Stick Shift: 2019 Genesis G70 3.3T

The Genesis G70 is a perfectly sized small sports sedan. It’s fast, refined and well rounded. Packing the same winning formula found in the larger and more luxuriously appointed G80 and G90. Just with smaller proportions, at about a foot shorter and around $7,000 less expensive than the G80. The latest entry from the blossoming Genesis line is high on excitement and big on value. A true top contender in an automotive segment brimming with some heavy hitting competition like the Audi S4 and Mercedes-Benz AMG C43.

European inspired styling can be seen through the lines and in the core design of the G70. Modeled more aggressively when compared to its bigger brothers, the G70 exudes sportiness first, splendor second. It’s not just for show either. The little Genesis has the right moves to back up its looks. Offering two turbocharged engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 3.3-liter V6, there’s plenty of horsepower to be found. My V6 was especially fun to drive. 

Bolted up to an eight-speed automatic transmission, 0-60 in the V6 model is reported to happen in just 4.5 seconds. I believe it. The G70 is very quick. With all that power directed to the rear wheels, it can be tail happy too if you’re not careful with the go-pedal. With 365 hp on tap, handled by such an excellent transmission, geared for fun, the G70 is the fastest offering from Genesis yet. It’s not just admirable in a straight line either. Throw in a bend or two and you’ll notice the athletic handing and neutral steering. The G70 is poised and controlled in almost every driving scenario you throw at it.   

As good as the exterior looks, and balanced and powerful the performance is, it’s the interior that may be the G70’s best foot forward. The Prestige package only adds $2,500 to the price tag, but will add a heads-up display, surround view monitor and soft Nappa leather seats with luxurious quilted stitching. Both front and rear seats are heated, and you’ll find a microfiber suede headliner overhead. These additions only build on an already impressive cabin space. 

Photo via: Genesis

Thankfully, the sometimes cumbersome capacitive-touch buttons are absent. No console-mounted knobs or touchpad controls to fumble with here. Irritating findings in many high-luxury brands that take away more than they add to the experience. Instead, the G70 stays true to what works. Large, physical dials and knobs control the climate and volume. Shortcut buttons can be found to quickly navigate the 8” touchscreen display as well. I admire how Genesis elevates the things that are straight-forward and sensible, and doesn’t try to fix what isn’t broken with unnecessary reinvention. 

Understandably, cabin quality is a step down from the higher end G80 and G90. That’s not to say it isn’t extremely good though. The G70 interior overflows with soft touch points and high-quality materials. Even minor details seem addressed to add elegance and refinement. Contrast stitching across the dash, the quilted Nappa leather and aluminum trim elevate the G70 in a way that will immediately impress.  

Photo via: Genesis

For everything the G70 gets right, their are a few misses. With a shortened wheel-base, rear seats are cramped for taller passengers. Trunk space falls on the small end of the spectrum as well. In addition, the twin-turbo V6 and aggressive gear ratio of the 8-speed automatic translates to fast acceleration, but frequent stops at the gas station. The G70 only manages 21 mpg combined. 

The 2019 Genesis G70 makes a strong case for itself. It’s a top contender for one of the best small sport sedans available for under 50k. It’s fast, agile, composed and refined. With modern good looks and an interior that feels more like European luxury than something from the house of Hyundai. Genesis is a brand that continues to challenge our notion of modern luxury and what we should be willing to pay for it. Stretching how far our dollar can go. Sharpening our definition of value and blurring the differences between performance and plushness. The G70 rounds off the Genesis sedan line-up in a strong way. Becoming the rambunctious little brother that’ll always be ready to play. With a price tag and impressive warranty that’ll make you feel good about playing hard.

Price as tested: $48,995.00

By: Brandon Randall

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