Almost as good as the German competition... for $10k less!

We all know Nissan’s Infiniti or Toyota’s Lexus, but we’re just getting to grips with Korean automaker’s Hyundai luxury brand, Genesis. It’s only four years old and, now, we got a taste of its latest offering, the G70, a compact luxury sedan that slots below the brand’s current offerings, the G80 and the G90. Genesis hopes to shake up the German constabulary in the segment, but this won’t be easy in a world where people sometimes look for a certain badge above all else when getting ready to take out their wallets.

In general, luxury car manufacturers are gathering a clientele by assuring its devotees that the car they’re getting is more than just a means of transportation, that’s a way for them to show to the world who they are and what they are. That’s why the brand image is vital in the luxury segment. That’s why companies that have been around the block for a while and have been able to build this image and project it onto the world (making it possible for its customers to project it back onto others) are successful while newer brands sometimes struggle to get off the ground. Genesis, which should never be confused with the Hyundai Genesis, tries to convince people that they should stray away from their Audis and Mercs and even their Lexuses and, instead, try the Korean recipe.

Considering how far Hyundai but also Kia have gone in the past decade and a half, is it safe to assume that Genesis can put its money where its mouth is? Well, that’s why we were more than happy to have a closer look at a G70, a car that’s supposed to fend off the BMW 3 Series, which has just climbed up to a new generation, the Mercedes-Benz C Class, and the Audi A4 - if we are to mention just the ICE-powered Germans. In fact, the compact luxury sedan segment is so large, Genesis will have a hard time making any sort of headlines but, as we’ve seen, it’s been able to do just that so this car is one that’s certainly strong on its feet although it has no history to rely on (and that may be a good thing).

2019 Genesis G70 Video Review

Doug DeMuro is one of the more popular car reviewers on YouTube. With this being said, some would argue that you can either love him or love to hate him for his oftentimes dull walkarounds and his monochromatic presentations of the ever-present "quirks and features" he encounters with every car he gets his hands on. While you can’t count on him for amusement - although there’s a lot of comedic value in there and the internet is busy making memes about DeMuro 24/7 - you can, however, be assured that his videos are quite thorough and informative, giving you some information that you might not get from other reviews.

In the case of the G70, DeMuro starts off by showing you around the sedan’s interior, pointing out that he enjoys the overall atmosphere of it while he does mention that it’s not in any way particularly unique-looking. However, he does take time to walk you through some of the menus of the infotainment system and showcases some strange options such as the one that lets you pick how loud you’d like the engine to be heard from within the cabin. Basically, in the G70, you can go to the ’Active Engine Sound’ tab in the ’Vehicle Settings’ menu and pick an engine sound mode: you can have it turned off, you can have it minimized, normal, or enhanced. Also, DeMuro applauds the voice recognition system of the G70, saying that it’s very easy for it to pick up your destination for the GPS. You simply push a button located in the lower left corner of the rear-view mirror and then speak out your destination without having to worry about writing it down using a touchscreen or a pad like in BMW’s models.

DeMuro also points out that, while the back seat is cramped, it’s not unusually cramped in comparison to the 3 Series or the C Class but that the Kia Stinger is bigger inside and offers more cargo space too. Moving to the outside, Doug believes that the G70 looks "a little bit too generic" and that it can be confused with other Asian executive sedans because Genesis was "too afraid" to "offend" anyone with the styling of its first compact-sized offering.

Driving-wise, DeMuro praises the G70’s precise steering, something that’s also been noted by Car & Driver among others, but DeMuro goes a notch above by saying that it feels better than the steering of the 2019 BMW 3 Series. He also underlines that the G70, with its range-topping 365-horsepower engine (that’s shared with the Stinger GT), offers a lot of oomph for the money considering you’ll only get a BMW 330i for the sub-$50,000 MSRP of a G70 with the 3.3-liter turbocharged mill in it. Bottom line, DeMuro calls the G70 a "very competent car" although it doesn’t have the "same amount of tech" a 3 Series would offer at that price tag.

Is The 2019 Genesis G70 a Good Car?

The Genesis G70 is undeniably a good car. After all, it was picked the 2019 North American Car of the Year, and it also made it onto Car & Driver’s 10Best list this year as well. Of course, with it being a new car, you won’t find feedback from people that have owned this car for a long time, so we’ll have to wait and see how the G70 will fare in the long-run but, right now, the signs are good. For starters, the car is cheaper to buy than most of its peers and, unlike what some may expect, this doesn’t immediately translate into a drop in quality, equipment, or performance. The G70 starts at $35,895 while you’ll have to pay $41,245 for a base model 3 Series while a C Class starts at $42,395 and an A4 at $38,395 which is already over a grand cheaper than the base price of a Lexus IS and almost $2,000 cheaper than a Cadillac CT5.

