Finding common ground among automobile journalists can be as rare as finding consensus among a room full of politicians competing for votes. This was palpably driven home when Exhausted writer Sabrina Giacomini and I compared notes after testing identical copies of the 2019 Genesis G70.
Not to be misconstrued as a “battle of the sexes,” our divergence in opinions and perceptions is genuine – but of course, I’m still right!
Or am I?
In short, the G70 fared better in Sabrina’s assessment (she loved it!) than mine. In fact, it has fared better with most auto journos other than with me. Not sure what that says about me, but here we go.
In both cases, Sabrina and I tested the chart-topping G70 3.3T Sport, which is powered by a 3.3L twin-turbocharged V6 engine producing a healthy output of 365 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft. of torque. Power flows through an 8-speed automatic transmission featuring a “manual” mode and shift paddles.
The optional V6 engine is combined with full-time all-wheel-drive while the base 4-cylinder affair makes do with rear-wheel-drive. The base G70 starts at $42,000 while our upscale testers were pegged at an eye-popping $57,000, and for me this is trouble outa the gate.
Despite being positioned by Genesis, a brand I actually revere and respect, as a Luxury Sport Sedan, I have trouble wrapping my head around 57-large; it’s simply too much in my view for a car I wasn’t particularly fond of. I felt that it did not raise the “value bar” in its segment in the manner that both the Genesis G80 and G90 did in their respective genres.
Agree or not, let’s start with the vehicle’s exterior design. Here I quote Sabrina, “It’s one of those cars you keep turning around to look at while walking away. The design is elegant and sensual, with hints of the Giulietta in the headlights. Genesis nailed the design and I find it’s one of the best-looking cars in the segment.”
My take is slightly – actually a whole lot – less flattering. I find the design to be “hectic,” as in too much going on; it just tries too hard in my view. Sometimes less is more, right Audi? In spite of my “less is more” credo, Sabrina thinks that I would probably have been more partial to the red colour scheme rather than the blue.
Moving inside the G70 has me less dogmatic, but let’s hear from Sabrina first. “The interior is luxurious with nice diamond stitching and red accents. The materials feel premium and I find the inside to do the outside design justice. The dashboard obviously comes from Hyundai with the weirdly offset touchscreen, something I’ve come to make my peace with. Thankfully, I don’t suffer from OCD.”
I agree that the diamond stitching is attractive. More so, the seats are highly supportive and great for long journeys. As Sabrina puts it, “the front seats are hugging without squeezing all the juices out of you.”
Contrary to Sabrina’s findings though, I took issue with legroom in the rear seat, largely because I position the driver’s seat fairly far back, which in the G70’s case, all but eliminates legroom.
The remainder of the cabin is tight and accurately assembled, if not a little too “Hyundai’ish.” On the positive side, Hyundai has always designed intuitive, easy to use controls and switchgear, and the Genesis G70 is no exception.
Put the G70 into gear, and its impressive performance dynamics become obvious. As stated by Sabrina, “the G70 serves a good balance between luxury and spirit. It is smooth, well-behaved, but has just enough kick to keep you interested.”
Sabrina is spot-on here. In fact, I think that the G70 3.3T has enough kick to keep even the most diehard drivers interested. The car has notably strong acceleration off-the-line and in the passing lane. It’s also firmly connected to the road, rewarding drivers with dead-flat cornering and handling dynamics that would require a hard burn on a track to find fault, if any.
Unfortunately, I felt the sacrifice of ride-quality was a price too great to pay for the athleticism. Even in Comfort Mode, the G70’s ride quality did not measure up to the “luxury” side of the “Luxury Sport Sedan” designation applied by Genesis, which disappointed me. In fact, this would be a deal-breaker for me, but likely not for those more focused on the essence of “Sport” over luxury.
I was also a little unfulfilled by the engine’s exhaust note during normal driving. It just didn’t sound as refined as I expect from a $57,000 luxury car, sport or not. At this point, I can’t help but offer up the Lexus IS350 AWD as an example of perfecting both the “luxury” and “sport” elements of a Luxury Sport Sedan.
Of course, not all things G70 were entirely pleasing to Sabrina either. “The automatic transmission causes some obvious lag, which is to be expected, but considering the car’s sporty nature, you would think the company would fine-tune the gearbox a little better.”
On the plus side though, Sabrina enjoyed shifting her own gears. “Convenient paddle-shifters exist for taking matters into your own hands. The electronic manual shifting is actually pretty efficient and makes up for the lag in fully automatic mode. It might not be good for fuel economy, but this is a case where higher revolutions serve their purpose.”
So, there you have it. Two automobile journalists at odds over the same vehicle. Both of us own our views and opinions, but neither of us owns any greater credibility. I enjoyed the banter with Sabrina over the G70 and completely respect her insight and expertise – even if she’s wrong LOL!
Or is she?
2018 Genesis G70 3.3
Price as tested (before taxes and options): $57,500
Configuration: AWD 4-door sedan
Engine/transmission (as tested): 3.3L twin-turbocharged V6 / 8-speed automatic
Power: 365 horsepower / 376 lb-ft torque
Fuel-economy ratings (L/100km): 13.3L city / 9.5L highway
Warranty (basic): 5 years / 100,000 km
Competitors: Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, Jaguar XE, Lexus IS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- Powerful twin-turbo V6
- Excellent handling characteristics
- Strong Brembo brakes
- Expensive with V6 engine
- Firm ride
- A little Hyundai’ish inside