Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
The 2019 Genesis G70 is the newest and least expensive vehicle from Genesis, the luxury division of Hyundai that is now its own brand. This compact sports sedan is the Korean automaker’s answer to the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, and brings the fight to those established rivals with both excellent dynamics and superior value.
You'll Like The 2019 Genesis G70 If...
If you appreciate value, a class-leading warranty and excellent customer service in your luxury-sports sedan as much as you do athletic performance and striking design, the 2019 Genesis G70 is a bright new player in the segment. It also offers a manual transmission, a rarity these days.
You May Not Like The 2019 Genesis G70 If...
If you crave brand cachet and immediate badge recognition in your entry-level sports sedan, then you’ll probably prefer a German luxury car like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Audi A4. Other honorable outliers with their own twist on the formula include the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Infiniti Q50.
The 2019 Genesis G70 is a brand-new car. This luxury-sports sedan is also the newest vehicle in Genesis’ growing stable. It joins the larger G80 and G90 sedans, and is positioned at entry-level luxury cars like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Acura TLX.
The Genesis G70 has a classy 5-passenger cabin that ranges from impressive to “wow” as you climb trims. At the starting point, there are faux-leather seats, but you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish much other cost-cutting. A prominent 8-inch digital display sits above the dash, while a bevy of smaller touches such as auto-dimming rearview mirror and stainless-steel doorsills abound. Climbing trims not only grants features like genuine leather and power-adjustable steering wheel, but Nappa hide with quilting and seat ventilation. The front seats are exceptionally supportive and comfortable, especially those in higher-trim models with side and front bolstering. Like other smaller luxury sedans, rear-seat space takes a hit, and legroom is on the meager side. Trunk space is adequate, but the opening is rather narrow.
To our eyes, the Genesis G70 has an elegant and athletic design. It blends the lines and crisp design of other luxury sports sedans like the Infiniti Q50 and Alfa Romeo Giulia. The Genesis makes its own statement with a large (but not over-the-top) honeycombed grille and boomerang-like flourishes behind the front wheel fenders. It’s an honest and clean design that won’t offend, and may very well turn a few heads. You can distinguish V6 models by the exhaust outlets that sit wide apart in the rear, while 2.0-liter 4-cylinder variants have a pair of pipes next to each other. Wheel sizes are either 18 inches on base models or optional 19 inches, with summer tires available for those seeking the highest performance. At 184.5 inches long, the Genesis G70 has presence but is still small enough to be nimble and fit into a residential garage.
That old saying about having one shot at a first impression is true, and it can be make-or-break in the car business. Fortunately, Genesis G70 buyers can be assured they’ve made a sound, smart decision. The G70 comes out swinging, and this extends to its driving manners. Most drivers will be more than satisfied with 2.0T variants that are powered by a 252-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Available with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) or optional all-wheel drive (AWD) for enhanced grip on slick roads or in dynamic driving, we found models with this engine lively, agile and fun. The G70’s steering is responsive, and the suspension does a laudable job balancing comfort when you want it and firmness when the winding road beckons. The car’s character can be further tailored with a drive-mode select, with settings like Comfort, Sport, Eco and Custom. We usually found it easiest to leave it in Smart, which adapts to your driving manners. For enthusiasts, the 6-speed manual-transmission G70, limited to 2.0T RWD models, has a clutch that is light and linear. The shift movement could be more precise, but we still found it fun. Our guilty pleasure, though, is the 3.3T model with its twin-turbocharged, 365-horsepower V6. This thing can move. We challenge you not to cackle with delight as your body sinks into the plush seats while this Genesis sedan screams forward, hitting 0-60 mph in as little as 4.5 seconds. An all-around performer, it’s as adept at commuting as it is tempting you to do burnouts. Conversely, we found the standard active cruise-control system especially handy in grueling freeway traffic.
