Review: 2019 Genesis G70 3.3t Ultimate

If you’re in the market for that vehicle that strikes the ultimate zen balance between daily driving comfort and serious sporty characteristics, you’d almost immediately go hunting around for a 3 Series BMW. But there’s a new player in town, and the worlds best sports sedan market has been put on notice.

Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus. These are just a couple of brands that for decades have been trying their absolute hardest to replicate the recipe of comfort, sportiness, interior quality and value that has given BMW the title of the worlds best sports sedan. For decades, all these brands have come close, but never actually matched it.

We’ve seen a rather rapid decline in the sedan market overall in recent years, with SUV’s and Dual-Cab Ute’s taking ownership of the best selling cars in Australia. No more Holden Commodores and Ford Falcon’s fighting for the top spots anymore, and their respective “replacements” – not even close.

There appeared to be a certain moment in time where BMW lost its edge with the 3 Series. It gave opportunity for it’s competitors to inch closer and closer to de-throning BMW from the top spot of it’s segment. We saw new brands enter the market, such a Tesla with the Model 3, highly considered as a once-in-a-generation game-changer that’s as much fun to drive as it was disruptive to the market. We saw Alfa Romeo introduce the beautiful and sophisticated Guilia, a superb driving vehicle, thwarted only by typical Alfa Romeo quality concerns.

Then, almost out of nowhere – lurking quietly in the shadows for some time, enter the Genesis G70. With its German dynamics, Japanese quality and a Korean value equation, it’s the car that finally, after decades, unseats the BMW 3 Series as the everyday enthusiast car to beat. It manages to be both an engaging driving tool and a reasonably practical everyday car.

With it’s handsome looks, an abundance of tech and safety features and a one of the best warranty packages from a luxury car manufacturer, it’s most definitely a highly compelling luxury (sports) sedan. Open the drivers door and have a seat, you will soon be convinced that G70 is more opulent than most of it’s competitors with simple and intuitive controls layed out on the centre console. The ultra comfortable quilted leather seats and generous touches of brushed aluminium and stainless steel create an environment that oozes rich, beyond the G70’s price tag anyway. The G70′s 8-inch touch infotainment system is simple, clean, easy to navigate and fast, but sadly looks as though it’s been pinched straight from the Hyundai i30 parts bin. Something a bit more premium would have really suited the luxurious cabin a bit more in our opinion.

On the subject of space, there’s an abundance of room for occupants seated in the front row, although seating in the second row can be a bit cramped if you’re a bit on the tall side. The other downside is the boot space. Sadly, this is probably the biggest negative we striked against the Genesis whilst we had it for testing. With a boot space of 330L, it is officially the smallest in it’s class, and well behind the likes of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS and Audi A4 that average around 480L. The same must be said for the door pockets which are a tad on the small side too, you’ll fit a 600ml bottle of water in the front doors, and that’s about it.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Because if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t require a big boot (for whatever reason) – the G70 is a stellar package that belongs at or near the top of your shopping list. Equipped with 5 driving modes to choose from, Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport & Custom, there’s bound to be one (or two) that suit your particular style.

On the road, the 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6 (that you’ll also find in the Kia Stinger GT) is absolutely spectacular, and almost reminiscent of the driving magic that other brands in the segment have lost. The engine in question delivers 272kW and 510Nm, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, sending power to the rear wheels (with the help of a Torque Sensing Limited-Slip Differential) that pushes you back into your seat like a proper twin-turbo rear-wheel drive should. The steering is sharp and precise, and the twin-turbo V6 is properly quick, even in the corners thanks to the standard issued sticky Michelin Pilot Sport tyres. Helping bring the luxury sedan to a stop once you’ve had your driving fun are front and rear Brembo brakes. Whilst we’re on the subject of corners, the engineers that developed the suspension on the G70 have done a tremendous job, and have managed to strike the perfect balance between sports sedan agility and luxury sedan softness. The adaptive dampers smoothed out uneven surfaces, and even during some spirited cornering sessions, the G70 remained composed and controlled, with plenty of communication through the well weighted steering.

Standard safety features on the G70 3.3t Ultimate included Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) wth with Pedestrian Detection, Blind-spot Collision Warning (BCW), Rear Crossing-traffic Collision Waring (RCCW) and Seven SRS Airbags. The Genesis G70 also has a 5-Star ANCAP Safety Rating.

There are also a number of key standard technology inclusions, such as a 360° Surround View Monitor (SVM), Smart Entry Key with Push-Button Start, Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Full Stop & Go, Dual-zone Climate Control Air Conditioning, Wireless Phone Charger (Qi Standard), Hands-free Smart Boot Opener, 8″ in-TOUCH Multimedia Touch-screen, 8″ Colour Head-Up Display (HUD), Satellite Navigation with SUNA Live Traffic updates, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto Smartphone Compatibility and a Lexicon by Harman Premium Audio System with 15 Speakers.

Then there’s the seriously enticing Genesis ownership experience as a whole. Treat yourself to a new Genesis G70 and not only will you get five years unlimited-kilometre warranty, five years free servicing and five years roadside assistance, but you also get access to a five-year subscription to Genesis Connected Services and ‘Genesis to You’, a valet service that handles collection and delivery for scheduled services, or even test drives if you’re looking to change up to a new model. There’s also a two-year ‘concierge lifestyle’ service that will book you restaurant reservations, organise your holiday hotel accomodation and flights, as well as other life experiences, simply by calling or emailing and making it someone else’s job to arrange. I mean, come on. That’s just superb.

