US-spec Genesis G70 3.3T AWD Owner Thoughts - After 1 Week
I figured I might write a somewhat lengthy review/comparison of my current ride given that a whopping 180 G70s have been sold to date in the US so it’s a very rare car (<500 owners to date in the entire US, close to the monthly sales figure of the Civic Type R) in the US at this point and there’s some hype in the media in particular for this car. I know this is not the first personal review of the G70 (/u thehedgefrog posted one months ago based on his/her Canadian-spec G70 which also informed my decision) but this is the first US-spec G70 owner review post of the car on this sub. So here’s my take on it, but first some context.
I’ve been one of the most vocal fanboys of the G70 during the past 1.5 years on this sub ever since the NY concept was released at the NY auto show in March 2016. I was blown away by the design cues and the promise by Hyundai/Genesis on a focus on performance, with some already calling it a ‘3-series killer’ which was silly at the time. I read and watched pretty much all major Korean/English articles/videos previewing and reviewing the G70 since then, and after a long wait, I put money where my mouth is - wink to a certain poster who mentioned this in every G70 thread - and picked up the keys to a 3.3T G70 advanced (base) trim in AWD after negotiating a good deal - around invoice for selling price in addition to conquest rebate and lease incentives. I’m sure more incentives will kick in next year when more dealers get inventory and the 2020 model arrives with the 3D instrument cluster, but I’m happy with my analog cluster and I couldn’t wait that long. Also I don’t see it being given away as much as the Kia Stinger due to various factors like having a separate brand, concierge service, history, etc.
For reference, since most people aren’t familiar with the G70 (including some Hyundai salesmen who didn’t know what the different trims were), the features included in this trim are referenced below along with all the other safety features (lane keep, AEB, ACC, pedestrian detection, etc) as standard, and highlights the value quotient that drew me towards the car. The only thing I really wished I could buy separately would be the 360 camera (part of the prestige package which is $~4k extra). I have an anal tendency to park dead center between the lines and having one would help.
- Brembo brakes
- 15 speaker lexicon sound system
- Mechanical LSD
- Sport tuned suspension
- Full LED headlights and DRL
- Alloy pedals and aluminum door/console trim
- Ventilated/heated leather (non-nappa) seats and heated steering
I’ve had this car for over a week and as the first sub-5 second car I’ve owned that has any notion of being sporty, I am thoroughly impressed and love the car. I cannot believe how hard this car pulls and that this is a Hyundai/Genesis based on its driving characteristics - I’ve owned/driven various elantras, sonata, and genesis models over the years. The low-end torque (376 lb/ft at 1300 rpm) has enough oomph to push you into your seat even at 50%-80% of throttle, and the Alex on Autos figure of 4.6 seconds 0-60 without using launch control sounds credible. The cornering feels sharp and confident and it catches me off-guard on me how fast I can corner without losing traction, especially after owning the boat that is the Hyundai Genesis/G80. In sport mode the paddle shifters are responsive, work well, and they hold gears for a fairly long time unless you come to a complete stop, and I use the paddles already a lot more than I did in the Hyundai Genesis. I’m also using the custom mode a lot (sport engine, sport awd, comfort steering, no adaptive suspension on my trim) with ‘enhanced’ exhaust note pumped into my speakers which doesn’t sound obnoxious but is pleasing to the ear. The gears shift fairly quickly, quite similar to the mustang GT 10-speed in performance (more on that below).
My favorite feature so far is the side bolsters adjusting to hug you when you turn on sport mode. I found out recently though that you can manually adjust the bolsters and save to memory settings so when you turn on easy access mode in the settings, the side bolsters adjust every time you turn on the engine to your seat memory position. The car literally hugs you every time you enter as if to greet you to floor it! Beyond that, the remaining interior and overall material quality (maybe except one potential issue with the leather seats) feel great and it feels special/comfortable when I sit in it.
For comparisons, I didn’t bother cross shopping with other compact luxury sedans as I wasn’t interested in any other cars in its class. I did have a short fling with considering an Audi S5 sportback but it was out of my price range. The kia stinger… It looks like a great car for the money but it is also a bit big/heavy for my tastes and the interior/exterior didn’t do it for me. I did however drive a rental base 2018 Mustang GT from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon (~600 mile round trip) earlier this month for a weekend trip so I got good seat time to compare and contrast. I completely agree with all of the comments made by the throttlehouse review. People may comment it’s a weird comparison but you would be surprised quite a few people on the genesis forum are cross shopping between the two as they are roughly the same price points, with a couple confirmed purchases of the GT due to lack of G70 availability.
Basically, if I was in my 20s with no family and if I had a good income, no question I would probably get the GT. The V8 coyote motor is one of the best sounding engines I’ve heard and was my favorite feature, 10-speed automatic was great with quick shifts, the profile looks sexy as ****, has great driving characteristics, awesome road presence, and can be had much cheaper than the G70 3.3T. However, the ride was still a bit rough at times, interior was too plasticky, some creaks and rattles, and the infotainment! I know everyone circlejerks about SYNC3 and maybe it was just my rental but android auto couldn’t pair at all, the button layout was confusing as ****, and having the screen buried below the center console is not the best placement imo. People hate the ipad stuck on top of the dashboard look but I actually like it due to the fact that it keeps my line of sight nearer to the road and is more intuitive. Being the age that I am now, the G70 is a lot more refined and a better daily, has a better interior, less noise (good and bad), more usable rear space (although not by much), more under the radar but just as fast in non-track conditions compared to a mustang GT. Growing up instead of Bro-ing down.
A few negatives for the G70 are that the rear space is a bit cramped (I barely fit behind my seat), MPG is lower compared to competitors, the brake based torque vectoring can catch you off guard at times (did for me once in a roundabout), and the leather on the seats. I already see some creases on the base bolster after 1 week which is being caused by my entry/exit of the vehicle, and some other owners seem to be finding the same thing regardless of having nappa/non-nappa leather. We’ll see how they age over the years, but as for their function, the seats are very comfortable. The main hurdle for this car is the availability and dealership experience. My purchase experience could’ve been better but my salesman was nice enough and walked me through the process well. A good perk is Genesis will bring me a loaner to my house when I service my car, and I get free maintenance for 3 years so I potentially never have to step into a Hyundai service center ever, knock on wood.
Overall though, it is a fantastic car and I encourage everyone interested in getting a compact luxury sedan to take a look. I see a lot of heads turn mostly because no one can figure out what this car is, but also because it looks more stunning in real life than what pictures/videos show. Due to its depreciation and the unknowns of a new model/brand, I’d highly recommend leasing over purchasing.
Tl;DR - Bought a G70 3.3T which is 1 of ~500 available in the US at this point. G70 is worthy of the praise/awards received so far and I love the car, it is fast and sporty and a better fit for my needs versus Mustang GT.
Took some pics on a long drive and some from day of purchase
Edit: good summary of the Genesis rollout fiasco in the USA for reference