Genesis G70 — Award-winning sports sedan

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

One of the most competitive segments in the luxury ranks is the compact sports sedan. Think BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Jaguar XE, Alfa Romeo Giulia. Now add the 2020 Genesis G70 to the mix. If you have little knowledge of the Genesis luxury brand spun off from Hyundai several years ago know that it has won numerous awards in its short life and the G70 is getting rave reviews in its second year of production.

The 2020 G70 is the real deal — a performance and handling champ from its outstanding suspension that takes potholes like a new laid street, with two engines and two transmission offerings, and with both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. It's built on the same platform that underpins the Kia Stinger sports sedan and carries the same two drivetrains. 

Like the Stinger, we tested in 2019, we came away amazed that the Korean company could build such a satisfying premium vehicle right out of the gate. A sedan that can stand toe-to-toe with the vaunted 3 Series BMW.

While the G70 carries the Genesis styling theme, it comes off with a more hunkered down athletic appearance. Note that the G70's size at 184.5 inches in length on a 111.6-inch wheelbase is within an inch or two of its chief rivals. One difference — the G70 is about an inch wider contributing to a lower center of gravity, according to Genesis.

Although the G70 and Stinger share the same platform, the Genesis is six inches shorter on a three-inch shorter wheelbase giving it a more buttoned-down feel with better cornering and handling attributes. That's saying something because we noted in our review that the Stinger "has the ability to carve up a blacktop with the best of the European and Japanese sports sedans."

The G70, about 250 pounds lighter than the Stinger, can nail the curves of a back-road blacktop with the best of the segment.

The G70 gives buyers a choice between a solid-performing 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and a class-leading 3.3-liter twin turbocharged V-6 rated at 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come standard with an eight-speed automatic and a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.

The 4-cylinder provides ample performance measured at 6.0 seconds from 0-to-60. But it's the V-6 that elevates the G70 into the rarified air of its German competitors with a 4.4-second 0-to-60 time and a quarter mile clocking of 13.3 seconds @106 mph as measured by a major automotive magazine.

The 2.0T model is offered in six trim levels — Advanced, Elite, Prestige, Dynamic, Sport and Sport M/T — starting at $35,895 including destination charge. The 3.3T models start at $44,745 and are available in four trim levels — Advanced, Elite, Prestige and Sport. 

The base model is equipped with such standard features as a hands-free smart trunk, an 8-inch display audio screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, imitation leather seats and surfaces, a 12-way power driver's seat including four-way power lumbar support, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a suite of active-safety features including forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and a driver attention warning system.

The interior looks and feels premium, a simple but cohesive design that's clearly aimed at user-friendliness. Genesis designers employed premium materials throughout, including aluminum door handles, quilted leather door panels, metal speaker grills and high-quality soft touch surfaces. Nappa leather seats further add to an elegant interior look and feel on higher trim models.

The interior layout includes a freestanding tablet-like touchscreen as the centerpiece of the dash. While many luxury cars are abandoning knob and button controls, we prefer the old tried-and-true setup, which we think helps eliminate driver distraction. The G70 comes with tuning and volume knobs for audio, and large round climate control knobs. The center console includes a drive mode knob, and the steering-wheel mounted cruise control is clear and easy to use. We particularly enjoyed the optional 15-speaker Lexicon surround-sound system. 

Front seats are spacious and comfortable and finding a just-right driving position is easy. Rear-seat space is adequate, but legroom is tight. Likewise, cargo capacity is on the small size measured at 10.5 cubic feet. That’s due to the downsizing from its mainstream Kia Stinger sibling, and important to those who routinely carry two adult passengers in back.

Our test car was a top Sport trim with rear-wheel drive that carried a bottom line of $51,245 including destination charge. The Genesis comes with the generous Hyundai 10-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty and the 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty.

2020 Genesis G70


Base price: $36,445; as driven, $51,245
Engine; 3.3-liter turbocharged V-6
Horsepower: 365 @ 6.000 rpm
Torque: 376 foot-pounds @ 1,300 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drive: rear wheel
Seating: 2/3
Wheelbase: 111.6 inches
Length: 184.4 inches
Curb weight: 3,774 pounds
Turning circle: 36.1 feet
Luggage capacity: 10.5 cubic feet
Fuel capacity: 15.8 gallons (premium)
0-60: 4.4 seconds (Car and Driver)
Also consider: BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C Class, Alfa Romeo Giulia

The Good

• Outstanding performance
• Fun to drive
• Loaded with technology
• Eye-catching exterior design

The Bad
• Lack of rear-seat legroom

The Ugly
• Small trunk for segment