What Car? says...
If the Genesis G70 Shooting Brake has stopped you in your tracks with its looks, you might be half way to buying one already.
So now it's caught your eye, what exactly is the G70 Shooting Brake, and is it any good? Well, first up, Genesis is Hyundai's luxury arm, and it aims to compete with the big (mainly German) premium brands we all know well.
With the G70 Shooting Brake, it's taken the Genesis G70 executive saloon and added a hatchback-style extension on the rear end. That gives it a more practical estate car silhouette to go with the plush interior and three engine options (two petrols, one diesel).
The G70 Shooting Brake isn’t just about having a bit more room for your shopping or luggage, though – it's also designed to have driving manners to match its looks. With that in mind, Genesis has given Sport Line models beefier brakes for buyers keen on more spirited driving.
The combination of extra luggage space, a luxury feel and a bit of performance isn't unique, of course. The Genesis G70 Shooting Brake will be competing with the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring, Mercedes C-Class Estate and Volvo V60.
The G70 Shooting Brake is set apart from the front-wheel-drive V60 and less powerful versions of the A4 Avant by its sporty rear-wheel drive layout (which the 3 Series Touring and C-Class Estate have too). Unlike more potent A4 and 3 Series variants, the G70 isn't available with four-wheel drive in the UK.
So, has Genesis done enough to make this a worthy contender to those impressive estate car rivals? That's what we'll reveal over the next few pages of this review. We’ll tell you what it’s like to drive, how good the interior quality is, how much equipment you get, how big the boot is and lots more.
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Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in the Genesis G70 Shooting Brake produces 194bhp or 241bhp, depend on which version you go for. There's also a 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel. Each has four cylinders and feeds power to the back wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. There's no hybrid option, as there is with the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class Estate.
The more powerful of the two petrols is impressively responsive from low revs. It can get you up to motorways speeds without becoming stressed, and offers a good amount of shove for overtaking. We’ve yet to try the least powerful petrol, but its 9.3sec 0-60mph time suggests it’ll need a fair bit of coaxing to make decent progress.
The gearbox shifts pretty smoothly most of the time, and doesn't dither when pulling out of junctions in the way that the auto in the Audi A4 Avant can. However, when you're driving through town, the G70 has a habit of changing down unnecessarily rather than relying on the engine's torque.
That's a problem with the diesel engine as well. While it offers all the performance you need, it sounds horribly coarse and sends unpleasant vibrations into the car. Indeed, it feels closer to diesels of the early Noughties than the refined four-cylinder units used in premium estate cars today. It is a fair bit quicker to 60mph compared with the entry-level petrol at 197bhp (7.7sec), but other diesel rivals will out-accelerate the G70 SB.
More positively, wind noise is well contained, even at motorway speeds, but you hear quite a lot of road noise, especially with the largest 19in wheels.
We drove the G70 SB with the adaptive suspension Genesis fits to Luxury Line and Sport Line trim versions, and it's pretty good at isolating you from scruffy road surfaces when it's in the Comfort setting. The car can still crash and shudder over larger bumps and potholes, though.
Switching to Sport mode firms up the suspension slightly to keep body lean well controlled in bends. It also adds greater heft to the steering, but this remains disappointingly vague, so the G70 is nowhere near as fun as a 3 Series Touring on winding roads.
The standard brakes are progressive and easy to modulate, and make the bigger brake option on Sport Line models seem superfluous.
The interior layout, fit and finish
The Genesis G70 Shooting Brake makes it easy to find a good driving position because even the entry-level Premium Line trim gives you an electrically adjustable seat.
Unlike in the BMW 3 Series Touring, you get lumbar adjustment to help you stay comfortable on a long drive. However, you might want to consider adding the Comfort Seat Pack, which lets you adjust the side bolsters, thigh support and steering wheel electrically, and save your preferred settings.
