- Handsome facelift improves styling
- Stonking twin-turbo petrol V6
- Excellent dynamics make it a fun sedan
- G80 takes the brand to higher heights
- Small back seat and boot
- Fuel economy can be high
South Korean luxury brand Genesis is really getting on with selling cars in Australia. While sales are still modest – likely due to a lack of a dealership network anywhere aside from Sydney or Melbourne – the new products have been coming thick and fast. Launching with the G70 mid-size and G80 large sedan, the company quickly added an all new G80, its first SUV – the wonderful GV80 – and a new GV70 mid-size SUV to fight the Audi Q5. But it hasn’t left the G70 alone, and just gave it a pretty large mid-life update. What’s the 2021 Genesis G70 Sport like? Let’s find out.
Price & Equipment: 8/10
While six variants were previously available in the G70 range, the 2021 model has reduced that to just two: the $63,000 (plus on-road costs) 2.0T and $76,000 (plus on-road costs) Sport 3.3T that we tested. Standard kit includes 19-inch alloy wheels, all-LED lighting, auto lights and wipers, leather upholstery, 12-way electrically adjustable front seats with both heating and ventilation, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation with live traffic, digital radio, keyless entry and start, a large sunroof, a nine-speaker sound system, an auto-dimming rear mirror and dual-zone climate control.
The 2021 Genesis G70 Sport 3.3T also features the contents of the Sport Pack that’s optional on the 2.0T. This adds a limited-slip differential, four-piston front/two-piston rear Brembo brakes, dark 19-inch alloy wheels, a dark chrome grille and window surround, sports seats, a suede headlining, alloy pedals and aluminium trim inserts.
Standard safety kit across the range includes 10 airbags (including new front centre and rear side units), auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian, cyclist and intersection support, lane keep assist with lane trace assist, blind-spot monitoring with a camera, rear cross-traffic alert with braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, auto high beam, a 360-degree parking camera, safe exit warning, driver attention monitoring, multi-collision braking and rear occupant alert.
The only option for the G70 is the pricey $10,000 Luxury Package, whichadds a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, a heads-up display, a 15-speaker Lexicon sound system, Nappa leather upholstery, the suede headlining, an electrically adjustable steering column, forward attention warning, an acoustic laminated windscreen and front door glass, Matrix headlights, a heated steering wheel and rear seats and a 16-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat with memory functionality.
Unlike its rivals, there’s a massive choice with colours and trims for the G70 – 15 exterior colours are available, with four factory matte options too (for $2,000 more). No cost colour options include ‘Vik Black’, ‘Adriatic Blue’, ‘Capri Blue’, ‘Mallorca Blue’, ‘Valencia Gold’, ‘Black Forest Green’, ‘Hallasan Green’, ‘Himalayan Grey’, ‘Makalu Grey’, ‘Siberian Ice’ (silver), ‘Cavendish Red’, ‘Gold Coast Silver’, ‘Saville Silver’ and ‘Uyuni White’. Matte options are ‘Makalu Grey’, ‘Melbourne Grey’, ‘Bond Silver’ and our test car’s ‘Verbier White’. Interior options for the Luxury Pack include black, the sporty red of our test car or grey – but non-Lux Pack cars offer seven options in total.
Drive away, our G70 test car was priced at $96,500 – not cheap at all, but in comparison to similarly powerful V6 rivals, it’s pretty good value for money. Both the BMW M340i and Audi S4 optioned to the same level as the G70 end up around $30,000 more expensive, while a Mercedes-AMG C43 is around $40,000 more expensive. So while the G70 is a good $30,000 more than its Stinger cousin, it is a good $30,000 less than its direct rivals as well.
Performance & Economy: 9/10
Producing a strong 274kW of power and 510Nm of torque, the 2021 Genesis G70 Sport’s 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V6 engine is wonderful. In normal driving, it’s suitably creamy and surprisingly quiet, but plant the throttle and it’s very quick. Genesis claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 4.7 seconds and in reality, it feels faster than that – especially once the rear wheels have found their traction. Like the handling, the engine is fun and rather addictive.
We also appreciate the dual-mode exhaust, which has added some aural excitement to the G70 – the Stinger should offer the same system.
Standard on all Genesis models is an eight-speed automatic transmission that’s also excellent. Excellent because it rarely puts a foot wrong – it’s always in the correct gear, it’s intuitive and when the tables are turned and you’re engaging in spirited driving in sport or sport+ mode, it’s quick to change and stays in manual mode when you want it to. It’s noticeably more refined than the same drivetrain in the Kia Stinger, which can be frustrating with its odd mid-corner gear changes.
If there’s a downside to the hairy chested twin-turbo V6, it’s the fuel economy. Genesis claims 10.2L/100km but we even struggled to get that figure on a highway run – that’s 2.5L/100km more than the all-wheel drive BMW M340i. Expect real world consumption of around 12-14L/100km, which will drain the car’s 60L tank in as little as 400km – but the smaller 2.0-litre engine isn’t much lower, making the V6 the definite go to engine. Like its rivals, the G70 needs a minimum of 95RON premium unleaded.
