Wednesday, February 6, 2019

2019 Genesis G70 2.0: The Luxury Brand’s BMW 3-Series Fighter

Highlight: The G70 shares underpinnings with Kia’s hatchback-like Stinger.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $45,895 (Base model: $35,895)

Seating Capacity: 4 (limited rear seating)

Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; vehicle stability control system; a hillstart assist control system; a forward collision avoidance assist system with pedestrian detection; a lane keep assist system; a blind spot collision warning system with a rear traffic cross alert system; a radar activated stop and go cruise control system; an automatic high beam assist headlights; heated outside mirrors; an electronic parking brake; an automatic dimming rearview mirror; a rearview camera; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (2.0 RWD): 18-inch wheels; daytime running lights; an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters; a start-stop fuel saving engine; twin tip exhaust pipes; a hands free trunk; a push button ignition system; power front seats; leather-like seats; a leather steering wheel; a manual tilt/telescopic steering wheel; and a dual automatic temperature control system  

Options On Test Vehicle: (Elite) full LED headlights; navigation system; a parking distance warning system; power folding auto dimming outside mirrors; rain sensing wipers; a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; heated/ventilated front seats; a panoramic roof; a 15-speaker audio system; leather seats; aluminum trim (Prestige) a heads up display system; a surround view monitor; Nappa leather seats; heated rear seats; a microfiber suede headliner (Dynamic) 19-inch wheels with summer tires and limited-slip differential (Sport) sport wheels; Copper headlight bezel accents; dark tint taillight covers; alloy pedals; and dark chrome grille and window trim

Other Trim Level:

2.0-liter turbo AWD
3.3 –liter turbo RWD
3.3-liter turbo AWD

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/HD SiriusXM  

Android And CarPlay: Yes

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/252-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New: This is Genesis' newest compact entry and last car to join the line up, before a wave of much needed crossovers start to trickle in, making this a full fledged luxury brand. The G70 is designed to go head-to-head with the likes of BMW’s iconic 3-Series.

Why: The newest rear wheel drive, compact luxury sedan joins a field, which is fiercely competitive, as consumer car-buying habits has shifted toward crossovers, SUVs and trucks. The all-new G70 is available in a rear wheel drive and an all-wheel drive configuration. Depending on the trim, the stylish vehicle, which wears the brand’s signature grille, is available with a manual transmission.

The all-new G70, which shares a platform with Kia’s Stinger, is available with two powertrains: a 4-cylinder 252-horspower engine or a 6-cylinder 365-horsepower engine. For those seeking an engaging driving experience, we recommend stepping up to the more powerful 6-cylinder engine. We believe it will showcase all the attributes of this Korean-built sedan.

Just like its two older siblings, the G80 and the G90, the layout of the gauges and infotainment system are user friendly and well thought out. Unlike some of its German competitors, an owner’s manual or hours of training aren’t required to master the use of the features.

The base G70, which has a starting price in the mid thirties, is priced at the lower end of the spectrum in the luxury compact segment. However, even with that being the case, the vehicle does not skimp on amenities. At this affordable price point, the vehicle includes 3 years of maintenance, a lane keep assist system, a blind spot and a lane changing system.  And for those seeking more luxury or to alter the look and ride of the vehicle, buyers can add-on everything from a panoramic roof to heated rear seats to a navigation system to 19-inch wheels to real Nappa leather seats.

The G70 we reviewed was also outfitted with a variety of driving modes, too. The modes range from economy to sport. As one alters the driving modes, they’ll notice a difference in the handling characteristics of this Genesis.

But: The rear legroom in this compact sedan is virtually non existent. The cozy rear seating area is not designed for tall adults or growing kids. This vehicle is definitely more suitable for singles or a couple.

We also found the 2.0 liter turbo to be somewhat underwhelming and underpowered. For those seeking to hold down the price and isn't concerned about power, the 4-cylinder engine will do the job. Conversely, in our opinion a sporty looking vehicle should have a powertrain to support it. While we’ve yet to experience a G70 outfitted with the available 6-cylinder engine, we did spend some time with the performance oriented engine in a 2018 Kia Stinger GT. The engine was more than adequate and did not feel sluggish like the 4-cylinder engine.

Moreover, the optional extremely dark auto-dimming outside mirrors was somewhat distracting, when changing lanes at dusk. The engineering team needs to reconfigure the tint. Ironically, a feature that is designed to reduce glare could be considered a safety hazard. 

We also found the front driver’s seat lacking support, with its flat bottom. Added to that, the Hyundai-like infotainment system lacked an app for traffic and accident updates. And, where is the heated steering wheel to compliment the heated front seats in the rear wheel drive configurations? The heated steering wheel is only available with the all wheel drive package. Go figure? We must also note that the navigation system is also an optional feature, too.

Verdict: With this being the final car to join the Genesis portfolio, expect the brand to finally get into the game of launching what the market is asking for – crossovers and SUVs.

The all-new G70 is a great vehicle to attract a youthful clientele to the brand. The midsize G80 and the flagship G90 are great vehicles, but they’re not going to capture the buyers need to grow the brands long term. The G70 is a step in the right direction. It seems to be a well-built sedan that is on par with the competition in terms of pricing, styling, warranty and amenities.

Competition: Alfa Romero Giulia; Audi A4; BMW 3 Series; Infiniti Q50; Jaguar XE; Lexus IS; and Mercedes-Benz C Class

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