The Car.co.uk verdict:4.3
Genesis arrived in 2021 in the UK after being elevated from being a model in the Hyundai stable. Today it’s a standalone premium brand offering a fresh take in terms of design, luxury and value for money. Not surprisingly, it's being compared to Lexus and Infiniti, the latter no longer available in the UK.
It's had a good start with the G70 and G80 saloons, superb GV70 SUV and the rather Dubai-esque GV80. Sales are going reasonably well and the brand has a slightly different approach to the traditional dealership sales model, taking a leaf out of the book of rivals such as Polestar, with Genesis Studios and what the company has called the Genesis Difference.
Our review features the G70 Shooting Brake 2.2 diesel and after driving the petrol saloon last year, our expectations were high for this one.
Fabulous looks that turn heads
It’s definitely a unique-looking choice and if we're using the second glance test, it's a winner because everybody looks back at it, even staring back from their car on the motorway wondering if it’s a new Bentley. It's a real attention grabber. That’s partly because a Genesis is a rare sight, but also because shooting brakes are not the same as your regular estate car in terms of looks. Of course you can argue until the cows come home the definition of a shooting brake, which technically should be a three-door but you know, marketing and all that.
It has a parallel lines design that we’ve seen on other Genesis models, particularly in the lighting and together with its stylish wheels and that unusual profile, it has lots of presence on the road. Importantly though, the shooting brake design also translates into a fair bit of practicality.
Estate car practicality with added style
It's a very practical car, especially when you bring value for money into the equation because you do let an awful lot for your dosh in terms of luxury and equipment. Fortunately, it’s also an easy car to drive with a great automatic gearbox and a number of different driving modes from Comfort through to Sport Plus.
There's decent space for those in the back seats too, although we did struggle a bit with the child seats which didn't fit properly into the bucket style sport seats and the kids got grumpy every time they had to try and wiggle their seats around to buckle in. Boot space is also decent and easily accessed but the tailgate does seem to have a bit of a mind of its own. On a number of occasions we were just standing at the back of the car when it started beeping and the boot opened, occasionally setting off the car alarm at the same time. If you don’t want the boot open you have to quickly walk away. It’s odd.
Luxurious design meets sensible practicality
The interior is full of quality materials and good surfaces, all of which appear to be quite hard wearing. It’s all really nicely designed and laid out, providing a real feeling of luxury throughout. The centre console does seem to be unnecessarily wide, but the nice thing is it does contain quite a lot of actual buttons for climate control and access to various things in the infotainment, such as the navigation, media, vehicle settings and so on. There's also a good solid feel to many of the dials, as though this is a more expensive luxury car.
The digital dash works well too, with plenty of personalisation choices and brilliant blind spot camera displays that appear when you switch on an indicator. You get this in some Hyundai and Kia models too and it really is brilliant.
The seats are very supportive, switch the car into Sport mode and the bolsters tighten up and hug you. You might expect that roofline and narrow windows to make the back seats a bit claustrophobic but not at all, it’s all light and airy back there. It’s all rather luxurious.
Equipment and options
Excellent standard equipment that adds to value for money
As with Lexus, Genesis includes pretty much everything in a car apart from a couple of optional packages. So you get loads of equipment such as a wireless phone charger, electronic tailgate, that digital instrument cluster, plenty of storage, loads of safety and luxurious upholstery. Options are minimal and many are grouped into packs, such as the Innovation Pack and Comfort Seat Pack that were fitted to our test car.
Engine and power
Diesel fails to match its petrol sibling
This is the 2.2 diesel, which means 200 hp at 3,800 rpm and 414 Nm of torque. 0-62 mph is around 7.7 seconds and there's a top speed of 140. It is not the most spritely thing unless you get it into Sport and Sport Plus though where it really does come into its own. The rest of the time the engine is a little bit sluggish, the lag is terrible and the start stop system is one of the worst. You can often take your foot off the brake to accelerate and the engine doesn't kick back in. You have to press down on the accelerator by which time the person in the van behind you has nearly rear-ended you pulling away from the traffic lights. It needs a bit of work from the engineering department on that.
Superb cruiser that quite enjoys a spirited drive
The G70 Shooting Brake is a very comfortable thing most of the time. It does have a tendency to bump and skip on scarred tarmac a bit, especially on the low profile rubber. The suspension can feel quite firm at times too and occasionally we could have sworn there was a rattle, as though it needs new drop-links which of course it shouldn't because it's brand new. The steering is excellent and well balanced, but we have to mention the intrusive nature of the lane departure system, even when using the active cruise control. On a drive to Manchester we gave it the benefit of the doubt for a while and tried to live with it but it beeped too much, tried to hug vehicles on the left while overtaking and was generally really painful. We turned it off and did so every time we got back in the car after that.
It's most at home on smooth tarmac and is a fantastic motorway cruiser that could easily become the new de facto rep or managers mobile with the demise of the Ford Mondeo. On a run around quiet Cotswold roads, it was superb, providing great dynamics and well balanced ride. Its rear wheel drive nature allows for some fun, especially in Sport mode and while it might lack the grunt of the petrol, it’s still a car that responds well to the demanding driver.
It really is a great all-rounder, after all, you’re probably going to spend more time at urban speeds and motorway cruising than exploiting the dynamics on a great road.
Plenty of safety for peace of mind family motoring
The G70 gets the full five stars from Euro NCAP and has everything you need including plenty of electronics such as that annoying lane departure system, active cruise control, park distance and those brilliant blind spot displays, as well as multiple airbags, Isofix child seat anchor points and more.
Expect Hyundai Group levels of reliability
Well it is from the Hyundai Group so you'd expect it to have very good reliability. There's a five year warranty and five years servicing included with the Genesis five year care plan. You get roadside assistance, courtesy cars, over-the-air updates, all that for five years. It’s a lot of peace of mind that again fits into that very nice value for money thing.
Premium motoring without the premium price
The range starts from £35,325 with the diesel from £37,650. Sport Line spec brings that up to £41,430, but our test model had the Innovation Pack at £3,250, the Comfort Seat Pack at £1,850 and stunning Havana Red metallic paint at £750, making the total £47,280, which is still remarkably good value against premium rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It is a diesel, easily gobbling up the miles and we drove from Bristol to Manchester and used only a quarter of a tank of fuel. That said, over the 700 miles we drove the car, we averaged 39.4 mpg, not far off the claimed 41.8 but we’d expect better to justify the oil burner over the petrol. Overall though, it gets a massive tick in the value for money box.
Stylish and practical choice
The Genesis G70 Shooting Brake is perfect for those who want something that looks different to everything else on the road. You still want a bit of space so you're looking for an estate but you don't want an actual estate like a BMW 3 Series Touring or a Volkswagen Passat. You want something that is stylish and gives you an awful lot of equipment for your money and a car that isn't going to date quickly and that is not only a good head turner, but a really practical family solution. That's all there in this one, it's just a pity about that lag and the lane departure system being the way they are, but otherwise it’s a fantastic thing, although you might prefer to take a look at the petrol.