Genesis G70 AWD
Upmarket Hyundai saloon is promising rather than a revelation
Korean 3 Series rival assessed
The steady rise of Genesis continues with this new fourdoor saloon, conceived as a competitor to the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. Set to go on sale in Korea and North America in early 2018, the G70 is scheduled to enter Europe by the end of the decade.
The G70 will offer three turbocharged engines in combination with either standard rear-wheel drive or optional fourwheel drive, including the headline 3.3-litre V6 petrol unit tested here.
The engine has a sporting edge that enthusiasts will appreciate. There is plenty of torque and a freerevving nature to its delivery means it can be worked hard without any undue harshness. The standard eight-speed gearbox, on the other hand, is a little slow to react both in automatic and manual modes, even if the actual shifts are quite smooth.
The sophisticated interior features proper metal detailing, aluminium trims, agreeable soft-touch plastics and loads of quilted leather. The cabin is well insulated, with little wind noise at typical motorway cruising speeds, which helps to provide the G70 with a premium ambience that lifts it well above its mainstream Hyundai siblings.
The front seats offer plenty of support and comfort, with decent knee and head room. It is a different story in the rear, where knee room is scarce and the sloping roofline compromises head room. The boot, meanwhile, is quite deep, but a rather small aperture limits loading width.
Like its rivals, the G70 uses a multilink rear suspension. It is allied to a mechanical limited-slip differential and, in 4×4 versions, a torque vectoring function to juggle the apportioning of drive between each rear wheel. It also has a 50/50 frontto-rear weight distribution.
The G70 has hit its target of delivering comfort over sportiness, with predictable handling and a general ease of driving. The Korean-spec model we drove was able to sponge away smaller bumps effectively, though it was occasionally unsettled by larger undulations, revealing a lack of damping control.
What impresses is the car’s ability to suppress road noise. However, the electronic-assisted steering lacks consistent weighting; there’s a lightness off-centre but artificial weightiness when you wind on lock.
Genesis could do no worse than to build on this model with a test programme in the UK if the brand is serious about mixing it with the premium class competition over here.
Handsome, well-insulated cabin sets the car apart from other Hyundais