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2019 Genesis G70 Review by Larry Nutson - It's E15 Approved +VIDEO

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2019 Genesis G70
Fresh and impressive

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

You probably know, but just in case you don’t, the 2019 Genesis G70 was named the 2019 North American Car of the Year. The award was bestowed at the recent January North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The G70 sedan rose to the top of a field comprised of twenty-three candidates that was narrowed to a field of fourteen semi-finalists and then three finalists. That’s quite a commendable accomplishment.

Called the "Oscars of the Auto Industry” the award recognizes excellence in innovation, design, safety, performance, technology, driver satisfaction and value. Certainly important characteristics that would inspire me to shop the winner.

Genesis, the premium brand of Hyundai, came on the scene about three years ago. The compact luxury 5-passenger G70 has three larger siblings, the G80, G80 Sport and G90. Looking to the future, Genesis has shared information about its GV80 Concept luxury crossover, its coupe-design Essential concept, as well as the New York concept luxury sedan. The point being, there is more to come from the Genesis brand.

Notwithstanding the popularity of SUVs, grand touring sport sedans still have a place in the market. The Kia Stinger, from Hyundai’s sister brand, as well as entries like the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-class garner a decent following. And there are also other new entries like the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

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The G70 is available in five trims, three powertrain configurations and in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Prices start at $34,900.

Sitting compactly at 184.5 inches long, the G70 is well suited for urban living as well as, of course, for the wide open spaces. Really big cars, or whatever vehicle type, can prove challenging and not very enjoyable in a big congested city.

G70 engine choices are 252-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder or a 365-hp 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6. An 8-speed, sport-tuned automatic with standard steering wheel mounted shift-paddles is paired with each engine. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. An optional 6-speed manual gearbox can be had with the 2.0T RWD model.

Standard, Elite and Sport trims are offered with both engine choices. There’s also a Dynamic trim for the 2.0-L and a Prestige trim for the 3.3-L.

Advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) features include forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane keeping assist, and driver attention warning.

The media-loan G70 I drove was the AWD 3.3T Prestige model. Its base price is $45,750 with the Elite package adding $1,750 and the Prestige package adding $2,500 for a bottom line of $50,995 including shipping.

With 365-horsepower at your command the G70 delivers on the performance end. Zero to 60mph comes in just 4.5 seconds. There’s no turbo lag, smooth and linear engine response and a drive mode switch that lets you choose eco or sport responses to your right foot.

EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings are 20 mpg combined with 18 city mpg and 25 highway mpg. If lower fuel consumption is what a buyer needs, the 252-hp 2.0-L is rated at 22 city mpg and 30 highway mpg. During my time with the G70 I road tripped across Michigan’s lower peninsula with the G70 delivering 25-26 mpg during highway cruising around 75 mph with a moderate load of two people and some luggage.

The G70’s road manners are quite nimble with a balanced and compliant suspension setup the delivers crisp handling and yet a comfortable ride.

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In the cabin the quilted Nappa leather is very inviting. Front seats proved comfortable and supportive on my road trip. My wife was along in the front passenger seat and she is often the first to voice a complaint. None came about the G70’s seats. You sit low in the front seat. With my medium build, entering was fine but exiting was a bit cramped because the B-pillar was situated at my shoulder.

The rear seat is a bit cramped for adults. I had to readjust my driving position to give folks in the rear a bit more leg room. Controls mounted on the inboard side of the front passenger seatback allow the driver to move it forward for passengers entering in the rear.

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Cargo room was adequate for our road-trip luggage however the trunk’s 10.5 cu.ft. makes you want to pack carefully. The rear seats do fold down to open up more space.

More details on the Genesis G70 can be found at Take note that the G70 has 3 years/36,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance and also complimentary service valet for the same term. Genesis will collect the G70 to service it, and offer a courtesy loaner car.

Genesis cars are sold at select Hyundai dealerships. The brand is creating a broad dealer network during this year.

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The G70 is definitely a driver’s car, offering lots of sporty and fun-to-drive characteristics. The interior cabin is straight forward, with easy to use controls and is very well appointed with many premium, near-luxury features.

The G70 has received many accolades and awards, in addition to the NACTOY win. The general consensus is that it’s a worthy entry in the sport sedan segment. I agree!

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© 2019 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy