What is it?
It’s the Genesis version of the Stinger, right?
Well, that’s right — but only partly right. They do share the same platform, engines and transmissions, but unexpectedly couldn’t be more different.
While the Stinger is a big, cruisy GT with plenty of room in the back for a couple of tagalongs, the G70 is smaller, more compact and far more agile in corners, and believe it or not rear legroom is tight.
Not many motor noters seem to have picked up on this last point, which could be crucial to the decision making process if you’re tossing up between them . . . just saying.
What’s it cost?
Prices start from $59,300 for the 2.0-litre GT. The Sport is $63,300 and Ultimate, $69,300.
From there it’s a step up to the 3.3-litre twin turbo V6, with the Sport, Ultimate and Ultimate Sport at $72,450, $79,950 or $79,950 (yes, the latter two are priced the same).
In comparison, Stinger kicks off at $47,190 for the 2.0-litre, or $50,190 for the six, topping out at $60,790 for the one with the lot.
But don’t for a second make the mistake of thinking the Kia is in any way cheap or nasty. Au contraire, the top of the line GT is an impressive bit of kit, with red leather, real stainless steel and aluminium finishers and those cool, turbine-style air vents.
So what’s the Genesis got to offer?
For a start, the G70 is a sedan, the Stinger a five-door liftback.
The styling is more conservative too, with black wheels, dark chrome trim and a monotone interior (with standard issue air outlets).
Parked next to a BMW they could be cousins, from the rear at least.
The front however features an hexagonal style, mesh grille that offers some clues to its origins.
Inside there’s stitched leather and dual zone climate control, 12-way powered and heated front seats, tyre pressure monitoring, 8.0-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, DAB+ digital radio and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — plus wireless phone charging.
Stand near the so-called ‘smart’ boot for more than a few seconds and it opens magically by itself.
Safety is taken care of by seven airbags and a suite of driver assist systems which includes Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Driver Attention Warning, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian detection and lane-change oncoming function, and High Beam Assist systems.
There’s also Lane Keeping Assist with line/road-edge functions, a Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning system and Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Forward/Reverse Parking Distance Warning and a Rear View Monitor with parking guidance.
Sport versions like our test vehicle add Sport exterior and interior styling elements, and sport instrumentation, along with Brembo brakes with four-piston front and two-piston rear calipers, 19-inch alloys with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 high-performance tyres, a mechanical limited-slip diff.
In addition to perks like free pickup and delivery for servicing, G70 comes with a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, five-year/50,000km complimentary scheduled servicing, five-year 24/7 roadside assist, five-year map updates and a five-year subscription to Genesis Connected Services and the exclusive ‘Genesis To You’ valet service.
What’s it go like?
I was expecting a Stinger and got something very different.
The G70 is shorter and lighter, with a slightly shorter wheelbase and it shows in the way the car steers and handles.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine in our test vehicle produces 179kW of power and 353Nm of torque, and is paired with an 8-speed auto, with drive transmitted to the rear wheels just like the good old days.
The transmission offers only forward and reverse, but there are wheel-mounted paddles to change gears manually and a number of drive modes from which to choose — including Smart mode that adapts to the way you drive.
Switching between drive modes changes the colour of the instrumentation and in Sport mode the digital speed becomes italic.
To put it into park, there’s a separate button that also engages the handbrake.
Like other cars from the company, G70 has been tuned for Australian roads, with custom suspension and steering settings.
So far so good, I hear you say, but the power delivery from the turbo four-pot can be peaky.
Push the accelerator and the car over responds, jumping forward with a jerk, then dropping back just as quickly, as the transmission grapples to adjust.
Talk about annoying.
Hammering through a series of twisting corners however the handling is spot on, remaining flat, tight and controlled with plenty of mid-corner grip from the Michelin rubber.
There’s no need to turn off traction control either, because it remains fairly unobtrusive in Sport mode, just catching the car when absolutely necessary.
Rev matching blips the throttle and the ride is definitely firmer and more buttoned down than its cousin.
The trip computer shows some sport info like the amount of G-force generated in corners, but you’re too busy driving to pay attention.
The only disaapointing part of the drive experience is the lack of significant exhaust note, although Sport mode artificially enhances the sound.
Returning to a normal, suburban environment, the throttle reverts to being generally smooth, gear changes are timely and the ride composed — though again it’s not as cushy as Stinger.
With fuel consumption rated at 8.7L/100km, that’s exactly the figure we were getting after 350km or so of mixed driving.
It does however take Premium 95 unleaded and it is possible to almost double this figure if you push the car hard.
After our little sideways session, the numbers jumped from 9.1 to 15.7L/100km — but dropped back again afterwards.
What we like?
- Sophisticated looks
- Strong performance
- Rear wheel drive
- Precise steering
- Superior handling
- Rear air outlets
What we don’t like?
- Peaky performance
- Cramped rear seat
- No seat venting
- Generic touchscreen
- Ambient roof lighting distracting
- Difficult to reach door handle at full extension
The bottom line?
Noice. Looks good, with strong performance and the badge will keep them guessing? The Genesis G70 is a tasty offering on the road to something more expensive — can’t wait to try the V6.
Genesis G70 2.0T Sport, priced from $63,300
- Looks - 8/108/10
- Performance - 7.5/107.5/10
- Safety - 8/108/10
- Thirst - 8/108/10
- Practicality - 7.5/107.5/10
- Comfort - 7.5/107.5/10
- Tech - 8/108/10
- Value - 8/108/10