Would you buy a Genesis over an Acura, Infiniti, or Lexus? The new Genesis G70 joins the G80 and G90 in the brand’s lineup and competes with the likes of the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, Lexus IS, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. What’s interesting is that the Hyundai-owned luxury brand is striving to become a serious luxury contender with a sedan-only lineup, when luxury automakers and shoppers are more interested in crossovers and SUVs. Nonetheless, after spending a week with the Genesis G70, I have to say that this sedan proves that the brand isn’t kidding around and is taking the luxury game very, very seriously.
I’ve been lucky enough to drive both the 252-hp 2.0T model and insanely fast 365-horsepower 3.3T model of the Genesis G70, but did have more time with the 2.0T this past week. Stick with me over the next few minutes as I bring you my perspective on both trims and how they stack up against some legendary rivals in the sports sedan segment.
2019 Genesis G70 Exterior
When it comes to the exterior design of the 2019 Genesis G70, my opinion is that this thing looks pretty handsome. I do think it looks a little better than the aging Lexus IS and the somewhat mild looks of the Acura TLX. Now it doesn’t garner as much attention as the Alfa Romeo Giulia, but during my week of test driving the Genesis G70, I did notice some people give it a long stare. While some tend to think that the exterior design is somewhat generic, some have said that the front-end styling slightly resembles Aston Martin and even Maserati.
According to Genesis itself, the Hyundai-owned luxury brand says that the G70 represents the future direction of the brand’s “Athletic Elegance” design signature. What that translates to for Genesis is a long hood, short overhangs, and a sloping roofline. Of course, large grilles seem to be the thing to do nowadays, and I think the Genesis G70 carries its grille really well. My favorite design features include the stylish LED daytime running lights and the turn signals which are actually located below the headlamps themselves. The color I tested here is called Himalayan Grey but in my opinion, the Genesis G70 really stands out when you get it in Havana Red or Mallorca Blue.
2019 Genesis G70 Interior
On the inside, the Genesis G70 does a great job of delivering a luxurious vibe. My test model came with the $5,000 Elite Package and the $3,000 Prestige Package which adds an even more luxurious feel with Nappa leather seats (heated/cooled) and surfaces with quilt design, heated rear seats, aluminum trim, and microfiber suede headliner. Standard tech includes all the expected options like Bluetooth, dual-zone climate, three USB ports and more. Other standard tech features that are usually options on rivals include a range of driver assist tech (including adaptive cruise control) and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also, I give the optional 15-speaker Lexicon sound system two.
Now, that being said my only quarrel with the interior of the Genesis G70 is that the infotainment and driver information display lack sharpness and stylish graphics/fonts. It seems a bit outdated when you compare it to the displays and infotainment systems by Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. Nonetheless, I do like the fact that the Genesis G70 spells everything out for you. For example, if you turn on the headlights or wipers a graphic will show the position of each on the driver display.
Space wise the rear seat legroom pretty tight if the driver and passenger are on the taller side, but that seems to be an issue with the entire segment. Trunk space comes in at 10.5 cubic-feet.
2019 Genesis G70 Performance
When it comes to discussing how the Genesis G70 is as a daily driver, I’m going to look at the two engine choices separately.
My first experience with the Genesis G70 was with the 365-hp 3.3T model and it simply blew me away. I was shocked by the insanely quick acceleration that gets it from zero to 60 mph in just 4.5 secs which is the same as the Mercedes-AMG C43. I was also impressed by the handling thanks to the near-perfect balance of the Genesis G70 that contributes to accurate and controlled maneuvers. At no point sure a feel any loss of confidence when pushing the 3.3T to the limits thanks to the Brembo brakes.
Now, when I got into the 252-hp Genesis G70 2.0T, I expected those sporty characteristics to be a bit dialed back — but wow was I wrong. The handling and overall composure of the Genesis G70 is the same across-the-board. I also expected acceleration to be much slower than it was on the 3.3T model but was surprised by its zero-to-60 mph time of 6.1 secs, which is well ahead of its other entry-level JDM rivals and just around 0.4 secs slower than its entry-level German competitors.
Driving mode choices include Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Custom. The custom mode allows you to modify various settings on the Genesis G70 to your preference of driving style.
Fuel economy for the 2.0T model comes in at 22/30 mpg* (city/highway). The 3.3T model averages an EPA-rated 18/26 mpg*.
Overall, what stuck out to me the most was the way the Genesis G70 easily soaks up the bumps on the road and takes sharp corners in an extremely composed manner.
2019 Genesis G70 Overall
For me, I’d definitely consider it over the Japanese luxury opponents, but feel like the Genesis G70 would have to go through another generation for me to consider it over the Germans. To me, the Genesis G70 is right on par in terms of luxury and performance (and in some aspects better) when compared to the Acura TLX, Infiniti Q50, and Lexus IS.
This is an outstanding start for Genesis and I think the brand has a really bright future in the luxury segment if they keep delivering top-notch luxury at a slightly lower price point. Prices for the 2019 Genesis G70 start at $34,900** for the 2.0T model and $43,750** for the 3.3T model. Visit your local AutoNation Genesis dealership for a quick test drive!
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.