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2019 Genesis G70 outperforms its sister Stinger at every turn

Since it emerged as its own brand under the Hyundai Motor Company umbrella, Genesis Motors has been producing outstanding vehicles that compete with their luxury rivals head on. With the G90 luxury large sedan and G80 luxury midsize sedan already on sale, the automaker rolled a luxury small sedan, the G70, off the line and onto dealer lots throughout the U.S. this autumn.

The Genesis G70 and Kia Stinger share a platform, engine lineup, eight-speed automatic transmission, and adaptive suspension system. However, they drive very differently, each with its own personality. The G70, unlike the Stinger, doesn’t feel like a misplaced one-off trying to justify its own existence. It’s a complete car ready to find a buyer who loves the open road.

On the outside, the Genesis is statelier than the Stinger. It’s not as flashy nor does it have the design flourishes that make the Kia stand out, despite being nonfunctional. The exterior of the G70 is right on brand.

The Genesis G70 RWD 2.0T Sport tested for this review had an MSRP of $45,895 ($34,900 base price). To the standard equipment, Genesis added the Elite ($3,00), Prestige ($3,000), Dynamic ($1,000), and Sport $1,000) Packages. Destination and delivery added $995.

The Genesis model tested is one of the lower grades Genesis offers in its G70 lineup. It’s powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that achieves 252 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The power is more than sufficient, and the transmission delivers smooth shifts.

Buyers can opt for the available 3.3-liter V6 engine that provides much more power- 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, in higher grades. They can also get an electronically controlled sport suspension.

Despite being about the same size as the Stinger, the G70 drives smaller. Its turning radius is better, it scoots through neighborhoods and parking lots, and welcomes tight turns on curvy roads. The model isn’t as quick to squirm off the start like the Stinger is though they both have rear-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is available) and it delivers a more connected drive experience.

While the Stinger takes a page from the sleek and stylish designer’s guide to interiors, the G70 steals its aesthetic from the Hyundai playbook. Neither dashboard and console area is particularly attractive, but they’re definitely upgrades from their Kia and Hyundai counterparts.

The G70 shares a responsive and easy-to-navigate infotainment interface with Kia and Genesis models. A sleeker looking design would be warranted across Genesis model lines like Lincoln did with the Navigator redesign to help differentiate its components from Ford’s.

Seating is comfortable for the driver and front passenger. Rear seats are a tighter fit with average sized adults and larger likely feeling squished due to tight legroom. That’s typical for the G70’s class of vehicle.

Genesis should sell the heck out of the G70. It’s an excellent car that is priced right. Even in a buying market where sedan sales are down as a whole, it makes a strong case as a starter luxury sedan, competing directly with the rapidly ageing Acura ILX, American millennials’ bestselling entry level luxury car model, and handedly beating it in every area except price.

To make the G70 successful, Genesis needs to address its dealer network problems. Too few dealers sell the company’s cars. They also sell alongside the much cheaper Hyundai and Kia models, something that doesn’t endear itself to customers when the dealer experience is compared to the luxury experience other automakers offer. If they can nail down that experience as they broaden the Genesis lineup, the company truly has a chance at survival.