Then, as I said, it’s important to remember that Genesis doesn’t just offer a cheaper car for the sake of doing so while cutting on what customers will get for their money. You still get 2019-level tech, although the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 with its Virtual Cockpit (and a 4.3-inch bigger screen in the middle of the dash) have the upper hand in this department. All of the safety features you’d hope to find in a car like this are there. Genesis didn’t cheapen out when choosing the materials for the interior, although they aren’t incredible either. You could say they are about as good as those in the Stinger despite the fact the G70 is clearly marketed as a more posh option.

How Fast is the 2019 Genesis G70?

Like the 3 Series or the A4, the G70 wants to be seen as a sporty, engaging luxury sedan. Does it succeed? Well, somewhat, but it doesn’t shine across the board. To kick things off, let’s talk powertrain. That $35,000 G70 that’ll make a Merc seem obscenely expensive does not come with the meaty 3.3-liter engine. Instead, Genesis fitted the base model G70 with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine that puts out 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic sends all the ponies and torques to the rear axle but, if you so desire, you can get the G70 with a six-speed manual. However, the manual isn’t what you’d expect it to be.

The shifter is numb, and the clutch pedal is a bit too light and the three extra ponies you get if you go for the manual really don’t make enough of a case for spending $3,000 extra since that’s how much money you’ll need to fork out if you want the third pedal. What you should consider getting for the same amount of cash is the Sport Package comprising stronger brakes, stickier rubber that hugs 19-inch alloys, heated and cooled seats, and more. Also, for $2,000 more you can have the power delivered to all four wheels.

The 2.0-liter engine will get you from naught to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds while a quarter-mile run is completed in 14.9 seconds at 94 mph. If you want more, you should go for the 3.3-liter, twin-turbocharged, Lambda V-6 with 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque on tap. That’s the same engine you’ll find in the Stinger GT which also shares with the G70 its platform. The engine is, as you probably know by now, quite a beast and the numbers are there to confirm it: 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds (An AMG-tuned C Class does it in 4.0 seconds while the non-M BMW 340i needs 4.9 seconds to complete the task) and top speed is 167 mph - 12 mph over the German standard of 155 mph. The bigger engine, obviously, comes with stuff designed to keep you on the road like adaptive dampers and 13.8-inch Brembo discs in the front (13.4-inch in diameter in the back). The G70 lets you choose from a variety of driving modes depending on where you are and what you want to do and, if you’re on a track, there’s even a stopwatch in between the analog (!) gauges behind the steering wheel.

Should I Buy the 2019 Genesis G70?

As I mentioned in the introductory bit of this article, when you buy a luxury car, it most often comes down to the brand first and foremost. That’s not to say it doesn’t matter what each car is offering in particular, but the brand is at least as important as the list of features and, sometimes, even more important. Some people buy Mercedes-Benz cars and Mercedes-Benz cars only because they reckon that’s what will preserve their status image while others buy a BMW for the same reason. A G70, however, comes with nothing attached to its name. No kid walking around a parking lot with his parents will jaunt at the sight of a Genesis badge, and nobody will remember the grille of this car like the staple that is BMW’s kidney grilles.

To put it in other words, the G70 is the car for someone who knows very well that he or she deserves an executive sedan but doesn’t care one bit about what people will say when they’re being seen driving one around town. These people don’t really care if other people don’t think they’re wealthy enough just because they don’t drive a Bimmer or a Merc, they recognize good value when they see it, and they go for it and, indeed, the G70 is good value. The 3.3-liter version costs $44,745 while a BMW 340i starts at $48,950 and you get more power and an even more rewarding driving experience than in the BMW - supposedly the Driving Machine.

Should I Buy a New or Used Genesis G70?

At this point in time, this isn’t really a question you should be asking yourself since the Genesis G70 is a new car and all the CPO examples out there are still too new to be taken into consideration. You’ll find pre-owned models with the 3.3-liter engine and the Sport Package that have already amassed almost 2,000 miles on the clock and still cost over $45,000 so you’re better off just going out and buying a brand-new G70 that you personalize yourself. The most you can pay for a G70 (sans taxes) is $52,250, but I bet most Genesis buyers will try and find a way to cram as many options as possible while also trying to end up with a better deal than they would get at a BMW or Mercedes-Benz dealership.