The 2019 Genesis G70 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $35,895, including the destination fee. Adding all-wheel drive to any model is $2,000 more. The manual-transmission G70 slots in just under $39,000. Models with the powerful V6 begin just under $45,000. Loaded with options, a G70 can top out over $53,000. At these prices, the G70 undercuts German rivals like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4. The G70 also starts lower than the Lexus IS, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XE and Cadillac ATS. Managing to undercut the G70 are the Volvo S60 and Acura TLX, both on front-drive platforms. Before buying your new compact-luxury sedan, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. As the Genesis G70 is an all-new car, its resale value is unknown. So far, though, other Genesis sedans have been lagging rivals like the Lexus IS and Audi A4.
Even the least-expensive Genesis G70, called the Advance, has an impressive list of standard features. Highlights include Leatherette upholstery, 12-way-power driver’s seat and 8-way passenger seat, dual-zone climate control, and an infotainment system that bundles an 8-inch touch screen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Notably, all G70 models include a suite of active safety and driver-assistance features including forward-collision avoidance with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, and smart cruise control with stop-and-go. New Genesis vehicles also include three years/36,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance, valet care and Connected Services, plus lifetime traffic data via HD Radio.
Aside from all-wheel drive or the manual transmission, major options for the G70 can be had by climbing trims. If we could recommend only one G70 trim, it would be the 2.0T Elite. Slotting under $41,000, it adds heated and ventilated front seats, navigation, the Lexicon high-end audio system, sunroof, power-adjustable steering wheel, parking sensors, and full LED headlights. For the performance-minded, the Dynamic trim adds a limited-slip differential (RWD models only) and 19-inch wheels with summer tires. G70 3.3T models get the powerful V6 engine, along with Brembo high-performance brakes, sport-tuned suspension, and power-adjustable driver-seat bolsters. Further climbing trims brings features like an electronically controlled suspension, Nappa leather seating, heated steering wheel, surround-view camera and head-up display. For launch, two special editions of the 3.3T are offered, both limited to 400 models each: Design and Dynamic. They bring exclusive interior and exterior color combinations.
VALUE AND LUXURYThose two words rarely go together, especially in this segment, where the features you actually want can make a $40,000 car balloon into a $55,000 one. Not so in the 2019 G70. Even a lower-end trim packs a terrific roster of equipment, technology and complimentary service. LEXICON AUDIO SYSTEMGenesis vehicles have had a long relationship with Lexicon, which makes some of the best-sounding audio equipment money can buy. The 15-speaker/660-watt unit that is standard on all but base models is superb. And while the CD player is dead, this system can play higher-res FLAC files of equal audio quality.
Under the Hood
Two engine choices, two transmissions and two drive configurations are available for the 2019 Genesis G70, though not every model is available in every configuration. The standard setup is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and rear-wheel drive, with power transmitted through an 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional. For the “save the manuals,” crowd, the Genesis G70 offers a 6-speed manual transmission, tied exclusively to the 2.0-liter engine with rear-wheel drive, and it even has a few extra horsepower. Fun note: It’s the only G70 with a mechanical parking brake, which could encourage further antics, if you get our drift. The upgraded engine is a twin-turbo V6 in the 3.3T models. It has RWD standard and AWD optional, and is connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission.2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4252 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm (255 horsepower w/manual transmission)260 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400-4,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg (manual), 22/30 mpg (automatic, RWD), 21/28 mpg (automatic, AWD)3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6365 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm376 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-4,500 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg (RWD), 18/25 mpg (AWD)
The 2019 G70 is the newest, smallest and least expensive vehicle from Genesis, the luxury division of Hyundai that is now its own brand. The Genesis G70 compact sports sedan is the Korean automaker’s answer to the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Lexus IS. It’s a competitive segment, and the G70 fights for attention along with other newer entrants like the Jaguar XE and, to some extent, the Tesla Model 3. To its credit, the Genesis G70 is a highly impressive new player and an excellent alternative to the usual suspects. It brings style, technology, the requisite rear-wheel-drive (or optional all-wheel-drive) architecture, and a choice of turbocharged 4-cylinder or V6 engines. Furthermore, the G70 stands out with a fantastic warranty and superior value proposition.