You sit quite low down, yet still get a great view out at junctions, thanks to slim windscreen pillars. Over-the-shoulder visibility isn't as good as it is in the Audi A4 Avant though, so you'll be grateful that all G70 SBs have blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and a rear-view camera. The Innovation Pack adds a camera display in the driver’s instrument cluster, which shows what’s coming down your flank when you indicate.
Those instruments are a combination of analogue dials and an 8.0in screen unless you add the Innovation Pack, in which case you get fully digital instruments with a 3D effect to layer information. Perhaps most usefully of all, the pack includes a head-up display that projects your speed, sat-nav directions and other information on to the windscreen so you don't have to take your eyes off the road.
The dashboard is quite logically laid out and has lots of physical controls, unlike in the A4 and Mercedes C-Class Estate (they put almost everything on screens). That might make the G70 look a bit old-fashioned inside, but it also means that it's far less distracting to adjust the climate control.
That’s not to say that Genesis is stingy with tech. You get a 10.25in landscape-oriented touchscreen with built-in sat-nav, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. The screen isn't as easy to operate on the move as the iDrive system in the 3 Series. For example, it has quite small icons and does without a separate control dial, although mercifully you do get some proper shortcut buttons for swapping between menus.
The quality of the interior materials is good, and everything feels solidly put together, although the A4 still sets the standard. One word of caution: all the G70s we’ve driven have had the pricey Nappa option with fine-grain leather and a classy suede headliner, and cars without it might not feel as plush.
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Up front, the Genesis G70 Shooting Brake has plenty of head and leg room, even for those well over six feet tall. While the door bins only really give you enough space for a bottle of water, there's a useful cubby in front of the gear selector, a big storage bin under the front centre armrest and two cupholders.
The G70 SB disappoints in the rear, though, because head and leg room are distinctly tight, and anyone sitting in the middle will struggle to find a spot for their feet due to a sizeable central tunnel.
The rear seats do have a handy 40/20/40 split, as they do in the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class Estate (but not the Volvo V60). Sadly, you’ll need to fold them often if you regularly carry longer items, such as a child’s pushchair or a set of golf clubs – while the boot width is fine, the load area isn’t as long or tall as in the best estate cars.
It also has the narrowest opening among rivals, and Genesis has fitted an odd two-piece parcel shelf that makes loading quite awkward. The tailgate opens electrically, as it does on the main competitors, but the lift-over height to put stuff in the back is very high.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
A Genesis G70 Shooting Brake in Premium Line trim undercuts all its main rivals on price, except for entry-level petrol versions of the BMW 3 Series Touring and Volvo V60. Meanwhile, nothing comparable is cheaper if you’re after a diesel engine.
Sadly, the G70 doesn’t fare well when it comes to economy and emissions. All its official WLTP figures are significantly worse than those of rival estate cars, and there isn’t a company car tax friendly plug-in hybrid option.
On a brighter note, the G70 Shooting Brake comes with lots of standard equipment for the money, with even the entry-level trim getting 17in alloy wheels, automatically dipping LED headlights and dual-zone climate control. We’d therefore recommend sticking with the entry-level Premium Line trim.
If you do want to upgrade, Luxury Line adds the Convenience Pack with heated front seats and steering wheel, 18in alloy wheels, and access to the more powerful petrol engine. Top-tier Sport Line trim adds heated Nappa leather sports seats, 19in alloy wheels and performance Brembo brakes.
We don't have any reliability data for Genesis but every car is backed up by a five-year unlimited mileage warranty. What's more, parent company Hyundai did very well in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, coming joint third out of 30 manufacturers included, which bodes well for its premium car division.
The Genesis G70 saloon (which the G70 SB is based on) was awarded five stars out of five for safety by the independent experts at Euro NCAP, and all versions come with lane-keeping assistance and automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection.
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|RRP price range
|£42,870 - £45,540
|Number of trims (see all)
|Number of engines (see all)
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)
|MPG range across all versions
|33.2 - 33.2
|Available doors options
|5 years / No mileage cap
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)
|£3,053 / £3,250
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)
|£6,105 / £6,500