as a stick-shift is even more reason to love it. The Germans should be nervous because Genesis has achieved something truly worthy in such a short period of time. This is a car we would buy ourselves if we were in the market. It's shortcomings in the way of rear seat room and trunk space can be forgiven because it's just that fun and comfortable to drive on a daily basis.

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