The idea entered my head during a quick trip to the Miami Auto Show back in late 2018, when I saw the Genesis G70 in the flesh for the first time. It was in a striking shade of blue, and I believe it was one of the rare Prestige/Advanced/Sport trims that stickered for about $54k. It was, without doubt, the best looking car at the show. I sat in the front seat and instantly loved it. The quilted interior was delightful, the aluminum trim was sublime, and the Lexicon audio was downright symphonic.
I then sat in the back seat and instantly hated it.
“The back seat is way too small,” I complained to the Genesis booth worker.
“Then get the G80!” he replied with a smile.
“Yeah, not the same, dude.”
“I know,” he moaned, in a very Eeyore style of voice.
But if you know Bark, you know that once an idea finds its way into my head, especially regarding a car purchase, it rarely wiggles out. And if I’m being honest with myself, the idea really started in the hallway of the Javits Center in March of 2016, when I watched as Erwin Raphael, then head of Genesis North America, unveiled the New York Concept.
Marc Urbano took this photo, and I know Marc, so I’m sure it’s fine that I’m using it. Anyway.
The car was visually brilliant in every way, the result of Hyundai hiring away the legendary Peter Schreyer from Audi. Schreyer is most well known for designing the Audi TT and the new VW Beetle, but he is also responsible for a whole host of beautiful Korean cars that outshine their Japanese competition, such as the latest Kia design language seen in the Forte, Rio, etc. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Herr Schreyer at the launch of the Sonata during that same show, but I don’t remember saying anything of consequence to him, possibly because they were serving free alcohol. Moving on.
It was no secret that the New York concept was the show car forerunner of the upcoming G70. However, it was disappointing in one sense—it was equipped with a 2.0 liter turbo four, generating a modest 240 or so horses. I was driving a Boss 302 at that point, so the snooze button for the buzz inside my head was pressed subconsciously, with a warning to only wake me when Genesis put a six cylinder under the hood.
Got all that? Good, because I’m writing this at nearly 11 at night after a long day that involved driving several hundred miles to watch three youth soccer games. Now, on to the actual car that we came here to talk about: my new Genesis G70 3.3T Design Edition.
If you don’t follow my Instagram (you know, I used to mock Demuro for doing that, but he’s got like a million subscribers and I have fewer than two thousand, so points to Doug) you have not yet had your eyes assaulted with a bazillion photos of my new whip. Well, to be honest, it’s not new new—it is a 2019 model that was delivered to me with approximately 19k on the clock by our frenemies at Vroom (who have STILL not paid off my trade in…more to come) at about 9:30 on a Thursday night roughly a week and a half ago.
The Design Edition moniker is an important distinction to make here. Only 400 of them were made, and you will know them by their Black Forest Green exteriors and their Cream interiors with green leather dashes and aluminum trim. They are also essentially equipped with the Prestige, Advance, and Sport packages—the only exception being that the sport suspension is not adjustable (for that, you’ll need the Dynamic Edition). But everything else that Genesis offers on the G70 is included on this model.
For me, all I really cared about were a few things:
- quilted interior (check)
- LSD (check)
- 3.3T motor (check)
- Lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise (check, check)
- 15 speaker Lexicon sound system with Quantum Logic (check)
Okay, that’s actually quite a few, come to think of it. The exterior and interior colors were a definite plus, as well—that combo first caught my eye on the new GV80 (yes, I know the green is a little different, you pedantic losers) in one of my client’s showrooms, and I decided that if I could get it, I would.
Would you like to know how many Design Edition G70s were for sale in the entire country? Two.
One was at a dealership in Florida, one known for being sketchy AF. You may remember them from this tale of time wasted. Oh South Florida, the land of $1000 dealer fees and double digit APRs—don’t ever change. They had a bizarre tale of a Design Edition with fewer than 100 miles on the odometer, one that the dealership had written down and now had to sell as a used car. I got about one day into the process with them and realized that I was wasting my time—they were trying like hell to back end profit that deal to the point where I would have ended up paying as much as I would have for a new 2021 G70, and my text message negotiating was getting me nowhere.
