Car reviews - Genesis - G70 - Shooting Brake
Freeway ride quality, muted cabin, good ergonomics, robust build quality and finish, standard equipment levels, aftersales support and warranty.
Room for improvement
No electrified option, no V6 for ‘wagon, contrived engine note, sporadically soggy handling, Hyundai-esque interior and features, fuel economy.
Can Genesis' new G70 Shooting Brake compete with stalwart rivals from Germany?
19 Apr 2022
By MATT BROGAN
GENESIS Motors Australia’s evocatively styled G70 Shooting Brake is said to combine the best traits of a sportscar and a station wagon. Priced from $79,000 (plus on-road costs), the variant is powered by a 179kW/353Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that propel the rear wheels via Genesis’ proprietary eight-speed automatic transmission.
While the front-end design of the G70 Shooting Brake is characterised by the Korean premium brand’s signature quad-lamp architecture and crest grille, the ‘wagon departs from its sedan sibling’s styling with twin parabolic body lines that accentuate the wheel-arch flares and a swoopy rear spoiler that appears to float above the single-piece glass hatch – a characteristic also visible in the newly unveiled X Speedium Coupe concept.
The G70 Shooting Brake offers a luggage volume of 465 litres, compared with 330 litres for the sedan (VDA figures). The G70 Shooting Brake’s tailgate is electrically operated and can be opened automatically via the vehicle’s smart key.
The new model’s general specification is said to combine the G70 sedan’s Luxury and Sport Line Packages. A Brembo brake package and limited-slip differential are fitted as standard, as are touch-type door handles, electro-chromatic mirrors, as well as a panoramic sunroof.
A no-cost optional Sport Line Styling Package, which incorporates Sport Line interior, 19-inch sport alloy wheels, sport grille and dark chrome exterior highlights, is also available.
With the standard Luxury Package, the Shooting Brake’s interior features quilted Nappa leather trim combined with aluminium trim inserts. The optional Sport Line styling package adds sportier quilting, bespoke swirl-patterned aluminium inserts and sports pedals.
Standard interior appointments include a 12.3-inch digital instrument, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system (that offers smartphone-mirroring technology and incorporates a surround-view monitor), a dual-zone climate control system with heated- and ventilated front seats, laminated side glass and a wireless phone charger.
In terms of the safety suite, G70 Shooting Brake comes equipped with 10 airbags, as well as an extensive array of Genesis Active Safety Control driver assistance and advanced active safety technologies.
Among these systems are forward-collision and driver-attention warning with leading vehicle-departure alert, forward- and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist with junction turning function, blind-spot cameras and collision-avoidance assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function, lane-keeping and following assist, adaptive headlights, safe exit warning and rear occupant alert.
Included in the package (from new) are a five-year/unlimited kilometre comprehensive warranty, complimentary scheduled servicing for five years/50,000km and five years’ access to the Korean luxury brand’s concierge, courtesy vehicle, and valet services plus a premium roadside assistance program.
As a rival to the likes of the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Genesis G70 faces something of an uphill battle. The established brands have established customer bases and long-established loyalty. To be anti-establishment, as it were, the Genesis really needs to stand out, and in a many ways, it really doesn’t.
Which isn’t to say it’s a bad car – it isn’t. In fact, it’s pretty good. It just simply doesn’t offer anything outstanding other than head-turning looks and Lexus-esque customer service standards to attract brand-loyal and/or risk-averse luxury car buyers.
The G70 Shooting Brake may wear Genesis emblems, but it’s evidently a product of the Hyundai stable. Much of its switchgear and materials was sourced from the parent company’s parts bin, and though that’s not necessarily unforgiveable, it doesn’t enhance the model’s chances of appealing to a new set of buyers who’re keen to stand out from the crowd.
On the plus side, the model retains hard buttons for the most-used functions, plus it’s very well-made and easy to live with. The seats are comfortable and the accommodation spacious, which is something we can’t say for all of the competitors listed above.
Under the bonnet, the thirsty 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which is essentially the same as found in the Hyundai i30 N, comes paired to a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic and (hurrah!) rear-wheel drive. But to our tastes, the unit seems aurally non-premium, and despite its decent performance, isn’t what you’d call “sporty”.
The range does not offer a mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid or battery-electric variants, which limits its appeal. What’s more, the ‘wagon is not offered with the V6 engine found in the sedan, which, given the availability of the motor, seems a wasted opportunity.
The not-what-you’d-call-sporty mantra also applies to the G70’s on-road behaviour. At cruising speeds, it’s comfortable and quiet in the way that befits a premium car. However, under hard acceleration Genesis’ engine sounds rather crass – almost fatuously so – replete with a contrived “exhaust” note that simply doesn’t suit the car.
It’s not as accurate to place on the road as its German rivals either. The steering feels reactive in Sport+ mode and the damping quite firm. In its softer modes, the G70 can feel rather podgy (it has a 1699kg kerb weight), which detracts from the confidence you might otherwise place in the vehicle when threading along a winding stretch of road.
And it’s that all-important “feel” that separates the Genesis most from its European counterparts. While Hyundai has done some wonderful things with its mainstream range locally, the G70 is a different story again. It’s like the car can’t decide if it’s a premium, cushy cruiser or a wannabe sportscar, and the result, to our minds, is a car that is neither.
Harsh? Perhaps. But the Genesis feels like it needs a little polish if it is to truly match the pedigree of its same-priced rivals. Given the parent brand’s colossal strides elsewhere, you get the feeling the current Genesis line-up is the, um, genesis from which better things will come. Let’s hope those good things come soon.
14th of April 2022
Genesis premieres X Speedium Coupe
Freestyle design exercise yields elegant concept model in New York
12th of January 2022
Luxe six-seat option added to Genesis GV80 range
MY22 update brings $13,500 six-seat interior to all-wheel drive GV80 variants
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