A better sport sedan than its direct competitors, just a shade off those costing much more
Having returned from the dealership to solve some baffling transmissions issues, our long-term Genesis G70 now appears ready to romp around Los Angeles, its snarling 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 full of energy and excitement.
As such, we were ready to take our still-minty Genesis out to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for instrumented testing. Sure, we had already tested the G70 for our 2019 Car of the Year competition, but those results were taken at the Hyundai-Kia California Proving Grounds, where the high summer temperatures made the results worthy of asterisks.
Our tester’s patience was rewarded. At Fontana, we nailed down some pretty impressive numbers for a $46,495 car costing substantially less than similar-performing European rivals.
The G70 3.3T’s 0-60 acceleration clocked in at 4.5 seconds. The quarter-mile run came through in 13-flat at 108.5 mph. That puts it in a bit of in-between. While markedly quicker than the comparably priced Lexus IS 350 F Sport RWD and Infiniti Q50 3.0t, the G70 is a shade slower than the BMW M340i and Mercedes-AMG C43 that cost $10,000 to $15,000 more.
Is that quick enough for you? Road test editor Chris Walton noted, “One of those stealthy-quick cars people won’t suspect, and you can shock them with the acceleration. We got a strong one. Launch control works rather well. Revving to 2,250 rpm, and immediately releasing the brake almost produces some wheelspin and shoves you back in the seat. Upshifts are quick and smooth.”
As for slowing down, the G70’s best 60-0 braking distance of 109 feet is Subaru WRX STI turf. Walton described the G70 as having an “aggressive pedal jump-in, crisp bite, minor dive, some ABS noise, but little vibration, and always straight. Some odor after several quarter-mile passes, but no degradation.”
Roaring around the figure-eight resulted in a posted 24.9 seconds @ 0.77 g (avg). That’s on par with the aforementioned AMG C43 4Matic, as well as the Jaguar XE 35t R-Sport, which we lauded for its exceptional handling.
And for all you brand snobs out there, all the above G70 times and distances are just a hair better than those of the G70’s longer, platform-sharing cousin, the Kia Stinger GT.
Testing director Kim Reynolds described it as such: “Lots of fun hanging the tail out, but it would probably scare most people half to death. I was upshifting early from 3rd to 4th on late corner exit to calm down the stern and bring it back into line. Good brakes, predictable, ‘OK-plus’ steering behavior, a bit iffy lateral seat support. But the whole shebang is dominated by tail-happiness (tail-euphoria). I don’t recommend the average consumer turn off ESC.”
Wailing around the skidpad is one thing. But do these tendencies replicate on city streets? Yep.
My daily commute up Pacific Coast Highway through the South Bay beach cities involves lots of threshold-braking panic stops as impatient drivers dart and weave to get that extra car-length advantage between stoplights. In this instance, brake control is just as important as stopping distance, and the G70 is calm and precise, never panicky.
And when I suffer my own dart-and-weave impatience, a quick twist of the drive-mode knob into Sport results in snappy acceleration and downshifts without delay.
However, that relative lack of cornering grip, when combined with the V-6’s strong 365 hp and 376 lb-ft, means sharply entering PCH traffic flow from a side street often results in the powertrain overpowering the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 255/35/ZR19 tires, producing wheelspin and traction control intervention.
The lesson here is rather counterintuitive: If there’s no traffic, you can enjoy a wee slide if your hands are quick. But when you’re merging into a small hole in the midst of heavier congestion, being deliberate and rolling into the throttle, rather than mashing it to the firewall, may result in a more precise outcome.
What we are rapidly finding is that, in a performance-per-dollar equation, the Genesis G70 3.3T is one of the best values on the market.