By on April 30, 2019

2019 Genesis G70 front quarter

2019 Genesis G70 Sport

2.0-liter turbocharged I4 (252 hp @ 6,200 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm)

Six-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel drive

18 city / 28 highway / 22 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

12.8 city / 8.5 highway / 10.9 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

24.3 (observed mileage, MPG)

Base Price: $38,895 US / $45,631 CAD

As Tested: $38,895 / $45,631 CAD

Prices include $995 destination charge in the United States and $131 for A/C tax, tire fee, and other fees in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Take a good look at the state of the sports sedan. Once defined as four doors, compact dimensions, rear-wheel drive, and a manual transmission, there are precious few new cars sold today that fit that narrow criteria. The German manufacturers who made their names in this segment have abandoned the third pedal.

The only choice left is this 2019 Genesis G70 Sport – fitted with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a six-speed manual transmission, and rear wheel drive. Does it win by default as the last car standing in a shrinking market, or is it worthy of accolades on its own merits?

2019 Genesis G70 profile

So enthralled was I with the joyful driving manners of the G70 that I weaseled my way out of Saturday morning dad duties and pointed the car southeast to Ohio’s famed Hocking Hills. Not quite the epic canyons of California, the rapid switchbacks up and down the well-wooded Appalachian foothills are still the best thing I can get short of renting a racetrack.

2019 Genesis G70 front 2019 Genesis G70 rear

Here, the G70 shines. Even on snow tires. The chassis was never upset by sudden maneuvers to avoid potholes and rabbits, always happily bringing the rear around under power. The transmission, while not quite as slick as that of a Miata, shifted beautifully with reasonably short throws and well-defined gates. The steering is a bit light, but communicates road imperfections well.

2019 Genesis G70 center stack

And, yes, you read that right. Because Ohio weather is so unpredictable, this rear-drive sedan was delivered to me in March wearing Pirelli Sottozero winter rubber. Oh, well.

I’d prefer a bit more power out of the 2.0L turbo, but 252 hp is adequate for most drivers. I had no problems getting to some unprintable speeds in some of the more deserted sections of the forest, as the Brembo brakes gave plenty of confidence to whoa should wildlife rudely present itself.

The beauty of every Genesis I’ve driven is the ease of use in everyday driving. The infotainment layout is basically identical to every current Hyundai – it’s intuitive and quick to respond. Steering wheel controls, too, are basically identical, though the knobs and buttons are of a nicer metallic material (possibly actual metal?) versus the rubber and plastic found on plebian models. The interior is attractive and roomy – enough room even with the rear floor bisected by a propshaft tunnel for the improbably tall tween to sit without her knees in my back.

2019 Genesis G70 interior

And thank you, Genesis, for including a real hand-operated parking brake with your manual transmission. I’m sure that with hill-holding mechanisms, a modern electric parking brake is acceptable for most, but I’d rather have the assurance that I can easily control the rear brakes independently.

2019 Genesis G70 gauges

It’s a handsomely styled sports sedan, too. It’s not flashy, and in this subdued Himalayan Gray easily blends into traffic, but everything just looks right – save the silly fake front fender vent.

2019 Genesis G70 front seat

This is where I’d normally wander over to the build-and-price tool on the manufacturer’s website and tell you how I’d choose my car were I to buy. No need here – there are no options on the G70 Sport with the manual transmission save floor mats, wheel locks and the like. The manual transmission is a $3,000 step up from the slushbox, but otherwise this might qualify for Mr. Guy’s Ace of Base series. I’d choose one of the shades of blue, probably.

2019 Genesis G70 rear seat

I’m struggling to find anything truly negative about the G70. I’ll concede on one point – when I’m committing to pay nearly forty thousand of my hard-earned imaginary dollars for a luxury sports sedan, I don’t know that I’d like to come back for service where there’ll likely be a ratty Hyundai Excel (complete with the car’s equally ratty owner) in the next bay. Not judging – my budget is more in the ratty Excel range at this point – but the dealership experience is typically better when looking at the German and Japanese rivals.

Further, I’d like the option of a manual transmission with the big engine. I loved the twin-turbo V6 in the very similar Kia Stinger, but I know the driving experience would be even more rewarding with a bit more driving involvement. The power in this turbo four is enough for most, but for some, excessive power is just enough. I’d love to see a track-focused G70 someday.

For now, though, I’d be quite happy with the Genesis G70 Sport as my only car. It’s quiet, comfortable, and roomy for daily chores, but is all too happy to play when called upon. Sometimes the last one standing is still standing for a reason.

2019 Genesis G70 rear quarter

[Images: © 2019 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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40 Comments on “2019 Genesis G70 Sport Review – Handsome Anachronism...”

