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.”
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
THE JUDGES’ COTY SCORECARD
GENESIS G70 SPECS
Type: 4-door sedan, 5 seats
Boot capacity: 330L
Weight: 1683 – 1762kg
Layout: Front-engine (north-south), RWD
Engines: 1998cc 4cyl turbo-petrol (179kW/353Nm); 3342cc V6 twin-turbo petrol (272kW/510Nm)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Tyres: 225/45R18 – 255/35R19
ADR81 fuel consumption: 8.7 – 10.2L/100km
CO2 emissions: 199 – 238g/km
Crash rating: 5 stars (ANCAP)
$59,300 – $79,950