Pricing for the G70 starts from $53,900 (plus on-road costs) which will get your into the four-cylinder turbocharged 2-litre, but the one you really want, with the 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6, starts from $72,450 for the 3.3t Sport (plus on-road costs). Unfortunately, even if you think you’ve got some great negotiation skills, all Genesis models have a fixed-price, no discounts scheme across the board. You also can’t just turn up to a showroom and test drive one, because there aren’t any conventional ones. Instead, there are “boutique studios” and there is only one in Sydney, with Melbourne and Brisbane on the cards to open up this year. If you do wish to take one for a test drive however, you have arrange that via the Genesis Concierge service.

KEY SPECS: Genesis G70 3.3t Ultimate

  • – 3.3L V6 Petrol Engine
  • – Twin Turbochargers with Intercooler Induction
  • – 24 Valve, Double Over-Head Camshafts (DOHC) with Dual-Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), Tuned Intake System (TIS), Petrol / Gasoline Direct Injection
  • – Power: 272 kW @ 6,000 rpm
  • – Torque: 510 Nm @ 1,300 – 4,500 rpm
  • – 10.2 L/100km Fuel Consumption
  • – Shift By Wire Electronically Controlled 8 speed Automatic Transmission with Paddle Shift and rev-matched downshifts
  • – Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport & Custom Drive Modes
  • – Torque-sensing Rear Limited Slip Differential (LSD)
  • – Genesis Adaptive Control Suspension (GACS) including user adjustable settings (drive modes)
  • – 19″ ULTIMATE Alloy Wheels
  • – Bi-LED with Auxiliary LED High-beam Headlights
  • – Front ‘Crest’ Grille with Chrome Accents & Diamond-mesh Insert
  • – Panorama Glass Sunroof with Front Tilt & Slide
  • – Nappa Leather Appointed Interior with Luxury Quilting
  • – Five Star (2018 Test Criteria) ANCAP Safety Rating
  • – Front Brakes: 350x30mm Ventilated Discs with Four Piston Brembo Monobloc Fixed Calipers
  • – Rear Brakes: 340x22mm Ventilated Discs with Two Piston Brembo Monobloc Fixed Calipers
  • – 360° Surround View Monitor (SVM)
  • – Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)
  • – FCA with Pedestrian Detection
  • – Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) with Steering Assist
  • – Blind-spot Collision Warning (BCW)
  • – Rear Crossing-traffic Collision Waring (RCCW)
  • – Front & Rear Parking Distance Warning (8x Sensors)
  • – Seven SRS Airbags
  • – Smart Entry Key with Push-Button Start
  • – Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Full Stop & Go
  • – Dual-zone Climate Control Air Conditioning
  • – Genesis Connected Services (GCS) (Telematics)
  • – Wireless Phone Charger (Qi Standard)
  • – Hands-free Smart Boot Opener
  • – 16-way Power Drivers Seat Adjustment
  • – Heated Drivers Seat
  • – Ventilated Drivers Seat
  • – Driver Position Memory System (x2)
  • – 8″ in-TOUCH Multimedia Touch-screen
  • – 8″ Colour Head-Up Display (HUD)
  • – Satellite Navigation with SUNA Live Traffic updates
  • – Lexicon by Harman Premium Audio System with 15 Speakers
  • – Apple CarPlay & Android Auto Smartphone Compatibility

Pricing for the entire Genesis G70 Range as below:

2.0-Litre Turbocharged Four Cylinder Range:

  • 2.0T – $59,300 plus on-road costs
  • 2.0T Sport – $63,300 plus on-road costs
  • 2.0T Ultimate – $69,300 plus on-road costs

3.3-Litre Twin Turbo Six Cylinder Range:

  • 3.3T Sport – $72,450 plus on-road costs
  • 3.3T Ultimate – $79,950 plus on-road costs
  • 3.3T Ultimate Sport – $79,950 plus on-road costs

The Genesis G70 absolutely oozes attention-to-detail, and features more design flair than you would find on any of it’s European rivals (unless you spend a hell of a lot more). If badges and brands aren’t worth dropping tens of thousands of dollars more to you, then the stylish and absolutely pleasurable to drive Genesis G70 should be at the top of your shopping list.

  • 8.5/10
    Value for Money (Price, Packaging and Practicality) - 8.5/10
  • 9/10
    Driving Dynamics (Engine, Chassis and Drivetrain) - 9/10
  • 8.5/10
    Exterior Styling - 8.5/10
  • 9/10
    Interior Styling and Technology - 9/10
  • 8/10
    X-Factor - 8/10
8.6/10

Summary

The G70’s biggest strength is its value. It simply gives you more car for less money than its German and Japanese competitors. It rides super comfortably, handles superbly, and when you put your foot down it pushes you back into your seat like a proper twin-turbo rear-wheel drive should, with a great soundtrack to go along with it. On top of that, it’s well built, has an outstanding warranty, is competitively spec’d in every variant and packs some serious presence, especially in the range topping Ultimate and Ultimate Sport time levels. If you’re not a brand-sensitive buyer, the G70 could well be the perfect car for you. 

What we liked:

That engine and drivetrain, especially in Sport mode.

Warranty and Service Plan, as well as the additions that come with ownership such as Genesis Lifestyle Concierge.

Practicality and Unique-ness – The fun design tends to marry up well with the fun to drive persona that the car gives off.

The uniqueness of it all – not a lot of people know what it is, and it’s a great conversation starter, and definitely takes people by surprise off the line. 

What we didn’t like:

Rear legroom is a bit small.

The boot space is the smallest in it’s class, by a big margin.

Resale value is a bit of an unknown. 

Infotainment could use a step up so that doesn’t look like it’s been pinched straight from a Hyundai i30. 

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