By on September 15, 2017

Genesis G70

Ever since Hyundai spun Genesis off into its own premium brand, we’ve been trying to figure out where it best fits. While an Asian brand, it lacks the quirkiness of most of its Japanese equivalents. It’s also not flashy like most American luxury makes. That leaves Europe and, from an aesthetics perspective, that’s probably the region Genesis spends most of its time focused on beating. It’s easy to imagine that somewhere in South Korea there’s a boardroom filled with dozens of dart boards plastered with photos of the C-Class and 3 Series, each riddled with holes.

However, the fledgling brand lacked a midsize entrant and you can’t really throw down in that part of the world without one. Fortunately, the solution to the brand’s problems is almost ready. Called the G70, it was revealed Friday at the automaker’s design center in Namyang, Korea — and subsequently announced for North America in early 2018, as a 2019 model.

Just showing up won’t be enough, so Genesis has done everything it can to ensure buyers can have the G70 on their terms and at a reasonable price. The brand has already proven it can compete on the premium landscape with its G80 and G90, but with the way it talks about the new midsize, it’s starting to sound like it also wants to dominate it. 

Genesis G70

At launch, the G70 will be available with three powertrains — though we don’t expect to see the overseas-focused diesel in the United States. That leaves us with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four with 248 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and a 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 with 365 hp and 376 lb-ft. The latter is the same engine found in the uplevel G90 while the former is the Theta-II motor found in practically everything Hyundai makes.

The diesel is a 2.2-liter turbocharged inline-four yielding 200 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, and is unlikely to be missed by anyone in North America.

Essentially a softened and well-appointed Kia Stinger, the two models share a platform and powertrains. However, the difference is that the Genesis is likely to offer the “executive experience” without sacrificing much in the way of dynamics. While we’re hoping the brand can get away from the slightly numb steering associated with its larger cruising cousins, we don’t mind if the G70 isn’t as hard-edged as the Stinger.

Genesis G70

Genesis claims the midsize can run from 0 to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds (when equipped with the 3.3-liter V6) and kiss 167 mph. An eight-speed automatic transmission will come standard in the G70, though a manual option and a limited-slip differential exists for 2.0-liter turbo buyers.

Regardless of engine choice, both models are rear-wheel drive. You can splurge on all-wheel drive if you’re interested. Base model G70s are equipped with 18-inch Bridgestone all-season tires, but V6 trims will get 19-inch Michelin PilotSport 4s with four-piston Brembo front brakes and two-piston rears.

Genesis G70

The G70’s dimensions are almost identical to that of Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class (184.5″ x 72.8″ x 55″) and, if we’re being honest, so are some of the design elements. This is worth mentioning because, while it’s not egregious by any stretch of the imagination, Genesis is plighted by an indistinct character. The G70 feels more like an amalgamation of good cars than a wholly unique automobile. 

Then again, it’s not like every other upscale manufacturer hasn’t also looked to the Germans for pointers on how to build a luxury car. That’s the reason Japanese luxury models use alphanumeric designations and not sexy-sounding animal names. At any rate, the total package of the G70 might make this modest gripe irrelevant.

Genesis G70

There is little worry that the Korean midsize would deliver anything dowdy. Previous Genesis interiors have been very good and the company is promising more of the same with premium materials throughout, including aluminum door handles, quilted leather door panels, metal speaker grills, superior touch surfaces, and Nappa leather seats. There’s an BMW-style 8.0-inch infotainment screen at the top of the center stack, with the system equipped for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration. The premium audio system is a Lexicon 15-speaker unit.

The difference will be that this interior is more driver-focused than Genesis’ previous examples — including the sportier steering we asked for. It also has launch control and dynamic torque vectoring, multiple drive modes, and a sound system design aimed at beefing up auditory grunt when you want it. Fake engine noises are a total gimmick but, if done well, they’re hard to put down in practice.