Talking about dealers, you should also consider the discounts that dealers apply on these Genesis sedans while they wait for the imminent arrival of the Genesis lineup of SUVs and crossovers. Their arrival is somewhat overdue given that the German giants from Munich and Stuttgart already have more than half a dozen of such vehicles in their lineup to choose from. One could say that Genesis has quite the uphill battle to fight right now.

How Much Does the 2019 Genesis G70 Cost?

The price for a bare Genesis G70 is $34,900 without taxes or $35,895 with taxes. For that kind of money, you get the 2.0-liter mill under the hood with the automatic transmission and RWD. AWD is a $2,000 option, the manual costs $3,000 while the Sports Package costs $3,000 as well. The 3.3-liter version starts at $44,745 with taxes and can exceed $52,000 if you keep adding options. This, though, isn’t entirely necessary since the G70 comes with most of the essential safety and tech-related features you’d expect although some of the materials aren’t really on par with what a Merc offers and the infotainment system isn’t outstanding either. But the car is cheaper than its rivals. The only things cheaper are Kia’s Stinger ($33,985) and the Acura TLX ($33,995), but the Acura at least brings a lot less to the table if you actually go ahead and pay $34,000 for it.

2019 Genesis G70 vs. The Competition

When Hyundai decided to update its Genesis and Equus sedans and offer under the umbrella of a new brand called Genesis, the thinking was that people queue like never before to buy luxury cars and that Hyundai should have a piece of the cake. The only problem is that the cake is, nowadays, divided into so many pieces since there are so many at the table banging their fists ready to eat. I mean just look at this list of manufacturers offering compact luxury sedans: Lexus, BMW, Acura, Buick, Lincoln, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Alfa Romeo, Volkswagen, Volvo, Jaguar, and Infiniti. That’s a lot of players already in the game and what’s really problematic is that there’s almost nothing to choose from between the top players.

Which is Better: the 2019 Genesis G70 or the BMW 3 Series?

BMW touts the new G20 generation as a return to the model’s roots in terms of driving experience. Despite the car itself being bigger than the F30 it replaces, BMW has made use extensively of lightweight materials to keep the 3 Series from going obese. In the engine department, you can choose from either a 2.0-liter four-cylinder (in the 330i) that makes 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque or a turbocharged 3.0-liter, inline-six (in the M340i) that that cranks out 385 horsepower and 369 pound-feet. The Sport Package in the BMW world costs $5,000 (and comes with variable ratio steering), but you’ll get the clever position-sensitive dampers without having to dish out extra dollars. You’ll have to switch the car to Sport mode to really receive all the feedback through the steering, but once you do that, the experience is really rewarding. The G70’s steering is also really talkative and, on top of that, the Genesis’ adaptive suspension is a lot more forgiving than the much stiffer BMW one.

Away from the driving experience and the performance, the BMW is better when it comes to the infotainment system that’s simply superior to Genesis’ Hyundai-sourced system (it also benefits from a bigger rotating control knob). The Genesis gets extra points here because of the cheaper but rewarding Sport Package and also the cheaper MSRP for the 3.3-liter engine. Now, you may expect the BMW to offer better materials, but MotorTrend reckons that the cabin of the G20 "doesn’t feel like sitting inside a $60,000 sport sedan."

Which is Better: 2019 Genesis G70 or the Lexus IS?

I could have gone for any of the G70’s other German peers, but I decided to look no further than one of its Asian rivals, namely the smallest three-box model from Lexus. The base IS300 costs $39,335 ($3,200 more if you want the F Sport version) and comes with a 260 horsepower V-6. That’s far from impressive so, if you want power, you should go for the $42,955 IS350 with its 311 horsepower unit that delivers 6.0-second 0-60 mph times. The IS350 also offers adaptive dampers controlled with Sport S and Sport S+ modes and, if you go for the F Sport package, the car will be even firmer but not punishing to drive (and it will ride on 18-inch alloys).

Both the Lexus and the Genesis aren’t particularly roomy in the back, and they’re also similarly lackluster when it comes to fuel consumption and, in terms of materials used inside, the two models are comparable. But the G70 with the top-of-the-line engine offers more excitement and, despite the IS’ well-sorted chassis, the G70 is the more engaging car to drive (the IS is pegged back by laid back steering). I won’t factor in the price again because I don’t want to repeat myself, but it counts too. I also won’t go into styling critique because that’s all too subjective a business to meddle with. At the end of the day, you pick what car you think looks better but what I’d say is that both cars look good and, maybe, just a tad better than the G20 with its ultra angular nose.

