2020 Genesis G70 RWD 2.0T M/T new car reviews

Cousin to the crowd favorite Kia Stinger, the Genesis G70 functions as a sport-luxury sedan aimed squarely at the best that Germany offers.

How does it fare against the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes? On paper, the numbers look good.

In top twin-turbocharged V6 form, the G70 is good for 365 horsepower and 376 lb. ft. of torque. That's only 20 horsepower and short of a BMW M340i and 16 more horsepower than an Audi S4.

Numbers don't always mean everything, especially when the loaner we received was the lower 2.0T trim. Despite making only 252 horsepower and 260 lb. ft. of torque, this entry-trim comes with a saving grace: a genuine six-speed manual transmission.

What is a manual-equipped G70 like to drive compared to it's more powerful 3.3T sibling? Keep reading to find out.

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David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Hold the phone: Is this really a rear-drive sedan featuring a traditional manual gearbox and a limited-slip diff? Have we gone back in time? Did we get transported to an alternate reality?

The calendar says no. Good or bad, we’re still here in 2020. Perhaps this is the year’s bright spot. I guess we need to celebrate our achievements.

First, the basics: The G70 is just the right size. How right? Let’s say that it feels like an E46 BMW. Yeah, that close.

It looks good, too. It’s clean and fresh. You won’t see yourself on the way to work. I’d love to see one dropped and wearing some different wheels. The chrome side trim blended into our test car’s silver paint.

The transmission shifts smoothly. The knob could feel a tick less like a cue ball, though. It’s pretty big and round.

The seats felt great. Comfortable. Propper. Real gauges with just the right amount of electronic display.

Steering could offer a tad more feel, though. I know this car has Albert Biermann’s blessing, but here’s where it doesn’t quite feel like a BMW. It’s close but still doesn’t have that German heft. Let’s call it 9/10.

The 2.0T is quick but not a rocket.

Hyundai Group is just nailing interiors lately. Like the rest, this one feels and looks modern yet–and here’s the big yet–it won’t bug you over technologying everything. You want to change the radio station or warm up the interior? The knobs are right there. Easy. As intended.

The perforated leather found throughout looks and feels good. Great steering wheel. Yes, could easily drive this every day.

The big question: Can the G70 steal fans from the Europeans? Because, let’s be honest, that’s what this is aimed at.

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Comments
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bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
7/9/20 9:56 a.m.

I've been more of a stinger fan styling wise until I finally laid eyes on one in the real. Yes please is my only response.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/9/20 10:06 a.m.

Manual Trans

Limited Slip

3 Knob HVAC?!?!?

Damn.  They missed a real opportunity there, look at those buttons/knobs :(

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/9/20 10:13 a.m.

I heart the Kia/Hyundai/Genesis HVAC and audio controls. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/9/20 10:23 a.m.

I like that they are better than a lot of cars, but still, the vent direction should be a knob.  For example, my veloster has a temp knob (good), a fan knob (good) and a bunch of buttons for vents (dumb).

This E36 M3 was ironed out the the 90s/2000s and we have been going backwards for the past 10-15 years :(.  That E36 M3 works, and works really well.  You can operate it blind pretty much.  Why do they not just do this?  (but with the same quality buttons/materials/etc. shown above).  Even better are the ones where A/C is a button in the center of the tmp dial and recirc is a button in the center of the vent dial (or similar). 

 

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
7/9/20 11:32 a.m.

One of these is VERY high on my "in a few years when they come off lease" list.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/9/20 11:33 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

Ah. Yeah, not sure we can put that genie back into the bottle. I do hear ya. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
7/9/20 11:40 a.m.

That is a handsome sedan.

Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter)
Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter) Reader
7/9/20 11:57 a.m.

My friend has a G70 2.0T/6MT/RWD and LOVES it. I drove his back to back with a 3.3TT AWD and came away preferring the 2.0. It's lighter on the nose and wants to turn in more eagerly. 

