2019 Genesis G70: Korean Luxury, With Performance Direct From GermanyJune 17, 2018
The 2019 Genesis G70 sedan is a new entry in the compact luxury market currently dominated by the BMW 3-Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Audi A4, and the Lexus IS. The G70 follows the midsize G80 and the full-size G90, which are already in the Genesis lineup. The Genesis G70 has a big job to do: establish its own credibility in the marketplace, along with that of its new luxury nameplate.
A Not-So-Brief History Of Genesis
The Genesis brand began as a sub-brand of parent automaker Hyundai. The first Hyundai Genesis, a mid-size four-door luxury sedan modeled after the BMW 5-Series, was introduced in 2008 at the Detroit Auto Show. It had no Hyundai badging at all, and only a single Genesis logo and nameplate on the rear.
The Genesis was sold in a separate area within the Hyundai showrooms of 350 selected dealers, right next to the Accents and Elantras. Doing this avoided the expense of building separate showrooms for a luxury brand that had no history and only a single vehicle. A less expensive Hyundai sports coupe was renamed as a Genesis, and the full-size Hyundai Equus sedan later joined the original Genesis sedan, becoming the top model in Hyundai’s mostly-luxury lineup.
Sales of the Hyundai Genesis were poor for several reasons. These cars, while being very well designed and built, had no luxury pedigree to justify their higher price. To make things worse, luxury buyers had to endure the unpleasant high-pressure sales tactics of the typical Hyundai dealership.
In late 2016, Hyundai separated the Hyundai and Genesis brands. A much smaller Genesis network of 100 dealers would be selected, operating out of freestanding Genesis dealerships. A new line of cars, comparable to those of the major luxury brands, would be produced for these new dealerships. Several SUVs would join the cars, giving Genesis a full line for the first time. The remaining dealers would no longer be able to sell the Genesis brand.
To complicate things further, all Hyundai Genesis and Genesis dealers got the successor to the Hyundai Genesis, the midsize G80, to sell when it came out as a 2017 model, but only the newly selected Genesis dealers were allowed to sell the full-size G90, when it was released in 2016.
The separation announcement caused a big uproar among the Hyundai Genesis dealers who were not selected, and who had spent nearly a decade trying to sell luxury cars out of a mass-market brand’s showroom. Most of them would now be locked out of the large potential profits to be made from a full line of state-of-the-art luxury vehicles. Hyundai offered buyouts to the dealers, but many of them wanted to continue selling the Genesis brand. In the meantime, the new and crucial G70 was about to be released, amidst all this turmoil.
Then Hyundai blinked. The 100-dealer limit was abandoned, but the additional dealers would still need to build a separate Genesis facility if they wanted to receive 2019 models. And that’s where things currently stand. This mess will take years to sort out.
What’s So Special About The 2019 Genesis G70?
Into this chaotic situation drives the 2019 Genesis G70. This compact luxury sedan is the result of everything Hyundai has learned since it released that first 2008 Hyundai Genesis. And that’s a lot.
The 2019 Genesis G70 Follows The Compact Luxury Formula
Similar to many of its competitors, the 2019 Genesis G70 will offer a 252-horsepower 2.0L four-cylinder turbocharged engine as standard equipment, with an optional, high-powered 365-horsepower V6. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional with both engines.
A Performance Edge, Imported From Germany
When it comes to performance that can take on its German rivals, Hyundai has a special edge. The President and Head of Hyundai’s Vehicle Performance Division is none other than Albert Biermann. Biermann was formerly the Chief Engineer of BMW’s high-performance M Division. He oversaw the development of the G70 on Germany’s grueling Nurburgring racetrack. So the 2019 Genesis G70 will definitely have “street cred” built right in.
An extremely rigid body structure made of high-strength steel incorporates aerospace adhesives for added stiffness, and aluminum components to lower both the weight and the center of gravity. A mechanical limited-slip differential and dynamic torque vectoring provide the 2019 Genesis G70 with improved cornering, and a very low 0.28 coefficient of drag lets the G70 slip easily through the air. The zero to 60 mph time for the V6 model is 4.5 seconds.
While an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and launch control is standard, there is an extra bonus for enthusiasts: the availability of a six-speed manual transmission. This is offered on the 2.0L G70 with rear-wheel drive, in a performance package that includes a more powerful engine with sport exhaust, and high-performance Brembo brakes.
Luxury And High-Tech Features Abound On The 2019 Genesis G70
Genesis designers created a luxurious interior for the 2019 Genesis G70. They have used genuine brushed aluminum surfaces, quilted Nappa leather seats, stainless steel speaker grilles, and premium stitched soft-touch surfaces throughout the interior. There is an optional 15-speaker Lexicon audio system with Quantum Logic surround-processing technology.
Standard safety technologies on the Genesis G70 include:
- Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection
- Blind Spot Collision Warning
- Lane Keeping Assist
- Driver Attention Warning
Should You Lease A Genesis G70?
The 2019 Genesis G70 will be a great car to drive and to lease, for all the usual reasons. Leasing will cost you much less per month than buying, and will keep you under warranty coverage for the full term of the lease. Lease pricing should be very competitive, so as to generate sales and establish the G70 in the market.
But leasing will also protect you from any unfavorable fluctuations in the value of the 2019 Genesis G70 as it attempts to establish itself in the most competitive segment of the luxury market. You should also be safe from any negative consequences that may befall Hyundai as it attempts to pull its fragmented and disgruntled dealers into a cohesive and united force that is fully behind the Genesis brand.
The 2019 Genesis G70 should be a wonderful car in its own right, but the dealer network and the future of the brand are still a work in progress.