In 2016 two members of Bentley’s design team, SangYup Lee and Luc Donckerwolke, joined the Hyundai Motor Group. More recently Donckerwolke was appointed as the first chief creative officer in charge of the brand managing luxury car marque Genesis and EVs.
It should come as no surprise then that the refreshed Genesis G70 sedan I recently drove was mistakenly referred to as a Bentley by a passer-by while I was photographing the car. I have to agree and not just because of the G70’s new distinctive exterior design. The interior is Bentley-esque as well with diamond stitching on the seats and door trims, etching on the rotary switches and perforated speaker covers.
This particular G70 3.3T Sport was fitted with the optional Luxury Package ($10,000), giving it an extra level of Bentley-inspired inclusions. These include 12.3″ full screen Instrument Cluster with 3D function with three themes that can be linked to the drive mode selection, heads-up display, Intelligent Front-Lighting System, 16-way adjustable driver’s seat with two memory settings, acoustic laminated windscreen and front door glass, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, Nappa leather appointed interior, power operated rear tailgate, Suede headlining/pillars, 15 Speaker Lexicon premium audio system and electronic tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment.
Of the Luxury Package inclusions, I particularly like the suede headlining and pillar covers and Sport-style swirl patterned Aluminium trim inserts on the centre console and around the door handles. There was one problem though with this trim on the centre console, when the sun hit it at the wrong angle it glared terribly straight into my eyes.
The Nappa leather upholstery in the G70 I drove was Sevilla Red with matching red seat belts. Both front seats were heated and cooled with a myriad of power adjustment including forward/back, recline, front and rear seat height and 4-way lumbar support. The driver’s seat also gets front seat extension, two memory positions and side bolster support, which engages automatically in Sport and Sport+ drive modes. The driver can also recline and move the passenger’s seat forward/back using the buttons on the side of this seat, something I think could be handy for a parent to make more room for children sitting in the back seat.
An advanced, 10.25-inch widescreen Navigation System in G70 presents information in intuitive menus and incorporates split-screen functionality and features such as Sounds of Nature, privacy mode and voice memo. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can be connected to the system via a USB cord and the voice control can only be used when this connection is in place. Other media sources include AM, DAB/FM that still suffers from patchy reception when you move away from built up areas, Bluetooth, USB music and USB video.
The steering wheel design is sporty looking with the combination of perforated and non-perforated leather and it is heated, something that you will love in winter. But like many other car companies, the voice control button used by Genesis is designated by a masculine looking silhouette. I also thought the wheel mounted gear shift paddles could have been metal and a little larger for when you want to ‘manually’ change gears. The same goes for the main gear selector, it hasn’t changed from the previous model and now looks outdated.
The 2021 G70 3.3T Sport does have slightly increased power over the previous model, now up to 274kW at 6,000rpm with 510Nm of torque between 1,300-4,500 rpm, from the 3.3 litre, V6 engine with twin, single-scroll turbochargers. The 0-100km/h time remains 4.7 seconds, which is ample to keep you interested, but even with the Active Variable Exhaust there is not a lot aural theatrics on offer. The official combined fuel consumption 10.2L/100km and for my week I used 10.8L/100km
Power is sent to the rear wheels via an 8-Speed automatic transmission and the G70 gets sporty electronic controlled suspension and a limited slip differential. The drive modes available include Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. Using Individual mode the driver can adjust the powertrain, steering and suspension between Comfort, Sport and Sport+. I found the ride quality was comfortable regardless of the drive mode that I selected.
The addition of Sport+ unlocks the naughty side of the G70 with increased engine responsiveness, throttle sensitivity and it turns the traction control off. Provoke the G70 now and you will find yourself requiring a good amount of opposite lock to bring the 19-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres back into line. You could certainly have a lot of fun in the G70 3.3T Sport.
Should you find yourself excessively sideways, at least your mobile phone won’t be sliding around thanks to the large storage cubby at the front of the centre console. Here there is wireless charging for compatible devices, one USB port and one 12V outlet. In the felt lined cubby under the arm rest there is another USB port, with two cup holders in front of this. The drink bottle cubby in the front doors would fit a medium sized drink bottle, but the rear cubbies are too small for any drink bottle storage.
