Sunday, August 9, 2020

2019 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport Review


Last year I had the chance to review the Genesis G80. For those who are not familiar with the brand, it is Hyundai's attempt to capture the luxury car market. At the time, the most practical solution to quickly fill a premium lineup is to re-badge and redesign some of its existing models. The G80 was an example of that. The G70 on the other hand, is designed from ground up as a luxury performance sedan that sets the company's future direction.

I went to the media lunch event to test drive the new G70 last year. Genesis puts us in the G70 with former F1 drivers and technical instructors. They were able to push the G70 close to its limit and showcase how capable it is a a driving machine. I have to admit, I was blown away with the performance of the 2019 G70 on track.

Thanks to Genesis Canada, I finally had to chance to test drive the G70 and to see how it performs on the street.

Unlike its bigger siblings, the Genesis G70 looks much more aggressive while still preserves a sense of elegance. It is what the company calls Athletic Elegance. According to Genesis, it will be the road-map for all future vehicles.

From the front, the designers at Genesis use an array of real and fake intakes to make the G70 look muscular and sporty. Two distinctive linear LED DRLs on each side of the large crest grille gives the G70 a signature look that is cool and futuristic. I am expecting to this design trickle down to the entire lineup.

From the side, the long hood and short front overhang gives the G70 a poised stance. Sharp creases runs across the entire side profile for an elongated look. The dark multi-spoke alloy wheels is accompanied by dark chrome aero trims for a slick, yet subdue look.

In the rear, the LED rear combination lamps are stretched to the sculpted openings of the rear trunk, which is equipped with an integrated spoiler. The dual exhaust tips are embed in the dark grey lower bumper for a wide and dynamic look.

Overall, the G70 is a breathtaking from any angle. If it is how all future Genesis vehicles will look, I am all for it.

The interior of the G70 is slick, sophisticated, and driver-focused. The horizontal layout is angled slightly toward the driver, and the simple layout is elevated by high quality materials and excellent fit and finishes. Exceptional design details can been seen in the aluminum door handles, quilted leather door panels, metal speaker grills and premium soft touch surfaces. Quilted leather seats further add to the elegant interior. Both front seats are heated and vented. They are nicely padded yet provide great lateral support when you push the car in the corners. All switches are intuitively placed. You don't see many gimmicks in the front cabin, but everything appears functional, and nicely executed.

The back seats are not as supportive laterally. I learned that by sitting in the back of the car while an expert driver slides the car across corners. Further, the legroom and headroom in the rear cabin are somewhat limited. The raised floor in the middle makes fitting 3 people in the back almost impossible. The rear cabin is most suited for two passengers on a shorter, smoother ride. The good news is that there is a dedicated air vent, and a fold down center arm rest in the back.

Hyundai has always been great with their infotainment system, the Genesis is no exception. The 8.0" touchscreen display is sharp and glare resistant. The system response is snappy, and the layout is very simple to use. I also appreciate the redundant buttons that is neatly laid out under the air vent for easy access while the car is on the move. The information display located between the two dials in the instrument panel is clear, informative, and easy to control via the switchgear on the steering wheel.

As with most Hyundai vehicles I have test driven, the G70 has all the tech gears. There is a wireless charging pad and a USB charging port in the lower center console. The USB port provides both Apply Carplay and Android Auto connectivity. And the Lexicon 15-speaker system provides an audiophile-level acoustic experience.

Safety and Driver Assistance
Just like the G80 that I have reviewed, the G70 offers comprehensive levels of safety and driver aids. They include the followings for standard:

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW) with Lane Change Assist (LCA)
  • Rear Cross-traffic Collision Warning (RCCW)

And the followings for Advanced:

  • Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
  • Lane Keep Assist (LKA) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Forward Collision Avoidance-Assist (FCA-A) with Pedestrian Detection

It is expected to earn 5 star safety rating from NHTSA and Top Safety Pick+ from IIHS.

The G70 comes with either a turbocharged 3.3-liter gasoline V6 or a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline I4. My G70 Sport tester is equipped with the former that produces 365hp or power and 376 lb.ft. of torque. It is a fast car that propelled itself from 0-100km/h in just 4.7 seconds and can top 270km/h.

In regular city driving, I do find that there is a slight delay in power delivery while in Smart or Comfort mode. That delay is all but eliminated in sport mode. However, in this mode, the transmission tends to hold the gear for one or two seconds too long before up shift.

What really impresses me is the way the car handles. Thanks to Albert Biermann, the former VP of BMW's M division, the chassis, which is shared with Kia's Stinger, is super stiff, and the suspension is tuned perfectly to be soft enough for bumps and tight enough for sharp corners. Variable-ratio steering and electronically controlled suspension are standard for the G70 Sport to provide agile steering response and an optimal ride-handling balance. I rarely get the kind of confidence I felt in the G70 in another car from Asia.

On top of that, the ride is very quiet. Road and wind noises have been tamed so much that Genesis had to artificially augment the engine noise through the Active Sound Design (ASD) system. The only down side is that the 3.3T V6 is a bit thirsty. The combined city/highway mileage rating is at 10.9L/100km, but my heavy footed city test drive returned a 13.5L/100km average.

Cargo Space & Storage
While the 297L of cargo space is on the smaller side, the G70 still offers enough room for most daily demands. Folding down the 60/40 rear seats, you get more room for longer items. The opening to the rear cabin is quite restricted though.

In cabin storage option are average. Front door pockets are deep and large, but the rear door pockets can only fit a water bottle. The center console storage bin is decently sized, and the wireless charging pad provides a dedicated place for your smartphone.

The 2019 Genesis G70 proves to be as competent on track as on the street. It offers a complete package that is very hard to resist. The exterior is gorgeous, and the interior screams quality. The ride is comfortable and quiet, and the handling rivals its German counterparts. No wonder it won the 2019 Motor Trend Car of the Year, and the Detroit Auto Show 2019 Car of the Year award. If you are a car enthusiast that doesn't only care about the badge, than the G70 should be on the top of your buying list. I want one.

Test Vehicle
2019 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport
$57,500 CAD with Destination

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