Genesis G70

Remaining competitive with its technology, the G70 offers a comprehensive suite of driver assistance features. While the automaker hasn’t given us a complete rundown of what’s available, forward collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping, and blind spot monitoring have all been added as part of the Genesis brand’s “Active Safety Control.” The company is also confident it can ace crash testing at both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Pricing will be announced closer to the market launch but expect the G70 to slightly undercut its competition. A grand or two less than BMW’s 3 Series would be a fair assessment. Of course, the Genesis will offer more standard equipment and a vastly superior warranty.

Genesis G70

Genesis G70

Genesis G70

[Image: Genesis Motors]

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59 Comments on “First Look: 2019 Genesis G70 Midsize Luxury Sedan...”

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Do people want a “premium mid-sized sedan” or do they want a “BMW, Mercedes, or Audi”? The answer to that question is going to hit Hyundai right in the sales charts.

    I’m sure it’s a good car. I’m also sure it doesn’t matter.

    • 0 avatar

      100+ years of heritage and trendsetting. Genesis makes the German brands stronger by copying them. Basically acknowledging that they’re the trendsetters.

      The Chinese in luxury fashion buy heritage by reviving European designers or houses and sell crap under names like Lanvin or whatever.

      In sociology, we look at pictures of high status people longer to copy and mimic their tastes and behaviors to align ourselves with them. People who buy the G70 are basically acknowledging their place in the hierarchy.

      If people say “I don’t care about brand or image, I just want to go 0-60 in X seconds” they’re lying. Or they have no taste. Poach Audi’s designers, BMW’s engineers, and you still won’t have an Audi or a BMW. Lame.

      Speaking of, Kia Optimas have quilted Nappa leather.

      • 0 avatar

        Get ready for the “that’s what they said about Lexus” posts…

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          When it was new, a comparable Lexus cost ~half the Germans. This will be a grand or two cheaper. On $40k+. No one will notice or care. And it will probably lease worse than the Germans, which is the kiss of death.

        • 0 avatar

          I’ve heard that claim so many times I’m almost considering copying and saving a response. When the LS400 debuted the luxury segment got caught with its pants down. And their best sellers- the ES and RX- created segments, rather than jumped into them deep into maturity. As a car guy I love what Genesis is doing but as a business guy it makes me cringe.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @Romanjetfighter: the heritage and trendsetting history of BMW and Audi is actually rather spotty. Lots of stinkpots and 3-wheelers in there.

        In fact they are rather late to the ‘trendy’, premium product category.

        And then there are Dr. Porsche’s historical connections to the Nazis.

      • 0 avatar
        John R

        “If people say ‘I don’t care about brand or image, I just want to go 0-60 in X seconds’ they’re lying. Or they have no taste. Poach Audi’s designers, BMW’s engineers, and you still won’t have an Audi or a BMW. Lame.”

        Ew. I’m very happy not to live in your world. Maybe a person who buys this wants to try something different? Or maybe they want to own a car that won’t fall to pieces after the warranty expires? Or maybe they don’t want to be identified as one of the people who are wanton to say the above? Brand image can go both ways; [insert any BMW owner stereotype here].

        • 0 avatar

          John R, you and I share a first name and a last initial (I’m guessing), and sentiments here. 100% agree, and you saved me the trouble of typing it.

          “If someone says they don’t want [what I consider to be great], they’re lying.”

          Gee, that isn’t narrow minded or arrogant at all…

          Weary as I am of Korean long-term quality, especially when the Theta series engine is at play, I’m quite sure one would be better off from a reliability standpoint after 5, 6 or especially 10 years with this vs. any Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

    • 0 avatar

      Mercedes cars look more like Hyundai’s and Hyundai’s are looking better than Mercedes. This G70 pokes holes in many Mercedes sedans. Not including AMB variants.

    • 0 avatar

      The only “premium mid-sized sedans” people want are either German or the Lexus ES. Everything else is basically in the Hunger Games.

      Where Hyundai goofed and is still goofing is in the reluctance to make crossovers. That is where all the growth is and has been for basically all of Genesis’ existence. By the time their crossovers arrive they will have a Cadillac ATS moment- most likely competent and competitive, but just too effing late. In the car game it doesn’t pay to be the best… just one of the first when the tide begins to rise.

      • 0 avatar

        “The only “premium mid-sized sedans” people want are either German or the Lexus ES.”

