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The 2019 Genesis G70 Is as Great as It Needs To Be

Another great article for the G70


Hyundai’s cars are a long, long way from the punchline they used to be. Everyone knows that. But with Genesis, its new luxury nameplate, the company’s ambitions have never been higher. It’s a measure of how far the company has come that the G70, its challenger to the BMW 3 Series and the rest, is as good or better than anything produced by the Germans.

Like the Kia Stinger it shares a platform and engine with, it’s the real deal. And good enough that it should put Genesis on everybody’s radar.

(Full Disclosure: Genesis kindly lent me a 2019 G70 while I was on a reporting trip in South Carolina earlier this month. The company gave it to me with a full tank of gas and no official remit, meaning I was free to do with it as I pleased.)
What Is It?

The G70 is the smaller, rear- and all-wheel drive luxury challenger to cars like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4, Lexus IS, Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Giulia, just to name a few. The G70's base price of $34,900 is, in fact, the exact same base price as the 3 Series, which should be as good a hint as any as to what the ambitions of Hyundai’s luxury division are.

The fact that Hyundai is doing this at all is kind of remarkable, as the U.S. sedan market is shrinking and the aforementioned cars already have the luxury sports sedan segment pretty well flooded. (The SUVs from Genesis, we are told, are coming.)

But the company’s pluck has more than paid off, as the G70 is simply outstanding, comfortable and quick, with more than enough bells and whistles to convince you you’re driving something made by a company who’s been at the luxury game a lot longer than Hyundai.
Specs That Matter

My tester had the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder makes a claimed 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, which was good because that’s the model I suspect most buyers will end up with.

The upper-end model has the twin-turbocharged V6 makes a claimed 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. The bigger engine will cost you around $9,000 more, and also can’t be had with a manual transmission like the four-banger, coming only with the eight-speed automatic that comes standard on both cars.

It’s the manual you’ll want though, a six-speed gearbox that I unfortunately did not get to test this time. In this way the G70 has a nice leg up on the Stinger, which does not offer a manual gearbox, period.

What’s Great

The acceleration, which on paper is not tremendously quick—zero to 60 in six seconds on the slowest version of the car, according to Car and Driver, and 4.3 seconds in the fastest—certainly feels faster than that, especially from zero to 40 mph. On the highway the G70 is excellent, effortlessly shooting up to and handling speed when asked.

Inside, while the car is hurtling forward at speeds that will snap you back in your seat, you might otherwise not know it, since the cabin stays quiet (unless you ask it not to) and going 70 mph feels like basically nothing. The car’s base package includes a dizzying array of features that designed to make it comfortable, like a driver’s seat that moves 12 ways and a steering wheel wrapped in leather.

The car I had was also decked out with all of the G70's options, ballooning the price by over $10,000 but adding features like a well-designed heads-up display, nineteen-inch wheels, heated seats, and a sunroof. This was all nicely integrated with tons of leather everywhere, stitched attractively in red.

Some other things I loved: the ability to pipe in “enhanced” engine noise into the cabin, which did make things louder, though “loud” in the context of a luxury sports sedan actually means “fairly quiet and pleasant,” as you had to floor the gas to really hear the engine roar. In addition, the stop-start was well-designed, and didn’t make me hate the feature as I have on other cars, as it started quickly enough to not give me stop-light anxiety related to not having instant access to the car’s power.

I also loved the built-in lap timer. A lot of cars have them these days, but for some reason I wasn’t expecting the G70 to, so when I was scrolling through dashboard menus and it popped up I became delighted. I have no idea how many owners are going to take their G70 to the track, though I suspect the answer will be “not enough.”

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