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2021 Genesis G70 Test Drive Review

Genesis has become a surprise contender within the competitive luxury sport sedan segment. With its available twin-turbo engine, the 2021 Genesis G70 puts the screws to BMW.

8.3 /10
Overall Score

Genesis is an interesting brand, and is one that offers unexpected value and performance in segments that are not typically known for giving the good stuff away. After its split from Hyundai to form its own standalone brand, Genesis has been on a roll with desirable vehicles that bring show-stopping style and solid safety scores.

The G70 is one of three sedans Genesis makes, and holds the key as the entry-level model in the catalog. Above it are the G80 and G90 sedans, both of which are more zipped up and formal than the playful-but-powerful G70. The car receives minor updates for 2021 that include a shuffling of trim levels and features.

The Genesis G70 competes in a crowded field of luxury cars and mainstream brands that include the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Lexus IS, and the BMW 3 Series. Genesis aims to lure new car buyers away from those more-established rival brands with a long warranty, great safety scores, and premium standard features.

Look and Feel

9/ 10

The Genesis G70 features styling that sets it apart from other sport sedans on the market. Its large grille and sharp front fascia indicate that this isn't an everyday Hyundai, and the deeply sculpted sides give the car a muscular look all around. The G70 features a fastback shape that is sleek and extends its profile.

Inside, the G70 features a driver-oriented cockpit with upscale finishes and excellent build quality. Higher configurations get quilted Nappa leather seats and plenty of standard features that make the car feel like a real upgrade over the everyday commuter. With the optional sunroof, the G70's sometimes dark and stodgy interior feels much lighter and less restrained.

Performance

8/ 10

Genesis offers two powertrain configurations for the 2021 G70. The Genesis G70 2.0T gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The Genesis G70 3.3T bumps power and sportiness considerably. Its twin-turbo V6 engine (shared with the Kia Stinger) produces 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Every G70 gets an eight-speed automatic transmission, with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) or optional all-wheel drive (AWD). Both engines provide strong acceleration and the eight-speed automatic does its job without complaint.

Though it's on its way out, it's worth noting that there is a manual transmission option for G70 models equipped with the 2.0-liter engine. It's only available with RWD but brings an additional 3 hp over cars equipped with the automatic transmission. The roaring V6 engine can only be had with two pedals, though, so the G70 is best had with an automatic transmission.

On the road, the G70 can effortlessly cruise or be completely insane, depending on how hard the driver wants to push things. Rear-drive models come with a limited-slip differential and AWD models can claw their way around almost any corner. Brembo brakes are available to provide excellent stopping power, and the car's drive modes provide an excellent way to shift through its varying personalities. Cars equipped with the twin-turbo V6 also offer adaptive dampers to respond to changing road conditions.

EPA-estimated fuel economy is decent but not stellar. With the 2.0-liter engine and a manual transmission, the G70 returns 18/28/22 mpg city/highway/combined. With an automatic transmission, those numbers shift to 22/30/25 mpg. Adding AWD changes the numbers slightly to 20/27/23 mpg. The 3.3T returns 17/26/20 mpg with RWD and 17/25/20 mpg with AWD.

Form and Function

8/ 10

The Genesis G70 walks a fine line between sports and luxury, but stretching between two tasks doesn't seem it to drop the ball in either arena. The interior is comfortable and spacious, though parents and people who regularly carry more than two people will find that the rear seat is tight on legroom. Passengers in the front seats are treated to a cozy but roomy area with well bolstered seats and a low seating position. The infotainment touchscreen, and all dials, controls, and displays are oriented toward the driver for a true cockpit-like feel.

Seating, even without the available high-end leather upholstery, is comfortable in all versions of the G70. A 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat and eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat are standard. A power steering wheel, heated and ventilated seats, and heated rear seats are available.

In terms of cargo and storage space, the G70 may leave a little to be desired for many buyers. Trunk space lands at just 11 cubic feet and interior storage spaces, though numerous, are small.

Tech Level

8/ 10

Genesis, like its corporate parent Hyundai, tends to pack its vehicles with standard features, far beyond that of what is typically seen form a luxury brand. The G70's tech is a great example of this.

Standard features include an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, six speakers, SiriusXM satellite radio, HD radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate controls, HD radio, USB inputs, and more. The car can be upgraded with a 15-speaker Lexicon audio system, navigation, parking sensors, a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, a surround-view camera system, and wireless device charging. Options can be added with packages, which in the G70 replace trim levels. They include the Elite Package and Prestige Package.

While Hyundai and Genesis' infotainment systems are among the easiest and most intuitive to use on the market, some have complained that the G70's touchscreen lags and isn't responsive at times.

Safety

9/ 10

The 2021 Genesis G70 earned the highest Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). That's due to its excellent crash test scores and solid standard advanced driver aids. Standard safety features includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, a driver attention monitoring system, and forward-collision warning. Parking sensors are also available.

Cost-Effectiveness

8/ 10

One of the best things about buying a Genesis G70 is the value it presents against its competition. Its reasonable starting price of roughly $36,000 and surprisingly decent top-end MSRP of around $50,000 put it at odds with many other luxury cars. The G70 also offers solid performance and a comfortable interior, both features we'd expect from a luxury sedan, but not from one in the Genesis' price range.

Sweetening the pot even further, Genesis offers a warranty on the G70 (and all its vehicles) that is hard to beat. The cars are covered by a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, so you can pick up a new car without worrying about it breaking in the near future.

Updated by Chris Teague

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Genesis G70 Questions

Genesis G70 Seat Easy Access Does Not Seem To Work.

I have my driver's seat easy access set to extended which should move the seat back when I shut the car off to exit the car. Unfortunately nothing happens.