2019 Hyundai Genesis G70 2.0T Drivers’ Notes Review

by Heather Platt | Posted on Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

Over the past few months, we’ve spent a lot of time behind the wheel of the Genesis G70. We first drove the car in New England last fall. We also spent some time on the West Coast in pair of G70s, one fitted with the turbo 2.0-liter and the other fitted with the twin-turbo 3.3-liter — the latter being the same engine that’s in our long-term Kia Stinger GT. When the car finally arrived at our home office in Detroit, we were right in the middle of the polar vortex. Winter might not be the best time to test sport sedans, but rear-wheel drive can be quite fun in the snow.

2019 Hyundai Genesis G70

Our test car was the G70 Sport with the 2.0-liter turbo and a manual transmission. The last element is key, not just for a car enthusiast perspective, but because the manual is only available in one trim that basically blends the Elite trim (second from the bottom) with the various handling and brake upgrades included with the V6. It’s actually better equipped than our long-term Stinger GT, a car that costs roughly $10,000 more.

Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: I drove the G70 in Maine and New Hampshire for our First Drive review, and loved it. I only drove the 2.0T with a manual transmission, however, for a couple of autocross laps on Club Motorsports’ converted karting track. I probably shifted the car a half-dozen times, and while I found the engine to be plucky and fun, I suspected the manual transmission left a lot to be desired. I was super excited to hear we were getting one in the office to try again.

The car is just as good as I remember it, and the manual transmission is about as lackluster, but I found the latter to matter less in real-world driving. There’s not a lot of feel to the shifter. It falls into place softly, but I found myself quickly forgetting about it after a few miles as the act of rowing the gears blended quietly into the rest of the driving experience.

Genesis truly had the driving enthusiast in mind when making this car. It’s a rich and luxurious sedan you can be proud to arrive to your business meeting with, but then drive like a hooligan on the way home. The 3 Series has always been that car, but, as of now, the 3 Series can’t be had with a manual. Sad, but here’s Genesis coming to the rescue. How long the manual will live in this car is anybody’s guess, but it’s here now!

The transmission is average at best. It’s notchy slotting into each gate, and the lever itself feels very light, almost plasticky. To have any kind of extra engagement is worth it to me, especially in such an athletic sedan. Furthermore, the pedals are placed well for easy heel-and-toe downshifting, which goes a long way to hiding the shifter’s weaknesses. And to give you an idea of how much fun I had, I spent almost my entire lunch break the day it came in just rambling around with it. It’s a superb sedan for the enthusiast.


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