What is it?
A blast from the past with a “modern” twist.
Genesis was a label launched five years ago by Hyundai. It was quickly forgotten by the motoring public in general, but found a small, small niche with airport-bound limo drivers.
Relaunched in July, this time as a brand in its own right, Genesis is reborn with two body shapes, named the G70 and G80, with a choice of two engines, and three trim levels for each.
Our test vehicle is new and smaller G70 model, in mid spec 2.0L Sport form.
It’s the 180kW/353Nm 2.0-litre turbo four that can be found elsewhere in the Hyundai/Kia family.
And it’s rear-wheel drive, which means the engine is turned north-south, not east-west as it is when drives the front wheels.
Otherwise the 3.3-litre twin turbo V6 is the same engine that is under the bonnet of the under-appreciated Stinger.
Sole transmission for both is a slick 8-speed auto, complete with paddle shifts.
What’s it cost?
The G70 range starts at $65,533 driveaway, or $68,158 with a sunroof.
Sport takes the figure to $69,733 or $72,760 with the glass roof.
Ultimate with all the toppings, garlic bread and drink is $76,978.
The test car was clad in eye-catching Adriatic Blue, and from the schoolyard to shopping centres, and from local roads to the highways — heads swiveled to get a look.
Seats are leather all round and the front pews are heated and power adjustable, but there’s no venting — which should be standard in any car sold in Australia with leather.
Switchgear is a step up in looks and the steering wheel mounted controls look and feel like real metal.
The driver faces a pair of analogue dials, with a standard LCD screen for background info like trip meter, consumption, etc.
There’s also a page with gauges for power and torque, with a separate one for G-force. Track days are taken care of via a lap timer.
The centre console touchscreen is a letdown, but in a small way. That’s because the design looks like any other found in the Hyundai and Kia range — not a bespoke Genesis design.
Underneath is a nook with Qi smartphone charging, USB, AUX, and 12V.
The centre console has a pair of cup holders and houses a rocker style gear selector. There is also a dial for the five drive modes — Eco, Comfort, Custom, Sport, and Smart.
Rear seat room is compromised as the donor chassis was shortened slightly for better weight distribution.
Boot space isn’t great either at just 330 litres. That’s thanks to a low boot lid that terminates in an integrated spoiler and a space saver spare underneath.
Audio is a nine-speaker system and it’s a delight. Punchy bass is balanced by throaty midrange notes and tinkling trebles.
The DAB tuner is also a delight, with no dropouts in areas many others falter.
The exterior is a sensual piece of work. A lonnnnng bonnet evokes E-Type. The rear flanks say BMW or Mercedes-Benz.
The profile hints at Aston Martin. The rear lights nod towards the Euros, with a wink at Mustang thanks to the three vertical stripes of the fully LED lit cluster.
The front end features a black-coloured mesh grille, with bi-LED headlights and the indicators at each corner are LEDs too.
The front flanks sport a chromed boomerang garnish, and there are functional air intakes and exits ahead and behind the front wheels.
The alloys are black painted and wrapped in 225/40/19 Michelin Sport rubber.
There is nothing missing from the safety list, with Smart Cruise Control that has stop and go tech, along with Blind Spot Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Driver Attention Alert.
Lane Keep Assist is perhaps too aggressive in its efforts to keep the G70 between the lines.
Forward Collision Alert is calibrated for pedestrian and cyclists.
What’s it go like?
The 2.0-litre turbo produces a benchmark 353Nm of torque and is an easy revver in the G70.
It hooks up nicely through the 8-speed auto, but it’s a transmission that benefits from a warm up — as it exhibits some stumbles and stutters from a cold start. Once warm, however, it’s as smooth as silk with invisible changes.
Aurally it’s dismal however, with no sporty, rorty noises from the engine or the exhaust.
In Sport mode the sound in the cabin is an artificially generated one.
Otherwise there is a lot of flexibility in this engine, with peak torque on tap from 1400rpm through to 3500rpm.
In normal driving it means rapid response from the throttle. Off the line, on the freeway, or in suburban driving, it means get up and go is lightning fast.
It’s also has quick steering with barely three turns from lock to lock. This is especially useful on twisty, winding roads, where the long nose tracks as if it is almost connected to the arms on the tiller.
With a low centre of gravity, the car sits flat at speed. Changing lanes generates no body roll at all, and under heavy braking the nose barely dips — overall it’s a very sporty package.
In Smart drive mode the onboard computer learns and adapts, changing the way the engine and transmission respond to suit conditions and input.
The transmission has a rev-matching program built in and this ensures gear changes really do handshake with the engines characteristics.
Eco and Comfort dial down the excitement levels and work best in heavy or non-flowing traffic. Sport is for the open road, or the freeway, when it becomes necessary to pass slower traffic.
The steering and driveline can be preset for Comfort and Sport via the touchscreen, but for most people a simple twist of the dial will be enough.
Brembo provides the stoppers and these are up to expectations. The brake pedal is beautifully calibrated to work with the system.
A gentle tap, a solid press, and everywhere in between tells the driver exactly what’s happening underneath.
Fuel consumption is rated at 8.7L/100km, with a bump to 9.0L/100km for the Sport and Ultimate.
We saw a best of 8.4L/100km and a solid around town average of 8.7.
What we like?
- Immensely flexible driveline
- Beautiful audio system
- It is a stunner to look at
What we don’t like?
- Generic main info screen
- Jittery engine/transmission when cold
- Interior shortchanges rear leg room
The bottom line?
The Genesis G70 is a superb looking car. And it’s a great drive when the transmission is warmed up.
The Sport model has plenty of tech and there’s plenty of room up front, but not enough space to make rear seat passengers happy.
It goes up against similarly spec’d Euro cars and the only hiccup is going to be the lack of recognition of the name and badge.
CHECKOUT: Genesis adds some ‘sting’ to lineup
Genesis G70 2.0T Sport, priced from $69,733 driveaway