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Genesis G70 2020 review: 3.3T Ultimate Sport

EXPERT RATING
8.1
The 3.3T Ultimate Sport sits atop the Genesis G70 line-up alongside the 3.3T Ultimate (both $79,950) and above the 3.3T Sport ($72,450).

Welcome to the genesis of Hyundai's premium brand, Genesis. Today we present the G70, South Korea's answer to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 sedans.

Needless to say, Genesis has a tough task ahead of it, looking to succeed where Nissan's premium brand Infiniti failed.

That said, the G70 has some strong underpinnings, sharing lots of its oily bits with the Kia Stinger, a rear-wheel drive sedan that's genuinely good fun to drive, even if it hasn't lit up the sales charts.

So, has Genesis impressed on debut with its all-important G70? We put the mid-sizer to the test in 3.3T Ultimate Sport form to find out.

Genesis G70 2020: 3.3T Ultimate Sport
Safety rating
Engine Type3.3L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency10.2L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$79,950

Is there anything interesting about its design?   8/10

To my eyes, the G70 looks good... damn good. But, as always, styling is subjective.

The 3.3T Ultimate Sport, as its name suggests, is sporty to look at. Up front, its large mesh grille impresses, while the headlights are suitably angry. Add angular air intakes and you have one tough-looking customer.

Heavily creased bodywork is not limited to the bonnet, with the side profile's character line sweeping from one blistered wheelarch to the other. There's also the 3.3T Ultimate Sport's black five-spoke alloy wheels with red brake callipers tucked behind. Yes, please.

  • Up front, its large mesh grille impresses, while the headlights are suitably angry. (image: Justin Hilliard) Up front, its large mesh grille impresses, while the headlights are suitably angry. (image: Justin Hilliard)
  • The rear end might be the most subtle angle. (image: Justin Hilliard) The rear end might be the most subtle angle. (image: Justin Hilliard)

The rear end might be the most subtle angle, but it still has a chunky boot lid, smoked tail-lights and a prominent diffuser element with integrated dual oval exhaust tailpipes. Dark chrome trim tastefully rounds out the exterior masterclass.

Inside, the G70 continues to impress, especially in 3.3T Ultimate Sport guise, which has black quilted nappa leather upholstery with red stitching throughout.

Yep, that includes the seats, armrests and door inserts, while the headliner is of the sensuous suede variety.

The dashboard and door shoulders are topped with a lovely soft-touch plastic, and the former gets in on the red-stitching action. (image: Justin Hilliard) The dashboard and door shoulders are topped with a lovely soft-touch plastic, and the former gets in on the red-stitching action. (image: Justin Hilliard)

In fact, the materials used in general are great. The dashboard and door shoulders are topped with a lovely soft-touch plastic, and the former gets in on the red-stitching action. Even the hard plastics used in the lower sections look and feel premium.

Thankfully, gloss-black trim is limited to the central air-vent surrounds, with aluminium thoughtfully used elsewhere, helping to brighten up what would otherwise be a dark cabin.

Technology-wise, an 8.0-inch touchscreen 'floats' on top of the dashboard and is powered by Hyundai's now-familiar multimedia system, which gets the job done better than most.

The instrument cluster is a combination of digital and traditional analogue, with a handy 7.0-inch multi-function display flanked by a tachometer and a speedometer. And there's even a windshield-projected 8.0-inch head-up display for those that way inclined.

Even the hard plastics used in the lower sections look and feel premium. (image: Justin Hilliard) Even the hard plastics used in the lower sections look and feel premium. (image: Justin Hilliard)

How practical is the space inside?   7/10

Measuring 4685mm long, 1850mm wide, and 1400mm tall, the G70 is a mid-size sedan in the truest sense of the term.

Simply put, it's cosy. Those in the front will have no problem with this fact, given it's a comfortable place to be, but those in the back will be confronting some hard truths.

Behind my 184cm driving position, more than five centimetres (two inches) of legroom is available, which is good. What isn't, though, is toe-room, which is non-existent, while just a couple of cm of headroom is available.

The rear bench can, of course, accommodate three occupants, but if they're adults, they won't be pleased, even on short journeys.

  • The boot isn’t spacious, either, with just 330L of cargo capacity on offer. (image: Justin Hilliard) The boot isn’t spacious, either, with just 330L of cargo capacity on offer. (image: Justin Hilliard)
  • The 60/40 split-fold rear bench can be stowed for extra flexibility and capacity. (image: Justin Hilliard) The 60/40 split-fold rear bench can be stowed for extra flexibility and capacity. (image: Justin Hilliard)
  • Practicality is helped, however, by four tie-down points and a small storage net. (image: Justin Hilliard) Practicality is helped, however, by four tie-down points and a small storage net. (image: Justin Hilliard)

Matters aren't helped by the prohibitively large transmission tunnel, which eats into precious footwell space.

