The Genesis G70 Shooting Brake is a rare but interesting mid-sized sports estate, thinks Jonathan Crouch.
Ten Second Review
If you'd like a premium badged mid-sized sports estate that's just that little bit different, Genesis would like you to consider this G70 Shooting Brake. It's beautifully built, surprisingly sporty, good to look at and very nice to ride in. And there's a class leading customer service promise. Interested yet?
To succeed, Korean maker Genesis has to create premium products that are just that little bit different. Well this is different - a bit anyway; the G70 Shooting Brake. 'Shooting Brake' is a term the industry occasionally uses for a sportily styled estate, usually mid-sized like this one. There's only one other similarly badged car on the market, the Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake, which will probably be seen as this Korean car's most obvious competitor.
This is a newer design than the G70 saloon and, unlike that sedan, this estate variant has been engineered exclusively for the European market, the only place where it will be sold. That's allowed the Genesis brand's German-based engineers to create a ride and handling balance much better suited to the preferences of our continent. Sounds promising.
Other Genesis models for Europe aren't much changed from those that must plough the billiard-smooth highways of the Middle East or the Americas, but this one has suspension and steering bespoke-designed for European roads. You'll have to pay more if you want all the tools developed at the Nurburgring to make it perform like a proper fast German-brand premium sports estate; stuff like a limited slip differential, uprated Brembo brakes, a sports exhaust and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres. But if you can stretch to a variant with all these things, you'll find it a surprisingly enjoyable steer.
The engine range at present is quite restricted and, surprisingly, ignores all of the hybrid powertrain tech that Genesis had access to through the Hyundai Motor Group. An EV version may be along shortly but to start with, there are just two very conventional four cylinder units; a 2.2-litre diesel with 197bhp. And a 2.0-litre petrol variant with either 194bhp or 241bhp. The latter delivers a sub-6.5 seconds 0-62 mph sprint time. All must use the usual Genesis 8-speed auto gearbox. The whole confection is based on the underpinnings of the Kia Stinger, but unfortunately, our market doesn't get that car's potent 3.3-litre V6 turbo petrol unit.
Design and Build
In its own way, the G70 Shooting Brake is quite a striking-looking thing, with European styling touches, sweeping C-pillars, a floating rear spoiler and a neat set of split tail lights. There's also a large G-Matrix grille and the kind of low line bonnet you usually get with the longitudinal engine and rear wheel drive format this car employs. As the name suggests, what's on offer here is part-hatch and part-estate, with a dash of coupe thrown in.
As with all current Genesis models, the cabin's quite appealing too. You get rich materials, the expected big centre screen and, with the optional 'Innovation Pack', clever 'stereoscopic' 3D digital instruments on a 12.3-inch display that offers rear camera images when you indicate left or right. The same pack also gives you a head-up display. The seats are broad and comfortable.
The rear part of the cabin could do with a bit more legroom. But the 465-litre boot is decently shaped and when the rear bench is folded extends to 1,565-litres. That's 55-litres more than you get in a BMW 3 Series Touring. And 135-litres more than the G70 saloon.
Market and Model
Think in terms of a premium of around £1,800 over the G70 saloon. Shooting Brake prices start at just over £35,000 for the 2.0-litre petrol version - or from around £38,000 for the 2.2-litre diesel. Either way, there are three trim levels - 'Premium', 'Luxury' (around £1,600 more) and 'Sport' (around £4,000 more). These prices are comparable with the entry-level figures for cars like Audi's A4 Avant, BMW's 3 Series Touring or the Mercedes C-Class Estate, but with those models, you'll need to spend a lot more to get a comparable level of equipment to that fitted with the G70 Shooting Brake. Just about everything you can imagine is fitted as standard.
Genesis doesn't have a network of UK dealerships. Instead, everything is done via so-called Genesis 'Studios' - which will be shopfronts in upmarket shopping centres. One has already been opened in London and others will follow. But you don't have to go to one of those. You simply connect with Genesis online, then you'll be allocated your own Genesis Personal Assistant who'll take you through the sales process, from test drive to delivery - and they'll deal with after-care as well. This Assistant isn't won't be salaried on commission as an ordinary car salesperson would be, so you won't get any hard sell.
Cost of Ownership
In 2.2-litre diesel form, this G70 Shooting Brake is reasonably economic - quoted at 40.7-41.8mpg on the combined cycle with a CO2 best of 175g/km. With the 2.0-litre petrol engine, those readings fall to 31.6-33.1mpg, with a CO2 best of 193g/km. Insurance is rated at either 32A-39A for the petrol and 37A to 38A for the diesel.
Every Genesis is covered by a 5 year Care Plan which includes scheduled servicing for 5 years or 50,000 miles. With each service visit, Genesis will collect and return the car to your door. This also applies to any necessary work required, including warranty work. You simply contact your Genesis Personal Assistant to make it happen. Who can also arrange a courtesy car. The 5 year Care Plan also includes updates to in-car navigational maps. And there's complimentary subscription to Genesis Connected Services, which will allow you to access information services from your 'phone to digitally enhance your ownership experience.
Genesis is shooting for the stars in this segment with this estate, the stars in question primarily being the BMW 3 Series Touring, the Audi A4 Avant and the Mercedes C-Class Estate. To be frank, more realistic targets in this class lie with models like the Volvo V60 and the Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake. Maybe also, if you're being very left-field, Subaru's Levorg and the Peugeot 508 SW PSE. All these models are pretty desirable, but for a small select group of potential customers in this class, this G70 Shooting Brake might prove to be more desirable still.
It looks good, handles well and is beautifully finished inside. An equally big draw will be the class leading level of customer service back-up. And relatively affordable prices. In the demerit column lies not particularly stellar levels of efficiency from the two conventional engines, but that issue might be addressed when Genesis broadens the powerplant line-up, a change which can't come soon enough. To succeed, Genesis needs to produce more slightly quirky cars like this. We think the right kind of buyer might quite enjoy this one.