The Genesis G70 is an impressive foot forward by Hyundai's luxury brand. It's elegant, fresh and athletic, earning praise and accolades from the automotive world far and wide. It won North American Car of the Year just months after the Genesis brand was listed atop the J.D. Power survey of overall initial quality. When I first drove the G70, I found it to be solid and enjoyable driving both on the road and at the track.
The Genesis G70 borrows a lot from the Kia Stinger, including a version of its platform and a pair of powertrains, though the 2.0T can be had with a manual transmission in the Genesis. I've had the opportunity to spend a good amount of time in Autoblog's long-term Kia Stinger GT1 AWD. When we got a Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T at the office, I finally had the opportunity to drive the two cars back to back. While the driving experience feels fairly similar — especially in the way they both put the V6's 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque to the ground through all four wheels via an eight-speed transmission — this more immediate comparison brought their differences into starker contrast.
The first thing that jumped out when I got in the G70 this time around was the supreme level of quality enjoyed in essentially every aspect of the Genesis. Its exterior design is striking in person. I've received a fair share of admiring comments in parking lots and gas stations with the Stinger, and I don't disagree that it's a hot-looking number, probably sportier looking than the smaller Genesis, even. But the G70 just does more to catch my eye and keep it there, from the big mesh grille, to its chrome accents and tidy but fit proportions. The Stinger's fastback profile is emotional, but the G70 is more elegant.
This is amplified inside the vehicle. As soon as you open the door to the Prestige version of the G70, you're treated to an interior full of beautiful quilted Nappa leather. There's more visual and literal texture throughout the cabin, and the materials feel higher in quality than the Kia's. Even the headliner in our tester was pleasing to the eyes and fingertips, thanks to the inclusion of suede microfiber as part of the Prestige package. There's a bit more structure to the center stack, and a layout that is just slightly more intuitive than that of the Stinger.
What the Kia's interior gives up in artfulness and decadence, it makes up for in sheer volume behind the front seats. It's still a lovely place to spend time in terms of design, but the big draws are the extra two inches of rear legroom, and the 23 cubic feet of cargo space, compared to 10 in the G70, more if you fold the Stinger's seats down. Plus, that spiffy red leather interior that's in our long-term Stinger is much loved among many, including other members of the Autoblog staff.
As far as ride, the Genesis isn't exactly smoother than the Stinger, at least not through the suspension, which is more isolating in the Kia. The G70 definitely feels calmer and more confident, however. It also feels lighter and nimbler. While I absolutely love the feeling of setting up for a corner in the Stinger with a hard dab of brakes, then feeling it roll into the turn, the G70 is much more competent at stringing those corners together. The Stinger is more willing to open up its soundtrack to the cabin and the world, though, and I welcome that beautiful V6 voice.
The G70 is more willing to rotate, and it tucks itself in and fights roll in the corners. Its response to steering and throttle inputs feel sharper, which is more rewarding to me. It also feels significantly more composed and willing to dance at higher speeds. It's easier to build confidence and feel heroic in the smaller Genesis, which matters more to me than a smooth ride — though the G70's ride is still pretty damn smooth.
So how do the two cars compare in price? Our 2018 Stinger GT1 AWD, whose sole options are a $125 red interior (now no longer offered with the red exterior), $50 cargo net and $95 cargo tray, totals $46,620. The 2019 G70 AWD 3.3T starts at $46,746, and our tester's Prestige package brings that total to $50,995. When configured with similar equipment, they're priced very closely to one another. Despite feeling more expensive, a top-of the line G70 ($52,495) is actually cheaper than the all-boxes-checked Stinger ($53,395).
If I had to pick between the two, the only reason I, personally, would choose the Stinger over the G70 would be if I regularly had to put an adult in the rear seat. With that extra room and larger cargo area underneath its hatch, the Stinger is the better grand tourer. All things considered, I'd much rather have the sharper handling, more involving and far more luxurious G70. Who cares if the occasional rear passenger is short on legroom in the G70? I suppose, to make it up to them, I could use the $900 I saved by picking the Genesis over the Kia to keep the car stocked with complimentary $10 bills. Or, better yet, give the passenger a turn behind the wheel. They'd probably fall for the G70, too.
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