MOTORS REVIEW: New Genesis G70 Shooting Brake

A touch of the royals in Genesis creation...

RATHER fittingly, given recent events, I recall seeing some of the earliest examples of the “Shooting Brake” breed at Sandringham House.

Apparently first associated with a carriage featuring space to accommodate a Royal shooting party, the term evolved to describe a breed of sporty estate car.

Now it has been attached to a new car brand aiming to pioneer a new age of vehicle sales.

The G70 Shooting Brake is the creation of Genesis, the online-only premium sister brand of Hyundai, which brings both sales and service directly to customers’ doors.

A lack of showrooms has clearly bred a lack of familiarity among the general public.

It is relatively rare that people stop me in a service station or supermarket car park to ask about a car, but the matte Sandstorm Grey painted, low-slung Genesis succeeded in drawing a crowd at service stations and supermarkets.

Perhaps it was that Bentley-aping grille, but I also heard it compared to a Lexus by curious onlookers.

Priced from £35,250, the G70 Shooting Brake is positioned as a rival to the BMW 3 Series Touring or Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate.

Available in Premium, Luxury Line and Sport Line trims its launch came at a time before Genesis’ electrification process had properly gotten underway.

As such, the choice of drivetrains is limited to a 2.2-litre turbodiesel or the turbocharged two-litre petrol engine tested here, both driving the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Good for 244PS and 353Nm of torque, the petrol unit will push the G70 Shooting Brake to 62mph in 6.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 149mph.

Unfortunately, like its SUV sibling the GV70, which we featured on these pages recently, it will not win any prizes for economy or emissions in a segment now dominated by plug-in hybrids.

Genesis claims 29.5 to 30.2mpg fuel economy on the WLTP test’s combined cycle, while the tax implications of CO2 emissions of 212.4 to 217.4g/km rob it of much chance of being a company car.

On a 260-mile motorway round trip, I did see indicated economy approaching 40mpg, mind you…

That eight-speed gearbox is not as quick shifting as the dual-clutch items fitted to the likes of Audi or BMW’s premium offerings when the pace rises, but it is smooth and predictable in the way it switches cogs.

Where the G70 Shooting Brake delivers is in its comfort and remarkable chassis poise.

While the G70’s ride is more akin to a Volvo than any of its German rivals, with an appreciable pliancy that makes it a great long-distance cruiser, it succeeds in feeling more engaging and malleable than any of the Swedish brand’s models.

We already knew that Hyundai/Kia had great handling cars in its broad repertoire — see Kia Stinger or Hyundai’s i30 N or i20 N — and we see more evidence of it here.

But the plush, luxury feel of the cabin is all the brand’s own.

As standard the Luxury Line spec car tested here comes in at £40,700, but with Nappa Leather (£2,470) among options which took the price to £51,150 it again managed to evoke Bentley-esque vibes with its cabin design.

The quilted covering of the seats — heated and cooled in the front — and door linings looked stunning.

Elsewhere, the satin effect chrome feels more affordable premium than luxury, but the mix of materials combines to extremely impressive effect nonetheless.

Anyone that has never set foot in a car costing well into six figures will be blown away.

Genesis’ 10.25-inch HD touchscreen infotainment is crisply illustrated and is, thankfully, closely related to those from Hyundai and Kia, proving to be as intuitive as the best in the sector — a trait that sets it apart from Lexus and Volvo, in particular.

A 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster also supposedly uses eye-tracking technology to make its 3D display as easily read as possible. Regardless, it does the job well.

A suite of safety technology includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure assistance, automatic high beam headlights and blind spot assistance.

There is also the Lane Follow Assist (LFA) system that is now the first system I deactivate in any car, from any brand. Its desire to keep you in lane, regardless of road furniture, pot holes, parked cars is always a frustration.

Genesis’ tech also extends to internet-connected sat-nav and phone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Strangely for a car that takes its name from a breed of vehicle that prides itself on its load-lugging ability — by royal appointment, no less — the G70 Shooting Brake’s 465-litre boot is one of its shortcomings, placing it behind its more conventional rival estate cars.

For many, this will be a small price to pay for a car that has an awful lot going for it in terms of style, comfort and easy to use technology.

There’s a stress-free feel about the G70 Shooting Brake that should extend to the brand’s hassle-free ownership promise.

The only negative for many considering a purchase — ahead of the brand’s further electrification, at least — is likely to be that fuel consumption.

 

 

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