The 2019 Genesis G70 Is a Reliable Quarantine Ride

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Well, folks, a lot has happened in the last seven months, but not much of that stuff happened to our long-term G70. It took five months to stack 6,000 miles on its odometer. It took a month after Michigan entered a strict coronavirus lockdown for the G70 to get its […]

Well, folks, a lot has happened in the last seven months, but not much of that stuff happened to our long-term G70. It took five months to stack 6,000 miles on its odometer. It took a month after Michigan entered a strict coronavirus lockdown for the G70 to get its first socially distant fill-up. Then six more weeks went by before its next trip to the gas station. Between March 17 and July 1, the G70 had only two drivers. (In the “before” times, a long-term car could easily have five drivers each week.)

For even deeper coverage, view our Buyer’s Guide in-depth review of the 2019 Genesis G70.

All of this is to say that we don’t have a lot to say. In the month and a half between our last update and the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, the G70 had its front left tire replaced in the Car and Driver garage. A month later, we replaced the left rear tire, which had a bubble in the sidewall. A few weeks and an oil change later, we noticed some wobbling and sent the G70 in for a four-wheel alignment.

Design director Nathan Schroeder is responsible for accumulating most of the miles on the G70 during Michigan’s coronavirus-related lockdown, which began March 23. After weeks stuck at home, Schroeder started taking the G70 out for joy rides, something you probably won’t be hearing from the drivers who spent quarantine in one of the large SUVs in our long-term fleet. Once restrictions eased, Schroeder put his idle hands to use with a home improvement project and packed the G70’s trunk with six five-gallon buckets of sand and gravel—further proof that sedans are more versatile than we give them credit for.

Even when pressed, Schroeder refused to list a single complaint about the G70. We’ve previously found plenty to nitpick in the G70 family and even in this particular car. (Our failure to spec the available V-6 engine usually tops the list.) But it’s a good sign for the Genesis that familiarity bred affection in Schroeder. Its good looks, comfortable interior, and joyful driving dynamics made it a lovable quarantine companion. And no matter how harmonious your household lockdown crew may be, you’ll know that we don’t take one of those for granted.

Months in Fleet: 13 months Current Mileage: 20,645 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 25 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 15.8 gal Observed Fuel Range: 390 miles
Service: $348 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $4417

When we last left our Genesis G70, it had just been involved in a minor incident with a deer that dislodged a radar sensor that’s part of its dynamic cruise-control system and collision-warning equipment. The damage didn’t look too bad, and, accustomed as we Michiganders are to catastrophic encounters with the state mammal, we counted ourselves lucky and figured the fix would be quick and painless. We were wrong.

One of the downsides of buying a car from a fledgling brand such as Genesis is that some parts may not be in the pipeline yet. A local Hyundai dealer quickly replaced the grille, radar sensor cover, and cruise control assembly, but the G70 is new enough and this problem uncommon enough that certain sensor parts had to be ordered from Korea. In the end, the total came to $4163 and nearly a month of waiting for parts before the G70 was made whole again.

Photo credit: Dave VanderWerp – Car and Driver

Once back in our hands, the G70 settled into commuter duty, and we returned to wishing we had ordered the twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 engine instead of the competent but uninspired four-cylinder, which senior editor Mike Sutton declared to be “kind of a dog at wide-open throttle.” Our dissatisfaction with the G70’s turbo four is enhanced by the knowledge that BMW and Mercedes both offer smoother, stronger engines in their small luxury sedans. A fix is reportedly on its way. Hyundai recently revealed a 290-plus-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four for the Sonata N-Line, and that engine will also go into the G70, replacing the current 2.0-liter turbo.

Perhaps we’re getting used to the quilted leather seats and the easy-to-use touchscreen interface, but some staffers are bored by the Genesis’s design. The exterior design is also drawing some criticism for being too staid. The G70 has some fans, though. Copy chief Carolyn Pavia-Rauchman complimented the G70’s comfy seats, which have her dreaming of summer road trips. The logbook also had praise for the small switches mounted on the side of the passenger seat that allow the driver or rear passengers to move that seat fore and aft. Uber drivers, take note.

Photo credit: Michael Simari – Car and Driver

Despite its virtues as a gobbler of miles, the G70 has left Michigan only three times in the past 10,000 miles, for trips to Chicago, Iowa, and Ohio. With the holiday season now behind us and spring still a distant hope, it could be a while before the G70 stretches its legs and ventures beyond the Midwest. In the meantime, we’re just hoping not to run into any more deer.

