In the Beginning a mainstream Korean automaker offered flagship and executive rear-wheel drive premium sedans and a sports coupe. At least the sedans were badged with unique winged logos on the hoods.
In another chapter of the line, an entirely new brand was spun off. Adopted name was that of the executive sedan. The slow selling sport coupe was nixed, the flagship was redesigned and poshed up. Winged emblems were multiplied by two allowing for another on the trunks lids. (Though, as of this writing, stand alone show rooms are being awaited.)
For it’s most recent beginning, Genesis took to perhaps to the ultimate premium brand challenger: doing contest with the Holy Grail of sports sedans, the BMW 3-series. The latest birth in the premium Korean bloodline is the 2020 Genesis G70 luxury compact sport sedan.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
WHAT: 2020 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport AWD, compact executive sport sedan, series HS, related to the longer Kia Stinger grand touring sportback.
Standard Power: longitudinal intercooled turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16V DI gas I-4 = 250 hp/ 270 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm + 8-spd. torque converter planetary transmission w/ shift paddles + (optional) viscous coupled clutch all-wheel drive.
Optional Power: longitudinal intercooled twin turbocharged 3.3L DOHC 16V DI gas V-6 = 365 hp/ 376 lb-ft @ 1300 rpm + 8-spd. torque converter planetary transmission w/ shift paddles + (optional) Magna viscous coupled clutch all-wheel drive.
A) STYLING DIFFERENCE: Related to the longer wheelbase Kia Stinger premium sportback, this Schreyer fastback design is less Coke-bottled. It trades on a tandem creasing whether in the elongated hood or the flaring beltline. A very palatable “flowing molten steel” chain link hexagonal grille, emulating the larger 2nd generation G80, without the newer versions lower point.
+1 Overhangs are shorter than on the Stinger. Powerful corner chins ending in folded inlets. Wheel arches are powerfully flared. The C-pillar slopes dramatically with a ledge above the punched out rear quarters. It all slopes and draws in below a bustled short rear decklid. Dual oval corner exhaust tips are encased in a lower valance diffuser.
+/- Sport trim = darkened exterior accents (except *)
-1 Faux inlet lower lattice embossed corners inconsistent with all other trim being darkened; * Chrome aft fender boomerang; Triple horizontal front corner directionals seen in lesser Hyundais.
WHY: The kind of Asian luxury sports sedan possible from the talents of a former Audi design chief and former BMW Motorsport boss.
WHEN: On-Sale (in the U.S.) since Summer 2019
WHERE: Select Hyundai new vehicle dealers with Genesis showrooms
WHERE MADE: Ulsan Assembly, Ulsan City, South Korea
HOW ROAD TRAMPLING: Purists swear by the optimal crankshaft balance provided by pistons configured in straight formation for their premium sport sedans. That is called the BMW 340 way. That is not to diminish a few glassy refined “bent” 6’s from Stuttgart, Neckarsulm, Coventry, and Tahara. The Genesis blown bent 6 is about grit and grittiness. It whirs more than it rumbles. Throttle pedal travel isn’t very communicative. The in-house 8-speed automatic dispatches the power without hesitance, but wanting for the snap of a modern ZF HP 8-speed slushbox.
-1 Working against human habit, the thumb button for Park, toggle transmission position lever desperately tries to be “too Münchener; Audio system exhaust cabin enhancement tries but fails (fortunately defeatable).
HOW ROAD TENACIOUS:
All Genesis 3.3T V-6’s include:
- Variable rate steering ratio
- Multi-plate mechanical limited slip differential
- Staggered width low profile performance tires
- Brembo 4-piston front, 2-piston rear brake calipers
- Besides its Dark Side wheels, Sport trim supplements the front strut, rear multi-arm chassis with variable rate shock absorbers. In Sport mode the objective of more consistent under load and off camber grip is realized, saved from skittishness owing to capable torque vectoring. More adherent summer rubber is exclusive to rear drive G70 3.3T Sport model, a configuration which tempts the imagine with entertaining though perfectly controllable understeer through the esses. Light resistance matches balanced steering reactions and the capable brakes avoided the on-off abruptness of other big caliper systems.
-1 Broken pavement is inhospitable to what could signal a bit of over-springing chop.
- Magna viscous coupled clutch all-wheel drive is traction and drive mode controlled from a nominal 10:90 front-rear torque split. It makes brake torque launch control consistently effortless.
