Genesis G70 challenges luxury segment with value, refinement

The G70 sport sedan is the third of six new Genesis models to debut by 2021, and the final sedan of the lineup. The G70 is the first Genesis model in the highly competitive entry-level luxury segment. Metro News Service photo

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The G70 sport sedan is the third of six new Genesis models to debut by 2021, and the final sedan of the lineup. The G70 is the first Genesis model in the highly competitive entry-level luxury segment. Metro News Service photo

Hyundai is on a real roll. They’ve picked up steam during the last decade or so and haven’t lost that momentum. Then they carry that momentum into the luxury segment. And guess what? It worked. When Hyundai launched the Genesis luxury line, it was a move right out of the playbook of Toyota or Honda (Lexus and Acura, respectively).

Creating a luxury brand isn’t easy, but the timing was right for Hyundai and thus Genesis was born. And their first offerings were really good. Year by year, Genesis has made tweaks to the cars and also added a few vehicles to their product line. The G70 is the smallest of the Genesis vehicles but honestly, it doesn’t feel small, even when compared to the spacious and classy G90.

Where the G70 truly does separate itself is in its fine blend of distinction and luxury. It doesn’t look anything like a Hyundai and has its own refined personality. That’s quite an accomplishment in the luxury car segment where far too often vehicles are criticized for just being a glorified Toyota or an overpriced Honda. That criticism cannot be hurled at the G70.

The grille is absolutely classy. It’s not too big, but not too small, either, and the Genesis logo sits proudly atop. I kind of wish they would’ve resurrected the hood ornament for this as the G70 is a car that screams for one.

As much as I like the front end, the back end loses some personality and distinction. It still has a high-quality luxurious vibe to it, but just needs a little more pizzazz like the front end has.

Refinement continues beneath the hood, with a tame, controlled 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. It makes an adequate amount of power and torque, but it’s a little more refined than special. There is an optional V6 engine that makes 365 horsepower; for me, that would be ideal for this car and would truly make it memorable and exhilarating. But, to be clear, the 2.0-liter engine still manages to outperform its numbers with a quality, driver-focused performance.

The G70 is offered in both rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive. My tester was the RWD. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, but there is a manual transmission option, too, adding further appeal to some consumers.

Inside, the G70 becomes special and memorable. If you weren’t sure if this was a luxury vehicle, you will be after sitting inside this car. It’s soft, comfortable and quiet. There are plenty of accolades I could offer regarding the quality interior of the Genesis G70. It’s perhaps the best interior in the small luxury car segment – and that is a highly competitive segment, too.

The infotainment system is good and simple but lacks a wow factor. But, unlike some of its direct Asian competitors, at least it’s easy to use.

While the back seat is large with ample legroom and headroom, the downside is a trunk on the small side. There is only 10.5 cubic of cargo room in the trunk, which puts it near the bottom in this segment.

The G70 doesn’t offer “trims” per se, but rather various packages which include elite, prestige and sport. Base price of the RWD G70 with the 2.0 engine was $35,450. My tester came with both the elite and prestige packages which took the price up to $44,895. As is often the case, some of the features you really want are only available on the upcharge packages.

The smaller engine with rear-wheel drive offered the optimal fuel economy available for the G70. It has an EPA rating of 22 mpg/city and 30 mpg/highway. Getting to that 30-mpg plateau is important. Although in the week I spent with the G70, I only managed to get a little over 24 mpg.

Getting a top-of-the-segment luxury car can be pricey. And sometimes you’re only paying for a name. As the Genesis name isn’t nearly as established, you have to get what you pay for in other ways, and with the G70 you get tons of luxury, a refined ride and stunning aesthetics.

2020 GENESIS G70

  • Price/As-tested price………………………………………… $35,450/$44,895
  • Mileage…………………………………… 22 mpg/city; 30 mpg/hwy
  • Engine……………………………………… 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower…………………………… 252 hp/260 lbs.-ft.
  • Transmission…………………………… 8-speed automatic
  • Drive wheels……………. Rear-wheel drive
  • Final assembly point……………. Ulsan, Korea

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