By Nauman Farooq
It was almost two years ago when I first tested the Genesis G70, and it delivered one of the biggest shocks I’ve encountered in the automotive business!
I expected the car to be decent before I got in, but within a minute of me taking off in the G70 3.3T Sport, I knew this was going to be one of those game changer vehicles!
I got to reaffirm this fact last year, when I drove one up and down a runway at Pearson Airport in Toronto, On. When unleashed on an open tarmac, with no speed limits, this sport sedan really proved that it can handle high speeds with ease, too.
However, in the past, if you wanted the G70 with the mightier engine, you had to pick the “Sport” model – which might not be to everyone’s taste. So, for 2020, Genesis has introduced a new trim on the G70, the 3.3T Prestige AWD. It combines the power of the Sport with a more luxurious cabin – not that the Sport was a bare bones race car!
How is this new model? Well, I got to spend a few days in one, to find out!
Styling: The overall styling hasn’t changed, and given that the G70 was penned before Luc Donckerwolke became the head designer for the Genesis brand, it isn’t the most striking looking car in its class. Given the design of the upcoming GV80; you can rest assured that when time comes to re-skin the G70, it’ll end up being much more dramatic!
So, how does one spot the difference between the 2020 G70 Sport and this new Prestige trim?
Easy, the Sport has a blacked-out trim treatment that includes a dark front grill and dark five-spoke alloy wheels. In the Prestige model, those trim pieces are in traditional silver chrome, which includes the front grill. The wheels are different, too, and finished in silver; although they are the same 19-inch in size and wear the same size rubber, but where the Sport comes wearing high performance Michelin Pilot Sport PS4 summer tires, the Prestige gets all-season tires.
Personally, I prefer the look of the Sport trim, but it is good to have options.
Interior: The cabin hasn’t changed in terms of design or technology, but whereas the Sport trim only came with black interior trim and seats, the new 3.3T Prestige opens up the colour palette quite a bit more. So, now you can have a lighter colour interior while enjoying V6 performance.
In general, the seats are fairly comfortable (although, I do wish the extendable thigh support came out an inch further) and there is good room for five people and their luggage in this vehicle – and speaking of luggage, it finally has a power trunk lid; because it certainly isn’t luxurious to slam your trunk lid down manually.
Powertrain: The G70 is still offered with two engines. The base motor is a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four cylinder that produces 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. It is worth noting, that the 2.0L motor in Sport trim makes an extra three hp, is offered as a rear-wheel drive model with a six-speed manual gearbox – making it the enthusiast’s choice of the bunch. All other trims get all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic.
The upgrade motor is the twin-turbo 3.3L V6 that develops 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. No manual gearbox option with this motor, and in Canada, all the V6 models get all-wheel drive – mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Performance & Driving Dynamics: The performance is, in a word, spectacular. This twin-turbo V6 is not just fast for a family car, its performance can shame many sports cars.
I’m talking here about a vehicle that can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in about 4.7 seconds – that makes it about as quick as a Ferrari F355. Yes, while the Ferrari I am referencing is 25 years old, if you had told me back then that a Korean family sedan can one day keep pace with one of the greatest Ferrari’s ever made, I’d have laughed.
Not only is the G70 fast in a straight line, but thanks to its excellent chassis and suspension set up, and its Variable Gear Ratio (VGR) steering rack, this car can handle corners too. And when you need to shed off speed, its Brembo four-wheel discs with ABS will also wash off speed in a hurry.
This car is so nice to drive, I wish Genesis offered a two-door coupe or convertible on this platform – perhaps they can work with a design house like Zagato or Touring Superleggera to create a limited edition model – that would be amazing!
Fuel Economy: In my fuel economy test (where I drive a vehicle 170 km on the highway + 130 km in the city) the 2020 Genesis G70 3.3T AWD Prestige averaged 10.7 L/100 km. That’s not bad at all for something that is this powerful and fun to drive. I bet if the vehicle wasn’t wearing winter tires, it would have averaged even better.
Pricing: The most basic G70, which is called the 2.0T Advanced AWD, is yours from $42,000. The 3.3T Sport AWD is yours from $58,000. This new 3.3T Prestige AWD comes in at slightly under the Sport model, and is yours from $56,000. Good thing about Genesis pricing, every dealer fee and freight/PDI is built into the price of the car, all you pay extra is the price of your plates and the HST.
Verdict: The G70 had impressed me from the very first turn of the wheel about two years ago, and time has done nothing to diminish its appeal. It has the technology and performance to not only rival competitors from Europe and Japan, but offers it at a more attractive price point. If you’re looking for value for money, Genesis is fairly hard to beat!