2019 Genesis G70 Review

2019 Genesis G70 - Punching well above it's weight, the new G70 proves that Genesis is for real.


The G70 is an all-new midsize luxury sedan from Genesis, the luxury division of Hyundai. It rides a shortened version of the Kia Stinger platform. The G70 is available with 4- or 6-cylinder power and comes with rear- or all-wheel drive. Competitors include Alfa Romeo Giulia, Acura TLX, Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, Cadillac ATS, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XE, Lexus IS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Volvo S60.

Two models of the G70 are offered with pricing ranging from $34,900 to $43,759: 2.0T and 3.3T. Appropriately, the 2.0T comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 252 horsepower. The 3.3T model gets a twin turbo V6 that makes 365 horsepower. Both engines come standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission that has a manual shift mode and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Available with the 2.0T engine is a 6-speed manual. Rear-wheel drive is standard across the board with all-wheel drive being optional on all but the 2.0T manual.

Safety systems include forward-collision warning and emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning and a driver awareness warning system that's designed to detect drowsy or distracted driving. Available performance features include launch control, dynamic torque vectoring in the all-wheel-drive system and a mechanical limited-slip differential.

The turbocharged 4-cylinder engine provides solid, if somewhat uninspired, acceleration. For most, it's 0 to 60 MPH time of 7 seconds is more than appropriate. Those wanting more power can step up to the lusty twin-turbo V6. It provides outstanding acceleration and a 0 to 60 MPH time of less than 5 seconds. Both engines mate nicely to the slick-shifting 8-speed automatic.

As is the case with most rear-drive sport sedans, buyers in northern climates should be prepared to fit all-season or, better yet, snow tires in the winter. Opting for all-wheel drive provides a little more all-season traction, but it cannot make up for the poor cold-weather performance of touring tires that come standard on most G70 models.

Fuel economy can be a plus, especially on rear-drive 2.0T models, which get an EPA rating of 22 MPG city and 30 MPG highway when equipped with the automatic transmission. The 3.3-liter V6 nets EPA numbers of 18 MPG city and 25 MPG highway when fitted with all-wheel drive. Both engines require premium-grade gasoline for best performance. In routine suburban commuting it is possible to average close to 25 MPG overall if you are gentle with the throttle. Step into the gas or get stuck in rush hour and you'll likely see 20 or 21 MPG overall.

Despite being an all-new offering from Genesis, the G70 has a refined athleticism that's often proclaimed but rarely achieved by competitors in this class. Others may offer superior ultimate road holding, but few achieve the delicate balance struck by the G70's sophisticated suspension and poised manners. The suspension is firm but forgiving and provides an excellent feel for drivers looking to press hard into corners. Steering is quick and accurate. Brakes provide plenty of stopping power and have an easy-to-modulate pedal. Road and wind noise are nicely hushed and both engines sound great when pushed to redline. Overall, the G70 delivers a premium ride with sports-car-like moves.

Inside the G70 sports a modern and clean interior that puts the focus on the driver. Materials are clearly a cut above the class norm and seem more than appropriate for the price. Drivers face a traditional twin-dial setup surrounding a programmable digital information screen. There's also an available head-up display. The center stack is topped by a large and easy-to-read touch screen display. Traditional dials and buttons for the radio and climate control are a nice touch. Android Auto and Apple Car Play support is standard.

Front seats are firmly bolstered and provide ample back and thigh support. Head and leg room are quite good, despite the car's tidy dimensions. Outward visibility is great. The rear seats, though inviting and nicely trimmed, are short of overall support. Cushions are thinly padded and head room is tight. In addition, there's scant knee and foot space if the front seats are more than half-way back.

With just 11 cubic feet of cargo space, the trunk isn't as large as some others in the class -- namely the Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series. Still, there's enough space for a week's worth of groceries or three or four large suitcases. The rear seat backs fold quickly, but not quite flat. Interior storage is good with lots of open and covered bins throughout.

Bottom Line -- Deftly blending sport and luxury, the G70 demonstrates the true potential at Genesis. With prices starting in the mid-to-high $30s it is hard to find a better value in the class. Positives include the powerful twin-turbo V6, sophisticated road manners and top-notch interior design. Negatives are few and limited to rear-seat room/comfort and overall cargo capacity. Overall, it's hard to find a better blend of performance, luxury and refinement in the class.

Mark Bilek

Mark Bilek is the Senior Director of Communications and Technology for the Chicago Auto Trade Association and the General Manager for DriveChicago.com. He is also responsible for developing and maintaining the Chicago Auto Show Web site.

Mark has been reviewing vehicles for more than two decades. Previously, he was associate publisher at Consumer Guide, where he oversaw publication of Consumer Guide Car & Truck Test, Consumer Guide's Used Car Book, and ConsumerGuide.com. He was also responsible for publication of "Collectible Automobile" and various hardcover automotive titles. In 2001 and 2002 he served as president of a Midwest Automotive Media Association. Mark has appeared on NBC TV, ABC TV, Fox News, WGN and MotorTrend TV as an automotive consultant. He hosts the Drive Chicago radio show on WLS 890 AM and was a regular guest on WGN Radio's Steve & Johnnie show. Mark lives in the northwest suburbs with his wife and three sons.