Genesis G70 review

Category: Executive car

The G70 is a well-equipped executive car but most rivals are better to drive and more practical

Genesis G70 front cornering
  • Genesis G70 front cornering
  • Genesis G70 interior dashboard
  • Genesis G70 boot open
  • Genesis G70 interior driver display
  • Genesis G70 right driving
  • Genesis G70 front cornering
  • Genesis G70 rear cornering
  • Genesis G70 rear right driving
  • Genesis G70 front right static
  • Genesis G70 left static
  • Genesis G70 badge and grille
  • Genesis G70 headlights detail
  • Genesis G70 alloy wheel detail
  • Genesis G70 side detail
  • Genesis G70 rear lights detail
  • Genesis G70 interior front seats
  • Genesis G70 interior back seats
  • Genesis G70 interior infotainment
  • Genesis G70 interior air-con controls
  • Genesis G70 interior detail
  • Genesis G70 interior sunroof
  • Genesis G70 front cornering
  • Genesis G70 interior dashboard
  • Genesis G70 boot open
  • Genesis G70 interior driver display
  • Genesis G70 right driving
  • Genesis G70 front cornering
  • Genesis G70 rear cornering
  • Genesis G70 rear right driving
  • Genesis G70 front right static
  • Genesis G70 left static
  • Genesis G70 badge and grille
  • Genesis G70 headlights detail
  • Genesis G70 alloy wheel detail
  • Genesis G70 side detail
  • Genesis G70 rear lights detail
  • Genesis G70 interior front seats
  • Genesis G70 interior back seats
  • Genesis G70 interior infotainment
  • Genesis G70 interior air-con controls
  • Genesis G70 interior detail
  • Genesis G70 interior sunroof
What Car?’s G70 deals
New car deals
Target Price from £41,470
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £38,490

Introduction

What Car? says...

Car models from premium brands often outsell those of mainstream rivals, so if you're after exclusivity but don't want to spend a fortune, what do you buy? Well, a Genesis G70 perhaps.

Genesis is the luxury division of Hyundai (in the same way that Lexus is Toyota’s), and with the G70, it's aiming to tempt people away from the big-name compact executive saloons. So what features does the G70 come with to help it take on the best in a competitive class?

Well, choosing which one to have is extremely straightforward, since there’s only one engine and trim level available. There’s a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit under the bonnet, paired with a well-equipped Sport trim level.

Read on to find out how the Genesis G70 compares with the best executive cars in all the important areas. We've put it up against the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and others to find out how it performs.

Genesis G70 rear cornering

Overview

If you’re after an executive saloon that comes with lots of toys and stands out from the crowd, the Genesis G70 delivers. However, in most other respects it's well off the pace, with the majority of rivals quieter, better to drive, more practical and cheaper to run, whether you're a private buyer or a company car driver.

  • User-friendly interior
  • Well equipped
  • Comfortable seats
  • Crashy ride
  • Tight rear space and boot
  • Disappointing fuel economy
New car deals
Target Price from £41,470
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £38,490

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in the Genesis G70 produces 241bhp and feeds its power to the back wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. However, unlike with the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, there's no hybrid offering. A diesel option available from launch was taken off sale.

The petrol engine is impressively responsive even from low revs. There’s a good amount of shove for overtaking and it can get up to motorway speeds without becoming overly stressed. Covering 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds, the G70 is quicker than an equivalent Mercedes C200 (7.3 seconds) and BMW 320i (7.4 seconds).

The standard eight-speed automatic gearbox shifts pretty smoothly most of the time and doesn't dither when pulling out of junctions as the auto in the Audi A4 can. However, the G70's gearbox does have a habit of changing down unnecessarily when you're driving through town rather than relying on the engine's torque.

More positively, wind noise is well contained, even at motorway speeds, but you hear quite a lot of road noise.

Adaptive suspension is standard on Sport trim and it's mostly good at isolating you from scruffy road surfaces when it's in the Comfort setting. However, the car can still crash and shudder over larger bumps and potholes.

Switching to Sport mode firms up the suspension slightly to keep body lean well controlled in bends. It also adds greater heft to steering, but this remains disappointingly vague, so the G70 is nowhere near as fun as a 3 Series or Jaguar XE on winding roads.

GENESIS G70 image
Skip the showroom and find out more online

Driving overview

Strengths Punchy performance; little wind noise

Weaknesses Crashy ride quality; not as fun to drive as the best rivals

Genesis G70 interior dashboard

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

The Genesis G70 makes it easy to find a good driving position with its electrically adjustable seat.