I don't love the current nose and the one that's supposedly coming next year is worse. The rest of the car is a delight. It's substantially smaller than the Stinger, I think. Definitely a good size if you liked the 3-series and C-class of old.

https://outmotorsports.com/2019/10/genesis-g70-comparison-manual-automatic-20-33/

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
7/9/20 12:08 p.m.
ProDarwin said:

I like that they are better than a lot of cars, but still, the vent direction should be a knob.  For example, my veloster has a temp knob (good), a fan knob (good) and a bunch of buttons for vents (dumb).

This E36 M3 was ironed out the the 90s/2000s and we have been going backwards for the past 10-15 years :(.  That E36 M3 works, and works really well.  You can operate it blind pretty much.  Why do they not just do this?  (but with the same quality buttons/materials/etc. shown above).  Even better are the ones where A/C is a button in the center of the tmp dial and recirc is a button in the center of the vent dial (or similar). 

 

Hmm my E36 M3 has a bunch of buttons for HVAC controls and no knobs. You must be a base model M3 scum. 

 

The G70 is a gorgeous car and the rear drive, 6-spd, LSD is a huge plus. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/9/20 12:30 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to ProDarwin :

Ah. Yeah, not sure we can put that genie back into the bottle. I do hear ya. 

Haha.  Sorry, I just had to rant for a bit.  Hyundai is doing a good job, but they are *almost* there with a useable layout.  Take that last step Hyundai!

 

Back on topic, I like this thing.  The "E46 Sized" comment is very good news (although the numbers show it is 10" longer :( )

I'll be watching for these used in a few years (maybe).  Wondering if the 6mt/LSD will be unobtanium though.  Also wondering if a simple tune will give it an extra 50-100hp.

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
7/9/20 12:31 p.m.

I do love a big, RWD, manual equipped sedan. Stylistically I quite like it from the front wheels back. That grill though is just not doing it for me.

Dave M (Forum Supporter)
Dave M (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/9/20 12:40 p.m.

Looks great, should be great to drive, will sell dozens.

Meanwhile most of their buyers are getting model 3s....

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise SuperDork
7/9/20 12:41 p.m.
Dave M (Forum Supporter) said:

will sell dozens.

Fact! 

300zxfreak
300zxfreak New Reader
7/9/20 8:50 p.m.

I know I've harped on this before in some thread of yore, but can anyone tell me why all car makers seem to be in a highly competitive race to see who can create the most repulsive front end of all times ??

And, I really agree with all comments about the state of most current controls, they are simply out of control. Wait, what ?  What's wrong with knobs and switches that you can operate without taking your eyes off the road ??  Too much complication just for the sake of complication.

Reminds me of the neatest feature in a VW Jetta TDI I previously owned, the analog clock. The worst feature, it was TDI.

 

gunner (Forum Supporter)
gunner (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/9/20 9:45 p.m.

To be fair, it seems more like a modern e28 than an e46. power on par with an e28 M5, which according to the engineers is just enough. Before the race to the stratosphere started with the V8 M cars and the engines that came later, there was sufficient power, nothing that would bite you, but enough that you could lead the pack if you desired. All to say, once I get out of this two wheeled fever dream I am currently under, this car looks like a perfect buy 10 to 15 years down the road.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
7/9/20 10:01 p.m.

I want a modern Datsun 510.  This RWD, manual tranny, 4-cylinder feels close.  The price isn't in my budget.  
 

I like it. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/10/20 8:55 a.m.
mr2s2000elise said:
Dave M (Forum Supporter) said:

will sell dozens.

Fact! 

Yeah, hopefully this isn't like the Legacy GT wagon with manual box. Everyone raved, no one bought. 

the_machina
the_machina Reader
7/10/20 9:51 a.m.

I really don't understand the infatuation with old-school three-knob climate control. I've rarely wanted to change the mix from defrost vents to dash vents to floor. The thing I want to change most is "how hard is the air blowing, and how hot is it". The three knobs in the pic above let each front seat pick a heat, they compromise on how hard it's blowing. Sounds good to me. If I need defrost, I push one button.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/10/20 10:01 a.m.
the_machina said:

I really don't understand the infatuation with old-school three-knob climate control. I've rarely wanted to change the mix from defrost vents to dash vents to floor. The thing I want to change most is "how hard is the air blowing, and how hot is it". The three knobs in the pic above let each front seat pick a heat, they compromise on how hard it's blowing. Sounds good to me. If I need defrost, I push one button.

