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How the judges rated the Genesis G70 at COTY

By Andy Enright, 05 Feb 2020 COTY

2020 Genesis G70 at Wheels Car of the Year

Aspirational sedan aims to break Korea’s COTY duck

The Genesis G70’s fate was sealed when all bar one judge marked it as being below average value for money. If you’re a car from Korea and you are perceived as being overly expensive, the transporter out of Lang Lang’s waiting for you. Finito. Doneski. Next.

Let’s rewind a little to 2018. During that year’s COTY, the G70’s cousin, the Kia Stinger, made it out of the proving ground and into the pointy end of proceedings. Ponch summed it up by noting, “We truly hope it sells, because genuine driver’s cars – even charmingly flawed ones – are becoming increasingly thin on the ground.”

2020 Genesis G70

That’s still the case, and the Genesis has set about forensically excising many of the Stinger’s dynamic flaws. It’s sharper and more focused. The ESC system no longer allows vast armfuls of oversteer through the lane change or on the dirt course, and the transmission logic is less crude. The turbo four-cylinder car was, however, mystifyingly slow against the clock, recording a 7.6sec run to 100km/h versus a 5.9sec claim, the greatest variance of any car on test. In other words, it was as quick as a RAV4 Hybrid, which is hardly the mark of a focused sports sedan.

Read next: Sports sedan comparison - BMW 330i vs Genesis G70 33t 

The G70 3.3T twin-turbo V6 fared better, lagging behind its 4.7sec claim by half a second, but both cars left judges baffled at how a participant in this $60K-$80K price bracket could feature an infotainment system that looked as if it had been lifted from a $25K Hyundai i30. And how the entry-level 2.0-litre car we tested was within a sniff of the price of a flagship Stinger GT, especially given the Genesis comes with a five-year warranty versus the Kia’s seven-year deal.

2020 Genesis G70

If you really value the additional polish that the Genesis brings over the Kia, then it’s reasonable to assume that a $71K BMW 330i could seem a very diverting proposition.

Hagon also noted that the G70 demanded premium fuel whereas the Stinger was happy on normal unleaded.

Read next: Wheels 2020 Car of the Year revealed 

Westerman, as regular readers will know, has taken delivery of a G70 long-termer. While some complained about the meagre boot size and rear legroom in a car this size, he brought attention to the G70’s sheer ease of use, the logical layout of all controls and the feel-good factor of the V6 engine. He’s right, too. There’s a delightfully short learning curve to this car, and that 272kW six never feels as if it’s left wanting for urge.

2020 Genesis G70

Aside from Genesis’s almost non-existent dealer network, judges were also left unimpressed by some safety omissions such as no pre-safe tech, 360-degree cameras only on the range-toppers and a marginal AEB score for pedestrian and cyclist protection. The V6 also consumes 32 percent more fuel than the faster and more powerful BMW M340i xDrive.

Read next: Sedan sensations go to war at Wheels COTY 2020

The Genesis was, on the whole, well liked. While some judges tutted and groused at the quality of some minor pieces of switchgear, it’s clear that Genesis has made a genuine effort and delivered plenty of content. The trouble is, it never really gels into the sort of cohesive end product that forms an easily digestible buyer proposition or which scores uniformly well against the COTY criteria. All of which meant that the G70 entertained, but didn’t deliver the impact required to go any further this year.

2020 Genesis G70

THE JUDGES’ COTY SCORECARD

Function: 2.9

Efficiency: 1.9

Safety: 2.9

Technology: 2.0

Value: 3.1

2020 Genesis G70

GENESIS G70 SPECS

BODY

Type: 4-door sedan, 5 seats

Boot capacity: 330L

Weight: 1683 – 1762kg

DRIVETRAIN

Layout: Front-engine (north-south), RWD

Engines: 1998cc 4cyl turbo-petrol (179kW/353Nm); 3342cc V6 twin-turbo petrol (272kW/510Nm)

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

OTHER

Tyres: 225/45R18 – 255/35R19

ADR81 fuel consumption: 8.7 – 10.2L/100km

CO2 emissions: 199 – 238g/km

Crash rating: 5 stars (ANCAP)

PRICES

$59,300 – $79,950

 

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