It will likely take a few more years before John Q. Public has realized that Genesis is now its own division. I know because seemingly everyone I spoke to during my week with the Genesis referred to it as a model from Hyundai, not a separate luxury division of the South Korean automaker.
And I certainly did field a lot of questions about the G70, Genesis’ first midsize sport sedan.
No other model has garnered so much interest in the parking lot of Appen Media Group as the G70. And these aren’t really car people, mind you. Most would think a Daihatsu is a type of sashimi.
People just seem inherently drawn to this car, and it’s easy to understand why with just a quick glance. This is a stunning looking sedan.
The G70 combines sleek lines, engaging curves and eye-catching shapes for styling that is simultaneously handsome with just a hint of aggression.
The interior is just as appealing with upscale materials and attractive styling. Opting for the Sport Package ($1,000) enhances the interior and exterior look with 19-inch alloys, copper headlight bezel accents, dark chrome grille, tinted taillight covers, alloy pedals and fantastic, quilted Nappa leather seats.
The infotainment screen sticks out a bit like a sore thumb, and it was clearly plucked from lower Hyundai models, but otherwise the G70 certainly ticks the box of a luxury presence.
It also earns high marks in the performance category.
The Genesis is offered either with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 or the 2-liter turbo four. While critics have sung the praises of the V6 at length, I still enjoyed the four-cylinder that offers 252 horsepower.
The turbocharged 2-liter needs a moment to fully engage, but once it does, the G70 keeps pulling and pulling with hardly any interruption from the 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters (a manual is also available). The engine does not make a particularly good noise, its more of a muted buzz, but its quiet and mellow around town.
While the 2-liter comes with over 100 fewer horsepower than the V6, the Genesis still hits the mark on sporty performance.
Give the G70 some corners and it will slice them with aplomb with responsive steering and informative feedback. My tester came with the Dynamic Package ($1,000) which adds Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires and a limited-slip differential. The Genesis’ was unruffled through quick switchbacks, sharp elevation changes and sweeping corners.
When the travels go from switchbacks to supermarket runs, the G70 has a supple, refined ride quality that irons out potholes and uneven tarmac.
While traditional comfort and sport modes are available, drivers can also tailor their preferences in custom mode.
Those in the front seats of the G70 are well accommodated, but the rear is a bit tight where legroom and headroom is concerned.
Safety-conscious consumers will likely appreciate the G70’s standard safety features which include forward collision avoidance, blind spot warning, lane-keep assist and Driver Attention Warning, a kind of silicon nanny that tells when its time to take a nap.
Opting for the Prestige Package ($3,000) adds a heads-up display, surround vision camera, wireless charging, heated front seats and other amenities.
Adding options can quickly balloon the G70’s price tag, but even my 2-liter tester, which came with all boxes ticked, came in at under $46,000. A fully-loaded G70 with the V6 doesn’t go far beyond the $50,000 mark.
That might seem like a hefty price for what many people still consider a Hyundai, but remember, this is not some flunked attempt to create a midsize luxury sedan that emulates German manufacturers. The G70 is a fantastic and legitimate luxury midsized and a bonified player in the segment. It’s also the most affordable.
With superb styling, a sporty and refined ride, plenty of tech and creature comforts, upscale materials and strong build quality, the G70 might just be cause for some trembling in German boots.
But maybe not for a few years.
Those who take their BMW to the country club might scoff at the prospect that a “Hyundai” is akin to their 3-series, and subjectively better, but those who give the G70 a closer look will be rewarded. Once they correctly identify the badge, that is.