- Great performance
- Handsome interior
- Good exterior looks, too
- Sporty performance
- Available manual transmission
- Rear seats are cramped
- V-6 is an expensive proposition
- Stiff ride
- Small trunk
features & specs
Don’t tell the 2020 Genesis G70 it’s new to the luxury sedan game, it’s a genuine contender already.
The 2020 Genesis G70 is the smallest sedan offered by the nascent luxury automaker and the sportiest. It’s distantly related to the Kia Stinger, and shares similar powertrains, but edges toward a sharper ride with a luxury sheen.
The G70 gets a 6.6 on our TCC Rating scale, boosted by good features and safety scores but comfort in the back seat, well, takes a back seat. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
This year, the G70 carries forward after its debut last year. The G70 comes in three trims, centered on its drivetrain configuration, with packages scattered among the bunch that act as trim levels. A 252-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4 powers 2.0T versions in rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations. Rear-drive 2.0T models can be equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission that’s unique among competitors—none offer a third pedal with four doors anymore. An uprated 3.3-liter turbo-6 makes more than 350 horsepower is available and pushes power to the rear or all four wheels. Aside from 2.0T models with a manual transmission (which are only available in base spec), the G70 uses an intelligent 8-speed automatic to fire off quick shifts.
The G70 looks the part too. It’s low and wide with a long hood, and short overhangs and rear decklid that punctuates its sporty resume.
The interior is elegant and quiet—especially trimmed in leather—although cramped in the rear seats. The 10-cubic-foot trunk cashes the check the body writes and is very small among competitors.
Official crash-test data isn’t complete, but what’s in is good. The IIHS called the G70 a Top Safety Pick+ and every car is equipped with automatic emergency braking.
Base cars get synthetic leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, a 8.0-inch touchscreen with smartphone compatibility software, power-adjustable front seats, automatic climate control, and a power-opening trunk for $36,445. We recommend the 2.0T Elite that costs $4,600 more but adds leather upholstery, premium audio, parking sensors, heated and cooled seats, navigation, and a power-adjustable steering wheel. Fully loaded versions cost more than $54,000.
2020 Genesis G70
Not only does the G70 perform like rivals, it looks better than some too.
The G70 counts the Kia Stinger as a distant relative, but nothing about the body on the Genesis gives away the familial resemblance.
Where the Stinger uses a hatchback and blockier lines, the G70 smooths over with a sheen of luxury borrowed from the bigger and older G80 and G90 sedans in the lineup. Since the G70 was new last year, the G80 and G90 have changed dramatically on the front ends, which we expect will arrive to the G70 sometime next year or shortly thereafter. The 2020 G70 finds our good graces in style with a 7, an extra point each for its interior and exterior.
The G70’s shaped front bumper and lower nose dive head-first into luxury compact territory and its sculpted front fenders make a promise about performance that the G70 largely delivers. The big intakes, strakes, and lighting that bookend a wide trapezoidal grille are all good looks from Genesis, albeit a half-generation behind the current look for the G80 and G90 that debuted last year.
Compared to the Stinger, the 2020 G70 is nearly six inches shorter and rides on a wheelbase shorter by 2.8 inches.
The long hood of the G70 shows best in profile, where the distance from the steering wheel to the front axle speak to sportier proportions found in rivals from BMW and Mercedes. The strong crease under the window line plays with daylight, while the cabin looks nearly identical to the G80—not a bad thing. The tail end turns up toward a short decklid that covers a small trunk. It’s stylish, but less practical than competitors.
Inside, the G70 punches up with quilted leather and horizontal lines along the dash. The instruments and central stack are canted slightly toward the driver, which creates a small cockpit.
2020 Genesis G70
The 2020 Genesis G70 is a stout performer with a suspension that might be too stiff for some drivers.
Despite the G70’s starched-shirt looks, it’s the wilder cousin to the related Kia Stinger. Both share the same powertrain configurations, but the G70’s the edgier of the two with a stiffer suspension that comes with a warning for Rust Belt buyers: try before you buy.
We give the G70 two points above average for performance, one for a willing powertrain and another for sharp steering and handling. It’s a 7 for performance.
The G70 is equipped with one of two engines. Base models get a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 252 hp (255 hp when equipped with a manual transmission). It’s enough to compel the G70 to hit 60 mph from a standstill in less than seven seconds, and the turbo-4 is available in rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations. Good news: Unlike every other competitor, Genesis offers a 6-speed manual transmission with the 2.0-liter turbo-4. (No really, there are no other luxury four-door sedans on sale with a manual transmission.) Bad news: It’s relegated to just one basic trim level, which costs more than the base car and it’s hard to find on dealer lots.
The spend-up engine is a good one, but it adds $10,000 to the price tag (it also includes some interior upgrades and powertrain hardware too) and it’s not available with a manual transmission. A twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 that makes 365 hp pushes the G70 from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds, and sings at full throat. There’s a whiff of turbo lag as the G70 3.3T surges ahead, but it keeps pace with fleet competitors such as the BMW M340i and Mercedes-AMG C43.
Most G70s will get an 8-speed automatic transmission that dispatches quick shifts and doesn’t flinch when it’s pushed. The 6-speed is novel, but doesn’t make the G70 appreciably more fun to drive—buyers get instant cred by our book.
The G70 rides atop a four-wheel independent suspension that’s tuned for sportier driving rather than comfort. The 2.0T gets the softest suspension of the bunch, and it ratchets stiffer with the 3.3T and Sport variants.