2019 Genesis G70 Interior

The interior of the Genesis G70 isn’t a simple copy/paste job from another existing Hyundai or Genesis model, although it does share some elements with its bigger brothers. The design is pleasant, albeit a bit dated from the get-go. There’s a broad center console with two horizontally placed air vents and three round knobs down below. The eight-inch infotainment screen sprouts from the top of the dash and is disappointing in size. Most of the models in the class feature 10-inch displays and others like the Audi A4, with its Virtual Cockpit functions, offer a 12.3-inch display. If you are nitpicky, the infotainment system itself doesn’t look as posh as you’d expect because it’s borrowed from Hyundai.

It does, though, come packed with all the utilities that are required on a car of this caliber: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, voice recognition technology via the artificial intelligence platform Kakao I, and there’s also a 15-speaker Lexicon surround system available. What’s also clever is that, on the infotainment screen, you’re being shown what lever of the chair you’re activating and what it does. This way, you no longer have to mingle with all the options until you find the one you’re looking for. Also, the passenger’s seat has controls on its left side too which could be a clever thing (they’re placed higher up so you can reach them easier) but they’re also within reach for the kids in the back who might think, at one point, that it’s fun to start messing with your seat. Talking about the seats, it’s worth pointing out that when you toggle into the Sport mode, the driver’s seat bolsters tighten up to hold the driver in the seat better if he’s about to drive fast.

In the back, however, things aren’t that great. Most compact sedans are kind of cramped (although the new, bigger, 3 Series stands a bit above in this department due to its growth) in the back but the G70 is particularly tiny in the rear. Basically, if you’re six feet tall, you’ll have to ask the person sitting in the seat in front of you to move it all the way to the front so you can fit in there and even then, it’s not a comfortable place to be in. This isn’t to say that the back seat is uncomfortable in itself, it’s just that there’s not much room in there. This applies to the trunk too which can only hold about 10.3 cubic feet of cargo and this is below the average of the compact sedan segment. The good news here is that the rear seats fold and, given the flat floor of the trunk and the generous opening angle of the lid, you can place some rather large stuff in there if you don’t plan to carry any passengers in the back.

2019 Genesis G70 and Child Car Seats

The G70 is equipped with tow LATCH systems in the back, and it can fit both forward facing and rearward facing child seats although you must remember that you don’t have a lot of room back there. Overall, getting them in and out isn’t particularly tricky but, if you yourself are tall, you should watch out that the seats in front aren’t within kicking range.

2019 Genesis G70 Interior Quality

The materials used inside the G70 aren’t subpar, they do feel premium including the leather and the metals on the center console and the interior door panels. The stocks on the steering column, an element that on many cars with premium aspirations looks cheap, don’t seem out of place in the G70. Overall, you probably won’t see materials taken straight from your run-of-the-mill Hyundai unless you look for them with a magnifying glass.

2019 Genesis G70 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The infotainment system comes straight from other Hyundai models but, to be honest, the upside of this is that the system is very simple to use and intuitive, unlike other infotainment systems that are overly complicated and really make your life hard. You get Bluetooth connectivity and a voice-activated navigation system. The G70 also offers three USB ports, one of which is placed in the back in between the front seats.

2019 Genesis G70 Performance

If you go with a basic G70, don’t expect to be surprised by the 2.0-liter engine under the hood. While it does offer 252 horsepower (255 horsepower with the manual but the manual has an awkward dip in power delivery at the end of the clutch engagement during first-gear starts which, Hyundai says, is a feature, not a flaw). But if you are in the market for a G70, you should just consider the 3.3-liter, V-6 because that engine delivers the goods. 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds and a top speed (unrestricted) of almost 170 mph make the G70 with the big engine (even without the Sport Package) a really enjoyable car to drive and one that’s very much at home on the highway and on twisty B roads.

2019 Genesis G70 Engine

The G70 is available with one of two engines in the United States (a diesel is also present in other markets): the 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder unit of the base model and the 3.3-liter, twin-turbocharged, V-6 that has already made a name for itself under the hood of the Kia Stinger GT. In here, the V-6 feels a bit more civilized, but it still is quite the beast with 365 horsepower at its disposal. Also, the bigger engine doesn’t have the turbo lag of the 2.0-liter one.

2019 Genesis G70 Gas Mileage: Average Ratings

The G70 isn’t a class leader when it comes to fuel consumption. The 3.3-liter G70 with AWD is rated by the Korean automaker at 18 mpg city and 25 highway. Meanwhile, the base RWD model featuring the 2.0-liter unit mated to the automatic transmission is the most efficient, at 22 mpg city and 30 highway. Car & Driver got 31 mpg (highway) out of the automatic AWD 2.0-liter version while the manual one falls just one liter short.

