Genesis G70 2020 review: 3.3T Ultimate Sport
Welcome to the genesis of Hyundai’s premium brand, Genesis. Today we present the G70, South Korea’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 sedans.
Needless to say, Genesis has a tough task ahead of it, looking to succeed where Nissan’s premium brand Infiniti failed.
That said, the G70 has some strong underpinnings, sharing lots of its oily bits with the Kia Stinger, a rear-wheel drive sedan that’s genuinely good fun to drive, even if it hasn’t lit up the sales charts.
So, has Genesis impressed on debut with its all-important G70? We put the mid-sizer to the test in 3.3T Ultimate Sport form to find out.
Is there anything interesting about its design? 8/10
To my eyes, the G70 looks good … damn good. But, as always, styling is subjective.
The 3.3T Ultimate Sport, as its name suggest, is sporty to look at. Up front, its large mesh grille impresses, while the headlights are suitably angry. Add angular air intakes and you have one tough-looking customer.
Heavily creased bodywork is not limited to the bonnet, with the side profile’s character line sweeping from one blistered wheelarch to the other. There’s also the 3.3T Ultimate Sport’s black five-spoke alloy wheels with red brake callipers tucked behind. Yes, please.
The rear end might be the most subtle angle, but it still has a chunky boot lid, smoked tail-lights and a prominent diffuser element with integrated dual oval exhaust tailpipes. Dark chrome trim tastefully rounds out the exterior masterclass.
Inside, the G70 continues to impress, especially in 3.3T Ultimate Sport guise, which has black quilted nappa leather upholstery with red stitching throughout.
Yep, that includes the seats, armrests and door inserts, while the headliner is of the sensuous suede variety.
In fact, the materials used in general are great. The dashboard and door shoulders are topped with a lovely soft-touch plastic, and the former gets in on the red-stitching action. Even the hard plastics used in the lower sections look and feel premium.
Thankfully, gloss-black trim is limited to the central air-vent surrounds, with aluminum thoughtfully used elsewhere, helping to brighten up what would otherwise be a dark cabin.
Technology-wise, an 8.0-inch touchscreen ‘floats’ on top of the dashboard and is powered by Hyundai’s now-familiar multimedia system, which gets the job done better than most.
The instrument cluster is a combination of digital and traditional analogue, with a handy 7.0-inch multi-function display flanked by a tachometer and a speedometer. And there’s even a windshield-projected 8.0-inch head-up display for those that way inclined.
How practical is the space inside? 7/10
Measuring 4685mm long, 1850mm wide, and 1400mm tall, the G70 is a mid-size sedan in the truest sense of the term.
Simply put, it’s cozy. Those in the front will have no problem with this fact, given it’s a comfortable place to be, but those in the back will be confronting some hard truths.
Behind my 184cm driving position, more than five centimeters (two inches) of legroom is available, which is good. What isn’t, though, is toe-room, which is non-existent, while just a couple of cm of headroom is available.
The rear bench can, of course, alloc three occupants, but if they’re adults, they won’t be pleased, even on short journeys.
With launch control engaged, the 3.3T Ultimate Spory sprints from a standstill to 100km / h in an impressive 4.7 seconds while on the way to a top speed of 270km / h.
Those looking to save more than $ 10,000 can instead opt for one of the G70’d 2.0T variants, which use a 179kW / 353Nm 2.0-liter turbo-petrol four-cylinder unit. They’re 1.2s slower to triple digits and have a terminal velocity that’s 30km / h lower.
How much fuel does it consume? 8/10
The 3.3T Ultimate Sport’s combined fuel consumption on the combined-cycle test (ADR 81/02) is 10.2 liters per 100 kilometers, with its 60L fuel tank taking 95RON petrol at minimum.
In our real-world testing, we nearly matched that claim with a 10.7L / 100km return. This result is even more impressive, because our week-long test included an even balance of city and highway driving, some of which was ‘spirited’.
For reference, increasing carbon dioxide emissions are 238 grams per kilometer.
What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating? 9/10
ANCAP awarded the entire G70 range a maximum five-star safety rating in 2018.
Advanced driver-assist systems in the 3.3T Ultimate Sport extend to autonomous emergency braking (with pedestrian detection, lane-keep and steering assist), blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control (with stop and go functionality) , a manual speed limiter, high-beam assist, driver attention alert, hill-start assist, tire pressure monitoring, surround-view cameras and front and rear parking sensors.
Other standard safety equipment includes seven airbags (dual front, side and curtain plus driver’s knee), electronic stability and traction control systems and anti-lock brakes (ABS), brake assist and electronic brake force distribution (EBD), among others.
Yep, there’s very little missing here.
What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?
As with all Genesis models, the G70 comes with a class-leading five-year / unlimited-kilometer factory warranty and five years of roadside assistance included.
Service intervals for the 3.3T Ultimate Sport are every 12 months or 10,000km, whichever comes first. While the latter is below the 15,000km standard, the really good news for buyers is servicing is free for the first five years or 50,000km.
Genesis will even collect vehicles from homes or workplaces, provide loan cars for the duration, and ultimately return serviced vehicles to their owners.
What’s it like to drive? 8/10
Again, the G70 is pretty good. Class-leading? No, but it’s not far off.
The 3.3T Ultimate Sport is undoubtedly heavy through the corners, with a kerb weight of 1762kg. But, in combination with a low center of gravity, it is composed at the same time.
You’d be forgiven for thinking this composure doesn’t come easily given the engine under the bonnet. Yep, the twin-turbo V6 is nothing short of frantic when you stick the right boot in.
Maximum torque kicks in just above idle and holds throughout the mid-range, at which point you’re 1500rpm away from a fleeting moment of peak power before the redline stops play.
The addictive acceleration that ensues is partly helped by the torque-converter automatic transmission, which works through its eight gears smoothly, if not super-quickly.
Engage the ‘Sport’ drive mode, though, and the performance ante is upped, with throttle response becoming even sharper and shift patterns more aggressive – perfect for a blast here and there.
Our only regret is the accompanying soundtrack, which is rather vanilla. Indeed, the 3.3T Ultimate Sport lacks the smile-inducing crackles and pops it rivals deliver. It’s almost like Genesis didn’t try here.