2019 Genesis G70 2.0T Drivers’ Notes Review
Over the past few months, we’ve spent a lot of time behind the wheel of the Genesis G70. We first drove the car in New England last fall. We also spent some time on the West Coast in pair of G70s, one fitted with the turbo 2.0-liter and the other fitted with the twin-turbo 3.3-liter — the latter being the same engine that’s in our long-term Kia Stinger GT. When the car finally arrived at our home office in Detroit, we were right in the middle of the polar vortex. Winter might not be the best time to test sport sedans, but rear-wheel drive can be quite fun in the snow.
Our test car was the G70 Sport with the 2.0-liter turbo and a manual transmission. The last element is key, not just for a car enthusiast perspective, but because the manual is only available in one trim that basically blends the Elite trim (second from the bottom) with the various handling and brake upgrades included with the V6. Reasonably priced at $38,895, you get heated and ventilated seating, leatherette upholstery, a power-adjustable wheel, a digital instrument cluster, an 8-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 15-speaker audio system. It’s actually better equipped than our long-term Stinger GT, a car that costs roughly $10,000 more.
The engine feels perfectly peppy, too. The twin-turbo V6’s endless torque is intoxicating, but the four-cylinder gives you enough to have fun, and even get the car loose if you try hard enough. I did note a few times it felt sluggish when I just caught it out of boost, but it didn’t take long for the turbo to catch up.
The transmission is average at best. It’s notchy slotting into each gate, and the lever itself feels very light, almost plasticky. The gates are a bit far apart and the throws a touch long. But I could forgive it, because, given the choice, I will take a mediocre manual over a pretty good automatic every day. And it was even easier for me in this case since the G70 is about the only small luxury sports sedan left with a manual option.
To have any kind of extra engagement is worth it to me, especially in such an athletic sedan. Furthermore, the pedals are placed well for easy heel-and-toe downshifting, which goes a long way to hiding the shifter’s weaknesses. And to give you an idea of how much fun I had, I spent almost my entire lunch break the day it came in just rambling around with it. It’s a superb sedan for the enthusiast.