        I believe this to be true with one caveat. The A4 significantly lags the C Class and 3 Series. So people really want the Merc and the Bimmer and will occasionally accept the Audi, which would be my choice if these three were the only players. Include the Giulia, and that’s where my money goes.

    • 0 avatar

      “Repeat after me and remember – Genesis is Skynet.”

  • avatar

    I just read that as “Kia Stingier” and it made sense.

    • 0 avatar

      I like the car inside and out. Looks great, a slightly more powerful base engine would help sales me thinks, get hp closer to 300. Same effect as undercutting in price, offer a bit more power. Though it is a tarted up Kia stinger, which might not be such a bad thing, the Genesis appeals to me a bit more just so I don’t have to say something like “hey babe, you wait here while I pull up the Kia”. In the end, you will still have to explain what a genesis is many times over for the next decade I would guess. Somewhere in that explanation will be the admission of Hyundai/Kia lineage. So, maybe just get the Stinger and save some dough, i suspect the Genesis won’t come standard with prestige for quite a while yet.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Went through that in the 80’s, when we switched our company/sales rep vehicles from Domestics to Honda Accord sedans.

        Didn’t take long before employees, their family members, and our customers started commenting on the superiority of the Honda over the Fords, Chrysler/Dodge and Chev/Pontiac/Olds that they had previously.

  • avatar

    That interior dash layout looks horrible, the elantra sport design is way much better

  • avatar

    A `grand or two` difference in price is not nearly enough to lure people away from the German 3. Especially in this segment which is all about status.

  • avatar

    I wasn’t aware the 3-series, A4, C Class were called “midsize” now, leaving me very confused on how exactly the G70 fits in the brand with the post.

  • avatar

    You can use good materials all you want, still won’t have the institutional power of the brand or country. Copy the originals all ya want, or surpass them in some way, no one will care. Like building a replica of the Eiffel Tower except 50 feet taller. Objectively more impressive but it’s not the Eiffel Tower!

    Still, 20 years later the ES is a money making machine for Toyota despite not being as desirable as the others. Maybe Hyundai is playing that game?

  • avatar

    Does this look like the Infiniti G50?

    • 0 avatar

      Immediately what I had thought….this could be mistaken for a Q50, which isn’t a bad thing, I guess but it proves what Matt was saying about the G70 mimicking others in the segment. It’s a nice car, I just don’t think it has the snob appeal to lure buyers away from a 3 series, A4, etc…

      • 0 avatar

        If it has a nicer ride than the Q50, and it’s significantly less expensive than a comparable 3 or A4, I’ll be interested. But based on my experience with driving the G80 (boat) I’m willing to bet the Germans will still kick it sideways.

  • avatar

    Looks fantastic- particularly in red. Love the quilted seats with contrasting piping. The 2.0 T with manual really appeals to me.

  • avatar
    Jack Denver

    “Fake engine noises are a total gimmick but, if done well, they’re hard to put down in practice.”

    No problem, I’ll put them down for you. There’s no way I would live with a car with fake engine noises.

    The Romans used to say “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” – false in one thing, false in everything. Fake engine noises are a sign of profound disrespect for the customer – that the car maker regards you as a fool who is easily tricked. That we don’t have to do things the hard way – our customers are such idiots that we can take short cuts and they will never notice the difference. We’ll trick you about how the engine sounds, we’ll trick you about the actual mileage and emissions, we will trick you with “leather seating surfaces” which are not really leather seats, we will trick you wherever we think we can get away with it without being caught. When you go looking for the spare tire, you’ll find a can of fix-a-flat and a message wishing you luck. When your engine blow at 51,000 miles, we will laugh in your face.

    Sorry, no. Not for me. The Koreans should try to copy driving dynamics from the Germans and maybe some styling cues (lately the Japanese have gotten even more lost than usual on styling, which was never their strong suit) but that’s where the copying should end.

    • 0 avatar

      The Germans beat them to it, and copied the driving dynamics of the Koreans..