Because its intuitive and it works.  Sure its the least used of the knobs, but it still has value.

Look at the G70 layout.  It has one button with all the vent symbols on it and a separate button with only defrost on it.  What's going on there?  If you want just the upper vents blowing on you, how do you achieve that?  Cycle through settings by mashing that one button?

I'm sure its useable, but it still isn't as intuitive and simple as a knob.

And I will agree that 3 knob is a bit limiting for a dual-zone system, need to have 4 knobs in that case.

 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
7/10/20 11:53 a.m.
ProDarwin said:
the_machina said:

I really don't understand the infatuation with old-school three-knob climate control. I've rarely wanted to change the mix from defrost vents to dash vents to floor. The thing I want to change most is "how hard is the air blowing, and how hot is it". The three knobs in the pic above let each front seat pick a heat, they compromise on how hard it's blowing. Sounds good to me. If I need defrost, I push one button.

Because its intuitive and it works.  Sure its the least used of the knobs, but it still has value.

Look at the G70 layout.  It has one button with all the vent symbols on it and a separate button with only defrost on it.  What's going on there?  If you want just the upper vents blowing on you, how do you achieve that?  Cycle through settings by mashing that one button?

I'm sure its useable, but it still isn't as intuitive and simple as a knob.

And I will agree that 3 knob is a bit limiting for a dual-zone system, need to have 4 knobs in that case.

 

You know what I absolutely loathe? The HVAC controls on 10th gen Civics with the upmarket infotainment (i.e. Civic Si). The temp control for driver/passenger are knobs, fan speed is two buttons for higher or lower, some of the other misc. HVAC functions are buttons, and the rest is relegated to hitting the "climate button" which brings up some climate controls on the infotainment screen. Like why does it have to be so counter intuitive. How much time and money was spent on developing a system that makes it harder for the end user to utilize the HVAC? 

the_machina
the_machina Reader
7/10/20 12:23 p.m.

The button with all the symbols is almost never going to get hit, because it's an intelligent climate control system. It knows how hot it is outside, and hot you want the interior.

If it's hot out and you want the interior at 72 degrees, you sit down, start the car, and it'll blow A/C on you from the top vents. Lots of fan speed at the beginning and then tapering down as the car cools.

If it's cold out and you want the interior at 72 degrees, you sit down, start the car, and it'll defrost the windshield automatically, and blow heat on your feet once the coolant is warm. Lots of fan speed and then tapering down as the car warms.

It just... works. You leave it set at the temperature you like for the season.

Peabody
Peabody UltimaDork
7/10/20 12:47 p.m.

Those HVAC controls?  That’s that cargo-cult engineering for you  

Seriously, I'm surprised anybody thinks it's that important

You think that grill is bad? Look at those seats, and that tufted leather door panels, that's seriously tacky

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/10/20 9:57 p.m.

Im just glad someone else is complaining about HVAC controls.  Maybe it's the South Texan in me talking, but the HVAC vent design and controls are some make-or-break design elements for me. I can't actually think of a car that has totally 100% nailed it either. Even when the controls are 'simple and intuitive' they frequently tie things together that i'd rather have individual control over, such as AC function and the recirculate door (not that those two are tied together, but that they're tied to other things). I'd also like more cars to allow you to blow air out of all 3 zones. I just shouldn't even get started because I have a whole curmudgeonly rant about how car manufacturers don't give me enough control over HVAC function. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
7/11/20 10:16 a.m.
the_machina said:

The button with all the symbols is almost never going to get hit, because it's an intelligent climate control system. It knows how hot it is outside, and hot you want the interior.

If it's hot out and you want the interior at 72 degrees, you sit down, start the car, and it'll blow A/C on you from the top vents. Lots of fan speed at the beginning and then tapering down as the car cools.

I hate air blowing on me, I always have the A/C going to the floor.