Compared to the previous G70 I drove, it feels like there is less head and leg room for adult-sized rear seat passengers and although the seats are comfortable my daughter, who no longer needs a booster seat, told me that the seat was too reclined for her and too law, so she was unable to see out of the window properly.
For younger passengers there are two IOSFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but only enough room for two car seats in reality. This means that you can fold down the centre seat as an arm rest and use the two rigid cup holders for drink bottles. There are two central rear air vents with manual speed control and direction adjustment and under the air vents there is one USB port. The G70 comes with rear floor mats, but there is no mat over the transmission tunnel and this combined with its height and the gap between the seat means the carpet on the tunnel may be worn over time by children stepping over it.
The boot does not have gesture open for handsfree opening, but it is power operated using the buttons located on the boot, in the cabin, and on the smart key, but it can’t be closed with the key only opened. The boot is a good size and fitted my large weekly shop and would most likely fit a pram and a smaller shop. If you need to carry longer items the rear seats have a 40:60 split folding mechanism.
There are four tie down points and a cargo net, with two lights, but no hooks. The Genesis Roadside Assistance kit has Velcro on the base so it doesn’t move around in the boot. If you need to change a flat tyre with the temporary spare tyre, located under the boot floor, the kit includes a poncho, 12V light, gloves, a reflective vest, waterless hand cleaner, a hand towel and a padded mat to lie on.
All variants of the G70 range have a 5-star ANCAP (2018) safety rating with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 30.9 out of 38 (81%) and a Child Occupant Protection score of 42.6 out of 49 (86%). 2021 G70 advances its safety credentials with the airbag count increased to 10, with the inclusion of two rear side airbags and a segment-first front centre side airbag.
For Luxury Package vehicles, G70’s new Quad Lamp headlight architecture houses a matrix of LEDs as part of an Intelligent Front-Lighting System. The IFS system functions as an extension of High Beam Assist, dimming zones of the high beam to eliminate the chance of dazzling nearby drivers, rather than reverting to low-beam headlights. I also liked when I engaged the auto lights or rain sensing wipers that a display comes up on the driver’s dash to show me what option I have selected.
All G70 models are fitted with the full suite of active safety measures including adaptive cruise control, forward collision-avoidance assist – now with junction turning function, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist rear and a 360o surround view reversing camera in addition to a standard front and rear camera with front and rear sensors. The blind-spot view monitor projects a video in the driver’s dash when you indicate both left and right for added safety. I found the lane following assist technology worked okay, but it does not feel as robust as the systems used on other luxury vehicles.
ANCAP tests of the autonomous emergency braking system showed GOOD results with collisions avoided or mitigated in most test scenarios. ANCAP tests of lane support system functionality showed some GOOD performance, including several of the more critical emergency lane keeping test scenarios, and overall performance was classified as GOOD. The overall ANCAP Safety Assist score for the G70 is 81%.
New G70 vehicles are entitled to free scheduled maintenance service for the first five years or 50,000 km whichever comes first. The Complimentary Scheduled Maintenance Plan covers labour, parts, lubricants and sundries such as oil and waste recycling and/or removal and workshop supplies etc. The Genesis Concierge Service will arrange for the pickup and delivery of your G70 when it is due for scheduled maintenance or warranty services if you live within 70km driving distance to a Genesis Studio. While your vehicle is serviced, a Genesis courtesy vehicle is left at your disposal.
All Genesis vehicles come with a five year / unlimited km warranty (whichever occurs first), other than vehicles used at any time during the warranty period for commercial application. And Genesis owners also receive five year’s Premium 24/7 Roadside Assistance including timely flatbed towing to the nearest Genesis authorised service facility.
The starting price for the Genesis G70 3.3T Sport is $76,000 excluding dealer delivery and on-road costs. As tested with the Luxury Package ($10,000) and matte paint ($2,000) the G70 I drove was $88,000 plus additional costs. For more information you can visit a Genesis retailer, build and price your G70 online or book a test drive.
|The addition of Sport+ drive mode||Patchy DAB reception|
|The distinctive exterior and interior design||Voice control only works when Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is connected via USB|
|So many luxury inclusions||Rear seat head and leg room appears to be less compared to previous model|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.