      • 0 avatar

        Let the Italians handle the exterior styling. The Germans can deal with the handling and driving dynamics, the Swedes can deal with the safety stuff and the French can handle the interior design. The Americans can deal with the engine while the Japanese make it all reliable and precise.

        That’d be one helluva world-beating car if something like that ever came to fruition.

        • 0 avatar

          “Let the Italians handle the exterior styling. The Germans can deal with the handling and driving dynamics, the Swedes can deal with the safety stuff and the French can handle the interior design. The Americans can deal with the engine while the Japanese make it all reliable and precise.

          That’d be one helluva world-beating car if something like that ever came to fruition.”

          And in hell, the Swedes handle the exterior styling, the French handle the engine, the Japanese do the handling and driving dynamics, the Americans do the interior design, and the Italians make it all reliable and precise.

  • avatar

    So, MT available with base engine only. To get the “performance” options like the hot engine and Brembo brakes, your only choice is AT. Sigh.

  • avatar

    I like the Kia version way more.

  • avatar

    Loving the quilted seats. Just throw in some buttons and extra tufting and woodgrain, and soften up the ride and offer it in a shade of doo-doo brown.

  • avatar

    Not sure about C-Class. To me it looks somewhere between a Jaguar and a Maserati. Not a bad looking car, judging by the pictures.

  • avatar

    I’m interested in this car and the Kia Stinger. What I really want to know is how responsive the automatic transmission is, both when it shifts itself and in response to the paddles.

    Is this going to be a sport oriented car with a laggy, unresponsive transmission or will it operate on par with the ZF 8 speed which was fantastic when I drove the Giulia.

    Will it allow you to hold gears in manual mode or will it upshift for you. Will downshifts be immediate or will there be a three beat pause.

    I’m hoping this car leans more towards sport than luxury but if I was betting my money it’ll be firmly entrenched on the luxury side of the equation.

    So while I’d like something in line with the Giulia. I expect a slightly sportier C Class experience.

  • avatar

    If the top safety tech is available with the 2.0T/manual combo, and the steering has decent feel, I’ll be very interested. Hyundai/Kia have improved enormously in recent years, so I’m just about willing to give them a chance, even in this segment.

  • avatar

    This is a great looking car, but I agree with everyone here, Genesis itself will be a failure unless they do something wildly different than the competition. A really great looking car that is 10% less isn’t enough in the luxury market. They even offer a manual, which almost hurts!

    When Lexus, Acura and Infiniti were launched, the Japanese had already built a reputation for high quality. It was a proper time for them to ascend in the market. The Koreans are decent quality now, but will they ever noticeably surpass Toyota and Honda? Seems they can’t make that their hallmark, and the Europeans have style and performance maxed out, and Tesla is leading on innovation. Cadillac and Lincoln are basically in the same boat as the Koreans on their cars, but they’ve got names that are 100 years old and they’ve got luxo-barge SUV’s that are American to the maxxx.

    What could Genesis do that would be so different? That’s a tough one, but here’s a left-field suggestion: How about super high end luxury vans, like the vans on the roads of Hong Kong and Tokyo? Completely pimp out the interiors and make them the best business transport/Uber XL vehicles in existence. I think there’s an aspirational market there currently dominated by the Escalade, which honestly doesn’t serve it’s purpose as well (if you’ve ever tried climbing into the 3rd row in a suit).

    • 0 avatar

      The G70 is badge engineering if I ever saw it. Even Lincoln has distanced itself from badge engineering. Lexus, Audi, and Acura may get there.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Then you need to get your eyes checked.

        Badge engineering is when two vehicles have little to differentiate them other than badges and artificial options that can be substituted for one another (like engines or upholstery options). The Tahoe and Yukon are badge-engineered. The old MKX and Edge were. Ditto for the Land Cruiser and LX570 until recently.

        Platform sharing (this shares a platform with the Kia Stinger GT) is not badge engineering.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    I could see buying/leasing this for the right deal if I was shopping in this segment, though most will probably disagree and sales will reflect it. I drove 1200 miles in a rental C300 last week, and nothing makes that car feel special like the MB’s of back in the day. Then again, how special is a $41,000 car supposed to make you feel? Most folks would rather spend 50% more on a Silverado.

