Compact luxury sedan
The Genesis G70 has been on Canadian roads since 2017, when it debuted as part of the brand’s launch as its own entity within the Hyundai portfolio.
Designed to give shoppers an alternative to entry-luxury staples from competitors like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Acura, Volvo, and BMW, the G70 made a compelling case. With a strong value proposition and loads of content for the money, the smallest Genesis sedan won numerous awards from the jump.
On board, a unique selection of colours and textures worked to stir up a sense of quality and craftsmanship. Quilted leather, climate-controlled seating, a premium stereo system, and steering-responsive LED headlights were all available.
The G70’s sharp reflexes and punchy engine lineup delivered thrills without ruining everyday driveability. On a test drive of an earlier unit from this generation in a rare rear-wheel-drive and manual-transmission setup, I found a convincingly athletic performance driving experience that called numerous favourite sports coupe and sedan models to mind.
Like many of its competitors, the G70 was available with both four- and six-cylinder power. Look for a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 252 hp, available with a six-speed manual and rear-drive configuration in earlier years. Other models run a 3.3L twin-turbocharged V6, that’s good for 365 hp
Most used G70 models will include all-wheel drive (AWD) and an automatic transmission with either engine choice.
What Owners Like
Strong overall value, a nicely balanced ride and handling equation, a unique and upscale interior, and a straightforward navigation and central command interface are among the most common praise points from Genesis G70 owners.
Strong performance from both available engines, and sharp reflexes during spirited driving help round out the package. Other feature favourites include the confidence-inspiring LED lighting system, and the world-class listening experience delivered by the stereo.
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What Owners Dislike
Other owners wish for a roomier rear seat, less recycling of control dials and stalks from the Hyundai parts bin, and a smoother ride on some rougher road surfaces.
First Things First
Buying a Genesis G70 includes various perks – including available concierge servicing, at-home delivery to the vehicle’s initial customer, free software and map updates, courtesy vehicle coverage, and more. You can find more information on the Genesis warranty here, and Genesis ownership perks here.
Warranty coverage varies depending on the component or part in question, and does not cover damage or wear caused by a failure to have the vehicle maintained properly. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the G70’s warranty and ownership perks by visiting the links above, since coverage is transferable from owner to owner. Remember that a warranty is a two-way agreement, and owners are advised to familiarize themselves with their role in maintaining the warranty in good standing.
Auto Stop-Start Issues
Some owners have reported trouble from the G70’s automatic stop-start system, which turns the engine off to prevent idling in certain situations. Many have not.
Many new vehicles use systems like this, and in rarely reported cases of trouble, the culprit tends to be the vehicle’s battery – whether weak and dying, or improperly connected. For this reason, ensuring the battery in the used G70 you’re considering is healthy can help fend off trouble. In this discussion, a handful of owners report auto stop-start problems that were diagnosed by dealers and eventually remedied by a warranty replacement of the G70’s engine starter.
If the auto stop-start system is acting up, you may see an error or warning message on your instrument cluster, or experience a failure to restart the engine when the vehicle’s brake pedal is released. This situation amounts to a stall, and manual engine restarting is required. Look for these trouble signs on your test drive to save time, money, and headaches.
Most G70 owners have not complained of the durability of certain finishes and surfaces on their vehicles, though some have. According to owners in this discussion (and various others linked within), test-driving shoppers are advised to pay close attention to two particular areas. First, carefully check the front seating surfaces for signs of damage wear or abrasion, with the outboard seat bolster being a prime suspect for premature wear. Look for rips, tears, discoloration, or holes, calling any you find into your pricing negotiations.
Next, follow the G70’s body panel gaps, and look for signs of chipping or damaged paint, poorly repaired paint damage, or even the formation of rust. Though most owners don’t complain of poor paint durability, some have noted finishes that are easily scratched or peeled, which can invite rust and other damage. Paint damage can cost you money and reduce the resale value of your G70, so be on the lookout. The hood edge, lower rocker panel areas near the tires, and the gaps between the plastic bumpers and steel body panels are prime areas for a close investigation.
Rough or clumsy automatic transmission performance is not uncommon across a wide range of modern vehicles. Usually when an automatic transmission behaves unfavourably, fixes include a software update or a fluid change, and mechanical problems with transmission internals are reported much less frequently.
Some G70 owners have reported rough shifting from their automatic transmissions – specifically in the form of a lurching or leaping sensation as the vehicle slows to a stop, or gear shifts that feel harsh instead of smooth and seamless. If you notice this on your test drive, have the vehicle seen by a professional before you buy.
Some owners have reported these symptoms as an indicator of a failed or failing component called the transmission cooler, which can negatively affect the operating temperature of the gearbox. Be on the lookout, and be sure to test the G70’s transmission at light, moderate, and full throttle several times during your test drive. Here’s some more information.
Rear Main Seal Leak
A small number of owners have reported an oil leak from the rear main seal in their G70’s engine. This easily detectable leak is covered by powertrain warranty, and owners say it affects both 2.0L and 3.3L engines.
A rear main seal leak can be detected easily during a pre-purchase inspection (PPI). It may also cause a visible oil puddle beneath the vehicle. Some owners have also reported oil pan gasket leaks, which can cause a similar leak in the same area. This leak has also been reported by some owners of the Kia Stinger, which uses the same engines as the G70.
Here’s some more reading, with some great photos to help test-driving shoppers know what to look for and where to look for it. Being on the lookout for oil and fluid leaks can save you time and money.
Skip the Modified Examples
Some G70 owners have installed aftermarket parts to drive up engine output, performance, and sound. Others have not. Some owners even target builds that would increase output to 500 hp through the extensive use of aftermarket parts.
Millions of enthusiast drivers enjoy modified vehicles daily around the world with no issue. Still, in the context of a new, in-warranty car like the G70, the use of non-factory parts can cause failures, damage, and other trouble that’s not covered by warranty.
For instance, here is one example – and another – of owners who ran into engine trouble after installing non-factory spark plugs, hoping for a performance boost. If this engine trouble caused lasting damage, it wouldn’t be covered by warranty.
If the G70 you’re considering is modified, assume its remaining warranty coverage is void until you have proof to the contrary. The average shopper is best to stick to a stock unit where possible for maximum peace of mind.
Recalls for the Genesis G70 can be found here. Dealers perform recall work free of charge to correct safety defects with vehicles. Some G70 models are affected by certain recalls, and others are not. To see which recalls (if any) affect the model you’re considering, click here.
IIHS: Top Safety Pick + (2020)