REVIEW: 2020 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport – Decisively Beating a Former Champ

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The Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport is more than a match for the BMW 3 Series. But is that still the bar for this segment?

What is it? 

The Genesis G70 is a premium compact five-passenger sedan offering outstanding real-world performance. This car is designed to compete in the Tesla Model 3 segment, formerly known as the BMW 3 Series segment.

Pricing and trims

The 2020 Genesis G70 will range in price from about $39K for a base G70 in rear-wheel drive with the 2.0-liter gasoline engine to $53,245 including destination charges for a top-spec G70 with AWD and the larger 3.3-liter gasoline engine like our tester. This price is a whopping $5K less than the most recently BMW 330i xDrive we tested, which had much less power and torque.

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Performance Ride and handling

The twin-turbo 3.3-liter gasoline engine in the G70 AWD 3.3T Sport is powerful and satisfying in every situation. It would be comparable to the six-cylinder engine found in the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series sedans. We found the 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and sport mode to be a perfect example of that type of gearbox. In Comfort Mode, the G70 AWD 3.3T Sport is enjoyable to drive in normal daily situations. If one wants to accelerate at a very rapid pace the car is more than willing. Dial in Sport Mode and the excitement builds. The handling is sports-car precise and the car corners flat. Ride comfort is excellent for a sports sedan. It seems as if in all ways related to performance the G70 is more than a match for the BMW 330i xDrive.

Seating

The driver’s seat is outstanding in the G70 AWD 3.3T Sport and even has a sport setting. There is power adjustment in all important ways including thigh extension. Genesis uses premium perforated leather with heat and ventilation. The Steering wheel is also heated. Unlike in the BMW 3 Series, extending the thigh support does not create a crumb collector between the end of the seat and extension. The Genesis’ seat remains covered. Like many compact sports sedans, the G70 has ample room for the front two passengers. It feels just right for this tester’s 6-foot, 200-lb frame. The total passenger volume of the G70 AWD 3.3T Sport is 94 cubic feet, the same as a BMW 3 Series. By comparison, a Hyundai Elantra Sport has 95.8 cubic feet.

The rear seats of the G70 AWD 3.3T Sport are sized well for occasional use. A pair of couples could go to dinner comfortably. This is not the right size and type vehicle for those that will have clients in the back seat, but Genesis has two sedans perfect for that mission. Given that the front seats come to within an inch of the rears when fully back, the rear seats are not optimum for carrying children on a daily basis either. Again, Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis offer outstanding family vehicles in a variety of styles and flavors. This just isn’t one of them.

Cargo

The cargo area of the G70 AWD 3.3T Sport is a small 10 cubic feet. By comparison, a Hyundai Elantra Sport has 14.4 cu ft.

Under the cargo floor is a spare tire. That is a very rare feature in this segment today and Hyundai should be applauded for including it.

Infotainment and controls

Like all products in the Hyundai, Kia, Genesis family, the G70 AWD 3.3T Sport has one of the best infotainment systems available today. It is simpler to operate than BMW’s system. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, and you can’t get that combination in any Tesla or BMW 3 Series car. We feel that this vehicle has the best infotainment system in the compact premium sports sedan class.

Safety

The G70 AWD 3.3T Sport is a Top Safety Pick Plus rated vehicle from IIHS. It does not get safer than that.

Overall

We recently tested a more expensive BMW 330i xDrive car and are acquainted with the former champ’s legacy of greatness. However, there is another vehicle in this segment now that most shoppers buy. That is the Tesla Model 3. This cannot be ignored or glossed over. The Model 3 dominates the sales of this type of car, offers an all-electric drive with a very satisfying feel, and is priced equivalently. Over ten years, the Model 3 should offer a much lower cost of ownership. Fuel savings alone over that period will account for a whopping $20K for the Tesla buyer.

In its mission to best the BMW 3 Series, we feel that when price, performance, warranty, dealer services, and total ownership experience is counted, the Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport succeeds in all respects. Those looking for a compact sports sedan powered by a gasoline engine should seriously consider the Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport.

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John Goreham

John Goreham