Genesis G70 review

Genesis G70

We get behind the wheel of the latest entrant in the compact luxury saloon class – the Genesis G70…

Genesis, the luxury arm of the Hyundai Motor Group (think Lexus/Toyota), only launched in the UK in the summer of 2021 and it already has an impressive stable of cars, ranging from saloons to SUVs, plus the G70 Shooting Brake.

So far, the range only includes traditional petrol and diesel powered vehicles, though plug-in hybrid versions of some models are on the way.

The big breakthrough will come later in 2022 when the 100% electric Genesis GV60 is launched. Developed alongside the acclaimed Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, it should be a cracker. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to driving the GV60 this summer.

Genesis G70

Meanwhile, we’ve been road-testing the G70 saloon, which has the tough task of stealing sales from the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Volvo S60 and Alfa Romeo Giulia, to name but a few.

We’ve already driven the elegant estate version (marketed as a Shooting Brake) and we were impressed.

Competitively priced from £33,400, the four-door G70 is available with two turbocharged engines – either a 2.0-litre petrol (194bhp or 241bhp) or a 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission.

Genesis G70

Our test car was diesel-powered, offering a top speed of 143mph and a 0-62mph sprint time of 7.4 seconds. Fuel economy is 42.7-44.5mpg, while CO2 emissions are 166-173g/km.

The more powerful petrol engine is faster, with a top speed of 149mph and a 0-62mph time of 6.1 seconds, but fuel economy is 31.9-35.4mpg and CO2 emissions are 181-201g/km.

First impressions of the G70 are good. It’s a good looking sports saloon with an athletic stance and there’s no mistaking that bold ‘G-Matrix’ grille design.

Genesis G70

Inside, there’s no shortage of kit, including a 10.25in landscape-oriented touchscreen with built-in sat-nav, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. Unlike some manufacturers, it also offers a healthy mix of the modern and traditional with dials, buttons and proper air vents.

The G70 is packed with the latest safety kit too, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot collision avoidance tech.

The interior oozes quality and has been well put together. There’s ample space up front, but it’s slightly cosier in the back, especially for an adult passenger sitting behind a taller driver.

Genesis G70

Overall, the cabin is a comfortable, plush place to be and the low-slung driving position is perfect. For the record, boot capacity is a reasonable 330 litres.

The Genesis G70 handles well and offers a composed, luxurious ride, even if it’s not as sporty as you might expect (you can experiment with the drive modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Sport ). More spirited drivers can still have fun on more challenging roads because it’s nicely balanced and there’s plenty of grip, but it’s no BMW.

Ultimately, it’s not a class-leading drive, nor will the engine set your pulse racing. It does the job and there’s plenty of torque on tap, but it’s vocal when pushed and real world fuel economy is short of 40mpg.

Genesis G70

On the plus side, the steering is sharp and direct, and light when driving around town or manoeuvring into parking spaces.

So, the G70 is a mixed bag, but then Genesis is no ordinary brand and a completely different VIP ownership experience is on offer.

There are no dealerships. Instead, you visit a studio where you can interact with a Genesis Personal Assistant (GPA), who’s under no pressure to make a sale and is employed on a commission-free basis.

Genesis G70

It’s hoped the GPA will remain a direct point of contact throughout your ownership experience, delivering cars for test drives and purchases, and collecting your car for servicing (providing a like-for-like Genesis while your car is away).

What’s more, the 5-Year Care Plan includes servicing, roadside assistance, courtesy car, mapping and over-the-air software updates.

Verdict: The Genesis G70 should definitely be on your sports saloon shortlist, especially if you’d like to experience a VIP ownership experience. Luxurious, well equipped and delivering a smooth, composed drive, it stands out from the crowd and would probably come into its own as a plug-in hybrid.

Genesis UK

Genesis G70

Genesis G70 Shooting Brake review

Genesis G70 Shooting Brake review

We drive the latest model from Genesis – the new prestige brand from South Korea.

Genesis would probably rather we didn’t mention the ‘H’ or ‘K’ words, but it would be odd not to add some context to the arrival of Genesis in Europe.

