Attractive to look at both inside and outside, and impressive enough to drive. It is difficult to recommend this car until it has been electrified or upgraded to be more efficient.
The Genesis brand was finally established in the UK last year after years of work. Passers-by will be wondering what the 127 cars are wearing with the badge that looks like Aston Martin’s, and when Phil Collins began making cars. ).
We have the G70 Shooting Brake with us in the UK. It was first tested last month on European shores. The SUVs and saloons we have seen are global models. However, the G70 Shooting Brake was designed and engineered for the UK.
It is therefore quite puzzling that Genesis chose to launch the Genesis with conventional petrol and diesel engines, without any hybrid assistance, let along a fully-electric version.
The timing of Genesis’s launch coincides with the huge uptake in electric cars and the success shown by new electric-only entrants like Polestar, making it somewhat difficult to make a decision. The engine range is reminiscent of Infiniti’s launch in Europe in 2012 with only petrol V6s, right at the height of the diesel boom…
The turbocharged four-cylinder engines come in two versions: a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 194bhp and 241bhp respectively, or a 2.2-litre diesel engine with 197bhp. We test the 241bhp Ranger-Topper, which is, as all Genesis models, rear-wheel-drive and uses an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Our test car was equipped with Luxury Line trim. This is one of two range-toppers that come in different flavours (the other being Sport Line), which sits above the base Premium Line.
The cabin’s look and feel is luxurious. You can describe it using the word luxury (an additional PS2470). The cabin is comfortable and has a lot of character. This is in keeping with Genesis’s status as a premium brand alternative. It’s definitely that, a unique product with its own design and not a copy of the German Big Three.
This is also the impression that you get when you look at the G70 Shooting Brake outside. Although the front grille is a bit similar, some details and proportions are not unique to this car. However, the profile and proportions add something new to the class. Matt Saunders, my colleague, noted that the car could easily be converted to an Alfa Romeo, Saab or Jaguar in another lifetime, which I would agree with.
You’ll find even more positive news if you expect similar differences in driving experience. It is a well-tuned chassis, and the ride is especially good. It is BMW-like in its characteristics, communicating what the road is doing beneath you and how it is interacting with it.
The G70 Shooting Brake is a pleasant to steer thanks to this and well-judged body control. Even better would be the steering. It is very responsive and springy around the centre, before some substantial heft comes in about eighteenths of a turn. So it can be difficult to determine exactly what “feel” the engineers intended for the driver. Although it takes a while to understand, there is no BMW comparison.
The powertrain is also not as well-known as its headline numbers, but it does respond to driver interaction with it in a way that is less memorable. The automatic gearbox is primarily responsible for this. It prefers a quieter life than one that allows the driver access to the engine’s 241bhp and 265 lb ft torque. You’ll still be able to enjoy a quiet, refined junior executive car.
The efficiency of the car is the last elephant in the room, and it’s the largest. Official economy and CO2 figures for the car are just marginally better than those of a BMW M4 Competition, making this version of G70 Shooting Brake seem like something from another era. We couldn’t achieve more than 28mpg on the roads.
This all begs the question: Why limit a car’s chances of success with niche engines when it has so many advantages? The G70 Shooting Brake for Europe was designed and engineered before the powertrain options.
It’s attractive from the outside and an impressive car to drive. However, it is difficult to recommend this car until more efficient or electrified versions are available.