I thought that driving the 2019 Genesis G70 would be a similar experience to driving the Kia Stinger as they share platforms. I was wrong. During our press drive, which took place in Maine and New Hampshire, we drove the excellent turbocharged four-cylinder manual and the twin-turbocharged V6 with all-wheel drive (AWD) equipped with an incredibly smooth eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Kia Stinger and 2019 Genesis G70 have completely different sheet metal, interiors and most importantly – character. The G70 feels more luxurious and lighter on its feet. Pat of that has to do with the G70 weighing about 250-lbs less than the Stinger. The G70 has a shorter wheelbase and, unlike the Stinger, the 2019 Genesis G70 offers a manual transmission with the turbocharged, four-cylinder, rear-wheel drive variant.
I can confidently say that parent company Hyundai is dead serious about Genesis and they built a serious contender in the G70. If I worked for Lexus, BMW or Infiniti (among others), I would seriously study how they built such an outstanding interior. I would scrutinize how Genesis managed to build a suspension system that, even in the base model, rivals the best Germany can offer. That’s not even counting the optional adjustables suspension system.
While prices have yet to be officially released, Genesis says the base model will start in the mid $30,000 and the top-of-the-line 2019 Genesis G70 will run about $50,000. Considering what I’ve seen so far, the pricing is extremely competitive.
The Lexus IS, BMW 3-Series, Audi A/S4, Cadillac ATS, Infiniti Q50 and the Mercedes C-Class sedan directly compete with the V6. They have similar engine and drivetrain options. Only the Cadillac ATS and BMW 3-Series compete with the rear-drive four-cylinder turbo with the six-speed manual transmission. Out of all of these competitors, it seems that (other than the ATS-V) the Cadillac ATS has a comparable starting price and similar powertrain options throughout the line.
The Genesis comes standard with a 365-horsepower (@ 6,000 rpm), twin-turbocharged, 3.3-liter V6 that makes 376 lbs-feet of torque. The 2019 Genesis G70 V6 available with rear or AWD and is hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The 252 horsepower (@6,200 rpm) turbocharged four-cylinder makes 260 lb-ft and has the option for an eight-speed automatic AWD as well. If you opt for the six-speed manual transmission (which is an evolution of the same six-speed used in the Hyundai Genesis two-door coupe) you get a horsepower bump to 255 horsepower. Another bonus to getting the rear-drive, four-cylinder manual: a limited-slip rear differential, Brembo brakes, performance suspension, tires and wheels come standard.
Balance and performance in every model is an impressive mix of comfort and confident handling. If you opt for the AWD V6, the system works seamlessly giving you front-wheel power when needed. You notice it at the track, flying around corners at ridiculous speeds, but not on the highway.
The rear-drive V6 and rear-drive manual and automatic four-cylinder feel more athletic. Steering is very light, but it’s easy to position the G70 on challenging turns. It leans quite a bit, especially the AWD V6, but its grip is resolute and corrections are easily made at almost any speed in almost any situation (dynamic torque-vectoring is key here). Impressive.
Highway cruising and backroad runs are remarkably smooth. The ride is quiet and drama-free, even over potholes. The seats on every model rival Lexus and the interior quality is best-in-class. Seriously, you should feel the switch and rotary knob action. Very upscale. Look at the tiny details and feel the heft on quality materials. Right up there with Lexus.
Negatives? Yep, there are a few:
- The back seat is a bit cramped for large/tall people.
- Engine and exhaust noise are minimal, but it should be more aggressive on the rear-drive manual.
- The exterior design is nice and tasteful, but not that original or imspired.
- They are kind of hefty with curb-weights starting at 3,580-lbs going all the way to 3,887-lbs.
- EPA numbers are so-so. Combined mpg numbers rage from 20 mpg (AWD V6) – 24 mpg (rear-drive I4).
One final note: while we rarely talk about the stereo systems in vehicles (I find it even more subjective than styling) the 2019 Genesis G70’s available 15-speaker, 660-watt Lexico stereo system was outstanding. Definitely, a worthy addition.
In these videos, we cover many of the optional and standard equipment that comes with the 2019 Genesis G70 along with driving impressions on the road and track.
Yes, we liked it – a lot.
By the way, Genesis has an outstanding warranty and free service plan: “Warranty Peace of mind is also standard on G70, thanks to a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to bumper warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. G70 also features Enhanced Roadside Assistance and Concierge Services, including tire changes or transportation to the nearest Genesis dealership or authorized service facility and reimbursement for inconvenience. For the first three years or 36,000 miles, complimentary Service Valet will collect the G70 to service it and offer a courtesy replacement meanwhile.