  • avatar

    This car would be a blast with something like a 355hp 6700RPM version of the 3.8L V6 (that’s not too far off what the final Genesis Coupe made).
    Barring that dreamland comment, I do agree that offering the manual with both engines would be nice (even if I’d almost certainly buy the automatic).

    • 0 avatar

      The 3.3T will eventually be replaced by a 3.5T putting out around 400 HP, which should be enough power for most.

      The 2.0T will also be replaced by a 2.5T (300+ HP).

      Biggest issue w/ the G70 is that it could have used another 1.5 or so inches at the WB as leg/(or more precisely) foot room for rear passengers is a bit tight.

      Not particularly enamored w/ the design (inside or out) but that will change when the G70 gets the new Genesis design language (will be first seen in the new G80 and GV80, altho the facelifted G90, already available in Korea, has taken some the cues).

      • 0 avatar

        The 6.6L Duramax makes 400hp but that doesn’t make it suitable for a sporty car.
        As I’ve said before, my issue with the 3.3T isn’t the overall power. It is the *power delivery*. My Stinger already launches like a M’Fer but it falls off too early. I hope HK is doing more on the new engine than just making it launch even harder.

        • 0 avatar

          ajla –

          You should consider adding a JB4 (BurgerTuning).

          There have been owners (of both the Stinger and G70) who have been able to keep up w/ an M3 w/ the JB4.

  • avatar

    I wonder if Genesis has special dealer techs trained to handle their cars. I remember reading something about valet service to pick your car up at home and bring you a loaner but that have have just been for the G90.

    Speaking from personal experience, having a known and trained tech vs. the typical Jiffy Lube dropout is a nice touch when bringing something in to the dealer that’s out of the ordinary for their clientele.

  • avatar

    Did I read that right a stick is 3 grand more??? What else do you get with the stick to make it worth 3 grand more? Also when will the I stick an Ipad on the dash fad end, it looks like crap.

    • 0 avatar

      3G more for the stick – which means precisely no one will buy one, and then they will drop it because of lack of market demand.

    • 0 avatar

      From Edmund’s review here is the extra content you get for 3K

      The 2.0T Sport M/T trim is your only way to get a manual transmission. It starts with the 2.0T Advanced trim’s features, then replaces the eight-speed automatic with a six-speed manual and the electric parking brake with a manual one. It also comes with 19-inch wheels, the limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes, a sport exhaust system good for 3 extra hp, and some of the features from the Elite (LED headlights, driver-seat memory settings, heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable steering wheel and Lexicon stereo).

      So quite a bit of extra kit

      • 0 avatar
        Liam Gray

        Yeah, it’s actually a nice mid grade level of stuff with a focus on sport. I dig it. I just bought a CPO 2016 Genesis. If I could have gotten a manual G70 for the same price I would have in a heartbeat.

  • avatar

    I’ll tell you what the real deal breaker is…that back seat!!

    I’m five foot nine with short legs. When I put the front seat where it’s comfortable, I can’t wedge my feet in the foot space on the rear floor. It’s a nearly unusable seat (except for the center position where you don’t have a seat in front of you).

    This car ticks ALL my boxes but with that seat I might as well drive a (two door) coupe.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah I sat in it at the DC auto show and really liked it sitting up front. Then I tried to wedge my feet in as I got into the back seat. It did not go well. I’m about an inch taller than you.

    • 0 avatar

      I got into the G70 at the Washington auto show, and set the front seat for my 6′ tall self, and was able to get into the back seat. It was tight, so I wouldn’t want to be in the back for more than a short trip.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly. The back seat room is non existent. The Kia Stinger is worse though. I hit my head pretty hard trying to get into the back seat.

    • 0 avatar

      The space under the front passenger seats/footwell is an issue; Genesis really should have added another 1.5″ or so to the WB.

  • avatar

    “the dealership experience is typically better when looking at the German and Japanese rivals”
    Early on Genesis offered a home pickup/dropoff rather than asking its luxury buyers to hang out with the Hyundai crowd a the dealer. To me, that’s even better. Do they still offer this?

    • 0 avatar

      To answer my own question I just checked (should have checked before posting). Genesis only offers complimentary home pickup/dropoff for the G90. I understand that the G90’s price point may allow them to absorb this cost but it seems like a missed opportunity. It is more than a luxury service…it’s also an important way to differentiate the luxury brand from the mainstream one. This is a big deal. Just ask Lincoln who continues to seat it’s customers alongside F-150, TransitConnect and Fiesta owners.

      • 0 avatar

        “This is a big deal. Just ask Lincoln who continues to seat it’s customers alongside F-150, TransitConnect and Fiesta owners.”

