Genesis G70 2021

2021 Genesis G70 review

First Australian drive

Rating: 8.4
Current Pricing Not Available
  • Fuel Economy
  • Engine Power
  • CO2 Emissions
  • ANCAP Rating
The Genesis G70 has undergone a mid-life facelift while the range has been simplified to just two variants.
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The Genesis G70 could just about be Australia’s best-kept secret in the medium luxury sedan segment, a class where traditional rivals from Germany, Italy and Japan slug it out for the honour of sitting in the driveways of Australia’s mid-level executives.

But the Korean carmaker, the luxury arm of Hyundai, is happy with its progress, confident it can build on the base it has established since launching as a standalone brand in Australia in 2019.

The 2021 Genesis G70 reaffirms the brand’s local commitment, the facelifted mid-sizer treading a familiar and well-trimmed path.

To simplify things for the 2021 model year, Genesis has taken the axe to the G70 range. Where once visitors to the brand’s Sydney CBD showroom were greeted by six variants, those venturing into Genesis Studios in Sydney (and later this month, Melbourne) will have just two choices available to them, no bad thing, as often too much choice can be bewildering.

The trimmed down G70 range looks markedly different to its predecessor, adopting the brand’s new design language first seen on the GV80 large SUV. Split headlights flank a redesigned ‘crest grille’ while a redesigned front bumper and splitter lead into shapely guards.

Around the back, there's a new bumper while the split tail-light design that mirrors the headlight design up front. An integrated ducktail spoiler on the bootlid adds some visual flair.

The Genesis G70 2.0T gets the range underway at $63,000 before on-road costs. That’s up $3700 over the outgoing entry-level model thanks to extra features, both comfort and safety.

Standard equipment for the G70 2.0T includes 19-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen with integrated satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, DAB+ digital radio, an 8.0-inch 'Supervision' digital instrument display, leather upholstery, and 12-way electric front seats with heating and ventilation.

There's also dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, a leather-wrapped centre console and trim elements, a nine-speaker sound system, four-way power driver's lumbar support, aluminium inlays, rain-sensing wipers, and an electro-chromatic rear-view mirror (new for this model).

The G70 wears a new suite of active safety technology including lane-following assist, intersection support for the autonomous emergency braking system, a Blind-Spot View Monitor (which projects a camera feed of the vehicle's blind spot into the instrument cluster), a 360-degree camera, safe exit warning, multi-collision braking, and rear occupant alert.

That joins an already impressive list of incumbent tech including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, high-beam assist, lane-keep assist (joining the new lane-following system), driver attention alert, and leading vehicle departure warning. Genesis has also added front-centre and rear-side airbags, bringing the total to 10.

The G70 range wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating awarded to the pre-facelifted model in 2018.

2021 Genesis G70 2.0T2021 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport
Engine2.0-litre turbocharged petrol3.3-litre twin turbo V6 petrol
Power and torque179kW @ 6200rpm, 353Nm@1400-3500rpm274kW @ 6000rpm, 510Nm @ 1300–4500rpm
TransmissionEight-speed automaticEight-speed automatic
Drive typeRear-wheel driveRear-wheel drive
Kerb weight1613kg1719kg
Fuel claim combined (ADR)9.0L/100km10.2L/100km
Fuel use on test10.1L/100km11.4L/100km
Boot volume (seats up/down)330L / NA330L / NA
ANCAP safety rating (year tested)Five stars (2018)Five stars (2018)
Warranty (years / km)Five years / unlimited kmFive years / unlimited km
Main competitorsAudi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS
Price as tested (ex on-road costs)From $63,000From $76,000

Powering the G70 2.0T is, as the name suggests, a 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder petrol with outputs of 179kW and 353Nm. Sending those outputs to the rear wheels is a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission.

The beefier Genesis G70 3.3T Sport boasts not only a bigger engine (under the bonnet lies the beating heart of a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 making 274kW (up to 2kW on the outgoing model) and 510Nm. Like its tamer sibling, power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed conventional auto.

Pricing for the sportier G70 starts at $76,000 plus on-road costs, the extra spend bringing with it not only more cylinders and more power, but also more equipment.

Exclusive to the G70 3.3T are adaptive dampers and a Sport+ tune, a bi-modal sports exhaust (which gives the 3.3T the extra 2kW over its predecessor) and dual exhaust tips.

And in addition to the standard features found in the G70 2.0T, the V6 G70 also scores a limited-slip rear diff, four-piston front and two-piston rear Brembo brakes, 19-inch dark 'Sport' alloy wheels, dark chrome grille and window surrounds, black grille inserts, leather Sport seats, suede headlining, alloy pedals, and unique aluminium inlays.

Those features are available as $4000 option as part of the ‘Sport Line Package’ in the G70 2.0T but come fitted standard in the G70 3.3T.

Optional on both variants is the $10,000 Luxury Package, which adds a nifty 12.3-inch 3D digital instrument cluster, a head-up display, nappa leather upholstery, 16-way power-adjustable driver's seat with memory function, a heated steering wheel and rear seats, power-operated boot lid, and a 15-speaker Lexicon premium sound system. Both variants can be optioned with matte paint for an additional $2000.

