Looks that pack a punch. As the upmarket sibling to both Kia and its parent company Hyundai, Genesis has something of an image problem. It lacks the pedigree of established brands, and therefore has to plow a distinct furrow to carve out a slice of any market it competes in.

For its G70 range, Genesis has added some serious style to an already substantial sedan. From any angle, this is a fine-looking car, especially from the back where those tiered taillights call to mind Mercedes. A similar bisected effect is employed at the front, with headlights resembling an inversion of Volvo’s ‘Thor’s hammer’ lamps. Combined with outsized oval exhausts and thin wire wheels, the overall appearance is dramatic.

Trousers to go with the mouth. Whether or not you approve of the shield grille and bulging bonnet, there’s no doubt that the G70 looks good in a rearview mirror. It also offers performance to match those rakish looks. The base 252 hp turbocharged gas engine will knock off the 0-60 sprint in around seven seconds, while the 3.3-liter V6 uses two turbochargers to reduce the time to four and a half seconds. Allied to a crackling exhaust on Sport models, the V6 is an intoxicating performer, and its $5,000 premium over the four-pot is softened by the inclusion of leather trim.

If your budget will stretch to a flagship Sport Prestige V6, you also receive adaptive dampers which allow the adjustable drivetrain modes to give their all. Lesser trims are burdened with a suspension setup which is easily the car’s worst feature. The harshness becomes tiresome and is exacerbated by Genesis’s decision to fit 19-inch wheels on all models for 2023. The driver may appreciate the tradeoff in terms of flat cornering and meaty steering, but passengers will wish they were somewhere else. Take a test drive before committing to the stiff suspension.

A true driver’s car. Keen drivers will revel in the G70’s taut handling and impressive roadholding, especially if they’re able to spend $2,100 upgrading to AWD. The driver’s seat is the best in the house for other reasons, too. It’s fitted with 12-way power adjustment and heating elements, while the Sport Prestige adds ventilation as well. Visibility is decent, and safety aids range from automatic emergency braking and auto high beams to adaptive cruise and active lane control.

If you’re sitting in the back, the picture is less rosy. It’s cramped back here, with limited head and legroom, while smaller kids may struggle to see much out of the pinched rear side windows. Don’t think rear accommodation is sacrificed for generous cargo capacity, either – there’s a paltry ten cubic foot trunk hiding behind an awkwardly-shaped aperture. At least the cabin materials are tactile and high-caliber, and we’re fans of the diamond-stitched red leather which extends across the doors and center console with matching seatbelts.

2023 Genesis G70 Interior

Easy to buy and own. Unlike some manufacturers, Genesis hasn’t complicated the buying process. You have two engines, two drivetrains and a handful of trims. Prices range from $40,000 for a base model to $58,000 for an AWD V6 in Sport Prestige trim, with the latter receiving adaptive dampers, a Lexicon audio system and an outsized sunroof. Even the cheapest G70s come with heated and power-adjustable seats, a 10.3-inch touchscreen and synthetic leather.

We also have to praise the outstanding manufacturer warranty, running to five years or 60,000 miles. Three years of free maintenance bundled in, and Genesis will even collect and return the car for you when it’s time to get your G70 serviced.

Final thoughts. It’s very difficult for a new brand to establish itself in today’s mature market, but Genesis is making a bold attempt with models like the G70. There are hints of Maserati and Mercedes to the styling, while the interior quality is impressive. There’s plenty of standard kit and safety equipment, a superb warranty, two high-caliber engines and the option of AWD if you live in states where rear-drive could catch you out in bad weather.

So why isn’t the G70 a knockout winner? Firstly, the ride is unacceptable in a family sedan unless you spend big on the adaptive dampers. That in turn hikes the price up towards Volvo S90 levels, which wouldn’t be so bad if the G70 was equally spacious. It’s not. Rear seat occupants get a particularly raw deal, and the lack of cargo capacity will make this a hard car to live with unless you travel light at all times. With so much going for the G70, these drawbacks are especially frustrating, since they’ll rule it out of contention for many prospective purchasers.

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