Launching a new brand is never easy, and the sport-luxury market is really in flux right now; with SUVs rapidly gobbling up sales from sedans, and traditional brands seeing increasing competition from unlikely places. And that’s the environment into which enters the rear and all-wheel drive 2019 Genesis G70.
It has more on its well-sculpted shoulders than the typical luxury-sport sedan; as 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 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. And while plenty of decisions were made based on performance, there’s also a Lexus level of attention to NVH detail; and it shows in how quiet and effortlessly the G70 glides, not floats down the road.
It also shares engines with the Stinger; a 252-horsepower 2.0-liter I4 turbo, and a 365-horsepowertwin-turbo V6. Both work with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and both offer optional all-wheeldrive.
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 this 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 taillights, and some added chrome for the outside; alloy pedals, and quilted Nappa leather inside. Naturally, this is the fastest Genesis yet, with the V6 hitting 60 in 4.5-seconds. That’s gettin’ it, no matter where it’s built or what badge it’s wearing.
As for the 2.0 liter, it’s pretty darn quick too, though it’s mid-range torque delivery feels more adequate for road course work, than impressing in the ¼-mile. Still, with easy to activate launch control we were able to hit 60 in 6.2-seconds.
No turbo sounds to speak of, as this 4-banger delivers power smoothly, quietly, and almost EV-like in responsiveness. As in the Stinger, the transmission works amazingly well, with clean and direct shifts throughout the 14.9-second ¼-mile, which we completed at 94 miles-per-hour.
Hitting the cone course, the G70 feels soft initially; but keep pushing, and it delivers. It feels very solid, yet not hefty; sort of like an Audi. Great steering feel as well, with just the right amounts of response and heft. You feel very connected to this car, and the Michelin Pilot Sport tires offered a brutal amount of traction.
They were aiming for a very luxurious, yet true sport sedan, and they nailed it! There are comprehensive drive modes of course, as well provisions for custom setups.
Plenty of luxury features; though just to reinforce the performance aspect, no wood, only aluminum here in the Sport. 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; bringing us to a complete stop from speeds up to 25 miles-per-hour.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for our rear-drive 2.0-liter are 22-City, 30-Highway, and 25-Combined. Our average was fairly good at 27.2 miles-per-gallon on premium.
Pricing starts at just $35,895 for the turbo-4; it’s quite a step up for the twin-turbo-6, starting at $44,745.
So, with the 2019 G70, Genesis now has a full sedan lineup. And while that’s great progress for them,they’ll have to get some SUVs on the market soon to be truly relevant in this current environment. Establishing a new brand always has its ups and downs, this G70 is one fantastic step up; so enjoy driving it while you can.
Engine: 2.0 liter
Torque: 260 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
1/4 mile: 14.9 seconds @ 94 mph
EPA: 22 mpg city / 30 mpg highway