Test Drive: Genesis G70 is muscle for a new generation

Test Drive: Genesis G70 is muscle for a new generation

January 4th, 2019 by Mark Kennedy in Business Around the Region

The 2019 Genesis G70 AWD recently received Motor Trend's Car of the Year award.

Photo by Mark Kennedy /Times Free Press.

The comfy cabin of the 2019 Genesis G70 features diamond-stitched leather seats.

The comfy cabin of the 2019 Genesis G70...

Photo by Mark Kennedy /Times Free Press.

As fate would have it, a gleaming Mallorca blue Genesis G70 arrived in my driveway only days after Motor Trend named the compact luxury sedan its 2019 "Car of the Year."

With a stance like a crouching cat, the twin-turbocharged G70 sat for several days while we waited for the rain to end. Summer tires plus mountain terrain plus non-stop rain were not an ideal mix for a road test for the BMW 3-series fighter that Motor Trend called a "stunning, value-packed sports sedan."


* Model: 2019 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport

* Exterior color: Mallorca Blue

* Interior color: Black

* Engine: 3.3-liter twin turbo, six-cylinder

* Horsepower: 356

* Transmission: eight-speed automatic

* Fuel economy: 25 mpg highway, 18 mpg city

* Local Dealer: Genesis at Long of Chattanooga, 635 International Drive

* Price (as tested): $52,495

Now, after a few dry days behind the wheel of this exceptional car, we think the national automotive press has nailed the transformative nature of the G70. With 356 horsepower under the hood, a luxurious cockpit and exquisite build quality the G70 3.3T delivers a level of refinement you'd expect in cars costing $20,000 more.

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G70s are slowly entering the Southeastern states, with the first copies showing up in big cities. A few are on the ground in Atlanta and a representative for Genesis at Long of Chattanooga said the first G70s should arrive here within six weeks.

WHAT IS IT? The Genesis G70 is an all-new, five-passenger, compact luxury sedan produced by the luxury car company spun off from Hyundai two years ago. It joins a Genesis stable that includes the midsize G80 and the full-size G90.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? Our tester has an MSRP of $52,495 which includes almost $6,000 in option packages. A base G70 with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine goes for $34,900, while an unadorned V-6 turbo starts at $42,756.

WHAT WE LIKED: Items from our logbook included the quilted leather seat covers with fancy red stitching, the grippy all-wheel-drive system, the deeply bolstered seats, the 19-inch black wheels and the awesome power output.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: We would have liked a set of all-season tires for winter driving. Also the side air intakes remind us of fish gills.

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS: With all-wheel drive, the G70 races from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. The ride is composed and confident. All-wheel-drive helps power the sedan through our mountain switchbacks.

STYLING: The G70 shares a platform with the Kia Stinger and both cars have ample sex appeal. The front fascia has echoes of Jaguar and the rear quarter has a muscular vibe like the new Lexus LC.

BOTTOM LINE: If you are a car enthusiast, this is your chance to be an early-adopter of an important model. A couple of years from now the Genesis G70 will be a household name.

In the market for a new vehicle? To access hundreds of Mark Kennedy's Chattanooga Test Drive columns visit www.timesfreepress.com/testdrive.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.