It’s no secret we’re big fans of the Genesis G70, having just named it our drivers’ choice for best luxury sedan. But, this particular luxury 4-door is also the first genesis with a true performance tilt, and is even available with a manual transmission. Well, working a clutch and shifter while sitting in traffic is not exactly our kind of fun, so it’s off to the track we go!
No doubt, Genesis came out swinging with the 2019 G70. And, while we’ve already gotten plenty of seat time in this Korean missile; being a sucker for European-style sport sedans, we couldn’t help angling for a little more.
Fortunately, there are enough versions of the G70 to make a good case for that, and fortunately-er Genesis was more than willing to oblige.
Two G70s that we haven’t spent enough time with to this point, are the rear-wheel-drive 3.3-liter V6 Dynamic Edition, and the 2.0-liter turbo-4 Sport with the manual transmission. Yes, that’s right, you can still get a luxury-minded compact sport sedan with a manual shifter and three pedals.
The 2.0-liter puts out 255-horsepower, three more than standard, thanks to a performance exhaust system, along with 260 lb-ft. of torque; and that’s the only way you can get the 6-speed manual. You’ll have to stick with rear-wheel-drive as well.
Here, on the front stretch of Roebling Road Raceway, we shifted our way to a 0-60 of 6.9–seconds, and a ¼-mile of 15.2–seconds at 92 miles-per-hour. Overall, that’s actually a little slower than we recorded last fall with the automatic transmission.
Now, the twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 outputs 365-horsepower and 376 lb-ft. of torque, and leaves the line with much more urgency; hitting 60 in just 4.7–seconds. An 8-speed automatic takes care of gear selection here, rifling through about ½ of them for the 13.2–seconds that it took us to complete the ¼-mile at 106 miles-per-hour.
Hitting the full track, the G70 feels big, despite being physically smaller than its chassis-mate Kia Stinger. Yet, it’s a very competent sport sedan, with quick response to inputs, and respectable amounts of feedback.
The V6 Dynamic Edition means you get a more aggressive suspension setup and Michelin PS4 performance tires. Together, they provide more grip in corners; which in turn, makes for higher straightaway speeds. Also included, are performance brake pads for the Brembo calipers to slow you down, and upgraded cooling for the engine, to help keep it happy.
There’s a little bit too much understeer to deal with, as well as aggressive traction control. So, it’s not designed to hang in there with the Ms and AMGs of the world; but it does compare quite favorably with any mid-level sport sedan from Germany or anywhere else, and pulls away from them all when it comes to smiles per dollar.
Things over in the 2.0-liter Sport may not be quite as “dynamic”, and there are two fewer gears; but it is much more engaging, thanks to the ability to row through those gears yourself with the manual.
Michelin PS4s and Brembo brakes here too, but Sport trim also adds a limited-slip rear differential.
Naturally, it doesn’t have as much grip in the corners, or as much power for coming out of them; but it does feel noticeably lighter up front, and has a more tossable nature.
The shifter itself, works well enough; no problems finding the right gears at speed; but it’s not the most solid-feeling we’ve held. Likewise, the clutch is on the vague side. But, all of that is consistent with the prime luxury first mission of the G70.
Inside, the Sport comes with a few additional features like an upgraded stereo; and a manual emergency brake handle replacing the electronic parking brake switch of all other G70s. Nice.
Both cars share the same City Government Fuel Economy Rating of 18; from there the 3.3-liter rates 26-Highway and 21-Combined; while the 2.0-liter rates 28-Highway and 22-Combined. We averaged 26.4 miles-per-gallon in the turbo-4 on our trip down to Roebling Road.
It’s Energy Impact Score is slightly worse than average, at 15.0-barrels of yearly oil consumption, with 6.8-tons of CO2 emissions.
An entry-level G70 stickers for $35,895; it’s only an additional 3-grand for the manual-equipped Sport, at $38,895. More cylinders and a lot more capability for the 3.3T Dynamic, puts it at $51,245.
So, whether it’s a shift from the traditional luxury sedan you’re looking for, or a “dynamically” different way to get to work every day; Genesis delivers both experiences. Proof that the 2019 G70 is more than just a me too pretender in the luxury sport sedan field.
Engine: 2.0 liter / 3.3 liter
Horsepower: 255 / 365
Torque: 260 lb-ft. / 376 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 6.9 seconds / 4.7 seconds
1/4 mile: 15.2 seconds @ 92 mph / 13.2 seconds @ 106 mph
EPA: 28 mpg Highway / 26 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 15.0 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 6.8 tons/yr