Genesis G70 Long-Term Review: Elegance, With Some Bugs

Almost flawless, the Korean luxury brand’s compact sport sedan still has room to improve

Receiving delivery of a new car should be a celebratory occasion. So imagine my distress, on my first day of striding across the company parking lot to my shining-new, MotorTrend Car of the Year-winning, Genesis G70 … and discovering a massive, vulgar seagull scat plastered across the hood.

An omen? In some cultures, such avian offense actually means good luck. And after some initial teething problems, the G70 has performed flawlessly.

I am continually surprised by the horsepower-plus-luxury-per-dollar equation this car delivers. Typically, if you want 365 hp of sweet turbocharged six-cylinder goodness wrapped in luxury leather and tech features galore, you are spending well north of $50K (especially if the brand is German). But the Genesis G70 3.3T, as tested, weighs in at $46,495. That, friends, is value.

The staff is learning its way around some of the Hyundai-borne technology, such as the semi-autonomous smart cruise system. When lolling through the morning traffic of L.A. 's South Bay beach cities, the Genesis system is among the industry's best at gauging following distance and the initiation of slowing down, stopping, and re-engaging with traffic—without leaving a too-large gap that invites others to dive in front.

However, as features editor Scott Evans discovered on a road trip to Palm Springs, that smart cruise is less capable on open freeways prone to surging speeds. This is especially true when smart-cruising at a free-flowing 80 mph and there are unexpected brake lights about a half-mile ahead—and then waiting (and waiting) for the Genesis to recognize that those brake lights aren't for cars slowing down … they've stopped. By the time the G70 recognized the situation, the braking was a bit aggressive, making Evans hope the driver behind him was paying attention.

To be sure, many cars' semi-autonomous systems still struggle with this issue, under varying conditions. In the case of the G70's irritatingly delayed reaction time, Evans finally just switched the system off rather than have to constantly hover his foot over the brake pedal just in case the car's reaction time was too slow for his comfort.

Otherwise, the G70's infotainment and interior layout are smart. The detents of the toggles, the sweeps of the switches and stalks, and the smooth clicks of the knobs provide a sense of elegance. Transitions between vehicle systems (such as satellite radio or Genesis' excellent live-traffic map) to and from texting or calls in Apple CarPlay are handled cleanly and without fuss.

And while the leather seats are supportive and comfortable, the G70's hip-point-to-headliner ratio seems proportioned to a 90th percentile Korean driver, rather than to a 6-foot-1 American with high hair that continually brushes the headliner's sunroof cutout.

Speaking of omens, the Genesis delivered a second one more recently. As I hopped in the G70 on my way to work one brisk December morning, with SiriusXM streaming through the crisp 15-speaker, 660-watt Lexicon stereo, Eminem dashblasted me with "Lose Yourself." Later that day, I was named editor-in-chief of MotorTrend. You only get one shot. Do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime. You said it, Marshall.


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Automotive Magazine: Genesis G70 Long-Term Review: Elegance, With Some Bugs
Genesis G70 Long-Term Review: Elegance, With Some Bugs
Almost flawless, the Korean luxury brand’s compact sport sedan still has room to improve
Automotive Magazine
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