The boot isn't spacious, either, with just 330L of cargo capacity on offer. Yep, that's about 50L less than the average small hatch. While it's wide and relatively deep, it's just not very tall.

Practicality is helped, however, by four tie-down points and a small storage net, while the 60/40 split-fold rear bench can be stowed for extra flexibility and capacity.

There are more storage options, of course, with the glove box and central storage bin both decently sized, while a small cubby in the centre console houses the 3.3T Ultimate Sport's wireless smartphone charger. Storage nets are also located on the front seat backrests.

The rear bench can, of course, accommodate three occupants, but if they’re adults, they won’t be pleased. (image: Justin Hilliard) The rear bench can, of course, accommodate three occupants, but if they’re adults, they won’t be pleased. (image: Justin Hilliard)

A pair of cupholders are found in the centre console up front, while another two are located in the second row's fold-down central armrest.

The front door bins are also capable of swallowing a couple of regular-size bottles, although their rear counterparts can't. In fact, they're best used for smaller knick-knacks.

Speaking of the rear bench, it has three top-tether and two ISOFIX anchorage points, so fitting child seats should be easy. We just wouldn't hope to get three abreast.

Connectivity-wise, there are two USB ports up front, split between the centre console and central storage bin. The former also houses one 12-volt power outlet and one auxiliary input. Only one USB port is available in the second row, below the central air vents.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   9/10

Priced from $79,950, plus on-road costs, the 3.3T Ultimate Sport is seriously good value. The rival Mercedes-AMG C43 ($112,300), BMW M 340i ($104,900) and Audi S4 ($98,882) don't even come close.

Standard equipment not already mentioned includes five drive modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport, Smart and Custom), dusk-sensing headlights, adaptive bi-LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and tail-lights, rain-sensing wipers, auto-folding side mirrors (with heating and 'Genesis' puddle lights), 19-inch Sport alloy wheels, a mixed set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres (225/40 front and 255/35 rear), a space-saver spare wheel and a hands-free, power-operated boot lid.

Technology-wise, an 8.0-inch touchscreen ‘floats’ on top of the dashboard and is powered by Hyundai’s now-familiar multimedia system. (image: Justin Hilliard) Technology-wise, an 8.0-inch touchscreen ‘floats’ on top of the dashboard and is powered by Hyundai’s now-familiar multimedia system. (image: Justin Hilliard)

Inside, satellite navigation with live traffic, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, a 15-speaker Lexicon sound system, a power-operated panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, a 16-way power-adjustable driver's seat (with memory functionality), a 12-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated and cooled front seats with four-way power-adjustable lumbar support, heated outboard rear seat bases, a heated steering wheel, a power-adjustable steering column, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and stainless-steel pedal covers and scuff plates feature.

Nine paintwork options are available, including two whites, two blacks, two silvers, a blue, a green and a brown. All are free.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   8/10

The aptly named 3.3T Ultimate Sport is motivated by a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine that produces a hard-hitting 272kW of power at 6000rpm and 510Nm of torque from 1300-4500rpm.

In a departure from the class norm, drive is exclusively sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission with paddle-shifters.

The aptly named 3.3T Ultimate Sport is motivated by a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine. (image: Justin Hilliard) The aptly named 3.3T Ultimate Sport is motivated by a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine. (image: Justin Hilliard)

With launch control engaged, the 3.3T Ultimate Spory sprints from a standstill to 100km/h in an impressive 4.7 seconds while on the way to a top speed of 270km/h.

Those looking to save more than $10,000 can instead opt for one of the G70'd 2.0T variants, which use a 179kW/353Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder unit. They're 1.2s slower to triple digits and have a terminal velocity that's 30km/h lower.

How much fuel does it consume?   8/10

The 3.3T Ultimate Sport's claimed fuel consumption on the combined-cycle test (ADR 81/02) is 10.2 litres per 100 kilometres, with its 60L fuel tank taking 95RON petrol at minimum.

In our real-world testing, we nearly matched that claim with a 10.7L/100km return. This result is even more impressive, because our week-long test included an even balance of city and highway driving, some of which was 'spirited'.

For reference, claimed carbon dioxide emissions are 238 grams per kilometre.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   9/10

ANCAP awarded the entire G70 range a maximum five-star safety rating in 2018.

Advanced driver-assist systems in the 3.3T Ultimate Sport extend to autonomous emergency braking (with pedestrian detection, lane-keep and steering assist), blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control (with stop and go functionality), a manual speed limiter, high-beam assist, driver attention alert, hill-start assist, tyre pressure monitoring, surround-view cameras and front and rear parking sensors.

