Get away from the norm
In the words of classic comedians Monty Python, ‘and now for something completely different’. Virtuozity tries out the left-field Genesis G70 sports saloon
When it comes to sports saloons, there is such a wide choice of cars available, it can be almost impossible to pick one out from the muddled crowd. So just to muddy the waters even further, there is life beyond the popular British and German offerings.
The Japanese also having models in this cram packed segment, but so do the Koreans. Hyundai may not be the first name that pops into your head when thinking of a sports saloon, but it’s premium brand Genesis certainly should. The Genesis G70 slides very neatly into the fray, taking on the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C Class, Audi A4 and Jaguar XE
But should the European masters be worried by the Eastern interloper? In a word, yes. The Genesis G70 is the brand’s first real attempt at a performance saloon, and they’ve certainly attacked this highly competitive market with guns blazing.
Firstly, the G70 is rear-wheel-drive, so that’s the first box ticked. You can also spec it with all-wheel-drive if you wish. Secondly, it’s also pretty rapid, with the 2.0 litre model hitting 100 km/h in just 6.1 seconds and the 3.3 litre V6 model doing it in around 5.0 seconds flat.
All this power is fed to the road via an eight-speed automatic transmission, which also has a number of performance options as standard. Add to this accurate electrically assisted steering (albeit lacking a bit of feel) and excellent suspension that allows a smooth ride, but little mid-corner roll. That’s a difficult balance for any manufacturer to get right, but Genesis seems to have hit the bullseye on their very first try.
On the outside the G70 is a little anonymous. That’s not to say it’s not a pretty car, but it’s certainly not shouting its presence from the roof tops. At the front the shield-shaped grille starts off some elegant sweeping lines that end in a tight rear end, that is neat and well-thought out.
Inside, the trim has a premium feel, with a huge range of available features, including quilted leather, a 15-speaker audio system, and an easy to use touchscreen display. The Genesis is extremely comfortable, giving a very gratifying driving experience. The rear is a little cramped compared to some of the opposition, but that shouldn’t put you off unless you regularly carry basketball players long distances.
For the driver there’s a wide range of driver-assist features, including adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The biggest question is will people consider a Genesis over the established premium performance manufacturers? In short, Genesis needs to do some stronger marketing to cover the lack of a history that the others trade so heavily on.
But that said, as the German brands become more and more samey, and people look for something that breaks away from the common herd, the Genesis is well placed to capitalize on that need.
In short, for potential sports saloon buyers, there is life beyond the standard.