2019 Genesis G70 Ride and Handling

Genesis didn’t just want to put out a rival for the 3 Series and the C Class in the G70, it wanted to offer an intriguing alternative in terms of the driving experience, and that’s what you get. The car knows how to take care of you in Comfort mode as even with the adaptive suspension, the bumps won’t crush your back, but it also knows how to be sharp with the Sport Package installed (bigger brakes, sharper steering response, stiffer dampers). You can call it a very competent all-rounder that knows how to be a bit sporty although not as sporty as its (half) sibling, the Stinger GT that’s decidedly closer to an M-badged BMW or an AMG Merc in terms of character while the G70 is more laid back.


2019 Genesis G70 drivetrain specifications
Engine 2.0-liter, turbocharged, inline-four 3.3-liter, twin-turbocharged, V-6
Output 252 horsepower 365 horsepower
Torque 260 pound-feet 376 pound-feet
0-60 mph 6.2 seconds 4.7 seconds
Top speed 150 mph 167 mph
Stopping from 60 mph 106 feet

2019 Genesis G70 Reliability

Expect the Genesis G70 to be just as reliable as its Asian and German peers (and more reliable than Alfa’s Giulia). With this being said, we’ll have to wait a few years to see if there’ll be any recalls or if anything on the cars will fail spectacularly and need changing en masse. Before that happens, it’s safe to consider the G70 a reliable car as it should be since it’s made in 2019.

Is the 2019 Genesis G70 Reliable?

With the G70 being as new as it is, it’s hard to say if it’s reliable but looking at Hyundai’s record with its bigger models, the Genesis and the Equus, it’s safe to say you won’t be throwing money out the window if you buy a G70.

2019 Genesis G70 Warranty

Genesis’ limited (basic) warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles and a and a 10-year or 100,000-mile drivetrain warranty. Also, complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles. All of these numbers are within the standards set by the class rivals. What’s cool about Genesis is that it offers a valet service whereby a chauffeur will come and pick your car up, drive it to the service for maintenance and then deliver it back to you when it’s ready so you don’t have to worry about it.

2019 Genesis G70 Safety

The Genesis G70 impress in terms of how many standard safety features it does offer given its lower-than-average pricepoint. It comes with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist, and automatic high-beam headlights, as well as highway driving assist and driver awareness warning. The standard number of airbags is nine and, while it hasn’t been evaluated by the NHTSA, it was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS.

2019 Genesis G70 Crash Test Results

As mentioned, the NHTSA is yet to put the G70 through its paces in its rigorous testing routine, but the ANCAP did crash test the G70 and gave it five stars out of five possible. Looking back, Genesis’ mid-size luxury sedan, the G80, received a five-star rating from the NHTSA so its smaller sibling should perform just as admirably.

Which Genesis G70 is Right for Me?

I am still of the opinion that this is a car you shouldn’t disregard just because it doesn’t have a three-pointed star on the hood or on the front grille. If you can get over the fact that it’s not as much a status symbol as a Bimmer or a Mercedes, you will find out that the G70 is a genuinely competent car that is able to hold its own against its peers. It may even surprise them in some areas, including pricing, engine, driving experience, ease of use of the otherwise somewhat dated infotainment system. After all, you can’t go wrong with a car that’s received accolades from some of the best-well-known magazines out there, accolades that we agree with.

Final Thoughts

The Genesis G70 is a good sign. Why? Well, because if Genesis’ future SUVs and crossovers will be as good as its baby sedan, then the luxury division of Hyundai might be about to hit the jackpot. It will need the customers in the luxury segment to take off their blacked-out glasses and look beyond what Germany has to offer. They have to try for a car from a manufacturer with no history but with an almost unrivaled hunger to prove itself with all the big fish - a hunger that you can feel in its products that don’t disappoint at all.

Further reading

2018 Genesis G70 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Genesis G70.

The Genesis G70 Sedan Finally Made it to the U.S., and it Puts the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class in Check Exterior
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The G70 can put the 3 Series and the C Class In Check

Philippe Daix
Philippe Daix
Obsessive and Compulsive Automotive Expert -
Always on the lookout for the latest automotive news, Philippe Daix is our most senior editor and founder of He likes to see himself as a consumer advocate with a mission to educate motorheads of all ages.  Read full bio
About the author

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