It’s been a while since I’ve been in a Genesis vehicle, but after a week in the plush 2019 Genesis G70 I’m hoping it isn’t too long before I get in another one. Genesis is the standalone luxury brand of Hyundai, so it’s no longer a Hyundai Genesis, but simply a Genesis. The Genesis lineup – all sedans – includes the G70, G80, G80 Sport and the top end G90.
Since the brand is new, it doesn’t have the name recognition of BMW or Mercedes-Benz. But trust me, the Genesis line belongs, even in a world where sedan sales have been challenging. The G70 compact sports sedan is the brand’s newest offering.
The rear-drive G70 has a choice of powerful turbocharged engines: a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder or a 3.3-liter V6. The inline 4-cylinder develops 252 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, while the 3.3-liter V6 cranks out 365 horses and 376 lb.-ft. of torque.
My test car had the V6, which according to Genesis is capable of hitting 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 4.5 seconds. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic and AWD is available. A 6-speed manual is available in the 2.0 models.
The G70 has a low, sleek profile that echoes what the company calls “Athletic Elegance.” I guess I could go with that; it is a nice-looking car. When Hyundai first launched the Genesis years ago, you’d be hard pressed to figure out what it was. Logos were scarce on the original Genesis, but today there are prominent Genesis logs front and rear. The G70 is distinctive with its crest grill, a sloping roofline and short overhangs.
But it’s on the inside where this car really shines. Quilted Napa leather seating surfaces are exquisite in this world-class interior. Front seats are heated and cooled, and brushed aluminum and other high-quality materials abound. Contrast stitching and soft-touch materials are in all the right places.
The arrangement of the dashboard is intuitive and elegant. Some cars toss in dozens upon dozens of buttons and dials, but the G70’s layout is impressive for its logical and easy to master controls. The 8-inch touchscreen for the navigation system juts up from the center stack and has crystal clear graphics. I especially liked the split screen feature that allowed me to see the map on one side and what song was playing on Margaritaville on the other.
A rotary dial on the console allows the driver to select from five driving modes: smart, ECO, comfort, sport and custom. The Head’s-Up display is clear and is a great safety feature that helps keep the driver’s eyes up where they should be. At the bottom of the center stack, there are portals for 12v, AUX and USB, all easy to reach. Next to the portals is a qi wireless charging deck for your smart phone.
Headroom in the front seat of the 5-passenger G70 is generous at 39.7 inches, but because the sporty roofline slopes to the back, second row headroom is just 36.9 inches. The thinning hair atop my 6-foot-1 frame brushed the headliner in the second row. Legroom in Row 2 is 34.8 inches, which is comfortable. Still, three adults in the rear seat would be more comfortable if one of them was a kid.
The trunk is fairly big for a compact sports sedan. Cargo space is 10.5 cubic feet, but the space is low and deep. You’ll be able to get lots of grocery bags in here, but you’ll have to lean way in to get those canned vegetables that spill out and roll to the back. The 60/40-split folding rear seats allow longer items to fit inside.
On the road, I found the G70 spirited, confident and balanced, with linear and precise steering. The turbocharged V6 in my test car can push your head to the headrest when you mat the pedal. The ride was comfortable, braking was good, and the car remained flat when diving into corners.
The 2019 G70 has not yet been crash-tested by the government, but the insurance industry likes it a lot. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives it a “Top Safety Pick +,” which is the highest rating available.
Lots of sophisticated safety technology is included in the 2019 G70. Driver assistance systems include lane keep assist with blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams.
I enjoyed my week with the 2019 Genesis G70. If you’re looking for a compact sports sedan you should have it on your test-drive list.
2019 Genesis G70 Prestige
Engine: 3.3-liter turbocharged V6
Horsepower/Torque: 365/376 lb.-ft.
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Price: $43,750 ($48,995 w/options & freight)
EPA Mileage Estimates: 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway/21 mpg combined
Estimated Highway Range: 412 miles