In the interest of full disclosure, I should state at the start that I have been a fan of South Korean automaker Hyundai’s products for close to 20 years now. We had a good experience with the 2003 Santa Fe SUV we bought, and it worked well for my daughter and son as well.
So that could be seen as influencing my opinion of the new Genesis G70 sedan, which is no longer a Hyundai but a stand-alone entity, much like Lexus is Toyota’s luxury outlet, Acura is Honda’s, and Infiniti is Nissan’s. (Interesting that they are all Asian products.)
Except a lot of other reviewers feel the same way I do, and analysis by U.S. News & World Report, which is based on different sources, rates the 2019 Genesis G70 No. 4 among luxury small cars behind a couple of Audis (A5 and A4) and the BMW 2-Series, which is pretty good company.
It just nudged out its cousin from Kia, the Stinger sedan, but was rated ahead of both the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW 3-Series, generally seen as the standard bearers in the segment. In a comparison test, Car & Driver gave the edge to the Genesis G70 over the BMW 340M in its final analysis, noting that the G70 “does everything nearly as well as the BMW, and it even manages to do a few things better.”
Yes, the report said, the BMW holds the advantage in overall oomph, but the G70 “has more than enough performance and handling for 90 percent of drivers 95 percent of the time.”
With the 2019 Genesis G70 an all-new model, the new G70 gets only a few modifications for 2020, the more significant being some new brake packages for the middle-of-the-pack 2.0T Sport model and a power-operated trunk lid for the top-of-the-line 3.3T trim.
This review is based on my experience in the 3.3T, which logs in with a starting MSRP of $45,645 or just over $9,000 more than the base 2.0T (but still well under the starting price for its Teutonic competitors).
It comes with a 3.3-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine that is rated at 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. The G70 3.3T can cover zero-to-60 in under five seconds and is mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission that can be set to several drive modes starting with Comfort and going on to Sport and Eco.
Mileage figures are about the only shortcoming with the 2020 G70 getting EPA ratings of 17 miles-per-gallon city, 26 highway, and 20 combined. According to the EPA, you’ll spend about $4,750 more on fuel over a five-year period compared to the average new vehicle. Annual fuel cost is an estimated $2,450.
Frankly, I’m suspicious of those kinds of numbers, but it’s the government, so we should trust the government, right? (You do? You want to buy some beachfront property in the Florida Everglades, too?)
The G70 3.3T has a long list of standard features. Among the more significant are Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Driver Attention Warning, Lane-Keep Assist, Rearview camera with parking guidelines (the guidelines are a huge help), Brembo Brakes, Sport-Tuned suspension, Proximity Key with push-button start, LED headlights, taillights, and daytime running lights, sunroof, leather seating surfaces, l6-way power adjustable driver’s seat with 4-way lumbar support, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, adaptable cruise control (Smart cruise control in Genesis speak), Lexicon 15-speaker audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Bluetooth communications.
Optional packages like Elite (rein-sensing wipers, low-beam assist, parking distance control, heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and wireless charging port) and Prestige (head-up display, surround-view monitor, Nappa leather seating surfaces, power trunk, and suede headliner) add to the niceties.
Those packages are going to fun the final cost to over $50,000, but the Genesis still remains a top luxury vehicle with economic pricing.
What I liked about the 2020 Genesis G70: It looks great, inside and out, and its ride is comfortable and quiet. It has all the bells and whistles you want in a luxury car, and all the systems are very easy to operate.
What I didn’t like about the 2020 Genesis G70: The trunk is a bit on the small side (10.5 cubic feet) and fuel economy is not quite as good as many of its competitors, but it’s not overly thirsty either, though premium fuel is recommended.
Would I buy the 2020 Genesis G70? Most definitely. Genesis also offers slightly larger sedans with the G80 and the all-new for 2020 G90 models, but for me, the G70 strikes the right chord.
*Photos furnished by Genesis