2019 Genesis G70

What a Revelation!



  • 박재승 (james@koreatimes.net) --
  • 11 May 2018

By James Park


   (Mont Tremblant, Quebec) The Ontario campaign to elect the next provincial government has officially kicked off.

   No, we’re not going to talk about politics. However, it is worthy to note that in any election, an incumbent has the advantage of name-recognition, established volunteer network, useful voter data collected over the years and so on that make it very difficult for challengers to overcome.

   The importance of name-value can’t be overstated in other areas, as well. Case in point is the entry-level luxury car market where the Teutonic Trio of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz enjoy stranglehold on the public perception (leading of course to greater sales).

   Sure, the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and the Mercedes C-Class are all terrific vehicles. Many would-be usurpers from Japan, Great Britain and the United States have tilted against them without too much success.

   So how will this Genesis G70, an upstart from the brand less than two years old and from Korea of all places do any better?

 

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   We’ve all seen commercials where ordinary consumers are asked to do ‘blind taste test’ of soft drinks, coffees and whatnot. Many are surprised by the results. At the end of the day, though, companies like Coca Cola and Starbucks do well. But people with open minds may be persuaded to try other brands, finding that name-recognition does not always live up to its vaunted expectation.

   All this is to say the G70 could be the car that may put a significant dent in the German Triumvirate’s collective image.

   The G70, a compact luxury sedan designed to go head to head with the likes of 3-Series, C-Class, A4, Lexus IS, Cadillac ATS and so on, seems more than capable of this stiff challenge.

   Unlike the G90 and the G80, both respectively face-lifted from the Hyundai Equus and the Genesis Sedan, the G70 started out as Genesis – Hyundai’s luxury division – from the start. Therefore, the G70 is truly the first Genesis product.

   It shares platform with the corporate cousin, the Kia Stinger. However, the G70 has shorter wheelbase and depending on the model, lighter by up to about 400 pounds. The Genesis Canada reps also point out that the G70, being a three-box (a sedan) design, is structurally more rigid than the Stinger, which is a hatchback.

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   The G70 is a handsome vehicle, if a bit anonymous. It does not turn heads like the Stinger, being more conservatively styled. But with long hood, short rear deck and wide stance, the G70 carries the classic profile of an athletic sports sedan. The large front grill bears family resemblance, but the lines follow closer to the more aggressive fascia of the G80 Sport. The overall styling does not break any new grounds, but I believe it holds its own.

   Backing up the looks in the base G70 ‘Advanced’ is the 2 litre turbo four generating 252 horses and 260 lb-ft of torque. This model carries the MSRP of $42,000; which includes everything from freight to 5 year (100,000 km) scheduled maintenance. Only taxes are excluded.

 

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Three more four-cylinder models – progressively more expensive – are Sport, Elite and Prestige. Furthermore, there are two models hooked up to the 3.3 litre twin-turbo V6 that pumps out 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of twist. The 3.3 Dynamic starts from $52,000 and the 3.3 Sport demands $57,500.

   All come with eight-speed automatic and AWD, except for the 2.0 Sport. Thanks especially to the Genesis Canada’s vocal insistence this enthusiasts-oriented variation is rear-wheel-drive only and sports a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission. Genesis deserves bonus points for this.

   Probing the limits of the G70 at the renowned Mont Tremblant circuit, as well as twisting and turning roads in and around the surrounding area, one comes to the inevitable conclusion that this car actually handles better than many of its main competitors. Snatching Albert Biermann away from the BMW’s M Division has definitely paid off.

   The G70’s suspension is dialed in almost perfectly. Even on the notoriously pockmarked and uneven surfaces, the car remains composed and keeps passengers reasonably unperturbed. On the track, the G70 is planted and displays confidence-inspiring poise around corners. Steering is taut and communicative.

   The two-litre turbo has enough juice to satisfy daily needs, but the twin-turbo V6 is the one to strive for. The same engine is found under the hood of G80 Sport, the base G90 and of course, the Stinger GT. In the lighter G70, this engine feels even more potent.

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Being a less well-known brand, Genesis needs to be very competitive in pricing. Hyundai, its parent company, is well-known for offering products with exceptional value and Genesis is no different, at least for now.

   The G70 can be had with wide variety of colour, leather surface and seating choices. Standard equipments include 15-speaker premium audio by Lexicon, Apple Carplay and Android Auto, as well as most options and electronic nannies one would expect in a luxury sedan.

   The Genesis Connected system also lets owners to use their smart-phones to remotely locate and start the car, pre-heat or cool the cabin, ask for help in emergency situations and so on. The system also alerts the owner for scheduled maintenance.

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Genesis plans to increase its lineup to include three sedans (already here), two utility vehicles and one coupe by 2021.

   Consumers’ brand mentality does not change overnight. However, the G70 has the moves to go up against the German Trio and beat them at their own game. This car has the ability to change perceptions. (James Park is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.)

 

2019 Genesis G70

Price: $42,000 - $57,500

Engine: 2.0 litre turbo four/3.3 litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 252~365 hp/260~376 lb-ft

Transmission: 6MT/8AT

Drive: RWD/AWD

Fuel: N/A

Best: power, handling, sophistication, value

Worst: name-recognition

Competition: BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS, Audi A4, Cadillac ATS, Infiniti Q50

 

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