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.
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.
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