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2019 Genesis G70: New Car Review

The 2019 Genesis G70 is a stunning achievement for a car brand that’s only three years ago. Of course, as Genesis is a part of Hyundai (much like Lexus is to Toyota), it’s not like it comes from a completely blank slate. Still, the G70 displays precision, poise and polish that other luxury brands haven’t accomplished after decades. You may have heard that the G70 has been raking in awards from various publications and ratings bodies. Well, let us add our voice to the chorus saying it’s definitely worth the hype.

So what exactly is it? The G70 is one of the smaller entry-level luxury cars, and specifically one that can be labeled a "sport sedan." This would be the segment dominated by the BMW 3 Series and the go-to choice for those who love to drive. The G70 will definitely satisfy them as it’s easily one of the most engaging cars in its segment. Its engineering was overseen by the same person who used to head BMW’s M Division, and from the suspension tuning to the driving position, it shows.

Quite simply, if you’re looking for a fun luxury car like the 3 Series (or literally a 3 Series), do yourself a favor by checking out the G70. Besides its driving experience, it boasts a lovely interior, abundant feature content, a lengthy warranty and three years of included scheduled maintenance for a price that undercuts the competition.

What’s New for 2019?

The Genesis G70 is an all-new model for 2019. See the 2019 Genesis G70 models for sale near you

What We Like

Brilliantly balanced and composed handling; good ride for a sporty car; easy-to-use cabin; superior crash ratings; low price; exceptional warranty and maintenance coverage

What We Don’t

Smaller back seat and trunk for the segment; firm ride for a luxury car; 4-cylinder could be more refined; no manual with the V6; confusing trim level and package structure

How Much?

$34,900-$52,250

Fuel Economy

The 2019 Genesis G70 is available in two models that indicate different engines: 2.0T and 3.3T.

The G70 2.0T has a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that produces 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive are standard, but all-wheel drive is optional and the 2.0T Sport M/T trim has a 6-speed manual (RWD only). Fuel economy with the automatic and RWD is 22 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in combined driving. This lowers to 21 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined with AWD, and 18 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined with the manual.

The G70 3.3T has a 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 that produces 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. It’s also standard with the 8-speed automatic and RWD, with AWD as an option. The manual isn’t available. Fuel economy with RWD is 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined. AWD lowers those to 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The G70 is available in two trim levels that correspond with engine: 2.0T and 3.3T. There were some changes early in the G70’s product launch regarding trim levels and package content, so information may be inconsistent depending on where you look.

Standard equipment on the base 2.0T trim level ($34,900) includes 18-in wheels, LED running lights, automatic headlights and high beam control, heated mirrors, proximity entry and push-button start, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, driver inattention warning, a backup camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, 8-way power front seats, a 60/40-split folding back seat, simulated leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an 8-in touchscreen, three USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD and satellite radios and a 6-speaker sound system. A heated steering wheel is added with AWD.

The Elite package adds LED headlights, automatic wipers, parking sensors, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, a sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory settings, a power-adjustable steering wheel, leather upholstery, integrated navigation and a 15-speaker Lexicon sound system.

The Sport M/T (RWD only) is similar to the Elite, but subtracts adaptive cruise control, the sunroof, navigation and leather upholstery. It then adds a 6-speed manual transmission (the only way to get it), a limited-slip differential, 19-in wheels, performance tires, a sport exhaust and Brembo high-performance brakes.

The Prestige (AWD only) adds to the Elite’s equipment surround-view parking cameras, a head-up display, diamond-quilted leather upholstery, power driver seat cushion extension, heated rear seats, a suedecloth headliner and wireless smartphone charging. The Dynamic is equipped similarly, but adds 19-in wheels and a limited-slip differential (RWD only). The Sport builds on the Dynamic with copper- and dark-tinted exterior trim and contrast leather stitching.

The base 3.3T trim level ($43,750) is basically equipped like the 2.0T Elite, but with the Sport M/T’s performance-enhancing features. Exceptions include the sunroof, parking sensors and automatic wipers, which are added in the 3.3T’s own Elite package. The 3.3T is also available with broadly similar Prestige and Sport packages, as well.

There are also limited production models for 2019: the Dynamic Special Edition (special tires and brakes pads, a required red/black color combo) and Design Special Edition (exclusive green/cream color combo).

Safety

The 2019 G70 comes standard with a comprehensive array of safety features beyond the usual stability control and airbags. These include forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a driver inattention warning system.

The non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the G70 a Top Safety Pick+, for its best-possible performance in all relevant categories.

Behind the Wheel

Like a true sport sedan, the G70 sends its power to the rear wheels. AWD is available for those in frostier climates, but even that’s still rear-biased, which assures a balanced and responsive driving experience. The steering is excellent, the suspension strikes a good balance between comfort and reducing body roll and the available adaptive suspension improves things further on both fronts. Quite simply, the G70 is fantastic to drive.

As for engine choice, we would have a hard time turning down the 3.3T engine that blows away many competitors for less money. It’s smooth, torque-rich and feels world-class. The 8-speed automatic does the job, but lacks the responsiveness offered by BMW or Mercedes-Benz units when driven aggressively and just-right downshifts are key. This is a small nitpick, but if we’re talking performance-oriented cars, it matters. So can the availability of a manual transmission, which the G70 pleasantly offers, but does so only with the turbocharged 4-cylinder. That engine is among the most powerful in the segment, but it’s not as smooth as rival engines and it sounds more like it belongs in a hot hatchback rather than a luxury car. This would be more for the nitpick file, however.

A potentially more significant concern is space. The back seat is more cramped than most rivals, and the 11-cu-ft. trunk is pretty small in a segment where 13 is the norm. Luggage for four may not fit. Still, it’s only recently that sport sedans ballooned to almost midsize proportions. The G70 is more of a compact, which is a big reason it’s so much fun to drive.

Quality is excellent. There are no Hyundai bits or pieces to be found besides the touchscreen interface, which looks good, is easy to use and packed with content. Nothing to complain about, then. Upper trim levels get access to beautifully quilted nappa leather upholstery that looks as good as it feels. In other words, the G70 is just as much a luxury sedan as it is a sport sedan.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 BMW 3 Series — Fully redesigned this year, the king of the segment will have to fight hard to retain its crown.

2019 Audi A4 — Not as dynamic to drive as the G70, but it’s more spacious and its available tech is cutting edge.

2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class — The C-Class would be the traditional competitor in this segment, but the A-Class is similarly sized as the G70 and boasts a stunning high-tech cabin for those more interested in luxury than performance.

Used BMW 3 Series — Since a new 3 Series costs considerably more than a G70 when similarly equipped and powered, one can consider a used or certified pre-owned one. Look for the big-engine 335i model.

Autotrader’s Advice

We think the G70 is at its finest with the V6 engine, but understand that its heftier price and fuel bill might not be ideal. With either engine, we’d consider the Elite model. It does raise the price considerably, but you still get abundant luxury equipment for the money. The other trims just make things a touch more opulent and/or performance oriented. Find a Genesis G70 for sale

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