What Is It?
The Genesis G70 Shooting Brake is a premium estate car that competes in one of the toughest sections of the automotive world: the domain of the BMW 3 Series. BMW’s compact saloon has pretty much dominated this class of vehicle ever since it arrived in 1975, redefining the formula so much that it is simply the benchmark to which every other competitor is classed.
The G70 follows the pattern of the 3 Series, as there’s a four-door saloon model and then this incredibly attractive estate. Perhaps, then, the key question is whether you should ignore not only the BMW 3 Series, but a whole slew of talented, established and premium rivals in the form of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the Audi A4, the Jaguar XE, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Volvo S60 and V60? Let’s find out.
What’s Good About It?
First of all, the Genesis G70 is a striking car. It draws enough attention through the novelty factor of onlookers trying to work out what it is – a shrunken Bentley, was one opinion – as much as it does from just being a really nice piece of design. And, to our eyes, the Shooting Brake looks even better than the G70 saloon it’s based on. It’s an elegant, tasteful vehicle to behold, with distinctive looks that make it stand out among the aesthetically ‘safer’ competitors.
However, it’s the interior quality which is its strongest suit. Everything you touch feels excellent, ergonomically it’s intuitively laid-out and there are plenty of physical buttons to control key features like the in-car climate. The driving position is superb, and the digital interfaces are pretty sharp too – albeit some won’t get on with the novelty 3D instrument cluster, which can look a little fuzzy. The 3D functionality can be switched off, though. The G70 Shooting Brake manages to improve the ambience for those sitting in the rear passenger row compared to the G70 Saloon, too, thanks to less restrictive headroom and a larger glasshouse at the back.
What Could Be Better?
The engine choice could be a little broader in the context of the car’s rivals, many of which offer full-hybrid and plug-in hybrid setups, as well as grander and more powerful six-cylinder and even eight-cylinder engines, which bring a real sense of occasion to proceedings. No G70 has any sort of electrical assistance, and the engines are limited to a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine, which comes with either 197- or 245hp, or a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel with 200hp. These are all teamed to an 8-speed gearbox and rear-wheel drive.
What’s It Like To Drive?
The G70 Shooting Brake is characterised by a polished, assured and likeable driving experience. It drives with more alertness and reward than an Audi A4 Avant, although both the BMW 3 Series Touring and the Alfa Romeo Giulia (saloon only, sadly) are better for enthusiastic driving than the Genesis is. Yet the G70 is not without its merits, as the steering is nicely weighted and progressive, and there’s a genuine sense of ‘push from the rear’ if you get on the power in the middle of a corner.
In the main the 2.0-litre turbo engine is a fine thing, staying smooth from idle to redline and serving up its decent 353Nm of torque in a healthy midrange dollop that makes the throttle response feel excellent. It’s just that it never really feels like anything but a relatively modest 4-cylinder turbo, meaning it lacks a bit of character at times. You can rev it right out and there’s a sporty note to the soundtrack – heavily augmented through the speakers if you switch the car into Sport mode – but throwing the Genesis into corners with plenty of vim isn’t as satisfying as doing the same thing in a BMW 3 Series or Jaguar XE.
Thankfully, where it truly shines is for ride and refinement. The G70 is generally a delight to travel in if you’re not in a hurry. That 2.0-litre engine is quiet and subdued below 4000rpm, while the 8-speed automatic gearbox is a peach for simply slushing shifts together in as unobtrusive a fashion as possible. The Genesis really does soak up the worst of road imperfections with a huge level of skill, while the cabin is a hushed and pleasant place to spend some time because highly effective sound-deadening means you can hear next to nothing of aerodynamic disturbance about the glasshouse, nor tyre chatter from the road. OK, with its slightly sporty leanings, it’s maybe not quite as comfortable as something like a Volvo V60, nor even the new Citroen C5 X, both of which you could legitimately consider rivals, but the G70 Shooting Brake is easily up there with its key German opposition when it comes to comfort and quiet.