Months in Fleet: 6 months Current Mileage: 14,013 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 25 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 15.8 gal Observed Fuel Range: 390 miles
Service: $162 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $4163

Initial Test Results

Photo credit: Michael Simari – Car and Driver

During our 2019 Genesis G70‘s 600-mile break-in period, logbook comments praised its poise on the road and easy, accurate responses to steering inputs. While it has not proved to be the most desired or requested of our long-termers—a hard honor to earn with a Honda Civic Type R also in our fleet—we are generally pleased with the G70’s comfort, capability, and demeanor. “Generally pleased” isn’t much of an expert opinion, though, so we hustled the Genesis off to the test track as soon as we could.

The G70 performed well at the track, but not outstandingly so, and by most metrics falls slightly behind the German competitors it seeks to match. Our example, which features the standard 252-hp 2.0-liter turbo four paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, made it from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, or notably behind the 5.1-second time we recorded for an Audi A4, as well as the 5.3 seconds returned by the BMW 330i. The G70’s 7.7-second rolling-start time, from 5 to 60 mph, suggests that the eight-speed isn’t fully masking the engine’s turbo lag; the Audi and BMW both were a second or more quicker in that measurement.

Photo credit: Michael Simari – Car and Driver

The Genesis, on its 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires, returned a decent 0.92 g of grip on the skidpad, putting it right in line with its German rivals. The same can be said for the Genesis’s 160-foot stop from 70 mph. That it did better on the handling portion of the test than in straight-line acceleration is no surprise. The G70’s well-tuned chassis and steering result in it being a respectable driver’s car, but the optional 365-hp twin-turbo V-6, which in our testing propelled the G70 to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds, makes for a far more exciting package.

Shortly after its trip to the track, we were distracted from our musings on the merits of the 2.0-liter engine when a (thankfully) low-speed deer strike dislodged one of the radar sensors in the Genesis’ grille. The hobbled sensor did not, at first, appear damaged or trigger any warning lights, which led two drivers to engage the G70’s adaptive cruise-control system without realizing there was a problem—only to be startled when the car sped toward slower traffic without applying the brakes. Both drivers were alert and reacted quickly, so further trouble was averted. But we’ve since had the dealership inspect the car and order the necessary parts to fix the sensor array. Stay tuned to find out how much our run-in with Bambi will ultimately cost us.

Months in Fleet: 2 months Current Mileage: 4848
Average Fuel Economy: 25 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 15.8 gal Observed Fuel Range: 390 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $0

Introduction

Photo credit: Michael Simari – Car and Driver

The Genesis G70 is far from the first BMW 3-series contender to cross our paths. It’s not even the first one from the Hyundai Motor Group or the first time we’ve welcomed a Korean 3-series wannabe into our long-term fleet. But with our 2018 Kia Stinger GT leaving us feeling lukewarm, we’re hoping for a little more from the G70, which is, after all, wearing the laurel of a 10Best winner.

Our 2019 G70 2.0T Dynamic model is painted a lovely Mallorca Blue hue and carries the entry-level 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels. Before you ask, yes, we are aware that the G70 is available with a manual transmission, and, no, we have not forgotten about Saving the Manuals. We’d also like to save the rainforest, but we wouldn’t handcuff ourselves to a tree that already had root rot. The G70’s manual is unsatisfying and uninspiring to operate, yet the automatic is quite good. So here we are.

Photo credit: Michael Simari – Car and Driver

Inside, the G70 has a budget-friendly cushiness that’s characteristic of Genesis, thanks in part to the three option packages we spec’d at a total of $9000. Key features from the $5000 Elite package include full LED headlights, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and a 15-speaker sound system. The $3000 Prestige package added quilted nappa leather seats (the Elite package brings only regular old leather), heated outboard rear seats, and a surround-view camera system, among other things. The last grand, arguably the most important one, was spent on the Dynamic package, which adds 19-inch wheels (18s are standard) fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires and a limited-slip differential.

Spending that much money on options can spell the death of a budget for most luxury shoppers. But the G70’s original asking price was so reasonable that our model only commands an as-tested $45,090. And it’s positively swanky compared to a similarly priced 3-series. Our newly minted G70 hasn’t been to the test track yet, but when it does, we’ll have a better idea of whether its performance, and not just its packaging, can stand up to the best of its rivals.

Months in Fleet: 1 month Current Mileage: 551
Average Fuel Economy: 24 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 15.8 gal Observed Fuel Range: 370 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $0

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Our 2019 Genesis G70 Is a Reliable Quarantine Companion

Well, folks, a lot has happened in the last seven months, but not much of that stuff happened to our long-term G70. It took five months to stack 6,000 miles on its odometer. It took a month after Michigan entered a strict coronavirus lockdown for the G70 to get its […]