I’d been lusting after a drive in the newest crop of Genesis sedans for a couple of years, so when the news came that I’d be getting a new 2020 Genesis G70 3.3T AWD for testing, it was a happy day. Styling is subjective, but the cars look aggressive but tastefully so, and truly stand out from a crowd of somewhat anonymous luxury sedans. The Genesis brand is a subsidiary of Hyundai, so many of the same qualities that people love about the “lesser” company hold true here as well.
In short, there’s no reason to overlook this car if you’re in the market for a performance-oriented luxury sedan. If you’re hung up on the nameplate and are worried what your buddies with BMWs and Audis will think of you, get over it. You’ll be able to show up in a car that surprises them on several fronts, from its performance to its beautiful styling to its luxurious interior.
Most of these factors apply to all versions of the G70, but the vehicle tested was a G70 3.3T, which has a twin-turbo V6 engine and starts in the mid-$40,000 range. The test car also came with all-wheel drive, but the G70 comes standard with rear-wheel drive, in true performance car style.
Rather than write a straight review on this car––you can find those anywhere––we wanted to highlight five things that make the car a great pick.
The Genesis G70 2.2, with a manual transmission, shows how enthusiast pressure can lead a manufacturer to make a car that they wouldn’t release otherwise. So many people shouting “save the manuals!!” can put major pressure on an automaker, and in this case, it’s not all great. The clutch is heavy, the engine not powerful enough, and the sounds are a little weak for such an aggressive-looking car. The 3.3-liter Turbo, on the other hand, is an absolute monster that makes all the right sounds and has the muscle to back it up. The sub-five-second 0-60 mph time, combined with the excellent eight-speed transmission and all-wheel drive (an added-cost option), made the car a truly exhilarating vehicle to pilot.
If you’re coming to the G70 expecting a budget Hyundai experience, you’ll be happily surprised. The interior is a mix of high-end materials, excellent technology, and solid build quality. Sitting in the cabin, you’d be hard-pressed to find a spot not to like, as the interior is awash with niceties from every angle. Quilted leather on the seats and door panels is a thoughtful touch that ups the upscale feel considerably, and padded leather on the steering wheel, gear lever, and armrests make the experience feel special. The back seats are large enough for tall adults and children in full-size car seats to ride comfortably, but the G70’s sloping roof and somewhat small door openings will lead to bumped heads and irritated kids if parents aren’t careful enough.
The G70’s infotainment software is its most obvious link to Hyundai, as it’s basically the same system with different icons. The interface is easy to understand and use, especially when the car is in motion––something that can’t be said for every infotainment system. Menus are easy to understand, the system is responsive, and it’s easy to find the menu, setting, or option that is needed. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, and my test car came with optional wireless device charging, though there’s no ability to connect a device to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto wirelessly.
Top Safety Ratings
The 2020 Genesis G70 was awarded a Top Safety Pick + designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the highest honor for a new car. That’s thanks to excellent crash test scores and high ratings for standard crash prevention systems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t rated the G70 yet. Several driver-assist and safety technologies are standard, such as blind spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure alerts, lane keeping assist, automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warnings, and automatic emergency braking. That’s a list of safety equipment that many cars can’t get, even as an option, so it’s refreshing and confidence-inspiring to see that the G70 gets them all without an added cost.
The Genesis G70 with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 starts at $44,650. It’s hard to call anything that costs that much a bargain, but that’s what I’m about to do here. The list of standard safety features, luxurious materials, excellent build quality, and breathtaking performance would make a car costing thousands more a great deal, but here it’s an outright steal. The G70 also gets the same 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty that Hyundai and Kia vehicles get, which is longer and more comprehensive than anything coming with a German luxury vehicle today.
The G70 is a car for people that buy on substance and not just a nameplate. There’s plenty of style, so don’t assume it’s an ugly car that goes fast, but people that would traditionally shop for a BMW, Mercedes-Benz, or Audi might shy away from a Korean brand that doesn’t have the same swagger. That’s a shame because the G70 is in every way a worthy competitor to the best sedans from around the world and does so at a price that is friendly to most luxury buyers’ budgets.