The New Kid Disrupts the Status Quo
Hyundai Motors is on a roll, and nowhere is that more evident than with the 2019 Genesis G70. The G70 is Genesis’ first mainstream model, priced at under $35,000 to start. The G70 isn’t shy in taking on the established players, like Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50 and others in the very competitive midsize four-door sport-luxury market.
What Is the Genesis G70?
It’s a sport-luxury four-door sedan that sits on a 111.6-inch wheelbase and is almost 185 inches long. Built on a platform shared with the Kia Stinger, it’s aimed at the established players with no regrets or compromises. Sport-luxury as we use the term is a premium passenger car with some performance attributes in power and handling.
There are no less than nine G70 trim models with choices in engine size, transmission and choice of RWD or AWD.
The base model G70 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 252 horsepower (hp) and 260 pounds-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque. It comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and choice of standard rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel-drive. An optional six-speed manual transmission is available on the rear-wheel-drive model.
While the four-banger turbo is a great value, the 3.3-liter 365-hp twin-turbo V6 is worth the extra money, especially with the optional Sports package. This trim includes adjustable suspension, bigger Brembo brakes and sticky summer tires.
The G70 2.0T has an EPA rating of 22 mpg city/30 highway, and the 3.3T AWD is rated at 18 city/25 highway. Our G70 3.3T RWD averaged 27.3 in combined driving.
The interior is much more upscale with all sorts of premium interior enhancements like full leather interior, heated and cooled seats, an impressive sound system and more.
How Does It Drive?
The 2019 Genesis G70 loaner I drove was the top-of-the-line RWD 3.3T Dynamic Edition that included the Sports package. It had a great feel to it, with superb handling and gobs of power. Even at 5,000 feet (we drove up to Yosemite National Park in California), the twin-turbos spun up quickly with no noticeable lag. With 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, the power was there when you needed it; all that was required was to bury the accelerator with your right foot, and in about 4.7 seconds you had barreled past 60 mph from a standing start. More important was the G70’s ability to get you from 40-to-95 mph in the blink of an eye. This power came in very handy when passing a line of slow-moving traffic in the mountains. The V6 has an augmented exhaust sound when you step on it that is quite entertaining. It’s reminiscent of a big V8 Mercedes’ deep and meaty roar, accentuating the fact that you are pinned back in your seat. Unfortunately, the sound is mostly synthetic, so those you are passing don’t hear you until you are way gone.
The suspension, ride, and handling are exquisitely balanced in the G70. The ride is firm and planted at speed, with a limited-slip differential that makes carving up corners on mountain roads enjoyable without dramatics. The G70 has five drive mode controls, including sport, eco, smart or custom mode based on the driver’s personal preferences. I found smart mode was the best for the driving situation, moving from comfort to sport depending on where my foot was on the accelerator and how winding the road was. The eight-speed automatic transmission was flawless and always seemed to be in the right gear for the situation. With the Sport Package, paddle shifters on the steering wheel came in handy. The Brembo brakes were firm with no fade and had a pedal feel that was progressive and responsive.
A Sports Sedan with a Luxury Interior
The 2019 Genesis G70’s interior is world-class, easily as good as, if not better than, those from Audi and Mercedes. The G70 I drove had very nicely fitted seats, black leather with red deviated stitching. The seats were power-adjustable in just about every dimension with a heated, power tilt-telescoping steering wheel that had memory settings for up to three drivers. Front seating was very good, but the rear seating was tight, best-suited for children.
There were two displays in the cockpit, one for the driver and the other for the infotainment system. While most of the G70’s controls were on the screens, there were also secondary physical buttons, instead of having to navigate through levels of menus. The G70’s controls were mostly intuitive and shared with other vehicles in the Hyundai and Kia product lines. All it took was a few miles behind the wheel to feel comfortable about finding all the controls. A Head-Up Display is optional.
The audio system featured a Lexicon 15-speaker system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard. The sound is augmented with QuantumLogic surround sound processing for a rich and deep sound, with great range that made any source a rich and immersive experience.
The G70 had all of the critical safety systems that are becoming pretty much standard these days, including blind spot monitoring, lane departure and lane keeping assist and automatic high-beam LED headlights. Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, forward collision warning and emergency braking are standard.
A Head-Turning Exterior
The overall styling of the 2019 Genesis G70 gives it a very European presence with a long hood, short overhangs and a dynamic looking roofline. Leading all of these design elements is the large and imposing Genesis “Crest Grille” highlighted with linear LED daytime-running lights. There are hints at design elements from the G70’s rivals, but in the end, the design is quite striking and unique to Genesis. While in Yosemite, admirers stopped to check it out, and give it two thumbs-up.
These are the more popular configurations of 2019 Genesis G70. Visit Genesis’ website for full specifications and pricing.
G70 2.0T RWD Advanced – $34,900
G70 2.0T AWD Advanced – $36,900
G702.0T RWD Sport M/T – $37,900
G70 3.3T RWD Advanced – $43,750
G70 3.3T Dynamic RWD – $48,750
G70 3.3T Dynamic Sport RWD – $50,250
G70 3.3T Dynamic Sport AWD – $52,250
Freight and handling for all models is $995.
The Genesis G70 is a significant vehicle and a disrupter to the status quo in the midsize sports-luxury vehicle market. Genesis is adopting a “take no prisoners” attitude as it expands its offerings and is being extremely successful. Just as Genesis has done with the G70, expect them to do the same with its upcoming SUV/CUVs and battery electric vehicles in the next year or two.
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