2020 Genesis G70
A year ago, the Genesis G70 earned some of the most important awards in the automotive business. As MotorTrend’s Car of The Year for 2019, as well as the reigning North American Car of The Year, all eyes were upon this compact sports sedan with its exuberant attitude and swagger.
This is the latest offering from Hyundai’s luxury car brand – a small sporty sedan aimed at one of the most competitive segments in the automotive world. Considering all of the offerings in its class, we wanted to put the 2020 Genesis G70 to the test to see if it truly stacks up with the biggest names in the luxury car world.
One thing that discriminating customers want to see from a compact sports sedan is whether it is distinctive enough from the competition. There are some design cues that are seen across the Genesis line that appear on the smaller G70 – the mesh-finished shield-like grille, and the antique brass/copper/dark chrome finishes on the trim. That is where the G70’s personality begins. It is a taut four-door body design that offers some lines and shapes that distinguishes it from all comers.
The roofline slopes to a sculptured rear end. The short rear decklid frames two taillight assemblies that drops down to the bumper for greater access to its 10.5 cubic feet trunk. We tried to stuff some luggage in the trunk to find that part of rear parcel shelf dug into the height of the cargo hold.
Our tester was the Sport model, which adds a set of black five-spoke 19-inch wheels and a set of red Brembo calipers to finish off the G70’s look. We like how aggressive the G70 looked overall with the competition in its sights.
Waiting for you inside is an elevated experience that combines the best from its parent company – Hyundai – with a specific Genesis touch. Instrumentation, readouts, and several controls clearly have Hyundai roots. That is not a bad thing in all. The controls and readouts are absolutely great to reach and use. Some other controls have a luxurious touch, including the dials for the climate control and on the center console. The infotainment screen sits on top of the center stack at a decent sightline to the driver.
Where you feel the Genesis difference is in the quilted perforated leather upholstery and the softer touches all around the cabin. Our Sport tester adds red stitching to the seats, dashboard, and door panels. There is a superior air of quality inside the G70.
Interior space is quite small for most drivers and passengers. Four average-sized adults could sit comfortably inside the G70, but that’s about it. Tall drivers will have to climb out of a small door opening. The Sport’s seats are heavily bolstered and contoured. In fact, the seats have a 16-way power adjustment, including the seatback bolsters.
When you sit behind the wheel of the Genesis G70, you are motivated by one of two engines. Standard is a 252-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Our tester came with the 365-horsepower 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6. The latter is a quick motor that no qualms about eating up miles at higher rates of speed. Though, we really do not recommend you do so…
Our twin-turbocharged V6 is connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel-drive. The shifts are equally quick, and the drive system does a great job keeping the G70 on the ground in typical winter weather. In turn, we observed an average of 21.9 MPG.
Where the Genesis G70 will win you over is in the way it handles. With five drive modes to choose from, Sport will give the driver the quickest of reflexes and the flattest of cornering. The penalty of being in Sport mode is a firm ride that has minimal give on rough surfaces. You can switch tom Comfort where the ride is improved, but the overall handling is dialed back a bit. The best compromise is to put the G70 into Smart mode. This setting gives you the best of everything – a complete balance to make your drive an exciting one.
In any mode, the steering is equally sharp and precise. In Sport and Smart modes, the on-center feel is direct and the feel is heavy. This is where the enthusiasts will thoroughly enjoy what the G70 will offer behind the wheel. Braking is good, though there is a bit of a hesitation if you’re touching the pedal lightly. A slightly harder touch will give the Brembo braking system a quicker response and superb stopping power.
The G70 lineup starts at $35,450 for a manual transmission model with rear-wheel-drive. Our all-wheel-drive Sport tester came with a sticker price of $53,245.
We mentioned before that the Genesis G70 competes in a tough segment among premium compact sports sedans. Its competitors include the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, Acura TLX, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, Jaguar XE, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Volvo S60, Lincoln MKZ, and the upcoming Cadillac CT5.
We can honestly say that the Genesis G70 is a worthy contender in a highly competitive segment. It earned its awards by showing that it can satisfy the discriminating enthusiast with a high level of quality and performance expected in a premium compact sports sedan. The pricing is not bad, either.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors