If you ever had doubts Hyundai was serious about taking the fight right to the Germans’ doorsteps, the new 2019 Genesis G70 should put them to rest. A brand landmark, this shapely four-door is a full salvo against the BMW 3 Series et al.
The second model to arrive under the Genesis badge that wasn’t a carry-over from the Hyundai subsidiary, the G70 is a very handsome car. Its angular front fascia, swept hood and side lines, and tall-ish rear end aren’t quite German, nor are they Japanese—they’re a blend of both, and maybe that’s Korea’s best plan of attack. Regardless of influence, it looks better and more cohesive than the G80 and G90, both of which are no Quasimodo.
Despite its entry-level station, the G70 is not a small car. Compared to the 3 Series, the G70 is lower, wider, and longer, with 1.6 inches of extra length, 1.5 inches of additional width, and 1.2 inches lost on height.
This entry-level luxury sedan segment doesn’t suffer softies, instead favoring capable handling, punchy turbocharged powertrains, and well-balanced steering. To achieve this athleticism, the G70 pulls bits (and platform) from the freshly minted Kia Stinger sports sedan, including shared powertrains, suspension, and tires, though the Stinger receives a stiffer suspension and a longer wheelbase.
The G70 won’t be breathless in a stoplight sprint against the Bimmer, either. U.S. buyers have a choice of either a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder packing 255 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, or the big-boy 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 that spits out 365 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque.
A traditional eight-speed automatic transmission manages both engines, sending power to either the rear- or all-four wheels, the latter being a nifty rear-biased system that will still allow smoky oversteer when prodded.
According to our friends at Motor Trend, the U.S.-spec 2.0-liter will be offered with a six-speed manual, likely making its way overseas eventually. A 2.2-liter turbocharged diesel four-cylinder is also available, but that will not make its way Stateside.
At least in the six-cylinder G70, performance is impressive and above average for the segment. 0-62 mph arrives in 4.7 seconds, and does not stop accelerating until a top speed of 167 mph.
Performance specs for the 2.0-liter are not available yet, but expect a 0-60 mph sprint in the high five-second range. There’s a whole raft of performance hardware to manage both powertrains, including launch control, multilink rear-suspension, torque vectoring, and a mechanical limited-slip differential.
Genesis also clearly studied up on Audi and BMW’s best interior efforts. Segment standards are rampant in the G70’s cabin, including a floating infotainment screen on the center stack, quilted and diamond-pattern leather surfaces, contrasted stitching, matte metal surfaces, and dark trim.
It’s far, far too early to tell if the 2019 Genesis G70 has what it takes to yank significant sales from the Germans, but this is a clear indication that the Koreans are here to stay in the competitive luxury market.
|2019 Genesis G70 Specifications|
|PRICE||$35,000 (base, est)|
|ENGINE||2.0L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/255 hp, 260 lb-ft; 3.3L twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6/365 hp, 375 lb-ft|
|TRANSMISSION||8-speed automatic; 6-speed manual|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, RWD/AWD sedan|
|L x W x H||184.5 x 72.8 x 55.1 in|
|0-60 MPH||4.7 (V-6), 5.8 sec (I-4, est)|
|TOP SPEED||167 mph (V-6)|