HOW FAR: 22 combined miles per gallon fuel economy (well under the EPA estimated 25 mpg); 480 highway miles.
HOW BIG/ LITTLE: Avoiding encroaching on the almost mid-size spaciousness of its Kia Stinger cousin, the 2020 Genesis G70 cabin seats where the compact premium segment used to be. Where the cockpit is appropriately accepting, the rear perch, with its wide driveshaft tunnel, is cozy only to two average sized missuses.
HOW USEFUL: √ 60/40 power release split folding 2nd Row seat backs; √ Wide trunk load aperture; √ Cargo tie-down net; √ Load-floor spare-tire cover latching hook cord; √ Proximity power trunk lid open; √ Mouse-fur lined, damped action glove box.
- +1 Overhead console retracting sunglass bin; Ample forward center console covered wireless device bin
- -1 10.5 cubic foot trunk; Wide B pillars and sloping backlight impede outward view
HOW SAFE: √ 9 airbags; √ IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus; √ Surround view rear camera; sonar front & rear Park Distance Control, √ Blind spot, rear cross traffic & lane departure warning; √ Driver attention alert; √ Auto parking brake hold; √ Adaptive LED headlamps w/ Auto high beam; √ Heads-Up display.
Partial Autonomous Driving: √ Full-adaptive cruise control; √ Lane Keep Assist, √ Forward Collision, Pedestrian and adjacent traffic avoidance braking. +1 Permits 23 seconds of hands/ foot free driving.
HOW PEOPLE FRIENDLY:
Endowed with a premium sporty rather than sublime interior rendering. Performance suited accents and displays aren’t the kind that bombard the senses with information. Data could benefit from more stimulating graphics. Materials do lack an expected luster in this bracket.
√ Quilted Nappa leather seating; √ Heated & cooled front sport seats: 16-way, driver power adjust w/ knee extender, 2-setting memory, 8-way front pax power adjust; √ Heated rear seats; √ 4 power windows, front w/ full up-down express; √ Heated leather D-shape power tilt/ telescoping steering wheel; √ LED Puddle lamps x 4 doors; √ Oversized moon roof w/ power shade; +1 Door pocket storage; +1 Fore and aft dual front door pulls;
Cool Gizmo(s): √ Proximity sensing power folding retracting wing mirrors; √ White cockpit dash, door & foot-well ambient LEDs. +1 4-air cell driver’s seat lumbar adjustment
Details Done Right: √ Microsuede headliner & pillars; √ Brushed aluminum door, climate & audio switches; √ Soft touch door panels w/ seat matching contrasting leather; √ Aluminum pedals; √ Stainless steel door audio speaker covers.
Nearly Non-Descript: -1 Faux embossed dashtop stitching; Hard plastic front seat backs; Thin pile cargo area carpeting; Climate control switch pods resemble Kia Rio economy car.
HOW “APP” -LICABLE: √ 8″ tri-pane touch LCD infotainment screen; √ Voice recognition command hands-free communications; √ 3-D SD GPS navigation; √ Subscription based Sirius XM radio & TravelLink; √ 15 speaker, 660 Watt Lexicon Q-Logic, HD radio, 30GB jukebox audio; √ Android Auto / Apple Car Play wireless device overlays; √ ; √ HD Radio Doppler weather, traffic; Pandora, Yelp; √ USB x 2, 12V x 3.
+1: No one has implented a more intuitive touch and remote scroller controlled infotainment display
+/-: Pretty much the same display found in mainstream Hyundai models; Matte media tackle fingerprints, refresh rate slow.
-1: No LTE Wi-Fi; Not all Lexicon audio systems are alike (listen to the G90‘s 7.1 DTS array)
Subscription based: √ Sirius XM radio (90 days trial); Traffic, Travel Link (3 yrs.); √ Connected Care Services, including remote start, via Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa.
HOW MUCH: $53,235 = 2020 Genesis 3.3T AWD Sport as tested retail price
WHAT’S MISSING: More premium interior materials from the G90 flagship
ANY COMPETITION: Alfa Romeo Giulia, Audi A4, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XE300 Sport, Lexus IS 300 F-Sport; BMW 340ix: +1 the Bogey; Mercedes-Benz C300; +1 lavish interior options; Volvo S60 T6 R: +1 Cabin craftmanship
FINAL WORD: New chapter about luxury performance offering real value.
(Contributing Editor: P. Stamatis, Contributing Media Editor: S. Stamatis)