It comes with a space-saver spare wheel. (image: Justin Hilliard) It comes with a space-saver spare wheel. (image: Justin Hilliard)

Other standard safety equipment includes seven airbags (dual front, side and curtain plus driver's knee), electronic stability and traction control systems and anti-lock brakes (ABS), brake assist and electronic brake force distribution (EBD), among others.

Yep, there's very little missing here.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

5 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?  

As with all Genesis models, the G70 comes with a class-leading five-year/unlimited-kilometre factory warranty and five years of roadside assistance included.

Service intervals for the 3.3T Ultimate Sport are every 12 months or 10,000km, whichever comes first. While the latter is below the 15,000km standard, the really good news for buyers is servicing is free for the first five years or 50,000km.

Genesis will even collect vehicles from homes or workplaces, provide loan cars for the duration, and ultimately return serviced vehicles to their owners.

What's it like to drive?   8/10

Again, the G70 is pretty good. Class-leading? No, but it's not far off.

The 3.3T Ultimate Sport is undoubtedly heavy through the corners, with a kerb weight of 1762kg. But, in combination with a low centre of gravity, it is composed at the same time.

You'd be forgiven for thinking this composure doesn't come easily given the engine under the bonnet. Yep, the twin-turbo V6 is nothing short of frantic when you stick the right boot in.

Maximum torque kicks in just above idle and holds throughout the mid-range, at which point you're 1500rpm away from a fleeting moment of peak power before the redline stops play.

The addictive acceleration that ensues is partly helped by the torque-converter automatic transmission, which works through its eight gears smoothly, if not super-quickly.

Engage the 'Sport' drive mode, though, and the performance ante is upped, with throttle response becoming even sharper and shift patterns more aggressive – perfect for a blast here and there.

Our only regret is the accompanying soundtrack, which is rather vanilla. Indeed, the 3.3T Ultimate Sport lacks the smile-inducing crackles and pops it rivals deliver. It's almost like Genesis didn't try here.

It comes with 3.3T Ultimate Sport’s black five-spoke alloy wheels with red brake callipers tucked behind. (image: Justin Hilliard) It comes with 3.3T Ultimate Sport’s black five-spoke alloy wheels with red brake callipers tucked behind. (image: Justin Hilliard)

Coming into corners, the Brembo brakes (350x30mm ventilated discs with four-piston fixed callipers up front, and 340x22mm rotors and two-pot stoppers at the rear) wash off speed with ease.

On corner exit, the rear limited-slip diff does a great job of finding grip, allowing you to get back on the power nice and early.

And if you give it a bit extra, the 3.3T Ultimate Sport will playfully wiggle its rear end (ever so slightly).

As always, Genesis has tuned the G70's ride and handling for Australian conditions, and it really shows.

Striking the right balance between comfort and sportiness, the independent suspension set-up consists of MacPherson-strut front and multi-link rear axles with two-stage adaptive dampers.

The ride has a firm tinge to it, especially over coarse-chip roads and potholes, but it's a compromise worth making given the value it adds in the twisty stuff, at which point the electric power steering and its variable ratio come into play.

Simply put, it's super direct; a characteristic you'd expect of a genuine sports car, and the G70 feels much smaller than it is to drive. It's all confidence-inspiring to say the least.

Verdict

The G70 is a really good thing. We like it a lot, especially in 3.3T Ultimate Sport form, which allows buyers to have their cake and eat it too.

Forget the fact the G70's actually a compelling drive, up-front value and after-sales support make it a convincing offering.

That said, we're not sure how many premium customers will be willing to move on from their C-Class and 3 Series sedans for something untried.

Badge snobbery isn't something that influences our decisions, though, and it's for that reason we'd have a really hard time saying no.

Is the G70 a better buy than the C-Class, 3 Series or A4? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Pricing guides

$69,625
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$59,300
Highest Price
$79,950

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.0T 2.0L, PULP, 8 SP $59,300 2020 GENESIS G70 2020 2.0T Pricing and Specs
2.0T S.roof 2.0L, PULP, 8 SP $61,800 2020 GENESIS G70 2020 2.0T S.roof Pricing and Specs
2.0T Sport 2.0L, PULP, 8 SP $63,300 2020 GENESIS G70 2020 2.0T Sport Pricing and Specs
2.0T Sport S.roof 2.0L, PULP, 8 SP $65,800 2020 GENESIS G70 2020 2.0T Sport S.roof Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8.1
Design8
Practicality7
Price and features9
Engine & trans8
Fuel consumption8
Safety9
Driving8
Justin Hilliard
Deputy News Editor

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Pricing Guide

$79,950

Lowest price, based on new car retail price

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