The Genesis passed the street litmus test with flying colours. Random kids walking down the road came in for a closer look, clearly enamoured with the shape of this Korean sedan. Pushing a pram, dad had a good look also with a quizzical gaze at the badge.
“That looks nice mate!” my neighbour quipped on another day, as the 2020 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport sparkled (freshly cleaned) under sunlight on the driveway. He didn’t know what kind of car it was, but it caught his eye and impressed nonetheless. He only grew more impressed by the explanation of a twin-turbo V6 under the bonnet pumping out 272kW behind that handsome snout.
I’m sure Justin’s other long-term instalments will extol the virtues of this smooth, muscular yet understated driveline, and the enticing match it makes to the controlled, capable chassis. So, I won’t go over the same ground (too much).
What I’m here to do is throw a curve-ball at the G70 with the family, and put the boot and interior under duress on a road trip up the coast.
First up, the baby seats fit into the second row well enough, with easy to reach top-tether points working well in concert with ISOFIX points. With the seats installed and kids strapped in, we were left with enough room for adults up front to be comfortable enough for a jaunt up the coast to visit the in-laws (or out-laws, depending on what side of the fence you’re on).
Adaptive dampers yield good cruising comfort along the highway, and driving ergonomics leave little room for criticism. From my experience, the G70 drives, rides and feels like a premium car should.
Throw in some consideration around the $72,450 (before on-roads) asking price, and how much hardware you get under the bonnet, and this Genesis does start to become quite appealing.
The G70’s boot, measuring in at a seemingly meagre 330L, was enough for most of our gear for this weekend away. Some stuff did end up being poked in the second-row footwells and in between the baby seats.
It’s worth noting here that competitive sedans do offer more boot size in comparison, but that advantage doesn’t come without compromise. Many have run-flat tyres or a goo-based repair kit, which is a compromised solution for road-trippers and rural buyers in particular.
Like most vehicles of this size, there is not enough room for an adult in between two baby seats. The transmission tunnel, in particular, is big.
There’s a little bit of extra space under that somewhat flimsy false floor in the boot, amongst the space-saving spare wheel. There is also a first aid kit and breakdown assistance kit (which includes stuff like a poncho and flashlight, which are nice touches).
While the days of a full-sized spare wheel in a sedan seem long gone, having a space-saver spare tucked away under the boot does seem to be the best of today’s worsening options.
Another important point to cover is when we got home, some four days and a few hundred kilometres later. Out with the kids and associated chattels, the seat materials (appointed leather in this Sport specification) cleaned up easily with a wet cloth and quick vacuum. The carpeted floormats also cleaned up nicely.
Back when we arrived, the Genesis was received with the same story: positive first impressions by people who didn’t know exactly what they were looking at. Some were surprised by the Hyundai connection, but the penny dropped when it was explained like the better known Toyota-Lexus relationship. "Nice Benz!" somebody else told me.
Funnily enough, cruising through the green rolling paddocks surrounding Morpeth with my dad, this Genesis took me back to the early 2000s. Me, a teenager living on a hearty diet of Drive lift-outs and car magazines, completely beholden to my dad’s good mate, who turned up for dinner in a then-new E46 M3 (in that awesome blue colour).
Before dinner, dad’s mate Jock took me for a drive in the M3, letting that legendary inline six rasp and whinny down the long stretches of narrow, straight and bumpy roads as the sun crept behind the horizon. I was utterly in love with the car by the time he stopped at the start of a long straight, and uttered those magical words, “Now, how does this launch-control thingy work?”.
For posterity’s sake, I repeated the process on the same patch of bitumen in the Genesis, with my dad and a few cattle for company. No launch control here, however, and nowhere near the same shrieking soundtrack and almost 8000rpm redline.