Ride & Handling: 9/10
Built on the same platform as the much acclaimed Kia Stinger, the 2021 Genesis G70 Sport is the definite sports car of the Genesis range. Put simply, it’s very fun behind the wheel and offers a sublime mix of ride and handling. While the Stinger is more of a grand tourer, the G70 is a sharp sports sedan with a distinctly European flavour behind the wheel.
Like a lot of other Hyundai/Genesis/Kia products in Australia, the G70 features an Australia-specific suspension tune and it’s all the better for it. While some competitors can feel overly sharp on our awful quality roads, the G70’s tuning allows it to be comfortable even in its firmer sport modes – that’s despite its large 19-inch wheels.
The big V6 is capable of easily stepping the rear end out – especially in sport+ mode, which turns the stability control off completely – but thanks to its well-tuned ride and handling, it never feels intimidating. On a race track, the G70 would be an excellent car to fly around. Thanks to its sticky Michelin tyre package too, the G70 handles very well – the nose is pointy, the grip is excellent and it feels quite nimble despite its porky 1,728kg tare mass.
It’s a seriously fun car to drive – but in regular driving, it’s quiet and comfortable, if with a slightly firmer edge to the ride. If there’s a downside to the dynamic package, it’s the slightly numb steering, though it does weight up slightly in sport mode. Otherwise, the visibility is reasonable and road noise levels are low.
Interior & Practicality: 8/10
We were fans of the pre-updated G70 interior but the facelifted 2021 Genesis G70 Sport is a definite step up in quality, but also technology – though the small back seat and boot still remain, unfortunately. The basic interior is the same as the pre-updated car with excellent quality – the quilted Nappa leather of the Luxury package is a particular highlight, as is that you can get several colours for the interior.
The build quality is great too, and everything feels hefty like a luxury car should. There’s also less Hyundai switchgear this time around, though it still feels like a more expensive Hyundai at times – whereas the more expensive G80 feels like it’s from a completely different brand. What could help that feeling? The stalks, window controls and climate control panel from the G80 would be great additions.
The new 10.25-inch touchscreen atop the dashboard has improved things inside the G70 a lot though, as has the new 12.3-inch 3D digital instrument cluster that’s part of the Luxury Package. The centre screen is a big improvement on the 8.0-inch system that used to be in the older G70 – the screen quality is excellent, as is the sound quality from the 15-speaker Lexicon sound system. The 3D digital dials do take a bit of time to get used to and play with your eyes – plus, why is there no map functionality in the screen? That alone would further add expense inside the G70’s cabin.
It’s a relatively practical cabin as well, with a nice centre storage unit, a wireless phone charger under the AC controls and reasonable door bins. The driving position is excellent – really low slung and sporty, though it encroaches on the rear seat and that reveals the G70’s downside: the tight back seat. No competitor is massive at the back, but the G70 is particularly low on headroom thanks to the standard sunroof, even for sub-six-footers. The rear seat is well featured though, with charging ports, vents, heating and an armrest – no sunshades or extra climate zone is annoying, though.
The G70’s boot isn’t massive either at a shallow 330-litres – an Audi A4 offers 130L more at 460L, let alone a non-premium option such as the Skoda Superb and its 625L boot. The G70’s boot is well finished and features a space-saver spare wheel, though some hooks would be nice to hang bags. The rear seat split folds in a 60:40 split, though those wanting more space will have the Shooting Brake wagon option coming soon.
Service & Warranty: 9/10
Like Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Jaguar, Genesis offers a five-year/unlimited km warranty on all its products. However, unlike those brands, it also offers roadside assistance, free servicing with a pick up/drop off service (up to 70km) and a valet service for the same period, which is excellent – the only negative to it is that the car has short 10,000km/yearly service intervals.
Both BMW and Audi offer inferior three-year/unlimited km warranties, and their service pricing is significantly more expensive. BMW offers a $1,750 five year/75,000km service pack for the M340i, while Audi charges $3,160 for a five year/75,000km service pack and Mercedes-Benz charges $4,450 for five year/125,000km service pack.
The 2021 Genesis G70 Sport DiscoverAuto Rating: 8.6/10
The 2021 Genesis G70 Sport 3.3T is a genuinely excellent effort in the mid-size luxury sports sedan segment thanks to its luxurious interior, sublime driving dynamics, fast twin-turbo V6 engine and its great value equation – particularly with its long (for the luxury segment) warranty and five years of servicing included with each car. It’s also a big step up on the pre-facelifted G70, which is rare for a mid-life update – the new styling is more handsome and more distinctive, while the interior has been made more modern and luxurious.
Of course, it’s not perfect – it’s not cheap to buy, it’s not especially practical and its engine can be pretty thirsty even just in regular driving. But those issues aside, the G70 is a car that you should be definitely considering if you’re looking for a car in this class. Genesis is a new brand to Australia and therefore doesn’t have the brand cache that any of its rivals features, but those dismissing the brand purely for that reason alone are missing out on a fresh take on luxury and some truly great cars – especially the G70. Bring on the Shooting Brake wagon!