Unlike in the BMW 3 Series, you also get lumbar adjustment included 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 though, so you'll be grateful that blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera are standard on all versions.

The optional Innovation Pack brings a 12.3in driver’s instrument panel that displays an image fed by a camera to show what’s coming down your flank when you indicate.

Without it, the driver gets a combination of analogue dials and an 8.0in screen for the trip computer. Perhaps most usefully of all, the Innovation  pack also 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.

Elsewhere, the dashboard is quite logically laid out and has many physical controls, unlike the 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, which 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 or switch on the heated seats.

That’s not to say that the G70 lacks tech – you still get a 10.3in landscape-oriented touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, built-in sat-nav and Bluetooth connectivity. The screen isn't as easy to operate on the move as the iDrive system in the 3 Series because it has quite small icons and does without a separate control dial that is found in other Genesis cars, although mercifully you get some proper shortcut buttons for swapping between menus.

The quality of the materials in the G70 is good, with plenty of soft leather-like materials covering the upper surfaces. Everything feels solidly put together, although the A4 still sets the standard in the executive car class.

Interior overview

Strengths Comfort Seat Pack boosts long distance comfort; user-friendly dashboard 

Weaknesses Looks a little dated compared with rivals; option packs aren’t cheap

Genesis G70 boot open

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Up front, the Genesis G70 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 large storage bin beneath the front centre armrest and a pair of cupholders.

Instead, it's in the rear that the G70 disappoints, because head and leg room are distinctly tight, and anyone sitting in the middle will struggle to find a spot for their feet.

A powered bootlid is standard, but boot capacity is also on the small side, offering less space than you get in any rival, at 330 litres. The width and length aren't too bad, but it's not very deep. For reference, an Audi A4 has 460 litres on offer. 

All G70s come with 60/40 split folding rear seats, which is pretty standard for the class. There is a ski hatch behind the rear centre armrest to boost versatility, although the A4, 3 Series and C-Class all feature a 40/20/40 configuration that gives you even more flexibility when transporting longer items and people.

If you need a bit more practicality, you can opt to have the car as an estate – to read about that, find out about the estate car version in our Genesis G70 Shooting Brake review.

Practicality overview

Strengths Plenty of space up for front-seat occupants

Weaknesses Tight rear seat space; rivals have more versatile split-folding rear seats; small boot

Genesis G70 interior driver display

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

As a cash buy, the Genesis G70 costs about the same as an equivalent BMW 320i M Sport and Audi A4 S line 40. Both rivals can be had in cheaper trim levels, though. A Mercedes C-Class costs more, but you can easily match its price with the G70 if you opt for a couple of option packs. You can check the latest prices on our New Car Deals pages.

The G70 loses its value a little more slowly than an equivalent A4, but its residual values aren’t as strong as for a 3 Series or C-Class.

The G70 doesn’t fare particularly well when it comes to fuel economy either, with an official WLTP figure of around 35mpg. For comparison, all three rivals mentioned above achieve a figure of 40mpg and above.

As a company car the G70 slots into the highest 37% benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rate bracket, compared with 34-35% in the equivalent petrol versions of the A4, 3 Series and C-Class. Meanwhile, the plug-in hybrid variants of the 3 Series and C-Class work out substantially cheaper as company cars.

On a brighter note, the G70 gives you a lot of standard equipment for your money, including 19in alloy wheels, automatically dipping LED headlights, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control and dual-zone climate control.

You also get plenty of options to help your G70 stand out more than its conventional rivals. There are plenty of paint colours and wheel options while the interior can be brightened up with grey or red Nappa leather upholstery.

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 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey, which bodes well for its premium car division.

The G70 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.

Costs overview

Strengths Lots of standard kit; plenty of options to help it visually stand out 

Weaknesses Higher fuel consumption and CO2 output than rivals

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

FAQs

  • No – not any more. Earlier versions of the G70 were available with a 197bhp  2.2-litre diesel, which had an official fuel economy figure of 44mpg. While it offered all the performance you’d need, the engine sounds horribly coarse and sends unpleasant vibrations into the car.

  • As an executive car, the G70 has a huge number of rivals. The very best include the Audi A4, the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class. It’s also up against the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE.

  • Genesis is a standalone brand that is owned by, but separate from, Hyundai. So, no – the G70 is not a Hyundai.

At a glance
New car deals
Target Price from £41,470
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £38,490
RRP price range £41,470 - £44,140
Number of trims (see all)1
Number of engines (see all)1
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol
MPG range across all versions 35.3 - 35.3
Available doors options 4
Warranty 5 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £2,949 / £3,146
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £5,898 / £6,293
Available colours