Already well known in its home market, as well as the US, Canada, Russia, the Middle East and Australia, Genesis is the luxury arm of the Hyundai Motor Group, meaning its other sister brand is Kia. Think Lexus/Hyundai and Infiniti/Nissan.

Of course, in Europe it faces a tough task, especially when it comes to stealing sales from the German big three – BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

Genesis G70 Shooting Brake review

However, it does have a few tricks up its sleeve to entice buyers, most notably a unique buying experience, generous warranty and VIP aftercare package.

There are no dealerships. Instead, you visit a studio where you can interact with a Genesis Personal Assistant (GPA), who’s under no pressure to make a sale and is employed on a commission-free basis.

It’s hoped the GPA will remain a direct point of contact throughout your ownership experience, delivering cars for test drives and purchases, and collecting your car for servicing (providing a like-for-like Genesis while your car is away).

Genesis G70 Shooting Brake review

What’s more, the 5-Year Care Plan includes servicing, roadside assistance, courtesy car, mapping and over-the-air software updates.

Anyway, enough about the Genesis concept, what about the all-new G70 Shooting Brake? Well, not only is its name steeped in history, but it’s also one of the most elegant estate cars on the market.

Only available in Europe, it competes with the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring, Mercedes C-Class Estate, plus the Volvo V60.

Genesis G70 Shooting Brake review

Just like the Genesis G70/G80 saloons and GV70/GV80s SUVs launched in 2021, the G70 Shooting Brake is offered with a choice of conventional petrol and diesel engines. Yes, strangely for a new brand, there’s no hybrid assistance, let alone a pure electric version.

All that will change later in 2022 when Genesis launches its first fully electric cars, then from 2025 it will only roll out EVs.

The engine choice for the G70 Shooting Brake is between a 2.0-litre petrol (194bhp or 241bhp outputs), or a 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel.

Genesis G70 Shooting Brake review

All the units have four cylinders and a turbo, feeding their power to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

We tested G70 Shooting Brakes fitted with the diesel unit and the most powerful petrol engine.

Competitively priced from £35,250 to £41,880 (the 5-Year Care Plan is included), there are three generously equipped trim levels on offer – Premium Line, Luxury Line and Sport.

Genesis G70 Shooting Brake review

It’s packed with the latest safety kit too, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot collision avoidance tech.

Inside, it oozes quality and it’s been well put together. There’s plenty of space up front, but it’s slightly cosier in the back, especially for an adult passenger sitting behind a taller driver. In fact, if the driver sits low in the car there’s no room for the rear seat passenger to place their feet under the front seat.

With that caveat, the cabin is a comfortable, plush place to be and there’s a decent 465 litres of luggage capacity (expanding to 1,535 litres with the rear seats flipped).

There’s a conventional layout for the driver, so thankfully there are still a few dials and knobs alongside the 10.25-inch touchscreen, while the seating position is superb.

Genesis G70 Shooting Brake review

Overall, the G70 Shooting Brake handles well. The combination of supple ride, sharp steering, balanced suspension setup, grip and body control are impressive.

The petrol’s 0-62mph time of 6.9 seconds is quicker than the diesel (7.7 seconds) and respectable, rather than smile-on-your-face territory.

There are four driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport ). We spent most of our time in Comfort (perfect for cruising).

Sport adds a little more urgency, especially in the torquey diesel, which also benefits from a piped in engine growl when you put your foot down.

Genesis G70 Shooting Brake review

The eight-speed auto is fine, but it will frustrate more spirited drivers because it has a tendency to hold onto lower gears, especially with the petrol.

If the lack of any form of electrification is a surprise, then the economy offered by both the petrol and diesel engines is positively old school.

On paper the diesel can manage up to 41.8mpg, but we couldn’t get higher than mid-30s, while the petrol has a claimed high of 30.2mpg (real world early/mid 20s, unless driven like a saint). CO2 emissions are up to 182.1g/km and 217.4g/km respectively.

Verdict: The sleek, elegant Genesis G70 Shooting Brake combines plush materials and excellent build quality with a sporty yet comfortable drive. Go for it if you want a VIP owning experience and you like standing out from the crowd.

