CHATHAM, Mass. – I get it. A week in the 2020 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport convinced me the Korean upstart was deserving of the awards it won after its 2019 introduction and worthy competition for the storied German sport sedans, the cars which invented this segment.
And when you factor in bang-for-the-buck, the G70 provides more for less – more horsepower, more creature comfort and convenience features, more value than the competition.
An aggressive design, from the large, mouth-like grill, along the sculpted side panels with a character line running from the front wheel well back to the rear end, projects that this car is ready to play.
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This feeling continues when the “START” button is pushed, lighting up the 365 horsepower, twin-turbocharged V6 engine (which also produces 376 pounds-feet of torque). An eight-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters sends this engine power to all four wheels.
Truly sporting underpinnings
Our G70 was equipped with the Sport Package which meant the sport-tuned suspension was electronically controlled. Up front, the pieces were struts, coil springs and an anti-roll bar, while in the rear it was a multi-link setup with shocks, coils springs and an anti-roll bar. Vehicle stability management, electronic stability control with traction control and brake assist, and rack-mounted motor-driven power steering with variable gear ratio fill out the performance roster of chassis pieces.
With so much power on hand, Genesis went to Brembo for braking expertise. Ventilated rotors are at all four corners, with the fronts 13.8 inches and rear 13.4 inches in diameter. Anti-lock braking (ABS) is standard as is automatic emergency braking (AEB) in the form of forward-collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection.
The red Brembo calipers peek out from the 19-inch cast alloy wheels – eight inches wide up front, 8.5 in the rear – which are shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 all-season tires (225/40ZR19 93Y in the front; 255/35ZR19 96Y in the rear).
Not evident when reviewing the suspension pieces is the ride quality which can be described as firm, sporting and comfortable. Less-than-smooth roads did not cause filling-loosening bumps or complaints from the passenger seat. The tight chassis along with the lightning-quick steering ratio (2.2 turns lock-to-lock), along with the ample, smooth power produced a car which begged to be pushed, to be driven aggressively.
Which I did whenever the conditions allowed.
I was rewarded with driving enjoyment which brought a smile to my face – this car is fun to drive. And driving it this way did not induce gas guzzling. The federal Environmental Protection Agency rates the G70 3.3T (indicating that turbo V6) AWD at 17 miles per gallon in the city, 25 on the highway and 20 overall. Approximately 500 miles of hard driving, highway travel often above the 55 miles per hour limit on the Mid Cape Highway and some Labor Day Weekend bumper-to-bumper traffic resulted in 25.7 mpg – I was impressed!
Safety and ADAS
Genesis is the luxury brand from Hyundai (much like Lexus is Toyota’s luxury marque and Infiniti is Nissan’s), and as such, lavishly equips its models to take on the rest of the luxury and near-luxury players. Today, being in this category means ladling on the safety and technology features, with comprehensive suites of advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) a significant part of the latter.
This G70 3.3T AWD’s standard ADAS portfolio includes (in addition to the AEB): blind-spot collision warning with rear cross-traffic collision warning; lane-keep assist; driver-attention warning; rearview camera with parking guidelines; high-beam assist; smart cruise control with stop & go, and hill-start assist. Supplementing these systems as part of the Sport package on the car we drove were low-beam assist; rain-sensing wipers; parking-distance warning and surround-view monitor.
All these systems worked well and were easy to understand and operate. They all added positive aspects to the driving experience; simplifying, for example, parking maneuvers, especially in tight parking lots full of vacationers who were not necessarily paying attention to other drivers.
Sporty on the outside, luxurious on the inside
The G70 3.3T AWD Sport has the sporting chops and Genesis ensured it also included all the luxury ones expected in sport sedans of this class. It goes beyond what virtually any of its competitors offer at this price point.
Perforated black Nappa leather seating surfaces cover front and rear positions with heating all around (the fronts are also cooled). The driver’s seat can be adjusted 16 ways which makes the two-person memory (also encompassing external rear-view mirror and power-adjustable steering-wheel position settings) a big plus.
Technology is rampant but understated. In front of the driver is a seven-inch color LCD multi-information display which is supplemented by a very readable (even with sunglasses), excellently positioned heads-up display.
Logically arranged buttons and dials control some key systems like the dual-zone automatic climate-control and radio and can also switch what is displayed on the centrally located eight-inch color touchscreen. The infotainment system includes AM/FM/HD/SiriusXM satellite radio/streaming audio/Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and standard navigation. Lexicon® 15-speaker audio system with Quantum Logic® Surround & Clari-Fi™ project the infotainment’s sound.
All these features add up to a very warm, comfortable place to both cruise the highway on a trip or just head off for a fun run to the ice cream stand. I hated turning this car in – it was that much fun to drive, even if the roads were packed with slow-going tourists.
The cost of a luxury sport sedan
The base 2020 Genesis G70 2.0T rear-wheel drive sedan carries a $35,450 MSRP (plus $1,025 freight charge across the model range). We drove a top-of-the-line 2020 G70 AWD 3.3T which comes in at $46,650. Adding in the comprehensive Sport Package for $5,600 (and it is well worth the price, including much of the equipment which REALLY made this car shine) brings the competitive total (including freight) to $53,275. Not inexpensive, but great value when stacked against the competition.
In addition to the equipment detailed above, the price includes three years/36,000-miles of complimentary service; 3/36 complimentary maintenance; 3/36 complimentary SiriusXM traffic and 3/36 complimentary map care.