        Like our author, Chris Tonn, I don’t want to be judgmental either but this was a downside when I had my MKZ. One of the original selling points was the difference in dealer service. That didn’t really materialize though. The only perk was a free car wash every time I was at the dealer (twice per year) and even then I asked them to forego those. I didn’t tell them why, but I am exceptionally anal about washing my car and didn’t want some communal wash mitt or brush on my car.

        I recently solved this problem by buying a ’19 VW GLI. Now I’ll just be a regular schmuck in a waiting room of schmucks. It’s the people’s car, after all.

        • 0 avatar

          Ford dealerships washes my Fusion for no charge every time I bring it for oil change or other service so Lincoln ownership has nothing to do with this. But getting loaner from Ford is next to impossible. I do not think oil changes for any brand including Germans are made by qualified experienced mechanics. Most likely than not by dropout or illegal immigrant.

          • 0 avatar

            We get a voucher for a free car wash. I can use it on any car we have that way. For a few dollars more we can have it hand washed and detailed, but it takes over an hour.

      • 0 avatar

        Starting w/ the 2019MY (start of the Genesis dealership network), Genesis offers valet service on all of its models.

  • avatar

    Genesis has a separate dealer network, don’t they? I don’t know that you go to Excel 0-money-down shops to buy a G70? But this keeps changing so what do I know? Nice cars….worst launch in history. FIAT had a better launch (crap cars though).

    I believe Lincoln is now stand alone as well.

    Anyway, I like this car. Not in my budget but I’d look if I was ever feeling a bit flush again.

    It really is too bad the RWD manual sedan is nearly dead.

    • 0 avatar

      Genesis now has a separate dealer network but they cannot force (due to varying state franchise laws) dealers to build a stand-alone store (which is why Genesis had to abandon its initial plans for a Genesis dealer network).

      Some Genesis dealerships are building stand-alone stores, but others are not (at least for the time being) and are converting an existing structure to house Genesis.

      While a # of Lincoln franchises have built stand-alone dealerships, Lincoln has the same issue in that it can’t force all franchises to do so.

  • avatar

    @Chris Tonn and anyone else in the Hocking Hills route that Car & Driver uses, check this out:

    Try to avoid the tourists and wildlife. Many of an expensive rental car of mine has been tested on these roads!

    And to anyone with the means, it’s put up or shut up time. Powerful RWD sedan with a stick. Yes, the more powerful engine would be nice, but make a business case for Hyundai to produce it.

  • avatar

    Less legroom in the back than an ATS, and yet no one loses his mind over it.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Before getting too snooty over the “Genesis” badge, you have to realize that a $38k G70 is barely above the ATP of today’s cars.

    This G70 – though very nice – has no more technology or complexity in it than a Sonata or Santa Fe, both of which can cost the same as this G70. I’d be perfectly comfortable taking it to the Hyundai dealer for service, but as someone pointed out, Genesis is spinning off their own dealers to support the line.

  • avatar

    I’m not sure what it is, but these pictures don’t really do the car justice. It really is much better looking in person, as I’ve seen plenty of them in Seoul. US license plates certainly look out of proportion on that trunk lid.

  • avatar

    Love the ignorant comments about finding an Excel in the service department. The Excel was 30 YEARS AGO. As if Hyundai hasn’t made a major transformation as a company – especially in the last 10 years. Remember, Hyundai came out with the original Genesis 10 years ago. It’s not like they have zero experience with higher end customers. You should want to find a 30 year old Excel in the service department. That would be a great testament to Hyundai’s engineering prowess.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      +1. You don’t see such snark for visiting the Ford service department, and finding a first-gen Taurus there (the horror!).

      • 0 avatar

        Someone near me has a Ford Festiva that’s still on the road. I think ts a rebadged Kia. You might see that in a Ford dealer service dept. It looks like it’s being gradually restored. Not a daily driver. Lot’s of car collectors near me (not far from Jay Leno’s childhood home) and you see everything. Everything from a Cimarron (not running) to vintage Astons, exotics and even Amphicars.

    • 0 avatar

      In my experience, the bigger worry is with the staff. It’s telling that none of the viral “dealer tech joyride and crashed customer’s car” stories are about AMGs, M-cars, or Porsches, they are always about Corvettes and Mustangs.

      Not that a $38K 250 hp G70 is quite on that level, but I understand how there could be some concern going into a Hyundai service department.

    • 0 avatar

      Do people really care if an Accent (to update the commentary) is being serviced in the next service bay over?

      Let’s remember that a SMART car or a Sprinter/Metrix commercial van can be worked on next to a Maybach S Class (or a Mini next to the 7 Series or X7) – which is a much larger spread price-wise.

