I was more than a little skeptical when Hyundai split off its Genesis brand as an upscale automaker back in 2017. I had tested some of the Genesis models prior to the split, and well to me anyway, a Hyundai by any other name is still a Hyundai.
Sure, the Genesis models were a bit nicer than some of the Hyundai offerings but were they ready to be there own brand?
My first forays with the new standalone Genesis did nothing to make me see the Genesis brand as anything other than a rebadged Hyundai.
It didn’t help that last year they sent me their all-new 2019 G70. It was after all built on the same platform with the Kia Stinger but has a wheelbase 2.8 inches shorter than its hatchback cousin.
I was so confused.
I get it, Koreans sharing info, helping a brother out. But still, I couldn’t get into a Genesis without thinking about Hyundai, Kia, and for some reason kimchi, which I like very much.
Genesis sent me the 2020 version of the G70 for a recent week. Last year they sent me the 2019 Sport version, this time it was the Prestige.
For 2020, Genesis made only very minor, wouldn’t notice them unless I told you about them, changes. There are still four option packages: Standard, Elite, Prestige and Sport and the same engine options: Standard is a 2.0-liter turbo-four rated at 255 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 365 hp and 376 lb-ft optional, with either rear wheel of all wheel drive available. The power is delivered to the road via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Standard has selectable drive modes, adaptive cruise control and a blind-spot warning. The Elite adds LED headlights, rain sensing wipers, a park-distance warning and more. Prestige trims put in a head-up display, wireless device charging and 19-inch wheels. Sport trims include all the Prestige content plus summer tires, upgraded Brembo brakes and a limited-slip rear differential.
Inside there is an 8.0-inch touchscreen, a rear-view camera, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, heated front seats, and dual-zone climate control and my Prestige model added a 360-degree camera system, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, an adaptive suspension, Nappa leather upholstery, full LED headlights, a power-operated trunk, and a large sunroof.
But, like last year, I saw that there is still some work to be done.
Yes, the Prestige had the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 365 hp and 376 lb-ft under the hood and it was fast, 0-60 is 4.7 seconds. The stitched leather seats can be wrapped around you and there is virtually no body roll in aggressive driving. So on the road the G70 is fun, fast, and capable. But it still looks like a Hyundai.
I guess I was hoping that for 2020 they would do something to start actually differentiating themselves from their Hyundai parent. But, alas, they have not.
Thus, a car buyer in the market for a sports sedan would face a tough choice. The Stinger after all is technically a hatchback, so the rear seats have a bit more room and a hatchback always makes for a bit more storage. Hyundai, I mean Genesis, also offers a manual transmission for the G70, which is great, but only adds to the “we are trying to be a nicer Stinger” story.
The G70 Prestige is a bit less expensive, $49,945, while a new Stinger will probably go for just over $50,000, so there’s that. But the big part of the market for the G70 is the European and Japanese luxury sedans; the Lexus, Mercedes, BMWs and the like. And yes, the G70 is much less than those, but sadly Genesis has still done nothing really to make it compete with those. Instead you have to see it for what it is; a Hyundai in Genesis clothing. Nice? Sure. But until Hyundai fully lets go of the rope and sends Genesis into the open ocean, it probably always will be.
And that’s just a shame.
The 2020 Genesis G70 Prestige 3.3 T
MSRP (as tested): $ 49,945
Engine: 3.3 L twin turbo V6, 365 hp @ 6000 rpm, 376 lb-ft torque @ 1300 rpm
Transmission: 8 speed shiftable automatic w/OD
Fuel Mileage (EPA): 17 city, 26 highway, 20 combined
Fuel Mileage (as tested, mixed conditions): 22 mpg
Base Curb Weight: 3,774 lbs
Front Head Room (in):39.7
Front Leg Room (in): 42.6
Front Shoulder Room (in): 56.3
Second Head Room (in): 36.9
Second Leg Room (in): 34.8
Second Shoulder Room (in):54.6
Trunk Volume (cubic feet): 10.5
Wheelbase (in): 111.6
Length, Overall (in): 184.4
Width, Max w/o mirrors (in): 72.8
Height, Overall (in): 55.1
Track Width, Front (in): 62.8
Track Width, Rear (in): 64.3
Min Ground Clearance (in): 5.5
Basic: 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Drivetrain: 10 Years/100,000 Miles
Corrosion: 7 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance: 5 Years/Unlimited Miles
Maintenance: 3 Years/36,000 Miles