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First drive: Genesis G70 Shooting Brake. Image by Genesis.

First drive: Genesis G70 Shooting Brake
Can the stunning Genesis G70 Shooting Brake tempt you away from your German estate?

   



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Genesis G70 Shooting Brake

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Bible and band jokes aside, Genesis has arrived in the UK with one hell of a bang. And we aren't talking about the crash involving a famous golfer. The South Korean company has launched no fewer than five cars in Britain this year, and the G70 Shooting Brake is the latest effort. Built to rival the BMW 3 Series Touring and Audi A4 Avant, it's possibly the sexiest Genesis yet, but does it have the quality to match its German rivals?

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Genesis G70 Shooting Brake Luxury Line
Pricing: from 40,700 (50,020 as tested)
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Body style: five-door, five-seat estate
CO2 emissions: 212-217g/km
Combined economy: 30.2mpg
Top speed: 146mph
0-62mph: 6.9 seconds
Power: 245hp
Torque: 353Nm
Boot space: 403-1535 litres

What's this?

Absolutely gorgeous, that's what. The Shooting Brake is a stunning piece of design with a swooping rear end that's vaguely reminiscent of the old Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake. It has a lovely curved rear window and a kind of muscular backside. It looks sleek and athletic all at once. And it doesn't look bad from the front, either, with the same smart, stylish design as the G70 saloon and GV70 SUV.

Of course, the Shooting Brake name is a bit of a misnomer - it has rear doors and therefore must be an estate or, if we're being unkind, maybe a hatchback. But somehow neither of those names do justice to the Genesis styling, so we're happy to let the Shooting Brake name slide. As long as we can look at it for a little while longer...

Aaaand we're back in the room. This is, in essence, an estate version of the G70, which means it's slightly more practical, as well as being easier on the eye. But while that sloping roofline looks eye-catching, it won't help anyone sitting in the rear seats. Rear headroom is more or less identical to that of the G70 saloon, which means those over about six-foot tall will feel pretty cramped.

Those passengers won't even have room to stretch their legs, with limited knee room and even less space for feet. Because headroom is limited in the front, tall drivers will need to have the seat in its lowest position, which means those sitting behind will struggle to slide their feet under the chair.

And while boot space is an improvement over the G70 saloon, the Shooting Brake's 403-litre luggage bay is a bit small when compared with a BMW 3 Series Touring. That said, dropping the rear seats will free up 1,535 litres of space, which is on a par with the German wagon.

More encouragingly, the Shooting Brake gets much the same dash as the saloon, and that means it's quite a luxurious place to sit. The materials are mostly very good, aside from a few mediocre plastics down around the transmission tunnel, and the design is taken straight from the Bentley playbook.

That's no criticism, because it's a very stylish interior, merging classic and modern designs without making either feel out of place. The digital instrument cluster depicts traditional-looking dials, and it works a treat. As does everything else, because the G70 cabin feels seriously well engineered. Aside from a few slightly plasticky buttons, material quality is exceptional, and the sturdiness of the switchgear is an example even to some established luxury brands.

But there are weak spots, and those include the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which is essentially lifted from Genesis' sister company Kia. That means it's quite clear and logical, but the screen resolution is a little old-school and the system is occasionally slow to respond to inputs. It isn't bad, but it just feels out-of-date when compared with the slick infotainment systems in the GV70 SUV and G80 saloon.

At least there's plenty of standard equipment, with even the cheapest 'Premium Line' G70 Shooting Brakes including leatherette upholstery, big alloy wheels and navigation, as well as the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration technology. Two-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera are also included in the 35,250 starting price.

Moving up to the Luxury Line model we tested adds proper leather upholstery, heated seats and a heated steering wheel, plus electronically controlled suspension. And opting for the Sport Line provides all the Luxury Line features, plus some more aggressive styling and even bigger (19-inch) alloy wheels.

The engine options largely depend on which trim level you pick. The Premium Line cars come with a 197hp 2.0-litre petrol engine as standard, while there's a 200hp 2.2-litre diesel on offer for those prepared to pay a small premium. But the Luxury Line and Sport Line cars get the 2.2-litre diesel as standard, with a 245hp version of the 2.0-litre petrol engine offered as the option. All three drive the back wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

How does it drive?

We're disappointed to report that the G70 Shooting Brake is better to look at than to drive. It isn't a bad car in its own right, but when viewed in the context of superb executive estates such as the BMW 3 Series, it comes up short.

Chief among its issues is the ride, which is acceptable, but only just. Although the figures suggest it weighs little more than the saloon, the Shooting Brake rides heavily, sinking bodily into large depressions at high speeds and fidgeting over smaller undulations. We've no doubt it would ride beautifully on smooth European roads, but the scarred asphalt of the UK seems to catch the suspension out slightly. That said, it feels less jittery than the saloon.

Were those problems countered by lively handling, the G70 Shooting Brake would be a more appealing prospect, but it rolls even more than the saloon, with the additional rear bulk seeming to drag the top of the car over. Combined with light steering, that means the car never encourages you to take it by the scruff of the neck and explore the perfectly adequate levels of grip on offer. It feels much more at home cruising along the motorway.

The engines are similarly compromised, although there's an adequate amount of power on offer. The basic 2.0-litre petrol engine's performance figures are lacklustre, but the 2.2-litre diesel will get it from 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds, while the 245hp petrol engine we sampled will cut that time to less than seven seconds. It isn't rapid, but it's more than brisk enough.

It's quiet, too, as long as you don't try to exploit the performance. Put your foot down and the engine unleashes its four-cylinder voice - and it isn't especially pleasant. Weirdly enough, the diesel has a bit more character, but it's also slightly noisier at lower speeds. What it really needs is the 3.3-litre V6 engine that's available in the saloon, but that's deemed too thirsty.

We can't really work out why that is, because the 2.0-litre engines are hardly parsimonious. The 245hp version manages around 31-33mpg on the official economy test, and the diesel only ups that to just over 40mpg. That's fine, but it's hardly impressive.

Verdict

That's a pretty good metaphor for the G70 Shooting Brake as a whole. It's wholly adequate, but it just can't live up to the brilliance of its rivals. The BMW 3 Series is better to drive, the Audi A4 is more high-tech and the Volvo V60 is a more rounded car. We haven't driven the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate yet, but the old one was more comfortable than the Genesis. So while the Shooting Brake has its charms, we're not sure that's quite enough in this company.

5 5 5 5 5 Exterior Design

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Interior Ambience

2 2 2 2 2 Passenger Space

3 3 3 3 3 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

3 3 3 3 3 Comfort

3 3 3 3 3 Driving Dynamics

3 3 3 3 3 Powertrain


James Fossdyke - 10 Dec 2021



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2021 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake. Image by Genesis.2021 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake. Image by Genesis.2021 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake. Image by Genesis.2021 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake. Image by Genesis.2021 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake. Image by Genesis.








 

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