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First Drive

First Drive: Genesis G70

The story: Genesis has brought an executive saloon to market in petrol and diesel form, describing it as the brand’s “most athletic” silhouette.
Category:Compact executive
Key rival:BMW 3-Series
On sale:Now

Prong four of the initial Genesis model assault, the G70 saloon, is the entry to the new premium brand’s range.

Coming with a choice of 197hp diesel and 241hp petrol engines, both mated to a slick-shifting eight-speed gearbox and rear-wheel drive, the G70 comes with a choice of three trims packed with tech.

There won’t be a plug-in hybrid, with the brand moving direct to electric by 2025.

The G70’s status as the sportiest drive of the Genesis line-up has left it with a slightly jiggly ride quality, where the firmness is transmitted by every bump in the road. It looks low-slung and sporty, and that is backed-up by the petrol powertrain driven here, which, after a slight pause when you prod the accelerator, delivers decent progress.

First Drive - November 2021 - Genesis G70 - Image 2The low-slung nature is reinforced when you drop into the driver’s seat, in good and bad ways. The low driving position feels sportier, but despite that taller drivers will find themselves almost brushing the roof. There’s just about enough headroom, but it is undeniably cosy up top. And the situation is even less impressive for rear-seat passengers, with larger back-seat occupants almost needing to limbo their way in, and finding both legroom and headroom compromised once they are in place.

Nevertheless the seats are comfy, and the whole interior has a pleasant and premium feel to it, despite the best of the shared Hyundai switchgear.

A 330-litre boot isn’t particularly impressive, and is 150 litres behind the likes of the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series or Volvo S60. It’s also accessed via a fairly narrow opening, although the boot does go back a long way into the car.

First Drive - November 2021 - Genesis G70 - Image 8Genesis’ haggle-free approach will hinder the brand in this competitive compact executive marketplace, but the ownership proposition will appeal to smaller fleets that can be more flexible with their choices, and find something a bit different, but not compromised, appealing.

The G70 is a touch pricier than some of its premium-brand rivals, but is well-equipped for tech and safety kit, looks classy inside and out, and can hold its own on-road against some serious competition.

paul barker



The verdict

Distinctive, decent quality and well-specced, the G70 will help ease Genesis into the UK marketplace without making big waves, although interior packaging and running costs are definitely compromised.