By Nauman Farooq
Ever since Hyundai branched off Genesis as its separate, luxury brand, its offerings have been a bit familiar!
The Genesis G80 is what used to be sold simply as the Hyundai Genesis Sedan, and the Genesis G90 was previously sold as the Hyundai Equus – although both have been updated quite a bit.
Therefore, the G70 is the first Genesis product that is not a carryover – although, even it started out in life as a Kia Stinger. But, the G70 should not be simply looked upon as a Stinger wearing a different badge, because the two vehicles look nothing alike.
Not only is the styling radically different, they offer different practicalities, too. The Stinger is a hatchback, which would allow you to carry more stuff; whereas the G70 has a traditional sedan trunk, which helps make the cabin a little quieter.
So, depending on your preferences, you can pick one between the other. However, since this is not a comparison test between the G70 and the Stinger, we’ll just look at the Genesis offering in more detail here.
Styling: Luc Donckerwolke, whose past has included working for Lamborghini and Bentley, is the new head of design at Genesis. However, he is not the one who penned the G70, because – as he told me at the 2018 Canadian International Auto Show – that this car was already designed by the time he joined the company. Perhaps that helps explain why it is not the prettiest car in the world, and that its styling looks a bit derivative – I see some Alfa Romeo Giulia and Infiniti Q50 inspiration, especially at the front. So, while not a visual stunner, it is still a handsome looking car.
Interior: Step inside and you’re greeted with a very good interior that not only looks luxurious, but is also made quite well! The fit and finish is excellent, and so are the materials. It is very well equipped too, with power everything, a wonderful Lexicon surround sound system, and an infotainment system – although, I’m not a fan of the touchscreen interface for the infotainment system, it should have had a controller on the center console, just like in the Genesis G90.
Apart from that, the seats are quite comfortable, and my tester even had the adjustable side bolsters which would hug your kidneys as you engaged ‘Sport’ mode. The cabin is fairly spacious at the front, but rear seat passengers don’t get a lot of headroom or legroom – so if you have adults to drive around on a regular basis, this is not the car for you!
Powertrain: The G70 is currently offered with two different engines. Base motor is a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder unit, that produces 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. My tester had the current top-spec motor, a twin-turbocharged 3.3L V6 that produces 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Power is fed to all-wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Bury the throttle in ‘Sport’ mode and it’ll spring from 0 to 100 km/h in about 4.7 seconds, and has an aerodynamic drag limited top speed of 269 km/h – so it is seriously fast!
Driving Dynamics: Numbers are one thing, but what truly impresses is the way this car drives. First of all, the throttle is quite responsive, just put your foot in, and it catapults forward.
The gear changes might not be the fastest in the business, but the transmission is smooth, which is appreciated.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is the chassis and suspension setup, not only is the car comfortable, but it also feels composed at speed and in the bends – its various drive modes help you choose the right setting for the type of driving you have in mind. After driving this G70, I got into the new Ford Mustang Bullitt, and that car just felt too heavy and loose!
Yes, what I’m saying here is, that the G70 is more of a drivers car than an actual sports car.
Fuel Economy: In my test cycle, the G70 3.3T averaged 11.3 L/100 KM, which is fairly decent for a car of this size and performance.
Pricing: The most basic G70 with the 2.0T motor is yours from $42,000.
My tester, a 3.3T Sport is yours from $57,500. The best part about Genesis pricing is that the price includes all the fees (such as freight/PDI, admin, etc., etc.) that are usually tacked on top of the asking price.
You just pay the advertised sum, plus tax – that’s it! I hope that other manufacturers take the example set by Genesis in pricing their vehicles – after all, you can’t buy the car without paying those fees anyway, so why not include them!
Verdict: This 2018 Genesis G70 3.3T is one of the biggest surprises of this year, and not only does it get a thumbs up from me, it’ll probably end up being on my ‘Top 10’ list for this year!