Car reviews - Genesis - G70
Much-improved styling; excellent handling and steering; strong performance; superb interior quality; standard equipment compared to rivals
Room for improvement
Tight back seat with minimal foot room; small boot; inadequate door storage
Striking new Genesis design cues add extra flavour to MY21 G70 sports sedan
11 Jun 2021
IF THERE was something amiss with the Genesis G70, it was pizazz.
Dynamically, it was right up there with a BMW 3 Series for sporting appeal but visually, the circa-2019 G70 sedan played it a bit too safe. Handsome? Yes. Derivative? Yeah, that too.
This time, however, the 2021 G70 welcomes a much more distinctive look, to bring it into line with its rather spiffy brand stablemates, the G80 sedan and GV80 SUV, as well as the forthcoming GV70 SUV that shares plenty with the G70 sedan.
Think of it as a reimagining of the G70 because aside from a sharper exterior, revamped interior and re-aligned model, it’s a virtual dead-ringer for the car that launched two years ago and introduced Genesis as a brand to an Australian audience.
HAVING already spent considerable time tweaking the G70’s chassis for Aussie roads – and doing a damn fine job of it – Genesis chose to maintain most of the G70’s hardware for the MY21 facelift and concentrate on visual impact.
From the moment you see the new-look G70 in the flesh, you won’t remember what the previous model looked like, which speaks volumes for its completely forgettable presence.
If you want to launch a new brand on the market you need to offer something that stands out, and the MY21 G70’s quad horizontal headlamps and tail-lights, ‘parabolic’ lines, and crest grille with ‘G-Matrix’ pattern are exactly that.
The high cheekbones and broad shoulders were already there, but now that it has the detailing to match, the facelifted Genesis G70 looks surprisingly fresh.
Inside, it’s a similar tale, though perhaps less in need of a spruce-up. The 2021 G70’s up-to-date 10.25-inch multimedia screen looks like it was always there (in comparison to the now-stunted appearance of the former unit) and re-jigging the wireless charging and USB arrangement in the centre console again seems a natural fit to the G70’s handsome dashboard shape.
Same goes for the new three-dimensional instrument pack on up-spec models that adds some virtual-reality glamour mixed with greater warmth than most flat LCD screens, for a really expensive look.
Add all that to the already well-sorted ergonomics and switchgear quality of the previous G70 and you’ll understand just how much more appealing this revised version is.
From the driver’s seat, almost nothing has changed. The 179kW 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four is as pleasantly refined and effortlessly driveable as it always was, though without the fizzy sprinkle that makes a BMW 330i’s engine such a sensual stormer.
The 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 features a revised bi-modal exhaust system for an additional 2kW (now totalling 274kW) and some extra aural spunk when hooking along in Sport or the new Sport+ drive modes. It’s the more appealing of the two engine choices, mainly because it adds so much more character to the G70 driving experience, with much stronger performance almost a by-product.
With the V6 comes adaptive damping for an additional layer of depth to the G70’s dynamic excellence. Not that the 2.0-litre suffers from having fixed-rate units, even wearing the 19-inch wheels now fitted to all variants, but the V6 provides the ability to be the wolf in (dapper) sheep’s clothing at a racetrack drive day should you choose to expose your G70 3.3T (in Sport+ mode) to such shenanigans.
As for the rest of the car, the expanded colour choices – now totalling 15, including three matte finishes – and interior trim options, combined with the MY21 G70’s all-round visual lift, make it even more compelling to anyone who values high-quality, minimal-hassle vehicle ownership.
What this 2021 facelift cannot change, however, are the G70’s packaging limitations. Its front seats are generally superb in their snugly adjustable fit and long-distance comfort but the rear seat isn’t a place that fully grown adults will want to spend much time.
Fairly tight legroom, cramped foot room (with the front seats set low) and an intrusive transmission tunnel make the G70 a sports sedan in an old-Jaguar sense, rather than a contemporary jack-of-all-trades sense. There’s no bottle storage at all in the rear doors and you’ll be happy the rear backrests split-fold 60:40 because the shallow boot volume tops out at just 330 litres.
Still, the G70 isn’t trying to be a family hauler, nor is the imminent G70 Shooting Brake, which is best viewed as a stylish five-door hatchback than a wagon alternative.
What this Genesis is about is making the driver feel a bit special, a bit individual, and making the ownership proposition as painless as possible – even more so once Genesis gets its guaranteed future value program up and running.
In an era where tactile and sensual satisfaction are far too uncommon, and labour-saving ease has never been more valued, the classy 2021 Genesis G70 seems to harbour greater appeal than ever.
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