Genesis has never been shy about its aspiration to expand its lineup, but nothing had come about since the creation of the brand and its two first cars, the G80 and G90. But now, there’s a new one, and it’ll wade into a segment with some long-time competition.
The 2019 Genesis G70 is a compact luxury sedan meant to compete with three long-standing German compacts — the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Genesis calls it the “completion” of its sedan lineup, so don’t expect anything smaller to come out — from here on out, new Genesis models will likely be SUVs. Genesis hopes to unveil three additional models over the next four years, including some “alternative powertrains,” which likely points to some degree of electrification.
Based on the pictures, Genesis did well adapting the G80’s style to a smaller form. The grille should be familiar to anyone who’s seen the G80, although the rest of the bumper is more chiseled and angry-looking than other Genesis models. Out back, I get a bit of last-generation C-Class in the taillights, but it’s a good look with plenty of flashy LED elements to capture buyers’ attentions.
Inside, things are pretty traditional Genesis. There’s a variety of materials in each dashboard layer, although the G70 bucks tradition by using one of those “floating” screen designs that’s very much a love-it-or-hate-it thing. There are plenty of physical buttons for manipulating the climate control and infotainment, and the seats (at least in their diamond-stitched getup) look properly fancy.
Its 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Music geeks will probably opt for the 15-speaker Lexicon sound system.
When it launches in South Korea this year, the G70 will come with one of three engines — a 2.0-liter gas I4 with 248 horsepower, a 2.2-liter diesel I4 with 199 horsepower and a 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 with 365 horsepower.
The latter will be used in the G70 Sport trim, which is meant for outright performance, with a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed around 168 mph. It has standard variable-ratio steering that can change steering feel based on the driver’s preference, as well as an adaptive suspension system.
Since it wouldn’t be a new car in 2017 without some kind of safety system, the Genesis G70 packs a whole bunch of ’em. The Genesis Active Safety Control suite includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. Its hood will also lift up to absorb the shock of contacting a pedestrian, in the hopes that it will limit the hurt headed that person’s way.
While the Genesis G70 goes on sale this month in South Korea, we won’t know more North American-specific information on the car until early 2018.