2020 Genesis G70 Review – Agent of Change
It’s clear that Genesis is on a roll at this time, its first SUV reaping rave reviews, and an inferior – and much more striking – crossover set to accomplish exactly the same in the segment below. Easy, then, to forget where that punchy reputation arguably first started, in the form of the G70 sedan. Flag-bearer for the South Korean luxury marque’s eye-catching aesthetic, the G70 also neatly demonstrated that Genesis knew how exactly to dial in a sports sedan.
Fast forward to today, and the 2020 G70 RWD 2.0T isn’t quite so shocking. Genesis only has itself to be blamed for that, needless to say: the G90 refresh took unexpected risks and were left with a polarizing – but, to my eyes, thoroughly welcome – new design, a baton the 2021 G80 found and ran with convincingly.
In comparison to those bigger sedans, the G70’s once-striking proportions now feel a bit more comfortable. It’s a good-looking car, and even though features just like the oversized grille and bolder crease-lines aren’t uncommon in the segment now, Genesis arguably does a less controversial job of including them than, say, BMW manages using its outsized nostrils.
Genesis offers two engines with the G70, a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 dubbed the two 2.0T, and a 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 badged because the 3.3T. The former packs 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, the latter 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft; both could be had in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive form. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard, or you could have the G70 RWD 2.0T with a 6-speed manual.
Stick-shifts in this segment certainly are a rare bird, but sadly the G70’s manual isn’t one of the better. Better, then, to stick to the automatic and depend on the paddle-shifters. In my own RWD 2.0T test car, the 8-speed delivered the perfect balance of eagerness in sport mode and slush in comfort. There’s a period and a location for manuals, but it’s not here.
Although it will be the smaller of the engine options, the two 2.0-liter turbo is merely fine. Do you skip the extra grunt of the two 2.5T Genesis offers in the brand new G80? Yes, needless to say, however the smaller inline-4 is enough to defend myself against an entry-level 3 Series or C-Class. It defaults to “smooth and comfortable” instead of any other thing more aggressive, with the majority of the torque available showing itself in the midrange.
There’s no limited-slip diff that Genesis offers on the 3.3T Sport Package, nevertheless, you don’t really miss it. Genesis’ handling has been create so nicely, and its own steering is indeed direct and sensible, the G70 encourages playfulness while simultaneously telegraphing its limits. The typical brakes lack the fetching red glint of the Brembo upgrades, however they execute a perfectly reasonable job of shedding speed.
Among Genesis’ big boasts has been the worthiness proposition. As standard, the G70 includes leatherette seats, a 12-way power driver seat and 8-way power passenger seat, a leather wrapped tyre, dual automatic HVAC, an 8-inch infotainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, three USB ports, and a hands-free trunk. The $4,600 Elite package adds full LED headlights, an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, parking sensors, a sunroof, power mirrors and tyre, heated front seats, leather, and a Lexicon 15-speaker sound system.
My Prestige package (an additional $3,850) toting test car threw in a 360-degree camera, head-up display, wireless charging, nicer Nappa leather, heated tyre and rear seats, ventilated front seats, and 19-inch alloy wheels, plus a few other treats. Total price? $44,895, including $995 destination.
That’s mighty competitive for the segment, where Audi, BMW, and Mercedes will gladly lure you in making use of their A4, 3 Series, and C-Class respectively, and do their finest to load you through to extras before you leave the dealership. For how it’s come up with, Genesis does well, but doesn’t quite create a clean sweep.
Construction is strong, and there’s a lot of space up-front; middling rear seat legroom and a 10.5 cu-ft trunk – much smaller compared to the Germans manage – ensure it is worth calling shotgun. The dashboard generally looks good and contains a lot of physical controls, with an increase of buttons splayed over the tyre too. Unfortunately for the G70, Genesis’ other recent models show precisely what the automaker is with the capacity of.
Set alongside the serene graphics and sizable touchscreen on the G80, the G70’s smaller panel and UI cribbed from Hyundai feel underwhelming. Exactly the same applies to the 7-inch display sandwiched between your analog gauges: graphics from Genesis’ corporate parent simply don’t feel upscale enough.
You truly can’t argue with the gear list, though. Adaptive cruise control is standard, as are blind-spot warnings, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warnings and lane-assistance, and forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking. Genesis’ warranty will probably be worth a mention, too, at 5 years or 60,000 miles. If you’ve began to feel just like the Germans don’t value your custom, Genesis’ valet pickup and loaner service could restore that much-loved feeling.
The lingering question with the G70 is if the engine upgrade will probably be worth it. Pricing begins at around $36,000 for the two 2.0T, and spirals up around $10k for the 3.3T. You do, though, get extra cabin niceties combined with the stronger engine. There’s not a big success on economy: the two 2.0T is rated for 18 mpg in the town or 28 mpg on the road, as the 3.3T will come in at 17 mpg city or 26 mpg highway.
Personally, I’d say the 3.3T is really a more rewarding solution to bypass, and makes probably the most of the wonderful dynamics that Genesis has dialed in to the car. Even yet in entry-level spec, though, the G70’s good first impression holds strong, sufficient reason for the pleasantries of the comparatively affordable Elite and Prestige packages thrown in it’s a reminder that there’s still room for a wild-card on the list of luxe-sport sedans.