Sunday, 9 August 2020

2020 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport AWD Review

 


Intro
The premium car market has long been dominated by the German manufacturers. While the Japanese companies like Acura, Infinity, and Lexus have been slowly making some gains, the Koreans are advancing at a much faster pace.

Last year, we reviewed the excellent G80 by Genesis. For those of you who are not familiar with the brand, the name Genesis is no longer a car model in the Hyundai lineup. It is now a luxury vehicle division of the Hyundai Motor group. A simple look at the list of key people at the Genesis Motor  reveals its ambitious plan. Luc Donckerwolke, former design director of Bentley, Lamborghini and Audi, is head of design operations. Filippo Perini, former Lamborghini head of design, is chief designer. Albert Biermann, former head of the BMW M performance division, is executive vice president of performance development. The list goes on.

Genesis is set to compete with the best in the world, and the G70 was designed from the ground up to go head-to-head with the likes of Volvo S60, Audi A4, BMW 3 series, and Mercedes-Benz C-class. Thanks to Genesis Canada. I had the chance to test drive the 2020 Genesis G70 Sport for one week. Below is my unbiased review.

Exterior
The exterior of the G70 was penned by German auto designer Peter Shreyer, who designed the original Audi TT and the new Kia Stinger. The exterior design shares cues from the other two Genesis models, the G80 and the G90.

At the front, the signature Genesis crest-type grille is circled by a thick chrome trim. A plastic cover that mimics the look of the rest of the grille is located at the center of the grille. It hides the ultrasonic sensor used for adaptive cruise control and automatic braking. Two hockey-stick style linear LED daytime running lights on each side of the grille look sharp and distinctive. The lower part of the front fascia houses an array of air intakes and deflectors. I especially enjoy the amber signal lights located in the lamp grilles.

The long hood and short front overhang maximizes the G70's wheelbase. Smooth roofline and assertive multi-spoke alloy wheels are accompanied by sweeping character lines and dark chrome aero trims. Due to the low profile design, the silhouette of the G70 looks more like a coupe than a regular sedan.

In the rear, the LED rear combination lamps are not as slick looking as the headlamps. The raised trunk lid and is subtle but the lower bumper is much more aggressive. The large dual exhaust tips are placed far apart for a wide stance. A large air diffuser is placed in the middle to enhance the sporty look.

The Himalayan Gray exterior paint really brings out the muscular curves of the G70. The athletic elegance look certainly place the G70 in the same league of its German competitors.















Interior
The interior of the G70 is very driver focused. The center console is angled slightly toward the driver. All switchgears are intuitively laid out. While you do see some familiarity from the Hyundai line-up, the Genesis appoints much higher quality materials to the surfaces. They include aluminum door handles, quilted leather door panels, metal speaker grilles, and Nappa leather seats.

The leather front seats are both heated and vented. They are very comfortable, and provides great lumbar and lateral support. The rear seats are also covered with the same soft Nappa leather. They are also heated. A sizable floor bump makes sitting in the middle of the back less comfortable. The rear seats also don't have as much lateral support as the front seats ( I found out the hard way). Both headroom and legroom are just adequate. Taller passengers will find them limited.

The interior of the G70 certainly doesn't offer the same level of gimmickry as the Mercedes. It is also not as tech heavy as the new BMWs. As a car enthusiast, none of those really matter to me. The interior of the G70 is high quality, comfortable, and very functional. On the other hand, to capture a broader audience, Genesis will need to find a way to deliver that wow factor to persuade potential buyers to switch brands.










Infotainment
The infotainment system of the G70 is taken straight out of its Hyundai lineup. I have said it many times before, that Hyundai makes one of the best infotainment systems in its segment. Unfortunately, that standard has to be raised to compete with other luxury cars. Personally, I have no problem with G70's the tablet style 8" touchscreen display. It is sharp, responsive, and most importantly glare resistant.

The same goes for the LCD display in the instrument cluster. It is intuitive to operate and compliments the optional heads-up display perfectly. Both displays are controlled via the excellent switchgears on the steering wheel.

There is a wireless charging pad and a USB charging port in the lower center console. The USB port provides both Apply Carplay and Android Auto connectivity. The Lexicon 15-speaker system is sophisticated, and provides a rich audio experience.

Having test driven the new generation of Mercedes, Volvo, and BMW vehicles, I have to say that Genesis's infotainment system is clearly not as fancy as its German competitors. Budget conscious, performance focus buyers wouldn't care too much about it, but I also know Genesis is capable of catching up in this area quickly.




Safety and Driver Assistance
The G70 offers the most comprehensive levels of safety and driver aids without making its buyers pay more for upgrade packages. The standard features include:
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW) with Lane Change Assist (LCA)
  • Rear Cross-traffic Collision Warning (RCCW)
Other than the 2.0T Manual Version, every G70 is also equipped with the following:
  • Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
  • Lane Keep Assist (LKA) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Forward Collision Avoidance-Assist (FCA-A) with Pedestrian Detection
It earns Top Safety Pick+ from IIHS.




Driving
In Canada, the G70 comes in two powertrains: a turbocharged 3.3L V6 gasoline engine that produces 365hp of horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, and a turbocharged 2.0L I4 gasoline engine that produces 255hp of horsepower and 260lb-ft of torque. The provided figure assumes that you are adding premium fuel. The G70 will run just fine with regular unleaded gasoline fuel, but the power output will be slightly reduced.

Our 3.3T tester is capable of accelerating from 0-100km/hr in 4.7 seconds. It reaches a top speed of 270km/hr. The 8-speed automatic transmission comes with manual mode and wheel-mounted shift paddles. It is not a dual clutch transmission, but performance almost just as well. There is very little powertrain lag once the car gets moving, that is especially true when the car is in Sport mode.

The G70 really shines on twisty roads. The car feels well balanced thanks to its stiff chassis and neutral weight distribution. The suspension is tuned to deliver smooth rides on rough pavements and excellent body control in corners. The G70 comes with dynamic torque vectoring and mechanical limited slip differential. The system sends engine torque to the wheels that have the best grip to avoid tire slips and improves cornering ability.

The electronic variable-ratio steering feels precise and provides great feedback. The steering effort is automatically adjusted based on the drive mode selected. The G70 does a good job of isolating road and wind noise. The ride quality rivals European luxury vehicles.

Fuel economy is not the best. The 3.3T is rated at 10.9L/100km highway/city combined, but we can only achieve 13.4L/100km during our one week mostly city test drive.




Cargo Space & Storage
The trunk space of the G70 is tight at 297L. It is still very usable for daily driving, and a run to the grocery store though. With the 60/40 rear seats folded, more cargo space is available in the cabin.

Small item storage options are average. Front door pockets are deep and large, but the rear door pockets can only fit a water bottle. The center console storage bin is decently sized, and so is the glove compartment. Two mesh pockets are located behind the front seat backs. There is a wireless charging pad in the center console for your smartphone.






Verdict
The 2020 Genesis G70 would impress anyone behind the wheel. For the sticker price, it offers tremendous value and excellent fun ratio. The exterior is handsome, and the interior feels premium. The car is not without its flaws though. The infotainment system of the G70 feels cheap in the luxury vehicle segment, the rear seats are slightly cramped, and the fuel economy is not the best. But when it comes to performance, the G70 is on the right track to compete with the best in the class.

Test Vehicle
2020 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport AWD

MSRP
$58,000 CAD All inclusive

Color
Himalayan Gray

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