Normally, you’re supposed to read all the way to the end of a car review to find out if the car is any good. If you’re short on time, you might’ve noticed that I cut right to the chase with the Genesis G70 AWD 2.0T Sport in the headline.
Sedan sales have been declining in popularity for years while most shoppers switch to crossovers and SUVs. Meanwhile, Genesis has embraced their all-sedan lineup by adding its smallest and most affordable sedan yet to the lineup.
With a starting price of $34,900 ($35,895 after destination fees), the G70 compares favorably to its small luxury sedan rivals. Unlike all of its non-European competitors though, the Genesis starts off as a rear-wheel-drive sedan. All-wheel-drive is also available for those who want slightly better all-weather traction.
The base 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder produces 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, while the available 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 puts out a healthy 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. The example I drove came with the 2.0-liter engine and it felt plenty fast without the extra 113 hp that the V6 makes. While 0-60 MPH in 6.5 seconds is reasonably quick, the 3.3T rips to 60 MPH a full 2 seconds faster. That’s a proper sports sedan, right there.
Options, Options, Options
As equipped, the G70 AWD 2.0T Sport that I drove carried an MSRP of $48,090. That is fully-loaded for the 2.0T motor and features all four available packages (Elite, Prestige, Dynamic, and Sport). The Elite Package ($5,000) includes features like LED headlights, GPS navigation, heated and ventilated leather seats, and a 15-speaker Lexicon audio system. The Prestige Package ($3,000) comes with a head-up display and surround-view camera system, Nappa leather seats, heated rear seats, adjustable lumbar support and a wireless charging pad for your phone. The Dynamic Package ($1,000) swaps the standard 18-inch wheels for some 19-inch alloys with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S summer tires. The Sport Package ($1,000) includes sportier 19-inch alloys wrapped in Michelin rubber, copper-colored headlight trim, dark tints on the taillights and chrome trim, alloy pedal covers, and special diamond quilting on the seats. Including the all-wheel-drive system adds another $2,000.
Unlike many of its competitors, Genesis groups options into distinct packages instead of making them a la carte. The biggest gripe I had about the Genesis G70 is that this package structure can add more than $10,000 to the base price. Although these packages seem to justify their cost, I can’t help but wonder if there is a better bargain out there than a bare-bones G70.
Moves Like Jagger
From the driver’s seat, the G70 felt much sportier and fun to drive than I was expecting. The 2.0T engine is snappy and responsive with a throaty soundtrack. Purists will appreciate that a manual transmission is available on 2.0T RWD models but shifts from the 8-speed automatic are as smooth as they are instantaneous. The brakes feel up to the challenge of slowing this 3,650 lb car down, although Brembo-supplied brakes with red calipers are standard on the 3.3t-equipped models. The all-wheel-drive system combined with the grippy Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires makes the car feel so sure-footed and engaging to drive.
But for me, what made the car the most enjoyable to drive was the steering. It was direct and full of feel, cutting out just enough noise to avoid fatigue on longer drives. Yet the steering still manages to communicate exactly what is happening where the rubber meets the road. It’s a trait that, sadly, seems to be all but forgotten by most automakers. For those who enjoy driving, it makes a world of difference.
It’s What Is On The Inside That Counts
Inside, soft leather with beautiful quilted stitching covers the majority of the touch points. As you’d expect at this price point, there are still some unsavory plasticky parts but they’re reasonably well-hidden. Although there isn’t anything particularly avant-garde about the interior styling, it’s an absolutely wonderful place to be. The seats are some of the best I’ve ever sat in, blending comfort with support perfectly. The fact that the seats are both heated and cooled is also an amazing luxury at this price point. The rear seats aren’t especially roomy but they’re exactly what you’d expect in this segment.
The technology in the G70 is really impressive. The infotainment system is fast and intuitive to use, although the graphics on the 8.0-inch touchscreen do look somewhat dated. Pairing a phone via Bluetooth took just a few seconds. Having Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard is a welcome bonus. Ahead of you, the gauge cluster mixes traditional dials with a beautiful digital center display. I thought the heads-up display was a nice touch as well. What really blew me away was the G70’s stereo. The 15-speaker Lexicon-branded audio system sounds fantastic!
Shines Like a Diamond
All-in-all, the 2019 Genesis G70 is a greatest hits album of all the things people like about sedans. It’s fast, fun to drive, comfortable, and practical. It’s easy to live with and easy to drive in all conditions. As more shoppers choose crossovers, the Genesis serves as a beacon of hope for those that love sedans.
To learn more about the Genesis G70, make sure to visit Genesis of St Louis Park.