      There’s at least one dealership group which owns both a Lexus and Toyota franchise and while each has its own store/showroom, uses the same service center for both brands.

      And there’s also Lexus dealerships which will do basic maintenance on any brand of vehicle and many Lexus owners take their rides to a Toyota dealership for basic maintenance.

      Do ZR1 owners really care about their car being serviced next to a Spark or a Land Cruiser or GT-R owner care about their vehicles being serviced next to a Yaris or Versa, respectively?

      There’s also one dealer group which has an Audi and Kia store on the same lot (think they share the same service center).

      What matters more is having a separate showroom and customer lounge and if Genesis owners don’t even want to trouble themselves w/ that, they can just opt to use the valet service.

  • avatar

    I love it when people say “I don’t mean to be judgmental…. ” and then are as judgmental AF. I don’t assume that because someone drives an Elantra, they will be less worthy of my company than someone driving a Lexus.

  • avatar

    Isn’t G70 a Nissan? Or an Infiniti? I am totally confused by all these meaningless alphanumerical names. It does not look pretty though. I would rather get used Infiniti.

  • avatar

    Is this car reliable?

  • avatar

    This is a good-looking car in the flesh. I’d definitely cross-shop with a CPO 6MT 340i or S4.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    This is pretty much my perfect car. I would pay the $3000 premium for a manual–I like to shift my own gears that much.

    That said, I know that I am a pretty rare bird, and I know this car, like the uplevel Mazda6 manuals, will soon be culled from the flock.

    My manual Mazda6 Touring is going strong. By the time I wear it out, the only manual G70s will be used…and VERY difficult to find.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    This is pretty much my perfect car. I would pay the $3000 premium for a manual–I like to shift my own gears that much.

    That said, I know that I am a pretty rare bird, and I know this car, like the uplevel Mazda6 manuals, will soon be culled from the flock.

    My manual Mazda6 Touring is going strong. By the time I wear it out, the only manual G70s will be used…and VERY difficult to find.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I still haven’t seen a G70 on the road yet, in any trim . I’ve driven – really aggressively a friends Stinger GT. It was AWD , but I could tell there’s a legitimately Teutonic chassis underneath. The steering feel was less than my old G37s, e46s which were about equal. But it was loads more fun than the 2018 A5 6mT I test drove.
    The turbo V6 for sure had more power than either of the cars I’ve mentioned ( even more than my old supercharged zhp), but I’d be happy with a turbo 4. I can’t wait for the comparison tests to start flowing in the mainstream auto press. Perhaps a Genesis N 6spd v6 TT ?

  • avatar

    “…when I’m committing to pay nearly forty thousand of my hard-earned imaginary dollars for a luxury sports sedan, I don’t know that I’d like to come back for service where there’ll likely be a ratty Hyundai Excel (complete with the car’s equally ratty owner) in the next bay.”

    I’d say that this is my biggest beef with my current Cadillac CTS; there isn’t enough differentiating my service experience from that of an Aveo or Cavalier owner. When I take my wife’s Mazda CX-5 in for service, I don’t have the same expectations.

    My expectations are based on the car that I’m driving – I expect a higher level of service and amenities if buy a “premium” car than if I buy a “standard” car. I’m not only paying for the hard product, I’m paying for the experience.

    In 2000, I bought a Mazda Millenia S. It was a beautiful car, meticulously assembled, and priced to match – I believe it was around C$45K in 2000, which was as much as a BMW 328i at that time. I traded the car in for a similarly-priced Lexus IS300 within a year, largely due to the service experience. At Mazda, it was a first-come, first-serve line up with 20 other Mazda owners; at Lexus it was two dedicated “concierge” service advisors. Lexus would hand me keys to a complimentary loaner, washed and gassed; Mazda directed me to the nearest bus stop and told me to read the schedule on the pole. Lexus invited me to dressy parties with jazz music, hors d’ouevres, and wine; Mazda would invite me to sales event they would hand me a hot dog and a sales guy in a cheap suit would try to get me to trade to the “completely new” 2001 model of the same car.

    I hope that Hyundai/Genesis can differentiate this experience like Lexus did, I think this will have a big impact (along with, ugh, SUVs) on their sales. I’d definitely consider one.

  • avatar

    Does the GTI have more rear seat leg room???
    I want a fun-to-drive car, power desired but not required, manual transmission vehicle to use as an every day driver but also to drive on vacation and I want the backseat to accommodate someone for an hour or more of comfort.
    …. I also want a car that is reliable and that I will enjoy for ten plus years like my current 2006 Mazda3 5sp manual.
    …. If Toyota had a manual in the new Camry with the naturally aspirated motor, that is probably what I would buy!

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