I have often marvelled at car companies like Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen who at the peak of their product offerings had ranges that spanned hundreds of thousands of dollars and addressed every market segment from micro to mega-luxury. Even today, Mercedes-Benz has a range that starts with the A180 and goes all the way up to the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
Back in 2007 Hyundai launched a large saloon called the Genesis and marketed it as a ‘modern rear-wheel-drive sports sedan’ which it certainly was. Then in 2015 Hyundai split the Genesis brand off as a stand-alone offering to allow the designers and engineers to passionately pursue the mid-sized rear-wheel-drive saloon market with fresh ammo.
The Genesis brand is to Hyundai as Lexus is to Toyota. That is to say, it’s a differentiator of markets and buyers and experiences that doesn’t dilute the main brand. For Hyundai, this has been a very successful branch of their excellent design, enviable build quality, and tactile driving experience.
The G70 arrived in 2019 and with a wide range of models, this is a real contender to similar models from any of the German marques.
|Sub-$70,000 on the road
|On The Road
|A great city car.
|For the exec on the way up looking for more bang-for-buck.
The first thing that is apparent about the G70 is the sense of familiarity. The Genesis factory clearly has access to the parts bins from its sibling. And that’s a very good thing.
I was reviewing a Kia Stinger GT Carbon the week before I reviewed the G70 and the first thing you notice is that this is essentially a 75% version of the Stinger in almost every way. And if anything that 25% reduction makes the whole package tighter and more enjoyable as a driver.
Keyless entry makes it quick and easy to slip into the G70 and get acquainted with your surroundings.
The 12 way powered and heated leather seats are extremely comfortable making the perfect driving position easy to find. The steering wheel is adorned with the usual array of switches for the very good 9-speaker Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatible sound system that is run through the 8-inch touch screen multimedia system.
One of the other nuances of the Hyundai Group cars is extremely easy to use HVAC controls (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning). Some are very difficult to use – even to the point where the Auto switch is hidden a full arm’s stretch from the drive.
In the rear, the reduction of space is more apparent. My 6-foot tall son was comfortable in the back of the Stinger but found the head and shoulder room a little cramped in the G70. Not that the G70 is made for long-haul journeys with a full boot and the family on-board.
At the back there is a very generous boot with plenty of room for a set of golf clubs and a buggy. We also found a First Aid Kit and hazard warning triangle should you get into any trouble on the road.
The G70 is a very good looking car from almost every angle. Its proportions are excellent front and rear and in the colour combination on our press-fleet car was a real head-turner – Mallorca Blue with the black alloy wheels and red Brembo brake callipers.
The grille of any car is often the most identifiable feature and in the case of the G70, the designers have also made it a thing of beauty. Genisis calls this the ‘Crest’ grille with its dark chrome inserts.
When I said the G70 is good looking from almost any angle, it is the rear of the G70 that lets it down. There’s something about it that lacks the quality and prestige feel that you see at the front.
In order to go toe-to-toe with the Germans, the G70 comes packed with a Shift By Wire 8-speed transmission with 5 driving modes. In Sport mode, the engine will match the revs on the down-shifts and produce a very subtle bark from the twin pipes at the rear. Or so I thought…
In actual fact, the G70 has a feature called Active Sound Design which is essentially an artificial soundtrack that is pumped into the rear speakers under heavy acceleration in Sport mode.
That feature aside, the G70 is really good fun on the road. The 179kW power is put to the ground via the rear wheels which are shod in 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport4 rubber so there’s no lack of grip or feel.
Under the bonnet, there’s even more evidence of the lengths Genesis have gone to in order to make the G70 a real contender to the C-Class or the 3 Series. Strong bracing in the engine bay indicates that someone has cared enough about the driving experience to ensure the chassis is stiff enough to feel great when the road gets twisty.
I mentioned the Brembo brakes earlier and I can assure you that the 4 pistons on the front and single pistons in the rear supply exceptional performance and stability when you apply a lot of pressure to the brake pedal. You really have to hit the pedal hard to get the ABS to kick in.
Speaking of ABS, there are also a host of safety systems on the G70 to keep you safe and on the road. Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian detection. Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Crossing-traffic Collision Waring, and 7 airbags ensure that the G70 deserves its 5 Star ANCAP rating. There’s even more in the form of Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control and Hill-start Assist Control as well as Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist System. A very solid safety package for the price – and it’s all standard across the G70 range.
Parking is a joy with a full 360 degree Surround View via the multimedia screen. Parking sensors front and rear mean the things you cannot see don’t jump out at you.
All in all a great car from a company that found its niche and is doing all the right things to deliver a good looking, comfortable, engaging and value for money drive – that has just the right amount of sporting DNA to make it a driver’s car when the road calls for something more.
As tested the G70 2.0T Sport is just under $70,000 on the road.
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