Launching a new brand is never easy, and the sport-luxury market is really in flux right now as SUVs rapidly gobble up sales from sedans. Plus, even the most well respected traditional brands are seeing increasing competition from unlikely places. And that’s the environment into which enters the rear- and all-wheel drive 2019 Genesis G70.
Based on the same chassis as the well-received Kia Stinger, the Genesis G70 has more on its well-sculpted shoulders than the typical luxury-sport sedan. It is not only the emerging brand’s most performance oriented car yet, but also its new entry-level model.
It’s no secret where they’re aiming for here: German sport sedans. Genesis claims the G70 sits lower than most rivals and it sure looks like it. It also appears long, but not necessarily lean, as it’s also wider than most in the segment.
Wheelbase is almost 3-inches shorter than the Kia Stinger, and overall length is 6-inches less. So unlike the Stinger, which straddles the void between compact and midsize, the G70 is a true compact sedan.
And while plenty of decisions were made based on performance, there’s also a Lexus level of attention to noise, vibration, and harshness details. It really shows in how quiet and effortlessly the G70 glides, not floats down the road.
G70 also shares engines with the Stinger; a 252-horsepower 2.0-liter I4 turbo, and a 365-horsepower twin-turbo V6. Both work with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and both offer optional all-wheel drive.
One thing the G70 has that the Stinger doesn’t, is an available 6-speed manual transmission option. But only with the rear-drive 4-cylinder.
Having spent time with the V6 in the Stinger, we opted for the 2.0-liter for this G70 test. Its 260 lb-ft. of torque has it punching way above its weight, feeling very powerful for the class.
We also chose rear-drive only, though we did stick with the 8-speed auto.
Selecting Sport trim also adds 19-inch alloys with summer tires, copper headlight trim, dark-tinted tail lights, and some added chrome for the outside; alloy pedals, and quilted Nappa leather inside.
On tight curves, the G70 initially feels soft. But keep pushing, and it really delivers. It feels very solid, yet not hefty; sort of like an Audi. Great steering feel as well, with just the right amount of response and weight. There are comprehensive drive modes of course, as well provisions for custom setups.
Plus, plenty of luxury features: All switchgear has a high-quality feel, and just like the driving aspects, closer to Audi than anything else.
Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection is standard, and worked every time in our barrier test.
For our complete test of the 2019 Genesis G70, be sure to catch MotorWeek episode #3814, that begins airing on December 7, 2018. For a complete listing of the public television stations that broadcast MotorWeek, go to motorweek.org and click the “About The Show” tab at the top. New episodes of MotorWeek premiere on Tuesday evenings on MotorTrend Network (formerly Velocity).
Establishing a new brand always has its ups and downs. The 2019 Genesis G70 is one fantastic step up.