  • avatar

    I think it looks pretty good. There isn’t really a point in discussing its success until we know pricing. If they have half a brain they will price it well under German competitors.

  • avatar

    I’m starting to see Genesis cars (Genesises?) when I drive through the rich neighborhood. Still not as plentiful as the three German lux brands, or a Suburban, but still enough to be noticeable.

    But the funny thing – they are rather understated – which says “old rich” to me than the flash of an entry-level Mercedes.

  • avatar

    I WANT to like these cars, but *DAMN*, that center console is huge. It’s like they are trying to punish you for actually having a leg longer than just enough to reach the gas pedal.. Sometimes I like to actually “manspread” while driving, just for a change of position. Hard enough in my ’05 Legacy GT – almost impossible in Hyundai/Kias. I sat in a previous gen Genesis and Sonata – the Genesis was worse than the Sonata..

    As much as I like these cars on paper, getting a tingly leg because the console is pushing into my leg even in the “normal” sitting position is just not going to fly.. Sure, I could lose a few pounds (6’1″, 225), but even if I lost 30 lbs, my thigh would shrink what – an inch inwards at most?

  • avatar

    Had some interest in the Stinger, except it has “KIA” written all over it….and then I found out it comes automatic only. So much for sports sedan.

    This looks more cohesive in the styling than that KIA. I rather like it. Though I can’t help but see Infiniti G (or Q or X or R or O or whatever the G has become now) up front and C-Klasse in the back.

    Must admit I’m a brand snob I guess. KIA has to be about the bottom of the barrel for me, and Hyundai and GENESIS are just a bit above that.

  • avatar

    So this is where FCA palmed off the 2015 Chrysler 200 dies.

  • avatar

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with that way this looks and I’m sure it will be a fine product.

    Where the problems start is with depreciation. Even if this undercuts BMW and Mercedes by $5K, by the time depreciation is accounted for they will cost the same.

  • avatar

    I like it. Looks nice.

    And you know it will have low lease deals. For $349 a month, with low down payment, I can see myself in a red one.

    It really does need the 5.0 V8. But most things need a V8. Like the entire Cadillac lineup

  • avatar

    Looks good, you know it will be loaded with more gizmos than a German make, just to make a point. But, as mentioned here before, there is the issue with how you are handled with the dealer. I’m afraid they can’t pull that one off.

    Bought a 98 ES-350 for the ex, actually paid for $10k of it on my AMEX to get the membership miles (they wouldn’t let me go any higher), and I actually ended up taking the vehicle for service most of the time. I must say that I recall that car to be significantly different than the Camry chassis it was built upon, but maybe it was the scones and exquisite coffee that kept me a happy customer, along with the loaners designed to get me in another Lexus.

    Those were they days, i know they still exist, but at a Hyundai dealership? I wish them well in that endeavor.

    Plus Bentley should also sue them on the front badge.

  • avatar

    A 2018 Buick Regal GS would be a strong domestic competitor.
    Looking forward to a future comparison.

  • avatar

    So the sporty Kia version doesn’t have a manual and this does? I’m confused.

  • avatar

    I realize that in this segment, re-sale and lease residuals are pretty important.

    But as someone who buys and owns for a long period of time (8-12 years), the overall look and design is appealing. I’d probably look at the G80, or just off lease/2-3 year old CPO-used G90.

    My thinking is that if the materials and driving experience is nice, I’d still get whatever was left of the manufacturer’s warranty. It’s probably cheaper to buy, operate, and maintain than a German luxury marque.

    The only thing I hate is that screen. I’m not fan of big screens anyway , but either integrate it into the dash, or make that retract and hide until needed. It screws up visibility, and just looks like someone glued a Kindle to the dash.

  • avatar

    a hodgepodge of borrowed design elements:

    * bentley grill
    * Aston martin logo
    * BMW dash
    * fake engine noise
    * abysmal depreciation

    OUT of 6 billion humans, Hyundai cannot hire a single car designer to design something original?

    I would never buy this. ever. its not even comparable to early startup lexus- they didn’t steal the design from other companies.

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