Genesis is now firmly established as a luxury marque, with three sedans to choose from. This fall, its first SUV arrives, giving the brand the volume vehicle it needs. Within a few more years, the Genesis lineup should number six distinct models, including an electric vehicle.
We recently drove the G70, the smallest of the three sedans and the one we see as probably the strongest threat to established European players such as the BMW 4 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
2020 Genesis G70 Review
The 2020 Genesis G70 starts at $35,450, plus a $995 freight charge. It comes with standard rear-wheel drive and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Models equipped with the available turbocharged V6 engine and all-wheel drive cost $46,650. For 2019, one year after its introduction, the G70 is unchanged except for equipment shuffling.
Genesis is finding its way in the luxury sphere just fine, thank you very much. There is a connection between all three sedans, but each one utilizes unique grilles and LED accent lighting touches. Still, the overall look is stately, with sporty highlights quickly evident.
Our test 3.3T supplied the best blend of luxury and sportiness with its elegant lighting, long wheelbase, short overhangs, boomerang side vent trim, and red Brembo brake calipers that punctuate the 19-inch sport wheels set within summer tires. Otherwise, the standard features include 18-inch wheels, twin-tipped exhaust tips, heated side mirrors, and an automatic opening trunk.
It is a stretch to say the G70 seats five people, but it is common to offer seatbelts for a handful of passengers in this class. Nevertheless, the G70 offers excellent seating for two with supportive and comfortable seats up front and a bench seat in the rear. Rear legroom is very tight, especially when the front seats are pushed back. Ideally, those seats will hold two youngsters – if you need room for four or five adults, the G80 is the far better choice.
One thing we’re thankful is that the bolstering for the G70 isn’t overwrought – it is just right. On the sport trim the driver’s seat features power side bolsters, which allows for the customization you want. That’s preferable over seats with hard, inflexible bolsters (here’s looking at you Recaro) that offer a take it or leave it proposition.
Opt for the available Prestige package and the quilted leather seats will impress. The red contrast stitching on the black leather is especially fetching. The metal-covered pedals add sportiness. Overall, the interior is inviting, sporty, and sophisticated. We like that Genesis did important things such as tilting the instruments panel and center stack toward the driver. It renders a small cockpit vibe and that’s something we like.
The 2020 G70 comes with a decent roster of driver-assist safety features. The standard features include high beam assist, forward collision avoidance assistance with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic warning, and smart cruise control with full stop and go.
Two available features worth considering are the surround-view monitor and the heads-up display. The first one utilizes four cameras to expand the driver’s viewpoint significantly while also rendering a bird’s eyes view for ease of parking. The second one simply takes the important driver information, including speed, navigation, and safety alerts, and projects that into a full-color display on the windshield.
We’re impressed with the tech offerings accompanying the 2020 G70. For starters, it comes with a 6-speaker audio system with satellite radio and HD Radio, an 8-inch touch-screen display, Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility, and two USB ports. The standard features should satisfy the majority of shoppers.
That said, the upgrades are noteworthy and include a 15-speaker Lexicon audio system, a wireless charging pad, and navigation. The only missing ingredient is a 110-volt power outlet.
Genesis supplies two engine choices with the 2020 G70, beginning with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The second choice is a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine with 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Both work with an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and rev-matching.
Of special note is that the transmission is a “shift-by-wire” arrangement. That means there are no mechanical parts connecting the transmission to the wheels. Instead, the computer signals each shift point.
What about a manual transmission? Is one offered? Happily, that answer is yes, although it is only offered with the base engine and represents a $3,500 add on. This feature, though, should gladden the heart of enthusiasts as it also includes a limited-slip differential. We’re happy it is still offered as key competitors, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz, no longer offer three-pedal fun.
Upgrading to the V6 brings in a few performance extras, including a sport-tuned suspension, a Brembo performance braking system, and a limited-slip differential. Our rear-wheel-drive tester came with the V6 and its special performance benefits.
The G70 V6 supplies excellent step-off acceleration and ample passing power. The twin-turbo arrangement means quick spooling with inconsequential lagtime. This was the second time in as many years we’ve driven a G70 with the engine upgrade and continue to enjoy all its advantages, including its sub-5-second 0-60 mph time.
We found the steering feedback precise, with improvements realized through its various drive modes. This sedan manages very well and strikes a near-perfect balance between ride and handling. You’ll attack corners with ease and pull out with confidence. The beefy Brembo brakes bring this sedan to a quick stop.
We also realized the G70 matches the BMW 3/4 Series in every driving department – it is tossable, fun to drive, and fast. We doubt the standard engine is a slouch. That it still offers a manual gearbox option is reason to seriously consider that particular powertrain.
The entry-level sedan market remains a strong one with nearly every player represented. Beyond the BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, this class offers the Cadillac CT4, Jaguar XE, Volvo S60, Audi A4, Lincoln MKZ, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50, and the Acura ILX. The G70 shares its mechanical underpinnings with the Kia Stinger, but its in-house competitor isn’t a luxury model.
We could tell you to get the standard model with rear-wheel drive (and opt for the manual gearbox if so inclined) and call it a day. That said, it’s kind of hard to overlook the 3.3T and all the power it brings to bear.
To make things easier on you, choose the standard model if a car such as the BMW 330i is on your list. Otherwise, if you’re considering a BMW M4 coupe or convertible (sorry, there is no M3 sedan), then the 3.3T makes sense.
2020 Genesis G70 Specifications
|Price Range||$35,450 to $44,650|
|Engine No. 1||2.0-liter, I4|
|Horsepower||252 @ 6,200 rpm|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||260 @ 1,400 rpm|
|Engine No. 2||3.3-liter, twin-turbo V6|
|Horsepower||365 @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||376 @ 1,300 rpm|
|Curb Weight (pounds)||3,673|
|Headroom (f,r…inches)||39.7, 36.9|
|Legroom (f,r…inches)||42.6, 34.8|
|Shoulder room (f,r…inches)||56.3, 54.6|
|Hip room (f,r…inches)||NR|
|Storage (cubic feet)||10.5|
|Gross vehicle weight (pounds)||NR|
|Fuel Tank (gallons)||15.8|
|EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined)||22/30/25 (I4)|
|Manufacturing Plant||Ulsan, South Korea|
Data compiled by Tom Keegan. Specifications supplied by the manufacturer.
See Also — About the 2019 Genesis G70