If it's cold out and you want the interior at 72 degrees, you sit down, start the car, and it'll defrost the windshield automatically, and blow heat on your feet once the coolant is warm. Lots of fan speed and then tapering down as the car warms.

I also hate fan noise.  I'd rather be uncomfortable a little than listen to that.

 

Give me manual controls!

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
7/11/20 10:23 a.m.
Vigo (Forum Supporter) said:

Im just glad someone else is complaining about HVAC controls.  Maybe it's the South Texan in me talking, but the HVAC vent design and controls are some make-or-break design elements for me. I can't actually think of a car that has totally 100% nailed it either. Even when the controls are 'simple and intuitive' they frequently tie things together that i'd rather have individual control over, such as AC function and the recirculate door (not that those two are tied together, but that they're tied to other things). I'd also like more cars to allow you to blow air out of all 3 zones. I just shouldn't even get started because I have a whole curmudgeonly rant about how car manufacturers don't give me enough control over HVAC function. 

I believe the E30 HVAC controls would allow all that.

Also, because I live with one:

You can choose any combination of zones you want, A/C on or off, recirc on or off.  Hitting the "Defrost" button switches you to windshield zone, recirc off, A/C on, and fan on high speed, but you can then modify it as you wish.

 

It's so simple, intuitive, and user-friendly.  The only thing it is missing is a way to sync the left and right side, but then again, they're KNOBS that you can adjust in an instant, instead of scrolling an up/down button through a temperature, one degree at a time.

 

TreDeuce
TreDeuce New Reader
7/11/20 11:51 p.m.

 Really!  This is going to be about HVAC controls and not the gem of a car by Genesis given to enthusiasts.  I must have stumbled onto the the wrong website.

Clearly this column was misnamed.  

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/12/20 12:12 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

It's so simple, intuitive, and user-friendly.  

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
7/12/20 6:32 a.m.
TreDeuce said:

 Really!  This is going to be about HVAC controls and not the gem of a car by Genesis given to enthusiasts.  I must have stumbled onto the the wrong website.

Clearly this column was misnamed.  

99% of time time spent in a car is rolling around at zero tenths.  These things are important if you want a car you can live with, as opposed to tolerate.  Buying a NEW car implies that you want something that doesn't actively piss you off on your drive to work.

 

Which is where I really, really want a shiftable automatic, because reasons.  And I gotta have AWD, because I don't like it when I have to mind my throttle just because it's raining or whatever.  And it has to be fairly light, because I like a car that can transition quickly so I can snap into a different lane to cut past zombies on cruise control.  (So... about that 2.5 turbo Mazda 3 coming out next year...)

dxman92
dxman92 HalfDork
7/12/20 8:26 a.m.

In regards to HVAC controls, it is about the little things... 

 

Have to give props for Hyundai/Kia for having actual knobs..

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
7/12/20 9:44 a.m.
TreDeuce said:

 Really!  This is going to be about HVAC controls and not the gem of a car by Genesis given to enthusiasts.  I must have stumbled onto the the wrong website.

Clearly this column was misnamed.  

You're new here. You'll learn. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
7/12/20 10:34 a.m.

So?  How's the car?

TreDeuce
TreDeuce New Reader
7/12/20 3:32 p.m.

In reply to Recon1342 :

I'm not new here.

I  rarely comment and for some reason I have to keep getting a new PASSWORD!?  And that cycles into 'New Reader'  I have been a subscriber and news stand purchaser for years and have a couple of stacks of GRM/and Classic Motorsport magazines each now over 2 & half feet high. Great publications that help me enjoy one my favorite activities and help at times to support my pool of drivers. _  91' - 325is _ 91'-318is _ 96' - 328is _ newly acquired 97'- M3 _ 93' MX5 _ 2005' - MX5 'MazdaSpeed, and my hill climber, my version of Lotus-7/Locust with a 96' Corvette drivetrain with No HVAC controls.

 

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
7/12/20 9:39 p.m.

In reply to TreDeuce :

Still, this is Grassroots Motorsports. If we're shelling out nearly 40k for a sedan, then the HVAC controls need to be well thought out. It's not a racecar where comfort is trumped by performance, it's a "luxury sedan". 

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