Slide inside the G70 3.3T for the first time and it’s reasonably familiar territory. While much of the layout and design is carried over from the previous model, the big ticket changes are the new, larger, infotainment screen and digital driver display. Better still Genesis has done away with running Hyundai’s infotainment operating system, in its place Genesis’ own proprietary software which is slicker, easier to navigate and a whole lot more premium looking. It lifts what was already a decent cabin to the next level.

The sports seats in the 3.3T are comfortable and offer plenty of support including bolsters that tighten up noticeably in the sportier driving modes (Sport and Sport+) to hold you in nice and snug.

Ergonomically, everything feels close to hand and intuitive, while remaining solid in hand. There’s just an inherent luxuriousness to cabin, in the way it feels and the way it makes you feel when you sit inside.

That’s only enhanced when you fire up the 3.3-litre V6 under the bonnet, its deep, yet muted rumble sounding like a promise. It doesn’t disappoint either, with plenty of punch from that V6.

Acceleration is beautifully linear, the eight-speed auto doing a commendable job of keeping things moving in a smooth and unflustered fashion. There’s plenty of poke down low in the rev band and accelerating up to highway speeds is similarly effortless.

A claimed 4.7 seconds for the benchmark 0-100km/h sprint feels about right by the seat of the pants. Yes, it's quick when it needs to be.

And the sound of a V6 humming away speaks to a soundtrack of premium mid-sizers that is sadly missing from some of its rivals these days. It’s not raucous by any stretch, if anything, quite refined. But it’s a powerful thrum that just sounds, well, right.

Cruising on the freeway at 110km/h and the G70 3.3T barely raises a sweat, settling into an easy lope that feels as comfortable as it does powerful. You just know there’s an eagerness, a willingness even, to push the needle beyond the signposted limit. Not that you do, but you know it would be equally as effortless.

The Genesis G70, like its cousins from the Hyundai family, benefits from locally-tuned suspension. That fettling is evident across the spectrum of local driving conditions. From supple and comfortable in the inner city confines, to quiet and cosseting on the motorway, to taut and terrific in Sport mode and on some sketchy rural backroads, the G70 never feels flustered.

Instead, it absorbs bumps and lumps with poise and even with the adaptive dampers in its tautest setting while remaining flat and composed. Lovely.

Genesis says the G70 3.3T will drink 10.2L/100km of 95RON unleaded on the combined cycle. After several days behind the wheel encompassing a wide range of driving styles and conditions, we saw an indicated 11.4L, not a bad return against the brand’s claim.

Swapping into the G70 2.0T brought some surprises, pleasant ones.

While not as potent as its V6 sibling, the four-cylinder G70 doesn’t lack for performance. Sure, it’s not as potent as the 3.3T, but there’s still enough from under the bonnet for effortless motoring.

Naturally, it misses out on the V6’s aural thrum, but acceleration (0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds is the claim) and ride comfort remain commendable. Acceleration is nice and predictable and plenty quick enough when you need it to be while freeway motoring remains fuss-free.

That’s largely down to the G70’s excellent suspension tune which even in this application (no adaptive damping here; that’s only found in the V6 variant) provides an unflustered experience behind the wheel.

What it lacks, only slightly, is the charisma of the V6-powered Genesis, the four-pot feeling more benign from behind the wheel. That’s not an out and out criticism, mind you, the 2.0T still providing a premium driving experience.

That translates into the cabin which, like its brawnier sibling, has all the hallmarks of a luxury sedan. Our tester was fitted with both the Sport and Luxury packs, making for a $77,000 (plus on-roads) proposition. The result is a mid-sizer that’s hard to distinguish from its V6 counterpart from the kerb.

The 3D digital driver display is a nice addition, certainly visual, although what tangible benefits it brings are questionable. Looks cool, though.

What does make a real world difference are the blind spot camera-views nestled inside the digital driver display. Activated by the indicators, the images are razor-sharp and provide a clear view of the car’s blind spots.

Helpfully, Genesis has programmed them to also display speed (right-hand side) and rpm (left-hand) , so you’re never left guessing as to the car’s vital signs when looking slightly down into the display. It’s clever technology, one we’d expect more and more car makers to adopt in the coming years.

Genesis reckons the G70 2.0T will use 9.0L/100km of 95RON unleaded and after several days behind the wheel, through over a variety of conditions and driving dynamics, we saw an indicated 10.1L. Again, not too shabby against Genesis’ claim.

Genesis warrants the G70 range with its standard five-year/unlimited km warranty. But, where the Korean brand stands out from its competitors is in also offering five years/50,000km complimentary scheduled servicing. It covers labour, parts and lubricants, as per the G70’s servicing schedule.

Additionally, Genesis will collect the car from you for its scheduled trip to the workshop, while also providing a courtesy car, before returning your freshly maintained G70 back to you. Sweeteners, yes, but they add up to a brand that goes above and beyond what is expected in today’s premium motoring landscape.

And that’s the thing about the G70. In many ways it goes above and beyond. But whether that’s enough to convince buyers in the mid-size premium segment remains the big question. Those that are convinced, will be rewarded for their effort.

If we were to pick one, we’d opt for the more powerful G70 3.3T with its lusty V6. But, choosing the G70 2.0T won’t leave you disappointed.

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