How Practical Is It?
The Shooting Brake is more useful than the four-door G70 owing to its large hatchback tailgate and bigger boot, but it’s not the estate to go for if outright carrying capacity is your primary motivator. The 403-litre boot space rates as one of the lowest in the class, the result of the car’s rakish exterior. The 1535 litres you get if you fold the second row of seats down is a usefully large space, though. For context, an Audi A4 Avant gives you a 505-litre boot, rising to 1495 litres with the rear bench folded flat.
The rest of the car is a good stab at being practical enough for family use. There’s the usual pair of cupholders up front, as well as various storage cubbies and an acceptable glovebox, while the door pockets are a good size. Space in the back of the car is marginally more generous in the Shooting Brake than it is in the G70 saloon, meaning there’s enough knee- and shoulder room for three adults.
How Much Will It Cost Me?
The G70 Shooting Brake is priced as a premium product, of course, although it’s very fair as compared to the aforementioned German stuff, priced from around £33,000 and very well-equipped for the money. Leasing prices begin at a little over £500 per month at the time of writing.
Fuel costs are as you’d expect from a premium car, which is to say that the G70 Shooting Brake is never going to be the most economical runabout, and the lack of electrification means that it’s not the most efficient vehicle as compared to its competitors. The diesel model is the most efficient, with a WLTP official economy figure of 41.4mpg, while the petrol models return 33.1mpg in both cases.
The G70 ownership experience should be painless: Genesis offers a 5-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, just like parent company Hyundai does, but it also offers 5 years of free servicing (up to 50,000 miles) and a ‘concierge’-like service which means the car will be picked up and delivered to an address of your choice when it’s time for it to go into the garage for maintenance.
Every one of the three G70 specifications (Premium Line, Luxury Line and Sport Line) comes with a load of stuff fitted as standard. Even base cars are equipped with electrically adjustable front seats, Smart Cruise Control, a 10.25-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry and go, and a 180-degree Rear View Monitor Camera. There’s an absolute mass of advanced driver assist safety systems too, including Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist – normally a cost option on even the priciest of Genesis’ rivals in this class.
Going for a Luxury Line adds full leather upholstery (it’s man-made ‘leatherette’ on the Premium Line cars), heating for the front seats and the steering wheel, and electric tailgate opening, and Electronic Control Suspension, which is a variable damping function that firms up a little when the car’s in Sport mode, for a more dynamic experience. Sport Line, meanwhile, adds 19-inch alloys, sporty exterior styling with black detailing, Brembo premium brakes and metal pedals in the cabin.
Anything Else I Should Know?
Hyundai-owned Genesis is a very new company to the UK, only arriving in the UK in 2021, hence its cars currently have a sense of intrigue and mystique – and are often confused with Bentleys, given the similar design of the two company’s badges. The G70 is one of four new products that the Korean firm came to market with. It was actually on sale elsewhere in the world from 2017 onwards, only making its appearance in the UK after it was heavily facelifted in 2020 with the latest corporate identity of Genesis, which involves lots of ‘doubled’ details: headlights, rear lights, creases in the metalwork and so on.
The company has already announced it will produce electric cars exclusively by 2025.
What Alternatives Should I Look At?
Alfa Romeo Giulia Leasing
There’s no estate version but the Giulia is superb to drive, well built and lovely to look at.
BMW 3 Series Leasing
Still the car to beat in this class. Loads of engine choice, hybrid and performance options… just a great product all round.
Volvo S60 Leasing
These two Volvos (S60 is the saloon, the V60 is the estate) have arguably the nicest interior in the segment and exceptional comfort.
The Vanarama Verdict: 8/10
"It’s an elegant, tasteful vehicle to behold, with distinctive looks that make it stand out among the aesthetically ‘safer’ competitors."
3 Things To Remember About The Genesis G70 Shooting Brake:
Looks great on the outside
Prioritises ride and refinement to impressive effect
Not a huge amount of engine choice
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