THE mid-sized sedan. Possibly the most maligned vehicle segment in existence. Yet car brands, including Australia’s newest, continue to play in this space. In this case though, the 2019 Genesis G70 2.0T Ultimate is all about luxury, affordable luxury.
If you’ve never heard of Genesis, think of them as the Lexus to Toyota, or INFINITI to Nissan – a standalone luxury vehicle offshoot to a mainstream car brand, in this case, Hyundai. It builds just two models, this one, and its much larger, limo-esque G80.
We’ve been filled with excited for the arrival of the G70, which shares a number of underpinnings with the Stinger of sister company Kia, but bundles all of it into its own sleek and stylish four door sedan package.
The Ultimate edition is the pinnacle model in the three tier 2.0T range (there is a 3.3T variant as well), so in essence comes with all the goodness that can be had from Genesis, with very few optional add-ons. It, like all Genesis vehicles, is also sold at a fixed price.
It’s powered by an inline 4-cylinder petrol engine, fitted with a single twin scroll turbocharger and intercooler. That combination generates 179kW of power and 353Nm of torque, with a claimed fuel economy of 9.0-litres/100km.
That’s pretty much bang on, a unique thing in itself, as we managed between 8.9 and 9.4-litres/100km in time in the car. It’s rear-wheel drive and that power plant is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
It scores five driving modes; Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Custom, with Sport mode, or Smart mode (where the car chooses the best mode for how you’re driving), offering the best feel.
There’s quality safety inclusions too, including a 360-degree surround view camera, forward collision assistance for cars and humans, lane keep with steering assist (which can be a little over zealous), blind spot collision warning and rear cross traffic alert.
Awarded a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, the 2019 Genesis G70 2.0T Ultimate also comes loaded with seven airbags, front and rear parking sensors, smart cruise control, smart entry and push button start.
Inside you’ll find dual zone climate control, a smart boot opener and heated and vented front seats (with the driver’s seat adjustable some 16 ways). The entire interior features quilted Nappa leather appointments, including door quilting.
It’s an incredible look and feel, especially with the addition of the panoramic glass sun roof that’s standard at this spec, that makes the car feel significantly more expensive than its $76,900 drive away price tag, for the most part. More on that shortly.
Where the G70 fails is in rear passenger space. Comfort wise, the right ingredients are there, nice seats, padding in the right places, beautiful quilted style leather padded doors – but that’s where it stops.
If your driver or front seat passenger are tall, and have the seat back, there’s no rear leg room, at all. it feels very claustrophobic. A low roof line thanks to the almost coupe styling also means if you’re tall, and stuck in the back, you’re pretty much done for.
The infotainment system is great, but seems a little out of place given it’s identical to what you might find in your base model i30. Sure there’s more functionality there, but from a physical look, pretty much the same.
It does have SatNav though, with SUNA live traffic updates, a thumping Lexicon 15-speaker premium sound system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also a full colour head-up display and wireless phone charging.
Where the Genesis G70 brings itself back is in the drive. Ride and handling are exceptional, thanks to an Australian tune from Hyundai’s gurus. It’s refined. Comfortable. Soft without being sloppy. If that makes sense. Even the feedback is great.
More importantly, especially for what’s geared as a luxury car, it’s quiet. It puts some of its major rivals to shame from that perspective, quite frankly. It’s great on the open road too, offering an exceptional cruising experience.
Throw it at corners and it handles those too. With it’s performance driving ability in sports mode certainly impressive. There’s even some added steering control when switching to ‘fun’ mode.
Its rivals, which include the BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, bring plenty to the table, that’s for sure, but the Genesis offers a unique alternative to the Japanese and European challengers.
There are nine exterior colours to choose from, including Adriatic Blue, Black Forest Green, Serengeti Brown, Vik and Victoria Black, Savile Silver, Santiago Silver (our test vehicle), and Uyuni and Casablanca White.
The interior is Obsidian Black by default, but depending on your exterior colour, you can also choose Vanilla Beige, Walnut Brown and Velvet Burgundy. There is one wheel choice, as the 2019 Genesis G70 2.0T Ultimate rides on model specific 19-inch wheels.
The only factory optional extras are a carpet cargo mat for the 330-litre boot, a tow bar, and roof racks. It comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, five years roadside assistance, and complimentary map updates for the warranty period.
Our 2019 Genesis G70 2.0T Ultimate was supplied by Genesis Motors Australia. To find out more, visit the Genesis Studio in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne.