I’ve been a BMW fan for quite a few years and have always marveled at how the brand has managed to remain the standard bearer for the compact luxury car. Many brands have entered the fray in the last couple of decades looking to unseat the 3 Series but to no avail. The G70 is one of the more recent entries so I was excited to see how it stacked up.
In short: It’s a remarkable vehicle. I tested the new 3 Series earlier last year and while I enjoyed it, it wasn’t without its problems. The G70 was more comfortable, easier to drive and simpler to operate than the 3 series.
Looks-wise, the G70 puts in a valiant effort and one that succeeds in my opinion. You can tell that it’s a premium vehicle right away with the large grille, sleek lines and fancy trimmings. The G70 turned quite a few heads during the week that I had it however I’m sure a good portion of those heads were people who simply didn’t recognize the car and wanted to know what it was.
Sitting inside the cabin, you immediately notice the diamond-stitched-leather seats. They are beautifully crafted and comfortable as heck. I also really liked the layout and shape of the dash. The controls are well thought out and ergonomically sound. The shifter is electronic but instead of ditching the handle in favor of a simple button, the lever remains to rest your hand on which is absolutely perfect. The materials and finishing are on par with any of the German luxury brands.
There are two engine options for the G70: either a 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine making 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque or a 3.3-litre V-6 twin-turbocharged engine putting out 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. The test vehicle had the later and it packed a punch. I can’t help but feel that it’s quicker than the 3 Series models I’ve tested and it’s not surprising because it beats a 340i by a significant 45 horses and and 44 lb-ft of torque.
The G70 throttle response is instantaneous and because maximum torque is available from a very low RPM, the vehicle can push you back into your seat quite effectively. Steering response is on par or better than the BMW with just the right amount of road feel and the brakes can halt the G70 in a jiffy if need be. The overall feeling I got from driving the G70 is that it’s very much a driver’s car, able to give you a nice quiet luxurious ride or a screaming run through the mountain twisties.
You’ll need to opt for the 2.0-litre engine to get a manual transmission but the sport model with rear-wheel drive, limited-slip differential and upgraded brakes makes for a nice package. The problem is that Genesis expects only about 5% of G70 sales to be manuals and if demand doesn’t remain steady it’s possible they could ditch it.
The all-wheel drive 3.3T has a drift mode which sends more torque to the rear than the front while incorporating some neat tech called “countersteer detection logic” to aid you in your follies.
The G70 Advanced all-wheel drive starts at a reasonable $42,000 even and comes with a variety of standard features such as Blind-Sport Collision Detection Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, Forward Collision Avoidance, Lane Keep assist, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive cruise control, 18” wheels, heated perforated leather steering wheel, heated leatherette seats, wireless phone charging, an 8.0-inch touch-screen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto and a 7.0” TFT LCD gauge cluster display. A base 328i xDrive starts at $45,900 for comparison.
The G70 Sport RWD is actually a bit more expensive at $45,500 and adds LED headlights, heads-up display, 19” wheels, quilted Nappa leather, black suede headliner, a Lexicon audio system and Brembo brakes (among other things). The 2.0T ELITE AWD and 2.0T Prestige AWD are $47,000 and $52,000 respectively and add the usual trimmings you’d find on a luxury vehicle. If you want the banging 3.3 twin turbo, there are two options: a very well equipped Prestige trim at $56,000 which is what you see here and the Sport which rings in at $58,000.
The pricing is competitive to that of the competition. The looks, performance and all-around feel is at par or even better than the competition. Naturally it would take a heck of a lot to put a dent in BMW, Audi or Mercedes sales but Genesis has its foot in the door with the G70.