A rear limited-slip differential is standard on 3.3T versions with rear-wheel drive and optional on 2.0T cars equipped with rear-wheel drive.
2020 Genesis G70
Comfort & Quality
The dimensions are small, but the G70 is comfortable for two adults—and two more occasionally—with an impressive interior.
The Genesis G70 is a cousin to the Kia Stinger hatchback—twice removed from the same practicality, unfortunately.
Starting from an average score of five, the G70 earns one point for comfy and adjustable front seats. It’s a 6 for comfort, with two asterisks: the trunk and rear seats are small, but not small enough to lose points on our scale. If regularly carrying four or five adults is in your plans, plan on shopping for a Kia Stinger.
Admittedly, the G70 is a little more uptown than the Kia relative. Base cars get synthetic leather upholstery and a power-adjustable driver’s seat that adjusts 12 ways. The instrument cluster and center stack cants toward the driver slightly, which underscores the car’s sportier side. The front seats are sporty too, and hug in all the right ways without being too fresh about it. We’d opt for one trim level above base, which adds quilted leather that looks high-buck and feels like it too. It’s quilted, which is a nice touch for an entry luxury sedan, and comfortable. For the extra dollars, Genesis throws in heated and cooled seats, which is a nice touch.
The back seat isn’t as generous with space or comfort. Two medium-size adults could fit in the back, but knee room is at a premium—especially with taller riders up front. Head room is an issue for taller torsos too, watch your head please.
The G70’s trunk measures just 10.5 cubic feet, which is small. Compared to the Stinger’s expanse under its hatch, the G70’s trunk is a thimble. Others in the class are 33% to 50% larger, but at least the G70’s rear seats fold forward for better space.
Space aside, the G70 is convincing luxury with good build quality. Genesis may be a relatively new luxury automaker, but parent-company Hyundai has institutional knowledge on how to build high-quality cars and it shows in the G70.
2020 Genesis G70
Even with incomplete safety scores, the 2020 G70 earns top marks for crashworthiness.
All the official numbers aren’t yet in, but the 2020 Genesis G70’s even-incomplete report card is full of good scores.
The IIHS called the G70 a Top Safety Pick+ when equipped with specific headlights, and the insurance industry-funded outfit gave it top “Good” scores on every crash test. Coupled with standard active safety features, the G70 gets an 8 on our safety scale before the feds weigh in.
The IIHS rated the G70’s standard automatic emergency braking as “Superior” at avoiding forward crashes at 12 and 25 mph, and noted that the G70 stopped itself in both tests.
The Top Safety Pick+ award applies only to G70 models above the base trim level, which earned top headlight ratings of “Good.” Base cars are equipped with headlights that rate “Poor” by the IIHS.
Other active safety features include active lane control, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and a driver-attention monitor.
On top of good outward vision that sedans typically have, the G70 offers a surround-view camera system and parking sensors as optional equipment.
2020 Genesis G70
Every G70 is well-equipped with impressive features and a standout warranty.
The Genesis G70’s impressive list of standard features is complemented by a generous warranty and good touchscreen. For all three, we give it points above average and land at an 8 for features.
The G70 is available with one of two engines in several configurations. A 2.0-liter turbo-4 or 3.3-liter V-6 are available in Standard, Elite, Prestige, and Sport trim levels with an automatic transmission. A 6-speed manual transmission is available, but only with the Standard trim level, rear-wheel drive, and a 2.0-liter turbo-4. Base 2.0T Standard cars cost $36,445, including destination, and fully loaded 3.3T Sports with all-wheel drive run up the score to more than $54,000. All-wheel drive is optional on every trim, except on cars equipped with manual transmissions, and costs $2,000 more. We can’t have it all, folks.
The 2.0T Standard includes nearly all the equipment we’d ask for in a luxury compact car. Base cars get 18-inch wheels, power-adjustable front seats, automatic climate control, and a power-opening trunk. Those cars also include an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and three USB ports.
Buyers looking for more luxury conveniences should step up to the Elite versions, which cost $4,600 more on 2.0T models ($1,450 more for 3.3T versions), and add leather upholstery, premium audio, parking sensors, heated and cooled seats, navigation, and a power-adjustable steering wheel. We think it’s worth the extra charge for leather and comfort.
Fully loaded Sport models add a surround-view camera system, a wireless smartphone charger, softer leather seats, an adaptive suspension, 19-inch wheels, heated rear seats, and a head-up display.
Sedans with the 3.3-liter engine are equipped similarly, but include a standard limited-slip differential.
Every G70 gets an extensive warranty that includes 5 years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper coverage including three years of included maintenance, with complimentary valet service to pick up and deliver your vehicle.
2020 Genesis G70
The 2020 Genesis G70 keeps pace with other luxury compact sedans.
The smallest Genesis on sale is mostly fuel efficient, but lacks any electrified powertrains in its lineup.
The EPA rates the 2020 G70 with an automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive and a turbo-4 at 22 mpg city, 30 highway, 25 combined. That’s a 4 on our scale, nearly a 5. The rest of the G70 lineup falls down from there.
With all-wheel drive and a turbo-4, the EPA rates the G70 at 20/27/23 mpg. With a 6-speed manual transmission, the EPA rates the G70 at 18/28/22 mpg.
With a V-6, the EPA rates the G70 at 17/26/20 mpg. With all-wheel drive, that highway figure drops by 1 mpg.