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First Drive: 2019 Genesis G70

Time:2018-05-10 06:51Turbochargers information Click:


The 2019 Genesis G70 is an all-new compact luxury sport sedan aimed directly at Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. (Benjamin Hunting)

BY Benjamin Hunting


Friday, May 4, 2018, 10:03 AM

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Companies lose their way. Missions change. Customers evolve. Drifting away from an automotive brand's heritage can happen so gradually that it can take years before public perception catches up with what's actually sitting on the showroom floor. This is especially true in the luxury world, where marketing as much as the actual metal keeps new buyers flowing through Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz dealership doors.

As long as the cash keeps coming in, it's rare for a manufacturer to correct the course too abruptly, preferring instead to let the winds of commerce steer the ship. It must be noted, however, that this hands-off-the-tiller approach leaves the door wide open for a hungrier – and more focused – rival to swoop in and deliver what was once promised, but can no longer be found under your own roof.

So it goes with the 2019 Genesis G70, a sport sedan that manages to combine premium comfort and persuasive performance in a balance that hasn't been seen from the triumvirate of German marques that dominate the entry-level luxury sedan segment in well over a decade.

That the latest challenger to Teutonic supremacy hails from Korea should be no surprise given the rising tide of quality, engineering prowess, and willingness to spend huge amounts of money on the part of parent company Hyundai. That the G70 succeeds so expertly where its erstwhile competitors have failed – or rather, ceased to try – is much more of a shock.

Passing the torch


Underneath the Genesis G70’s attractive skin lay the bones of a dancer. (Benjamin Hunting)

I'd like to clarify that this isn't a hit piece on your favorite trans-Atlantic luxury brand. I don't personally have an issue with the strategies of the silver star, roundel, or linked rings in terms of how each has moved farther away from building a true driver's car in the entry-level sedan market. The 3 Series, the C-Class, and the A4/S4 are well-executed, comfortable automobiles with ferocious power on tap to those who want it, and contain a healthy amount of tech to distract you from the dullness of your daily commute.

This leaning back from the “sport” in “sport sedan” and instead impressing drivers with power and gadgets isn't an indictment of the business, but rather a reflection of its current reality. Each is selling what its customers want to buy now, rather than attempting to wedge them through a time machine and into a more engaging vehicle they may not find as appealing during the rush hour grind.

Still, the shift away from a genuinely fun experience behind the wheel towards a sort of unobtrusive all-around competence by each of these automakers has clearly left a cohort of would-be buyers behind. It's here that the 2019 Genesis G70 appears like a beacon, sending out a signal to free-thinkers untethered by the bonds of brand loyalty that hey, it's time to party in a tux on your favorite back road, and no, there won't be a hangover in the morning.

All in the family


A clean-sheet platform makes the G70 the first Genesis never to wear a Hyundai badge. (Benjamin Hunting)

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