The 2020 Genesis G70 will be sorely missed. Not just by me either – but also by the whole Sydney CarAdvice office, and even my wife. Indeed, my free-spirited, Suzuki Jimny-driving better half shed a tear as the big brute left our driveway for the last time. It's effervescent – bubbly with a great persona. A reminder of what the quintessential Aussie family car used to be.
Given SUVs are what's hot, we spend a lot of time in them. There's never a week where we don't have at least two in the CarAdvice garage for scrutiny. It's quite easy to become accustomed to what they offer and how they drive.
Refreshing, then, to jump in what was minted 'the palate cleanser' – an age-old medium sedan, just now complete with two turbos and rear-wheel drive. The conditioning caused by SUVs gets thrown out the window, as you reacquaint yourself with a low centre of gravity and a rear axle that wiggles under throttle.
As a recap, our Genesis G70 is the entry-level 3.3T Sport model. It starts from $72,450 before on-roads. The only option is an opening panoramic sunroof at a cost of $2500, which our car has. Colour choices are pleasantly unburdened by extra cost, so feel free to pick without a fiscal lens.
|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|
|Final fuel-use figure||9.6L/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|
Ours is finished in Santiago Silver, which is a brilliant, bright hue. We'll start with that area, as it's something we rarely get the chance to comment on.
We've had it around six months now, and all members of our editorial team have enjoyed time with it. Everyone's parking and car care arrangements differ. Understandably, it's been well loved, and possibly washed with the odd dirty sponge given all our kids have cut their teeth keeping it clean.
We also see a lot of press cars in our line of work, and the varying conditions they come in. With everything considered, the paint on our G70 presents incredibly well. It shows little to no marring or 'swirl marks' – those spiderweb-like micro scratches that reduce a paint's lustre. Also, despite running interstate numerous times and spending nearly every day on various motorways, there wasn't a single stone chip in sight. Luck or not – its paint job is unquestionably tough and hard-wearing.
The only concern that appeared was a rogue piece of undertray that let go during its final few weeks. Upon inspection, it appears a small clip had failed – not the end of the world.
What will be missed most is the way the G70 manifests its 272kW/510Nm. That second, healthy figure is on tap from 1300 to 4500rpm. Sent straight to the rear axle, then split by a torque-sensing limited-slip differential, it makes the G70 feel lively and unquestionably rear-drive.
If I were to draw comparisons to another, the Alfa Romeo Giulia would come to mind first. Both cars signal their intent clearly, and don't shy away from a bit of movement under big pedal inputs.
The ride quality is brilliant considering its ability, straddling sportiness and comfort well. Adaptive dampers are fitted as standard; however, Comfort mode is all you need. Its inherent tautness can't be ironed out completely, but it'll make its way over corrugations with a level of composure and control that raises no alarm.
Out in sports sedan territory – or fast country roads – the G70 feels buttoned down. When left in Comfort mode, there's enough rigidity to explore its potential while keeping traction control at bay. General sound insulation is decent, too, but some coarse-chip roads are met with louder than average tyre roar.
After thousands of kilometres travelled, its onboard computer displayed a fuel reading of 9.6L/100km. That's less than the official combined figure of 10.1L/100km, which is remarkable for a twin-turbo V6 that trundled mainly in traffic.
Internally, those thousands of kilometres were covered enjoyably. Another point of difference with a medium sports sedan, versus a sports utility vehicle, is its low-slung seating position. A small point alone in isolation, but grand in its gesture of feeling. When considering driver involvement, sitting in its bowels heightens the connection – something that an SUV never truly manages to nail.
The sports leather seats did their part over the loan, too, and showed no sign of wear in high-impact areas. That's compared to our previous Hyundai Veloster long-termer, which had worn seat bolsters after four months of use. There's an improvement in material quality with the Genesis brand, despite its switchgear alluding otherwise.
If you watched the introduction video, you'll see it was something that initially bothered. After living with the Hyundai i30-esque switchgear for some time now, and having experienced what the new Genesis GV80 and G80 offer, I'd say the point now holds even more weight.
Comparing the brand's latest product with its outgoing stuff shows a huge leap. The G70 will receive a facelift sometime this year, which will include some upgrades. Stay tuned, as we'll be poking about it soon.
The second row isn't as useful as an SUV – a sentiment time has not changed. A large transmission tunnel also interferes with second-row space. While not as roomy, you do accept this trade-off with what else it offers: performance, rear-wheel-drive underpinnings, and value. A comparable SUV just doesn't exist, and any that come close are $10,000–$20,000 more expensive.
Is it worth the compromise? All CarAdvice parents who spent time behind the wheel unanimously voted so. Low hip points will pose the biggest challenge for some, as loading kids in and out will challenge your core strength. Once they're in, space is adequate, although a high door line means younger or smaller kids won't be able to peer outside.
Boot space at 330L is down compared to European competitors, as well as SUV alternatives. However, a stroller fits lengthways, and you become accustomed to leaning in to push groceries up against the seatback. One tip would be to invest in a small, foldable crate, as it would make using the far reaches of the boot area much easier.
I'll reiterate for the third and final time – pensive sadness dawned as the G70 rolled into the sunset. It represents a wonderful, against-the-grain family car with stacks of might. Family cars need not be high-riding hatchbacks, and if you feel similarly, deeply consider such a car.
Then there's the benefit of this underdog being naturally laden with value. Sure, shopping with the big three Euros will earn you points at the golf club, but such currency is meaningless outside those gates. Shopping with Genesis will earn you more meaningful credit that can be cashed in on daily.