When winter snow flies, thoughts soon turn to whether or not you should have ticked the box for all-wheel drive. It’s a good question, because with...
When winter snow flies, thoughts soon turn to whether or not you should have ticked the box for all-wheel drive. It’s a good question, because with continued technological vehicle advancements with on-board electronics, most stability and traction control systems on 2-wheel drive vehicles can handle most adverse conditions.
Still, in more severe snowbelt areas, all-wheel drive can deliver peace of mind thanks to the extra traction provided by that second set of wheels. We’ve had the opportunity to do winter tests in the Genesis G70 and here’s what you can expect when you pay that $2,000 premium for all-wheel drive over the $35,450 base price of the 252-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-turbo cylinder rear-drive G70 or the $44,650 of models equipped with the 365-horsepower 3.3-liter turbo V6. Note, Genesis doesn’t offer this option on its rear-drive Sport model which is equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission instead of the 8-speed automatic found on the other versions.
What to expect with RWD
Standard rear-drive 2020 Genesis G70 models are fairly surefooted thanks to their limited slip rear differentials and standard traction and stability control. While these models lack the bite you get with traction on the front axle, getting started is fairly easy, especially when the drive mode is in the least aggressive Eco setting.
The Eco setting is configured to extract the best efficiency of the engine which includes slower throttle tip in and transmission shifts that are smooth and seamless at lower rpms. With the powertrain in this more docile model, there’s less chance of rear wheel slip, all the better to keep the G70 in a straight line.
What to expect in AWD
The additional grip afforded by driving both axles doesn’t mean you can be ham handed (or footed) with the throttle and drive modes. It’s probably best to save the Sport mode for dry tarmac, but the Normal mode is an acceptable setting in most conditions (or the Smart mode, which will automatically toggle through the various settings depending on the feedback the wheel sensors send to the engine control module).
While you may encounter some initial slip, the Genesis G70 has a rear-biased AWD dynamic torque vectoring system that will sense tire spin quickly and respond by delivering extra torque to the wheel exhibiting the most grip.
Surefooted on the open road
This ability to monitor wheel slip and deliver traction where it’s needed not only helps in getting the 2020 Genesis G70 AWD off the line in heavy weather, it also provides an added safety net out on the open road in rain, sleet or handling that occasional patch of icy on a seemingly dry road. Not only is the Genesis AWD system an effective option for the G70 sport sedan, it’s also available on the larger G80 and G90 models.