The other was at Vroom. They had a pretty competitive price on it, and when I asked them to evaluate my Focus RS for trade, they hit it extremely high, making their net offer too good to pass up. I smashed the “BUY” button and celebrated.
Now, keep in mind—I had never actually driven a G70 before. I had recently purchased a G80, and it had been flawless in the six or so months it had been in my garage. So why not buy little brother? I realize this is the sort of reasoning that I would never let fly in an “Ask Bark,” but hey, it’s my life, it’s now or never. I ain’t gonna live forever. I just wanna live while I’m alive.
So when it rolled off the truck on that fateful Thursday night, I signed away my life and about a $30,000 loan to a delivery man, hoping for the best. One good sign? The delivery guy loved it.
“Man, this is a nice car,” he said. “I don’t get to deliver many cars like this. That interior is gorgeous. It sounds great. And low miles, too! Man. This is a nice car.” This went on for a while.
But then it was up to me to grab the wheel like Jesus and drive it home 20 miles from the Adesa auction parking lot where I had agreed to meet the driver (he was convinced that his semi wouldn’t make it down my street, despite the multiple press cars I’ve had delivered exactly that same way). And the first thing I thought when I got behind the wheel?
“Man, this is a nice car.”
I’ll tell y’all right now—no iPhone photos will do justice to this car, either the interior or the exterior. It’s the most beautifully appointed interior in any car south of $100k, and better than many, many that crest that mark. If you mistake the Genesis logo for the Bentley hood adornment, as I suspect they’d like you to, the interior would make you think you were spot on.
The dark sparkle green paint on the panels would be the envy of any Audi or Mercedes owner—and I happen to know a few who have said as much. It is incredibly difficult to see in photos, so, again, you’ll have to take my word for it, or you can visit me in the Greater Lexington DMA and I’ll show you myself.
But it’s the driving where the G70 3.3T stands out. It somehow simultaneously out BMW’s BMW and also out Lincolns Lincoln. There are three drive modes—Sport, Comfort, and Eco—as well as a “Smart” driving mode that learns your preferences over time, and a “Custom” mode that allows you to mix and match steering feels and suspension travel.
In Comfort mode, the G70 glides over breaks and bumps in the road, not as though they weren’t there, but as if they were never there. It is simply fantastic. Hundred miles jaunts simply melt away, and the baby Genesis will cruise happily at 85-95 MPH with nary a hint of engine, wind, or tire noise. It just floats happily and effortlessly, and should you happen to want to accompany your journey with the appropriate music of your choice, the Lexicon stereo is only too happy to accommodate you with a theatrical experience that rivals the ELS systems in Acuras as the best in the business.
Eco mode provides a little less oomph under acceleration than comfort, but is otherwise similarly sublime, and will return fuel economy in the 28 MPG range on highway trips at 80 MPH all day long. In fact, it must be said that in the nearly 2000 miles I’ve driven in two weeks, the vast majority of it has been done cheerfully in Eco Mode.
Sport mode unleashes an entirely different character, and it is likely this mode that the previous owner enjoyed the most, as the OE rear tires were smoked right off of the car. Vroom happily provided me with a new set of “HERCULES” tires as replacements, and they are complete trash. I don’t feel entirely comfortable mashing the throttle yet, as the significant torque of the 3.3 Twin Turbo V6 will cause Hercules to spin his wheels even in third gear. After putting appropriate shoes on the G70, I’ll report back on its autocross and time trial acumen.
To bring things full circle, that back seat I hated so much seems to be just fine for my tweens. They are quite happy to sit behind the driver and enjoy quilted leather and heated seats while their cell phones charge wirelessly in the center console.
Since I have a 60 month loan, including a 5 year and 100,000 additional bumper-to-bumper warranty from Vroom, we’ll be seeing a lot of this Genesis around RG in the years to come. But my initial impressions are this:
If you buy a 3 Series or a C Class, you’re just wrong. The G70 outshines them all. And while I don’t necessarily love the looks of the upcoming facelifted 2022 model, I think it will probably push the values of the 2019-2021 down a little bit further, which can only be good news for our readers.
So stick around—we’ll be featuring this (and big brother G80) on our pages quite a bit.