Two years ago, Hyundai made the bold decision to split its upscale Genesis models into a separate brand bearing that name. Its inital lineup consisted of two cars, dubbed G80 and G90, which were renamed versions of the Genesis and Equus sedans sold as Hyundai models.
This year brings the first new model introduced under the Genesis brand, a compact sedan called the G70 that brings the Genesis formula for packing a lot of luxury into a modest price to a new cadre of entry-level luxury buyers.
It's a logical leap for a company that sprang from Hyundai, which has followed a similar value-forward mantra for many years.
Power comes from a choice of two turbocharged engines. A 2.0L four-cylinder makes 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque and a 3.3L V6 makes 365 hp and 376 lb-ft. Both are standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD, but 2.0L cars can be had in a rear-drive Sport trim with a six-speed manual gearbox.
With that big V6, Genesis has cars like the BMW 340i, Audi S4 and Mercedes-Benz C 43 AMG in its sights. Going after vehicles like that is a tall order for this fledgling luxury brand, but you can bet the South Korean engineers behind the G70 have done their homework to give the car what it needs to keep up both in a straight line and around corners: parent company Hyundai developed this car's chassis with research conducted at Germany's famed Nurburgring racetrack.
G70 trims start with the 2.0T Advanced, which comes standard with customizable drive modes, forward collision avoidance and assist, blind spot warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, 18-inch wheels, sunroof, 12-way power driver's seat, 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, passive keyless entry, heated front seats and a heated and leather-trimmed steering wheel.
The 2.0T Elite package adds LED headlights, auto-dimming side mirrors, quilted leather upholstery, ventilated front and heated rear seats, 15-speaker sound system, power-adjustable steering column, 12-way front passenger seat and rear parking sensors.
2.0T Prestige and 3.3T Dynamic trims come with the same list of kit, which includes a head-up display, multi-view exterior camera system, steerable headlights, front parking sensors, wireless smartphone charging, diamond-stitched leather seating, driver's thigh cushion extension, 19-inch wheels and performance tires. As its name suggests, the 3.3T Dynamic is the first trim to use the turbo V6 engine, which comes with upsized Brembo brakes, a variable steering ratio, dual exhaust outlets and a trim-specific rear diffuser.
2.0T and 3.3T Sport trims also share a number of features, like black headlight housings with copper trim, dark chrome accents, tinted taillights, 19-inch wheels with staggered-width tires, Nappa leather upholstery with diamond-stitch pattern, black suede headliner and aluminum pedals.
The 2.0T Sport further stands alone for its six-speed manual transmission and rear-drive chassis. It also gets Brembo brakes and a limited slip rear differential. This trim also has a 16-way driver's seat, 15-speaker stereo and head-up display.
Genesis' fuel consumption estimates for the G70 are 11.5/8.7 L/100 km (city/highway) with the 2.0T engine and automatic transmission, and 13.3/9.5 when powered by the 3.3L engine. The 2.0T Sport with manual transmission is rated 12.8/8.5 L/100 km.