Genesis UK

Genesis GV80 review

Genesis GV80 SUV

It’s always a pleasure to welcome a new name to the UK car market, so let’s hear it for plush South Korean brand, Genesis.

Already successful in the US and South Korea (with 130,000 sales in 2020 alone), the luxury division of Hyundai (think Lexus/Toyota) initially launches in Europe with two cars – the GV80 SUV and G80 saloon.

Both face a tough task, especially when it comes to stealing sales from the German big three – BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

Genesis GV80 SUV

Apart from competitive pricing, Genesis has another couple of tricks up its sleeve to entice buyers, most notably a unique buying experience, generous warranty and VIP aftercare package (of which more later).

The epic BMW X5-sized GV80 is likely to be the best-seller for Genesis until smaller, electrified models appear over the next few years.

Weirdly, when most new launches are either hybrids or fully electric, the GV80 is only initially available with a choice of 2.5-litre petrol or straight-six 3.0-litre diesel engines.

Genesis GV80 SUV

Starting at £56,815, both versions have four-wheel-drive as standard and you can choose between seven or five seats.

The GV80 certainly has road presence and its Korean origins and American appeal are obvious. The enormous chrome grille, bold winged badge and twin horizontal LED headlights are attention grabbers, while the general shape is classic SUV.

There’s even a hint of the Bentley Bentayga there, which is no surprise given that Genesis’s chief designer is Luc Donckerwolke used to have a drawing board at the luxury marque.

Genesis GV80 SUV

The beautifully finished interior is just as impressive with its blend of high-quality materials, comfortable seats and modern technology, including a panoramic 14.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, a 13.3-inch digital driver’s cluster and head-up display.

We tested the 274bhp diesel mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, configured as a spacious five-seater.

There’s lounge-like space up front and space for three adults in the back, while the boot can swallow 735 litres of luggage, or an enormous 2,152 litres of kit with the rear seats folded.

Genesis GV80 SUV

Naturally, there’s a commanding view of the road and let’s just say it’s swift rather than fast.

For the record, it can sprint from 0-60mph in 7.3 seconds, fuel economy is 33.1mpg and CO2 emissions are 231g/km.

You’re aware of its size, especially on narrower country roads, where it feels a bit of a handful.

The cabin is light, airy and refined, and it soon becomes clear that it’s been engineered as an effortless long-distance cruiser, perhaps more with the American market in mind.

Genesis GV80 SUV

The ride on motorways and A roads is pleasantly smooth, but it doesn’t feel quite so sophisticated on smaller, rougher routes.

Thanks to all-wheel drive, grip and traction are impressive, while the engine is suitably responsive, the steering is light and precise, and the brakes provide ample stopping power.

More spirited drivers can switch to Sport mode and try their luck on more challenging roads, but the combination of a large girth and moderate body control soon bring you back to your senses.

That said, if you live in the country or you want to stay in control during extreme weather, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a Terrain mode which can switch between Mud, Sand, or Snow conditions.

Genesis GV80 SUV

As you’d expect, the GV80 is generously equipped, not least in the safety department where it gained a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests (a claimed first-in-class central front airbag is fitted as standard) and goodies include active cruise control and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection.

So, the GV80 is a classy, distinctive, all-round package, but it’s the ownership experience that might swing sales. Not only is it likely to be as dependable as its sister brands, Hyundai and Kia, but the five-year/unlimited mileage warranty is tempting too.

Then there’s the transparent buying process. There are no dealerships. Instead, you visit a studio where you can interact with a Genesis Personal Assistant (GPA), who’s under no pressure to make a sale and is employed on a commission-free basis.

Genesis GV80 SUV

It’s hoped the GPA will remain a direct point of contact throughout your ownership experience, delivering cars for test drives and purchases, and collecting your car for servicing (providing a like-for-like Genesis while your car is away).

The Five-Year Care Plan also includes servicing, roadside assistance, courtesy car, mapping and over-the-air software updates.

Verdict: If you’re looking for a big, plush new SUV that stands out from the crowd, plus peace of mind and excellent customer service, then consider the all-new Genesis GV80. Spacious, safe, comfortable and generously equipped, it’s an effortless cruiser.

Genesis UK