We have a new long-termer in the Sydney CarAdvice garage – and it's not an SUV. You may also be surprised that our performance rear-wheel-drive sedan doesn't hail from Europe, either.
Meet our new 2020 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport.
Priced at $72,450 before on-roads, it sits in the middle of the range as the cheapest entry into a 3.3-litre V6 twin-turbo-powered car.
Genesis has recently unveiled a facelifted version of the G70, which means our previous-generation car has moved into clearance mode. The current promotion sees a minimum 15 per cent discount going, which on a car like ours represents a potential saving of over $10,000.
|Genesis G70 Sport 3.3T|
|Engine||3.3-litre V6 twin-turbocharged petrol|
|Power and torque||272kW @ 6000rpm, 510Nm @ 1300–4500rpm|
|Transmission||Eight-speed torque-converter automatic|
|Drive type||Rear-wheel drive|
|Fuel claim combined||10.1L/100km|
|Fuel use so far||11.0L/100km|
|Boot volume||330L (seats down not listed)|
|ANCAP safety rating||5 stars (tested 2016)|
5 years / unlimited km
|Main competitors||BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi S4|
It was priced well before, but with the discount it's close to daylight robbery. If you want this level of mumbo from a European, expect to shell out $99,900 for either a BMW M340i xDrive or Audi S4 sedan.
While the Genesis does not have the badge, does it have the credentials to play in the luxury Euro space? That's one of the things we plan to answer in our time with the car.
So, what do you get for the money?
The most important part is likely the powertrain. As previously mentioned, our Genesis sports a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, which produces 272kW of power and a rather healthy 510Nm of torque from 1300–4500rpm.
All of this flows through an eight-speed automatic that uses a traditional torque converter.
The first few tanks of fuel were emptied at a rate close to the claim, too, with its trip meter showing usage at 11.0L/100km so far versus an official combined figure of 10.1L/100km. If that dips into the low 10s over the long term, I'll be rather impressed.
Initial driving impressions from the CarAdvice Sydney office are also positive. The engine is muscular and features a great torque reserve.
Its transmission is well calibrated and offers crisp gear changes with decent refinement.
That fairly large torque figure offered low in the rev-range instils quite the burly power curve. When provoked, the G70 squats, digs into the tarmac, and even wiggles slightly as it desperately tries to harness the force.
That's the special part of this sedan, however – the fact it's rear-wheel drive. Sedan purists will revel in this point, and instantly be drawn to it because of this single attribute. Consider this a point we'll focus on for another update.
If that sounds like you, it seems you're in the right place. Even after a short stint behind the wheel, I instantly felt some BMW E39 5 Series character coming through.
The G70 feels clearly rear-wheel drive, and with the power levels on offer in our version magnifies it so.
Whether it's a big roll-on acceleration event or a cheeky attempt to exit a side street quickly, expect some pivoting and movement from the rear axle. I've not yet turned traction control off, nor ever plan to on public roads, so I'm speaking to this point with all nanny-aids in full force.
Genesis, and its local ride and handling team, has done a fantastic job with its chassis calibration.
To draw comparison to more modern metal, I'd say you'd have to shop it against an Alfa Romeo Giulia in terms of outright feel.
Speaking of which, that's another car that also channels old BMW 5 Series vibes. Or to those who are unaware, benchmark rear-wheel-drive sedan vibes.
That particular BMW 5 Series still stands up today as one of the best rear-drive sedans of the modern era, so consider it a huge compliment that the Genesis feels in line with such royalty.
Separate from ability, its ride quality also appears to be well sorted. Our car features adaptive suspension; however, the G70 has spent the majority of its loan so far in town on the most comfortable setting.
Basic feedback notes that Comfort mode feels soft and not overly stiff or twitchy like certain European equivalents. We're keen to explore more of its temperament in the coming months.
On the inside, it's premium enough. Leather seats are standard, which are quilted and look ornate. Genuine stainless-steel trim can be found on its doors and centre console.
Other areas are not so premium, like the button array under the touchscreen that feels rather i30, the touchscreen itself, in fact, and a rather basic-looking gauge cluster.
It's hit-and-miss inside, and likely an area that premium-sector snobs will rightfully criticise. In such a segment, challengers need to deliver internally, especially when their exterior styling efforts are as convincing as we find here.
Hopefully, the G70 redeems itself with an improvement in quality over its mainstream elder Hyundai.
We had a two-door Hyundai Veloster sports car in for a three-month long-term loan previously, and found its leather seats and interior plastics to have worn more than expected.
Granted, our long-term loans speed up the wear-and-tear process significantly, but I'd still want to see an uptick in this particular area. Stay tuned for feedback.
Another question we want answered is whether a medium-sized sedan is still ergonomically equal to a medium SUV when it comes to family duties?
I'll save things for a holistic update later, but peering into the second row, it doesn't look favourable. I barely fit behind my own driving position, which isn't good. However, not a make-or-break considering babies and young adults are a lot shorter than I am.
As you may be, too, for that matter. More on that later.
So, aside comparisons to Europeans, comparisons to SUVs, picking apart its driveline, and seeing whether it'll cut the mustard for a family car, what else would you like us to find out?
Drop us a line in the comments below, and we'll do our best to address them in forthcoming instalments.